7 Things Single Parents are Sick of Hearing (about their love life)

Being a parent is one of the toughest jobs on the planet and one that becomes even tougher for people who find themselves raising kids alone. People’s opinions and judgements can be harsh, and when you add into that the idea of dating, relationships and sex they can become downright nasty. Here are seven things to avoid saying to single parents who are taking that step back into the dating world, no matter how much you think they need to hear it, or how “helpful” you think you’re being.

You Must Be Lonely

There is a huge difference between being alone and being lonely and while there are obviously moments where it’s nice to have someone else by your side, some relationships, where love has gone and communication has died, can actually be far more isolating than making it on your own. Unless you’re in the “inner circle” you probably have no actual knowledge why the relationship (if there ever was one) with their kid’s other parent broke down and, unless they specifically tell you they’re feeling lonely, it’s probably not your place to delve into their mental state.

I’d Date You But You Have Baggage

Baggage. What a rude and insensitive word to use to describe someone’s children! And what a ridiculously redundant thing to say in the first place! Even if you put it in a less offensive way, what could you possibly expect the response to be? “Oh no! How could I possibly survive without you, you magnificent thing! Let me just go chuck those little nuisances up for adoption and I’ll meet you down the pub!” Look, it’s totally okay to not want to date someone with kids, but that’s your “baggage” to deal with, not theirs, and there’s no such thing as “but” when it comes to that conversation, so find another way to express it without making it sound like it’s their fault for having kids.

But How Do You Get Nookie? Do You Take People Home?

Apart from the fact that asking people about their sex lives is mostly inappropriate, when this is said to a single parent it’s often one of those between the lines comments similar to the one above that implies if you’re having any sort of sex you’re probably somehow corrupting your children and are a bad parent. Firstly, it’s not the end of the world if a kid knows their parent is having “relations” and secondly, for fucks sake, stop thinking they’re some kind of fucking idiots! Surprise, surprise they are very aware of the fact they have children and probably know far better than you how to deal with the situation of having an adult relationship while also being a single parent. 

OMG You Leave Your Kids To Go Party?

Yeah, because how dare you have fun, right? Didn’t you know once you become a parent your entire social life must dry up, you can never leave the house again, and you must now be perfect. And that goes double if you’re a single parent! If you are the sort of person who thinks someone going out to have fun is somehow neglecting or corrupting their children then I certainly hope you never breed yourself. Getting a night out, ESPECIALLY when as a single parent is one of the most precious gifts they’ll ever receive and you trampling on their good time with some holier than thou guilt trip is really shitty and rude.

Dating Is Different Now You’ll Never Find Someone

Well, thanks for the optimism, mate, that’s mighty supportive of you! Yes, dating has changed, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find someone. In fact, with the number of dating apps, websites, meet up groups, niche sites, and everything that’s available in the dating world these day, while it may be a little overwhelming, it can actually be a lot easier to find someone who will suit your specific needs. From groups that cater especially for single parents, and in depth questionnaires about the ideal partner you want, dating might actually be easier for people on the fringes of dating society than ever before! 

In fact, true story, one couple who the AMM Editor met at a swingers club in QLD had 7 kids between them and they met in the AMM chatroom. Both had limited time to get out to meet new people so spent a lot of time in chat once the kids were in bed. A desperate cry of "anyone have a good casserole recipe which kids will love" led to one date, then another, and eventually a marriage. So it can happen.

I Hope You Don’t Introduce Them To Your Kids

This one is just rude and judgemental and, reading between the lines, tells someone that you don’t think they are a good parent with the best interests of their kids at heart. Most single parents are very aware of the impact a new parter and new family dynamic would bring to their homes and are very aware of keeping certain things separate while they work it all out. That doesn’t even have to mean hiding the fact that you’re dating to your kids (it’s very healthy for children to see happy parents), but it does mean that they are conscious of the effect it can have and, as adults, should be trusted to make the best choices for themselves and their kids.

Is Your Ex Babysitting?

This is possibly one of the single most offensive things you can say to a parent either about them or their ex. No, they are not babysitting. They are being a parent. In this world where both parents are sharing the load more and more it is so important to acknowledge that, regardless of whether it’s an equal share of custody, or a split situation, parenting is parenting and shouldn’t be undermined with dismissive language and inferences.

Seriously. Unless you’re their best friend, you have no right to delve so deeply into someone else’s private life. Sure it’s okay to be curious about their lives, and to want to know if they are happy and enjoying life, but take a step back and make sure your questions don’t come off as judgemental or condescending or, even worse, like you’re commenting negatively on their parenting ability. And hey, if you really want to do something for your single parent friends, offer to take their kids for the night so they can really let their hair down without any possibility of “corrupting” the kids.

21 Comments

  • Discreteguy69er Photo
    Discreteguy69er
    More than a month ago

    Wish I could find somebody

  • Desperatedess
    More than a month ago

    This lady definitely has her finger on the pulse I seriously admire her for stating how she feels, unfortunately there are other beautiful women in the same situation who through insecurity don’t come out and say the same Des

  • jerry33jt
    More than a month ago

    I've been a single father for the past year i always get asked where the mother is which is also annoying and i don't really no if im doing it right by telling them straight out i have a son and then they don't bother talking any more or should I not tell them straight away

  • gamesz
    More than a month ago

    Well said!

  • SingleDadLife Photo
    SingleDadLife
    More than a month ago

    Many many people need to read this.

    I am a full time single Dad and having no support for a babysitter and no family to help out it is incredibly hard to try and date and meet people.

