Before I caught my wonderful fiance, I had a long period of time in which I dated as a single mom. In that time, I encountered every kind of scumbag on Earth, each of them offering some new kind of unpleasantry and discomfort to my already-stressful life as a single mom. All women need to be careful to avoid skeezy men, but for moms-- who often struggle to maintain a stable, loving home for their kids-- it's especially important to stay away from bad apples. Here are the five kinds of men that single moms need to avoid.
1. The Knight in Shining Armor
If you hear "I want to help you" on a first date, as I once did, you should run-- don't walk-- to the nearest exit. This kind of guy is out to prove his worth to you by sweeping you off your feet with a promise of material wealth, a Daddy for your kids, and a white picket fence to boot. He probably wants to put a ring on your finger right now, and he wants to make sure you're eternally grateful for every little thing he does. After all, he's saved you. If you value your independence, your strength, and your ability to make your own decisions, avoid this guy like the plague.
2. The Creeper
This guy wants to be close to you and your kids-- really, really close. He'll call you several times a day and show up at your house at inappropriate times. He'll stare at you the way a baby stares at a mobile-- not the way a gentleman admires his lady-love. He'll be even more fixated on kiddie-level cartoons than your seven-year-old. He'll be oddly eager about offering to wipe your toddler's butt or help your five-year-old into her tu-tu-- and, at every corner, you'll get the instinct that something just isn't right about this guy. That instinct? Listen to it, and steer clear of the mouth-breathing weirdo.
3. The Extra Kid
I can appreciate a man who's willing to cut loose and act silly from time to time, but the key phrase here is "from time to time." Single moms need to stay far away from overgrown children, since we tend to have enough on our plates raising our own kids. If your suitor lives in Mom's basement, plays video games ten hours a day, and has yet to hold down a steady job, get away fast-- unless what you're looking for is an extra preteen son.
4. The Parenting Expert
He once read a news article that talked about parenting. And, besides, he's clearly smarter because of that Y chromosome you lack. At any rate, this guy is absolutely certain that he knows far more about parenting than you. He has many specific, but ill-informed, ideas about discipline, education, toys, media, and nutrition. If your kids are sick, misbehaving, or refusing to eat their dinner, he will be sure to let you know that it's your fault and that he knows better. He's also in for a rude awakening should he ever realize how much time and thought you actually put into motherhood.
5. The Selfish Douche
This guy isn't prepared to let the inconvenience of your children interfere with his goal of having fun. The Selfish Douche thinks your four-year-old is a brat for having a nightmare and coming to you for comfort. He thinks your one-year-old is spoiled because she likes to be held. He's mad at your special-needs child for having special needs. He thinks you're too uptight because you don't leave your kids with a sitter five nights a week to go out drinking. And, no matter what happens, he'll never learn to put anyone else's needs ahead of his own. He might be a good match for somebody out there, but that somebody certainly isn't a single mom.
Have you run into any of these men in your experiences dating as a single mom? Are there any types of men that you would add to the list?