Contrary to what you may be told by mommy bloggers, there is really just one reason why good men will refuse to date single mothers: There is very little that a man gets out of this arrangement. This is the main reason why a good man will not date a single mother. Sadly, many women do not understand this simple truth and need to have a detailed explanation of the many drawbacks to dating them as perceived from a man’s perspective. Worse than this, some single moms try to convince themselves that only “good men” will date them, yet this is a very selfish and narcissistic attitude that is denying the harshness of reality. Men can be morally upright and refuse to date single mothers because dating a single mother brings enormous drawbacks and very little advantages compared to a man simply dating a woman who does not have any children.

If you are a single mother who wants to understand what guys think about dating a single mom then you should read this article from start to finish so that you thoroughly understand the dilemma from a man’s point of view.

Generally speaking, women who believe good men won’t date single moms because they “don’t have enough time to spend with the man” and other such nonsense are not dating genuinely good men. See, a good man is ultimately looking for a woman who is wife material, and so a woman spending a lot of time being a mother is not a negative quality to him. This is something that women just like to tell themselves to make themselves feel the reason is because they are too “strong and independent” for most guys, when the reality is frequently the opposite. If you want to know the real reasons why a good man will refuse to date a single mom, keep reading this article because I am going to lay it out crystal clear as day for you. And for our primary audience of male readers, these are the reasons why you should avoid dating a single mom if you can.

Before we get into the reasons why a good man frequently avoids dating a single mother, let’s talk about the reasons why any man (good or bad) dates a single mother. This will be helpful for many women out there to understand.

The Three Reasons Why Men Will Date a Single Mother

In my experience the main reasons that men date single mothers is for the following reasons,

  1. The man has a low opinion of himself (whether deservedly or not) and tends to believe the only women he can get are those who show him any attention at all, and single mothers as a population tend to be more desperate to get a boyfriend or new husband to be a provider, so they are more likely to make the first approach. The man sometimes has this negative opinion of himself because the man has some typically undesirable trait (such as being very overweight or some kind of physical disability) but it is also often because the guy has unresolved emotional issues (this is frequently the reason why financially stable and reasonably good looking men end up dating single mothers long-term). Rather than address these issues and more accurately assess himself, he instead tries to find self-validation through a relationship. Generally speaking these men tend to not make good partners due to their unresolved issues coloring their decision making, leading them to make bad choices in the relationship. I am speaking from some experience here, as the first single mother I dated was not a woman I actually loved; she was a rebound relationship after losing a chick I did love. My head was not emotionally in the right place and I made a mistake by dating her. I have also witnessed this relationship structure play out with most of my guy friends who date single moms.
  2. The man is looking to hump and dump. Single mothers tend to be more promiscuous, often because they are using sex for stress relief and/or because they are trying to hook a man into a relationship by using bonds formed with routine sex. Many guys are aware of this and exploit single moms as an easy, cheap date guaranteed to lead to sex.
  3. The man has had a crush on the woman from before she was a single mom. This is the reason I dated my last girlfriend, who was a single mother. We had known each other as children and reconnected in our thirties. Knowing all of the issues with dating a single mother, I still decided to date her because I had sentimental feelings from knowing her in my youth and I wanted to “save her” from the current predicaments she found herself in. But in the process of the dating it became clear she self-created these predicaments with the same poor decision making that led her to become a single mom in the first place. Admittedly, some guys will form crushes on single moms who already were single mothers by the time they met them, over a long period of time of knowing her as something like a co-worker or acquaintance, but this is more rare in my own anecdotal experience with my circle of guy friends. Primarily it is a guy who was in love with the chick before she became a single mom and now that she is available to date again he has decided “this is my chance” and he goes for it.

These are, with the exceptions of very rare (and overwhelmingly negative) reasons such as a guy being more interested in the kids than the mom, the three main reasons why a man will date single mothers. This means reason #3 is the only good reason for why a man will date a single mother, the other two reasons being negative ones.

