So not a fan.
I hate ‘going on dates.’ I hate making small talk. I hate being asked what I do and pretending I care what this person I’ve never met before, does. When I was a SAHM I thought I felt bad about being a lady of leisure but now that I have a job I like and enjoy (at least 6O% of the time) I find I still dislike the forced interest in my work and other people’s work. I know girls who want to date specifically lawyers or doctors or enginneers…I couldn’t care less because money can be made in other ways and that’s what matters. Because it matters. Because as a single mother I’m not tryna bring a deadbeat into my life. I’m not tryna drain my resources by getting attached to a man that can’t bring a bigger slice of bacon to my table, nor am I tryna play cougar by dating young&broke. Y’all can miss me with that mess.
You see, like it or not finances matter in marriage and therefore vetting potential dates for financial compatibility is important to me. That, and physical attraction. Why? Because I’d like to get laid before I die and I’d like it to be on Egyptian cotton, thank you very much. I’m not here for team poverty (I’m doing great on my own, thanks) and I’m not here for bad sex … dating while parenting means I have to vet quickly and efficiently to rule out broke niggas and lousy screws. When you’re dating while parenting (and on the wrong side of 30…so far wrong you don’t even remember 30), time is of the essence so let’s cut to the chase: to cut out the bullshit, make sure your vetting game is on point and know what you want.
A lot of the time people say they don’t want x or y just to be politically correct, to impress their listeners with their high standards. Dating to pharck and dating for marriage are completely different activities with different rules. There are plenty of single mothers out there who think they’re dating for marriage when in reality they’re dating to be a warm body for some man, they just don’t know it.
When I started this post I was going to share my rules for dating while parenting but since those rules are geared for my lifestyle and circumstances as well as my goals and desires, few would get value. Instead, I’m going to list some things you should think about if you’re dating while parenting. I’m writing here specifically to single mothers who want to marry.
1. Does your potential mate have children? How many? Ages? Was he upfront about this? What is his relationship with the mother of these children? These questions will help you figure out what kind of husband and father this person will be, as well as warn you of any drama that may ensue. Not only that, but these questions will help you figure out what the financial implications of committing to this man will be. A divorced man with college-age children (over 18) is a very different animal from a man with a nine-month old who tells you that the woman he is living with who is also the mother of his child, is not his wife. In both cases you don’t think about what he wants and if you want to give it to him, you put first what you want and whether this line of action will help you get it.
While on that, don’t be that woman who falls for a married man because he said he was separating from his wife. It’s easier to walk away on principle than to ignore principle and try to walk away from feelings. Trust me, feelings are dumb and will make you act dumb.
2. Does your potential mate have the requisite resources? Now here’s the thing: black women guilt each other for wanting to live well. Here’s how it goes:
Me: I don’t want a man who needs my financial assistance.
Them: You’re a gold-digger.
I swear, it’s ridiculous. Know what? I’m cool with it because what I’m not tryna be is a woman spending money on dycke because let me school you: Chris Rock was right when he said any money spent on dycke is a bad investment. But hey boo, do you. If all you require is a birthday date to Fish n Chips, do you. Me? I can take myself to my favourite place for my birthday weekend and all I want is a man who can take us there, cos I’m not booking a hotel room for two. I’m not paying good money to have a man enjoy my company, he needs to pay what he needs to pay to enjoy mine because actually, my mother did not raise me to keep a man. That’s just not how I play. Also because Mother’s lessons notwithstanding I’ve done all my ‘bad investing’ and I’m here to say – never again.
And do you know who calls women gold-diggers? Broke men, and the women who love them.
3. Is your potential mate attractive to you? It doesn‘t matter how hot he is if he’s dumb, does it? Ok, not to me. Intelligence, wit, big arms (normal big, not gym rat big), wit, charm, good manners, wit, good shoes, wit, good cologne…in that order. Yes. Wit. Because witty people are smart people and witty men with big arms who smell good and treat me well are my weakness. But, I said this wasn’t about me. The important thing (if good sex matters to you at all) is to pick a partner that you find attractive. You don’t have to fuck ’em to prove ’em -the proof of the man is not in the farkuing: it’s a myth that you have to have sex with someone to prove that y’all are sexually compatible. There are signs to look out for that will point to chemistry but I know some very young people read my blog so I’m not going into detail, suffice it to say -don’t ignore what your gut tells you. If you’re not attracted to this person clothed you’re unlikely to be attracted to them nekkid. And unlike men who can get by because well, it’s easy for them and women stay bending over backward to please their partners (sometimes literally, too), a lack of chemistry/attraction spells disaster for women…it’s just that we’re not all smart enough or evolved enough or in touch with our feminine core enough to know when the brewing romance is a ‘chemical disaster’. Me? Been there. For a fee, I can teach you how to pick the good screws from the bad without having to get nekkid.
4. You and your potential mate must share the same major values
What does he believe about marriage? About parenting? About division of labour? About women working outside the home? About the spiritual headship of the man? About doing the heavy lifting, sex twice a day every day and a weekend away every four months?
If you and your man are compatible sexually and financially but your world views and value systems are, well, world’s apart, you’re going to find yourself in a world of hurt. And if you’re in that world with your children, you’re going to wish you’d paid more attention to this post. Don’t date or commit to a man whose values are diametrically opposed to your own.
Too many single mothers make bad dating decisions based on terrible advice and then try to correct those mistakes with children in tow. Don’t do it. Don’t let your kids see you hop from relationship to relationship tryna find one that sticks. And to that point: a) don’t introduce your boyfriends to your kids as ‘uncles’. You’re the first example of dating your kids will see, so don’t mislead by example. b) don’t entertain your boyfriends in your home where your kids can see you. It’s grimy and it’s degrading and you’ll regret it when your teenagers through your foolishness in your face c) don’t allow men to guilt you into introducing them to your kids. Your kids dont need to witness your heartbreak so unless this person has been established BY YOU as worthy, don’t introduce him. Men know that mothers try to set good examples and by forcing an early intro, he guarantees that you wont date anyone else. This is not the same as guaranteeing that he won’t date anyone else, so dont fall for it.
Dating while parenting isn’t easy but it’s made more difficult by foolishness. Don’t be stupid. Date with purpose, date smart, and don’t allow yourself to believe even for a second that you don’t deserve the best or that you have to lower your standards. I would rather be alone than be with some of the men I meet out there, but that’s because I place premium value on my happiness. Just because you have kids doesn’t mean you don’t deserve a good man who will commit to you exclusively. Don’t let the world trick you into believing you’re used goods and that your dating options are married men and broke students. Dare to be different, dare to demand different. And be happy anyway, single or not. Your happiness doesn’t live in a man, it lives in you. You just have to find it.