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TikToker Exposes The Reality Of Dating As A Single Mom & The Audacity Of Men Who Shame Her

Photo: Sarah Hennies / TikTok / Instagram
Sarah Hennies

When Sarah Hennies first turned to TikTok to expose a negative encounter she had with a Tinder match who body-shamed her, she hoped this was a rare experience.

However, what the now-viral TikTok revealed was that many other women, particularly single moms like Hennies, have been subjected to similarly cruel comments while dating.

We previously covered Hennies’ viral video in which she shares messages from a man who canceled a date with her after seeing photos of her postpartum body.

But these messages are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the vitriol single moms experience at the ends of men whose lack of respect knows no end.

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In another video, Hennies shares messages from a different Tinder match. A man she had never even met who found it appropriate to hurl insults and verbal abuse her way after a brief text exchange. 

The TikTok reveals the harsh reality of dating as a single mom. 

“You’re a stuck-up b-tch with a victim mindset,” the man writes after Hennies refuses to rise to his insults.

   

   

“You were never going to be more than a hookup to me.” 

The harsh messages continue over Snapchat in a follow-up video. The man repeatedly calls Hennies a “b-tch” and other similar terms before sending her a text message the next day that reads, “Good morning Sarah.”

Hennies says the man was a “love-bomber” from the outset of their communication and she recognized red flags early on.

“Once I posted the TikTok I had three other women reach out confirming they knew who it was and that he had been saying all the same things to them,” she says.

Hennies adds that she’s fortunate that she’s comfortable enough in herself that she knows it was his loss, but she didn’t always have such a thick skin.

Hennies once struggled to deal with the mom-shaming she faced. 

“There was a time in my life that both interactions would have absolutely sent me into a spiral of restrictive eating, excessive exercise, and depression,” she explains.

“Words matter. They carry weight that can crush someone who is already on the edge.”

In the early days of dating as a single mom, Hennies didn’t feel as secure in herself as she does now and the society around her did little to help.

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“The double standard for single moms vs single fathers is something I have dealt with since the very beginning of becoming a single mother,” she says.

Hennies filed for divorce from her now ex-husband before her daughter had her first birthday and was keen to get back on dating apps quickly.

“My self-esteem had taken such a hit after what went on in the marriage that I remember just wanting to feel like me again, wanting to feel beautiful again,” Hennies explains.

Hennies had been cheated on and her ex-husband had already moved on with his mistress before their marriage even ended but it was Hennies who was left feeling guilty for dating other people.

She has had to deal with pushback from her ex, her family, and complete strangers online who think Hennies should be solely focused on raising her daughter, not dating. 

“The thing that I remind myself is that these people are not raising my daughter,” she says.

“My daughter is kind, loving, hilarious, strong-willed and incredibly smart. Those are things that are enough for me to know that my parenting skills are not being negatively impacted by my dating.”

In sharing her experiences on social media, Hennies has also found a community of women who have had similar encounters. 

She says it has been both empowering and heartbreaking to know that there are other moms out there going through the same trials and tribulations.

“Mom-shaming is very real,” she says, “Until you have been in a single mother's shoes, I don't want to hear crap about what you think is best because you have NO idea the things that a mother is battling on a daily basis.”

   

   

Dating as a single mom has been an important form of self-care too.

“Dating has allowed me the ability to reclaim pieces of myself that I thought had been lost for good,” Hennies says.

“Going through pregnancy and having a baby changes your body, mind, and soul in both positive and not so positive ways.” 

“Wanting the affection of others is such a basic human desire and for people to think that somehow mothers lose this and are completely satisfied with the singular role of motherhood are insane.”

She has even found connections with men who have made her believe love is possible again.

But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t taken some internal work to be able to find these men through all of the other audacious matches.

With the support of family, friends, and a good therapist, Hennies has been able to rediscover the self-esteem she lost in her past relationship and breakup.

“I 100% still have my bad days, I struggle with my depression, I cry myself to sleep on nights when my daughter is gone,” she elaborates. 

“I am always moving through the process of healing and some days are prettier than others, but I am worthy of the great things that come my way.”

She knows that not all single moms have the same support and, for that reason, advises that we all go easier on women whose lives we may never understand because Hennies knows that we would be nothing without them.

“Mothers make the world go round and I wish more of them believed this.” 

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Alice Kelly is a senior news and entertainment editor for YourTango. Based out of Brooklyn, New York, her work covers all things social justice, pop culture, and human interest. Keep up with her Twitter for more.

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