Dennis Hackethal’s Blog

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Published · 3-minute read

Don’t Date Single Mothers

From a man’s perspective, dating a single mother is typically a bad idea because:

  • Her kids are the priority, not you.
  • Down the line, you may need to provide for kids that aren’t yours.
  • The kids’ father is probably still in the picture somehow.
  • She can’t be spontaneous or meet as much since kids are a lot of work and require planning.
  • If you want kids: she might not want more.
  • She’s probably less desirable physically. Staying fit is difficult after pregnancy; many women never lose all of the weight they put on during pregnancy.

Some people, such as Kevin Samuels, would add another alleged downside: that you can’t ‘discipline’ her kids. But I think that’s the wrong way to look at it. Any relationship with anyone, including children, should be based on mutual respect. It shouldn’t be about control.

There are also some questions you need to ask yourself:

  • What does her ex do? If he ranks lower than you socioeconomically, Samuels would ask, why does she deserve you?
  • Why isn’t she with her ex anymore? If he left her, why? Does she have some problems you now have to deal with? If she left him, why? Did she have unreasonable standards you’re not going to be able to meet either?
  • Was she married to her ex? If not, why was he good enough to make babies with but not good enough to marry? Why didn’t she make marriage a requirement to have kids in the first place, as Samuels would ask? Is she reckless?

In short, dating single mothers is a bum deal. You shouldn’t do it unless all of the following apply:

  1. The father is not in the picture anymore, except maybe financially.
  2. The kids are still very young, meaning there’s a decent chance they’ll accept you as their father down the line.
  3. You want to have kids (particularly if you’re physically unable to get a woman pregnant).
  4. You’re prepared to eventually adopt the kids and become their father.

And because these last four points are only relevant long term, and because even the short term is challenging with single mothers, you will probably never even get far enough for these points to matter in the first place.

Since dating single mothers usually has almost only downsides from the man’s perspective, single mothers should expect to remain single, and married mothers generally shouldn’t divorce if they don’t want to be alone afterwards. (It’s no surprise that so many women do what’s called ‘branch swinging’: they won’t leave their current significant other until they have secured someone else.)

Due to these downsides from the male perspective, single mothers should adjust their expectations on the dating market way down. But their needs and demands are higher than those of women with no children. It’s all skewed: they have less to offer than single women yet expect more. Most women’s standards and expectations increase as their value shrinks in men’s eyes, but with single mothers, this imbalance is more pronounced.

Conversely, let’s imagine a man most women find unattractive: a poor/unemployed man with no drive. He struggles to pay the bills and has a low credit score; he has no real social standing of any kind. Now, most men, including poor ones, want to date hot women – that’s no secret. But imagine if this man not only wanted a hot woman, but also expected her to provide for him because he is poor. In other words, he would expect more because he has less to offer. But need is not a claim, as Ayn Rand pointed out. His expectation would rightly turn women away, and they would not be wrong to call him delusional.

There is a growing double standard that women should have high standards, even ‘reach for the stars,’ while men should accept all women the way they come. Men are even demonized for having certain preferences. That’s not right – men are entitled to reasonable preferences and standards just the same, and the truth is that single mothers do not rank high on any man’s list. And the kind of man single mothers want has better options.

Single mothers who find a guy willing to date them, let alone take on the responsibility for their kids, should treat him like a saint. However, single mothers who get attention, even sex, shouldn’t mistake that for the ability to get a long-term partner. (That’s true for women in general, mothers or not – h/t to Kevin Samuels again.)

Men who are on the dating market should generally avoid single mothers. Like, don’t even go on dates with them, let alone sleep with them. Why go through all that trouble when you can date a woman who has no children? Keep an abundance mindset. But some men still date single mothers because men are generally too desperate for sex. Their standards are lower than they should be.

Women should avoid becoming single mothers in the first place. It sucks being a single mother. One would think that’s obvious, but women initiate divorces more than twice as often as men, and some of these women must be mothers. There’s a growing consensus among women that they don’t need men and that they can have it all. They’re wrong. They need men badly, and they have to make choices and tradeoffs.

There is, of course, any number of reasons why women might become single mothers, many of which they may not be responsible for (eg they might be widows, or maybe they had to leave due to abuse). But men do not owe them understanding, nor do these reasons increase attraction in the eyes of men. My impression is that women underestimate how much less attractive being a single mother makes a woman to men (see, for example, this video and this video as evidence – see how surprised the women in these videos are?).

To be clear, I don’t have anything against single mothers. On the contrary, I empathize with them: like I said, being a single mother sucks, so women should avoid that life, if possible.

A lot (though not all) of the same concerns apply, albeit to a lesser degree, to women with high-maintenance pets like dogs (there I do speak from experience). Lower-maintenance pets like fish might be okay, but no pets is best, as Samuels has said. More generally, it’s preferable to avoid women with notable and time-consuming pre-existing responsibilities – kids are just the most salient example.


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