Almost no one is willing to say this frankly and honestly these days, because it’s not considered “nice” to point this stuff out and there are many single moms out there who will be angry to hear this. But this is the blunt, frank truth on why men will date single mothers. I think it is kinder to tell people the truth so they can make good informed choices instead of believing lies that lead them to make bad decisions.

Sadly, many women do not realize that reason #1 is why half of the men they date are dating them, and reason #2 is the reason why the other half do. Reason #3 probably accounts for less than 1% of the time a man dates a single mother. These are made up numbers, but based on my own anecdotal experiences, accurate.

With this in mind, chances are that if you are a single mother and the man you are dating isn’t dating you because of reason #3, then it is because of reasons #1 and #2. Figure out which one it is on your own.

There are consequences to choices a person makes in life. Becoming a single mother is a choice with long lasting negative consequences that will make it much harder for her to find a good stable relationship in the future compared to if she was single and childless. This is just the facts of life. My best advice to single moms is to stop using dating apps and instead try to meet men the old fashioned way, in the real world, forming real connections with them and understand it will take time for a man to fall in love with you this way and it could not even happen for you if you are a total mess. But you’ll find nothing but #1 and #2 type of guys on the dating apps, as most good men will avoid dating you via these apps.

Here are the many, many reasons why good men don’t want to date single mothers.

The Reasons Why Men Don’t Want to Date Single Moms

1. He Was Raised In a Broken Family Himself and Doesn’t Want to Repeat The Past

Many men of my generation are from broken homes where our parents divorced. We grew up as firsthand witnesses to the problems in these family structures, and saw the impact it had on ourselves as we grew up. If you had a very negative experience as the child of a single mother who had men constantly coming in and out of his life, or a bad stepdad that caused drama, and you constantly had to be in the middle of your parents having long complicated battles against each other, this makes you as an adult not want to re-live the past.

A man has a significantly higher chance of re-living that negative past by dating a single mother compared to trying to form his own family from scratch with a woman who does not have children already.

2. He Doesn’t Want to Be Expected To be a Parental Figure At the Start of the Relationship

Dating a single mom and having the kids involved inevitably means the man is going to be around when the children misbehave. Many single moms expect their boyfriends to become authoritative father figures to the children so that the mom doesn’t have to be. Even if the mom doesn’t expect this, it tends to be difficult for a good man to stay quiet if he sees children disrespecting the woman they are dating and they will want to involve themselves. This can be very awkward for a guy since it is not his own kids he is having to discipline. So to avoid having to ever be pressured to step into that parental role or involved in such things at all, men will avoid dating single moms.

3. He Doesn’t Want To Be Involved In Drama With Your Ex and His Family

Single moms overwhelmingly have children with a man from a prior relationship (compared to getting artificial fertilization), and the father is often involved in some capacity in the kids lives. Single moms and single dads tend to have wildly different parenting styles and expectations, and this inevitably causes drama on a frequent basis. It’s often worse if the boyfriend’s family is very involved — grandparents tend to be very protective of their grandchildren, and will nearly always side with their own son in a situation.

To avoid having to be involved in another family’s drama many good men will refuse to date single moms. This is doubly the case with a woman who has multiple children from different fathers; I mean that is just a double dosage of ex drama (in addition to being a strong indicator the mother’s poor decision making may be the reason her relationships fail).

4. He Doesn’t Want To Be Cheated On

Some single moms often try to get back with the father of their children, especially if the kids are still very young. When an opportunity presents itself to do so they will frequently dump their present guy, even if he was a great dad to her kids.

Even if the single mom doesn’t want to get back with the father of her children, women are primarily the ones who end relationships; 70% of divorces are initiated by women. As women tend to end relationships when they have already got another guy lined up for them to branch swing to, this means single moms are statistically more likely to be cheaters and cheating on her man is frequently the #1 reason why a woman ends up as a single mother in the first place. As the saying goes, once a cheater always a cheater.