    Been out once in 6 months

  • magsluvsit Photo
    magsluvsit
    More than a month ago

    This is such a good story and sadly very true.. I have heard it all also.

  • Hammer2018
    More than a month ago

    Been a single dad for over 10 years . Yes been good times and bad . Past relationships have failed due to me being a full time parent . I don't make excuses I dont need a shoulder to cry on . I dont need a babysitter . I dont need a house cleaner. I love my boy. . But I would like a life . A special someone. Same interests in bedroom and life... I dont have baggage. I have a son . A life . . I have know misconceptions. . I dont need . I'd just like to have .....

  • huehuecoyotl Photo
    huehuecoyotl
    More than a month ago

    I've 3 daughters... to 3 different mothers...
    I've been an unknowing father (we were young and I was never told the girl was pregnant.)
    I've been an absentee father (I was always at work and too busy... yes I regret it OK.)
    I was a single parent for 4yrs and now have shared custody of my youngest who just turned 13.
    I've been swinging, on and off, since my early 20's. With different regular playmates and partners.
    I guess I've heard all those above, and more, over the years.
    Maybe I'm just too arrogant to care much what other people think but I've never been put off by questions about juggling my family and my sex life. Could just be the company I keep but the few times it's come up there's been a genuine interest.
    The few playmates I've lost because I had to cancel plans and take care of my daughters... well there haven't been many... and I don't remember missing them....

  • spanker73
    More than a month ago

    Single full time dad here and the baggage one is so damn true. You think females would know better. Everytime I see someones dating profile that reads "no baggage" instant block

  • JustDave1 Photo
    JustDave1
    More than a month ago

    spent the last 6 years as single dad with full care. and yes the above is so so very true, however I would never ever change that time in my life. very much worth the loneliness.

  • Matchless650
    More than a month ago

    I'm seeing a single dad. His children are important to him, I appreciate that & wouldnt expect anything
    less or more from him. I'm happy to see him during school hols.

  • PinupBeauty
    More than a month ago

    I get the babysitting one all the time. It does my head in. "NO he doesn't babysit his own children, it is called parenting!"
    Twits!

  • BrattyBabyGirl Photo
    BrattyBabyGirl
    More than a month ago

    I actually deal with several men who are single parents..... I have no children my self but I understand the kids come first and everything that comes along with that as I am the youngest child in a blended family. My parents were still together till I was an adult but when they first got together my dad already had two kids, so I do understand it. But at the same time Single parents need to be aware that if they choose to date someone without kids that they won’t necessarily understand the commitment and they may feel like they are competing for attention from the single parent which is hard. I am currently facing this myself as he has long work hours and children so getting time together is hard. It’s about communication and laying out to someone that unless they want it to be a regular ongoing thing they have no right to put any constraints on on the single parent. If it becomes a regular thing asking to have a bit of a preference (to the single parents time) at certain TIMES is understandable. It is only when you actually start a relationship that you have any true ‘right’ to ask for more time to be together.
    But every relationship is different. So take it as it comes.

  • Shazza94 Photo
    Shazza94
    More than a month ago

    Yep I have heard all of these while I was a single parent on AMM. Having to constantly explain my shared care arrangements and how I won’t have a quickie on the couch while the kids are home. Lol. I met my now husband on another adult dating site so there’s hope for all single parents out there.

    Play nice peeps. :)

  • Benover9
    More than a month ago

    Yeah! thanks, good article that highlights individual selfish needs of people, before the families that are there responsibility.

  • cowgaluvoldrmen
    More than a month ago

    Yep get sick of the ignorant ppl that don’t understand the being of a single parent especially when doing it all alone
    Some ppl are just rude and ignorant! No understanding!
    Sometimes it’s way easier to remain as a owner operator lol
    To many judgemental ppl

  • groovee1 Photo
    groovee1
    More than a month ago

    This blog presents an unbalanced view. You need to include the perspective of a person trying to date a single parent (SP). I noticed a single female profile a while back, specifically not looking for single male parent, because of the 'primary commitment' being the children. The SP is not subsequently there when the other person wants them to be. The person dating a SP will ALWAYS be the third wheel. SP profiles often make this clear "my children come first". A person trying to date a SP, has to have a lot of patience, and not expect an initial honeymoon phase in the beginning of a relationship. Sometimes a shared parental care arrangement (2 wks on, 2 wks off), means the person entering the relationship will not have a constant place in the relationship for 2 week intervals. Older children will be suspicious of the new adult. They will also learn that new adult is not their parent, so there is no interaction as there would be to a parent, no advice is asked, no authority is recognised. The children can reinforce the perception of the third wheel syndrome.

    • Account Closed
      More than a month ago

      The first thing I thought of was the amount of profiles of SPs that say "My child will always come first". Yep..we get it. We understand. We know that. But I bypass those profiles, anyway.

      Children also get used as an "out", especially for a "1st meet cold feet". ie: "Oh.. I'm sorry! I have to cancel / postpone, because my child....", and you have to give the benefit of the doubt, just in case. But its happened where I didn't hear from them after that, anyway.

  • Friend4life56
    More than a month ago

    As a single parent I felt my actions were judged more. I was made to feel guilty for going out ...even just to the movies by myself. And my god going back to work and putting my child into daycare. Couples, when they have kids, are still expected to have a life, to work and to socialise... why is it so different for a single parent?

  • phillg45 Photo
    phillg45
    More than a month ago

    Hi there! I can vouch for the fact that all of this is completely true. Even at my age I am a single parent an have been so for the last 9 years and I can tell you that my love life has been zero since my separation. All that has happened is that I am nine years older and still don't have a lady in my life!

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