13 Reasons Why It's Totally Okay To NOT Date Single Parents

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Back when I was in the dating scene, I noticed that there was a bit of an issue with my standards. More specifically, other people had an issue with the fact that I refused to date single parents. In many cases, it was single dads who got offended; other times, it was people who were the products of single parent households.

Oh, I’ve heard it all. I’ve had some people tell me I was “selfish” and “unreasonable” to refuse to date someone based on parenthood status alone. Some people said that I was a downright horrible person for this decision. Frankly, I know that’s not true.

If you’re like me, you need not worry. You’re not selfish, horrible, or wrong for your dating choices. Here are some great reasons why it’s totally reasonable to refuse to date single parents.

1. People turn other people down for way smaller, more superficial reasons.

I’ve been turned down because I was fat, dressed weird, and had pale skin. These are all valid (albeit aggravating) reasons to turn people down. So, if it’s fair to drop people for being too fat, it’s just as fine to drop them for having a kid. After all, you can lose the weight, but you can’t lose the kid.

2. The kid will always take priority over you.

Yes, the parent in question should put the kid first all the time, but frankly, once again, that takes away from the relationship quality for me. I don’t want to have romantic dinners ruined because of a squalling toddler. I don’t want to hear that our vacation was canceled because Brayton wasn’t feeling good. Others would be able to give me attention and prioritize me, so why would I put up with that?

3. If you do date that person and break up with them, it may also affect the kid, too.

I’ve heard plenty of people say that the losing contact with an ex’s kid was the worst part of the breakup. I also know products of single parenthood who are bitter over the stream of “moms” who went in and out of their lives. I’m not risking that for myself or the kid. Not wanting to deal with that doesn’t make you selfish; it means you’re watching out for two of the three parties involved.

4. No one is under any obligation to date anyone.

Yes, it sucks, but it’s true. No one is ever obligated to give you “a fair chance.” Bemoaning that you can’t get a date cause you have a kid just says volumes about you and will only solidify people’s choice.

5. Dating a single parent is waaaay more responsibility.

Whether you like it or not, single parents will expect you to be a parent to their kid. This expectation will increase the more you two date. I don’t want that responsibility, nor do I enjoy the idea of being a full-time parent. So, that’s a huge “no thanks” in my book.

6. Money also turns into a bigger issue.

Kids are expensive. On average, it’ll take about $1,100 per month to keep a kid alive up until 18. As bad as it sounds, I can’t afford to contribute on that level, nor would I want to. Most single parents I met will expect their partners to contribute to the household, and that means they’ll expect money to go to their kids. Sadly, that’s not often a good investment. 

7. It’s not anyone’s responsibility to raise a kid but the person who made it.

This is what grinds my gears about a lot of single parents who have reproached me about my decision not to date them. They made it sound like it was my responsibility as a woman-like person to want to date a single parent. I’m sorry, but no. I wasn’t the one who decided to keep a kid, so it’s not my responsibility.

If you are expecting, the possibility that your partner will bail is something you have to think about. You need to plan for that Plan B. Don’t foist your decisions on me and expect random strangers to pick up the slack.

8. They may have ulterior motives.

I have personally heard a lot of single parents who basically used dates like free babysitting while they went out, or who have used dates like ATMs for their kids. As bad as it is, already-paranoid me doesn’t want that to be a potential reason for single parents to be interested in me.

9. There may also be lifestyle clashes to deal with  and those can lead to resentment.

I’m a party animal, and most of the parties I go to aren’t doable with kids in the picture. If I had to give them up because I was dating a single dad or a single mom, I’d end up resenting the single parent and the kid because they upended the life I love living.

10. Some parents have really terrible kids.

Whether by raising them or the kids just being born evil, there are some really rotten kids out there. Even if a guy is really wonderful, it only takes one kid that’s bad to the bone to make you run the other way. Many people just don’t want to risk having to deal with that at all, and as a result, say no to single parents. And that’s okay.  

11. Not everyone is fit to be a parent...or a step-parent.

You know who will make a bad step-parent? Someone who knows that she doesn’t do well with kids. It’s perfectly alright for someone like that to avoid single parents when dating. If you know you suck with kids, then don’t date single parents.

12. A lot of people don’t want to have a date who has baby mama or baby daddy drama.

Trust me when I say there’s a lot of awkwardness and baggage with many single parents and their exes. At least, most of the time there is. It could be a stalker baby daddy, or it could be the baby mama who legitimately just wants every penny he has. Either way, it’s often just not worth the drama.

13. Because who you want to date doesn’t make you a bad person.

You can’t negotiate on certain things — kids being one of them. You also can’t negotiate on attraction. Anyone who tells you otherwise isn’t someone you should allow yourself to be near.