5. He Has Other Options Than To Date a Single Mom

Roughly 50% of women today are single moms (in some communities, such as among African-Americans, 70% of children are born to unmarried mothers) but that means the other half of the female population doesn’t have any children. You should take that into consideration.

Although though there are many single mothers in the dating pool, there are still many women without children, too. And they tend to be younger than the single moms are. As youth is one of the primary attraction factors for a man, this means a younger woman with no kids is more attractive than an older woman with no kids, all other factors (such as personality and body fat percentage) being equal. So an older woman with kids is even less competitive in the dating market.

Importantly, men primarily care about three things in a romantic female partner:

  1. Beauty (how attractive she is, largely based on having a low body fat percentage and age).
  2. Personality (specifically, how cooperative she is. Men don’t necessarily need a woman to be completely subservient to his whims but they do need a mate that they will not be constantly fighting and arguing with because she has radically different viewpoints than his own).
  3. Baggage (whether her everyday existence is full of unnecessary drama due to mental illness, drug usage, problems with an ex, etc. Men try to find women to date with the least baggage).

Some women mistakenly believe men care about a woman’s education level and their income, but almost no man actually does. That is just something feminists like to convince themselves. In reality it is predominantly women who care about education level and income in their partners, because women primarily increase their social class through hypergamy; marrying someone who is of a higher social class. Women are mistaken to believe most men value these things in partners just because they do.

The vast majority of men have no interest in increasing their social status by marrying women of a higher one. Men primarily increase their social status through their own hard work, and they don’t really care if a woman is of a higher or lower social class than themselves. So it is a mistake for women to believe men value the same things in a woman that a woman values in a man. If anything, higher education and income hurts a woman in the dating market, because women tend to fixate on trying to find a man of equal or higher education and income levels than their own. This means these women disregard the vast majority of men in their available dating pool and become fixated on dating the high value men in the upper percentile of education and income — but these men are trying to date much younger women. As higher education degree programs takes many years, a woman will be in her mid 30s or early 40s by the time she has completed her education which means these guys are no longer going to date her because she is now too old for them, as these men are primarily looking for women in their 20s to marry and procreate with.

Woman who wish to pursue higher education should ideally try to marry young and land a husband first, have children and once the kids are teenagers and she has more free time, then consider pursuing an education; this would be a more logical route to take than spending your twenties and thirties pursuing an education and career, and then rushing to have children before you hit menopause in your forties.

Men care about these things in the order I have presented them; Beauty, Personality and Baggage. A man who has some of these own problems will be more accepting of women who have these too; for example a man may date an overweight woman, but usually he won’t date a woman who is more overweight than himself. A man might also date a woman who has negative personality qualities if he himself also has these qualities, too. A man who has baggage, such as his own children from a prior relationship, may be more willing to date a single mom — but frequently he will try to avoid this if possible, especially because single mothers tend to have very different parenting styles to single dads, and the man doesn’t want her parenting style to overtake his own (he already has this problem with his ex, the mother of his children. Why would he want the new girl and his ex girl to team up against him?).

Some women believe that once their children are grown adults and “out of the nest” this will make them more date worthy, but this actually doesn’t change much. The kids are still her children, and involved in her life. Even if the man doesn’t have to spend much of his time with the kids, he still has to factor in that a woman whose children are grown is now going to be in her 40s or 50s. Thinking that your value will increase now that you are older is a flawed reasoning; What commodity increases in value as it gets older and experiences more usage? And the last part is important, because many older women like to compare themselves to an aged wine — but the problem with this is that wine is bottled and never used until it is opened. After it is opened, it will quickly spoil if not drank soon. Likewise a single mom who has children can be considered to be a wine bottle that has been opened; would you drink it after its been out for a few days or would you get a bottle from the store that hasn’t been opened already? Guys think of dating the same way, especially because unlike women a man’s value generally increases as he ages (due to generally obtaining higher income as he ages, since men tend to choose professions where their income increases every few years), especially if he is childless. Also unlike a woman a man can procreate throughout his entire life — indeed, this is actually the intended biological function of a man. Men produce sperm throughout the course of their lives, adding any obtained mutations to the sperm they produce so they can pass on these adaptions gained over the course of their life to the next generation. By contrast women are born with their eggs, whose genetic makeup is determined at the time of birth and in contrast to men, the quality of her eggs depreciate as she hits 30.

