The Guy’s Perspective: Single mother dating
I’m 20 and I have a little girl on the way — my first child. I was engaged to the father for a year and he promised me the family I have always dreamed of. We planned our little one, but he left me three months after we found out I was pregnant. Now I’m worried there won’t be any men in their 20s to date that are okay with me being a single mother. I believe in love and want a healthy relationship for my daughter. I certainly don’t want to be bouncing from guy to guy for her sake. I would be more than okay with starting a bigger family with my husband in the future, but will I even be given that chance in my 20s? Is it just a waiting game until guys mature or is there hope now?
Thanks for your question. There’s always hope. However, most guys aren’t ready to settle down in their early twenties. They’re busy pursuing careers, dating, and having fun. But most of all they’re peeling away the layers of childhood, trying to discover the kind of man they want to be. This process can take years and years, and that’s why many men aren’t ready for a commitment in their twenties. They are focused on finding themselves as they vie for position and rank in this competitive world.
The father of your child exemplifies why men get a bad rap. He was interested enough in you and the relationship when he was getting what he wanted and when it was all talk, but when things became real and got more complicated he left. We can see how this would leave a bad taste in your mouth, and make you skeptical and concerned about all guys in their twenties, but don’t let him “speak” for all men.
Your instincts are good, Katie. You certainly don’t want to be bouncing from guy to guy, especially with a child in tow. While dating different men is fine, I would recommend keeping your dating life and home life as separate as possible until you are fairly confident the guy you’re dating is in it for the long haul. It will be best for your child to have consistent people in her life, male and female. Ideally you will have an amicable enough relationship with your ex so he can be involved. However, if that doesn’t happen, you want to make sure the man you expose your daughter to, understands that you come as a unit — mother and daughter.
Katie, your first priority will be your child, and you certainly don’t want to waste your time with guys who don’t get it. So in some ways, your child will help you filter out the guys who aren’t serious. Life is full of surprises. We’re sure there’s some young guy out there who will be more than happy to welcome you and your child into his life.
But you’ll only meet that person by getting out there yourself. Finish school. Or start school. Take some classes that interest you. Join a book group. Say yes to invitations. Get a job doing something interesting. (If possible) Elicit the help of your friends and family — you’ll need support with daycare, etc. and emotional support — so you can move forward with your own interests and goals. And by doing all of that, it’s more likely you will meet some great person who shares many of the same interests and values that you do.
Saelen Ghose is the head writer for The Guy’s Perspective, a popular relationship blog and website. Over the course of his tenure he has responded to thousands of relationship questions, and while he hasn’t solved every problem, he has provided a thoughtful perspective on every question received. If you have a relationship question of your own, please email email@example.com. Saelen will do his best to answer your question. Please limit your question to 200 words or less. For more from The Guy’s Perspective, visit www.theguysperspective.com.