These biological differences are important to understand when considering the way dating and marriage works in human society. Our biology dictates our habits, and habits cannot dictate biology. So you cannot change these things just by clinging to ideologies like feminism, because the way that you think cannot change the way your body actually works at a fundamental level.

Men may need to do some searching but we can find single women with no kids to date us if we look, especially if we are a good man with reasonable physical attractiveness and some financial stability to us. A man who is older is more likely to find a younger woman because he has more resources.

6. He Doesn’t Want to Risk Becoming Emotionally Attached to the Kids

Even if a man accepts a single mom’s children as his own, the mom often does not appreciate this the way she should. She sometimes even deludes herself into believing she is doing the man a favor by dating him, misunderstanding her actual market value in the dating pool is much lower than a man who will be a good father, especially to a child that is not his own. So when she decides to break up with the man he no longer has any presence in the kids lives. Effectively, he has had an emotional tie to a child he cared about taken away from him. This causes pain similar to the loss if it were his own child, and can be very traumatic.

Single moms, can you imagine if someone suddenly took away your own kid and you could never again see them, and what that would be like? This is what you do to the men who loved your child as their own, but then you left him for some Chad who didn’t stick around (as his reason for being with you was #2) because you mistakenly believed you deserved a “better guy”.

This happened in my last relationship. I tried hard to make a difference in the child’s life, spent a lot of time and money planning and taking us on family trips, and got attached. After the breakup I went through a period that I had nightmares of things happening to the kid that I was powerless to prevent. The loss of a child in your life you cared deeply about is not an experience I am in any hurry to repeat again.

What man wants to love a child as much as if it were his own, only for the mom to rip that child out of the man’s life on a whim if she decides to end the relationship? It’s not a good exchange.

7. He Wants to Have His Own Child and Most Single Moms Won’t Give Him That

Many single moms don’t want to have anymore kids but expect to find a man that will want to take care of the kids she had with another man. This is called ‘cuckolding‘ (note: the term has also recently been applied to a sex fetish where men watch other men have sex with their wife, which is just as negative and unhealthy a practice).

Most guys don’t want to be a cuck; they don’t want to spend all their time, energy and money raising another person’s offspring who ultimately will never fully view them as a father. Frequently a man will only agree to this arrangement if the woman will also be a mother to his own blood offspring by having another child with him. This is because the primary biological prerogative for a man is to inherit his genetic family legacy and pass it on to another generation; this is something instinctive to most men. It is how the human species persists and endures. Almost no man wants to be the last of his bloodline, as then he would be considered a failure to his ancestors and their efforts to survive and pass on their genetic material over millennia.

So, women who refuse to be a mother to the child of the man they want to care for her and her offspring simply do not understand what good high quality men want from her. This means she ultimately won’t be able to attract one. This is even the case if the man already has children of his own; if a man dates a single mom and does not want any children with her, it’s probably because he is dating her for reason #1 or #2 as stated at the start of this article. This also means he has little interest in being a good father at all and simply fulfilling a parental role reluctantly in order to bang the mom does not necessarily mean he is being a good father to the child, as many of these types of men do not know how to be good fathers in the first place. If he really wanted to be a dad in the relationship then he’d want to have a child with you.

Final Thoughts

These are the reasons why good men don’t date single moms. Hopefully you have gotten something out of this article. Feel free to leave a comment below if you have anything you’d like to contribute.

You should also check out other relationship articles featured on Millennial Gentleman.


Carey Martell is Editor in Chief for The Millennial Gentleman. A thirty something modern man who is politically independent, non-religious but a firm believer in ideals of chivalry and traditional family values. Carey lives his life as a vagabond digital nomad traveling and living life to the fullest while managing his businesses remotely with a laptop and internet hotspot connection.