CircleBumpCheckedFilledMedicalBookmarkBookmarkTickBookmarkAddCheckBoxCheckBoxFilled

10 Men That Single Moms Should Avoid

Getting back into dating after baby can be tough — and complicated. (But you deserve a shot at love, mama!) So what red flags should you be looking for?
save article
profile picture of Christine Coppa
Updated March 2, 2017
Hero Image
Image: iStock

I’m a single mom, and it took me a solid three years to go on a date after my son was born. It’s funny how, when you’re a mom, dating isn’t just about you — it’s about your child. Whether each man I date knows it or not, I’m testing him from day one. Does he like kids? Will he be more into his BMW than me? Are his boys his priority?

So while dating _should _be fun, exciting and a break from the tough parts of single motherhood, don’t get waste your time with anyone on this list.

1. Sugar Daddy

This is the guy that tells you about his yearly bonus, designer suits and finds a way to ease the topic of money into every conversation. According to Leah Klungness, PhD, psychologist and co-author of The Complete Single Mother, guys who love to flash a big wad of cash and talk non-stop about their jobs reveal their life priorities. “It’s all about things,” Klungness says. In other words, he’s not looking to settle down or meet your kid any time soon. “He’s insecure and desperately needs to demonstrate control.” So what if he ordered an eighty-dollar bottle of wine at dinner and drives a nice car? If he didn’t compliment your dress or ask about your day, he’s not the one.

2. Text-Only Guy

Texting is an easy way to communicate a quick hello or an “I’m running late,” but face it, dating as a single mom is different than dating as a single woman. You likely can’t drop everything for a date, or sleepover mid-week, so this means you really need to keep the communication flowing to compensate for the lack of face time. If he’s not down to chat for twenty-minutes on the phone or Skype after your baby is asleep, he’s not dating material for you.

Related Video

3. Deadbeat Dad

You may know how crazy it can be to coordinate with an ex when it comes to visitation and finances. So you might be tempted to let it slide if a guy doesn’t see his kids often “because his ex is crazy” or he “wasn’t ready to be a dad.” But don’t.

“The blame game antics are lame cover-ups,” says Klungness. “His choice to abandon his kids — emotionally or financially — should be an instant deal breaker.” You don’t want his baggage in your life.

4. Party Animal

Yep, single moms have every right to let their hair down and have a good time. But having a hangover and caring for a baby don’t mix. If your man thinks the ideal date is all-night clubbing with bottle service, he’s not going to be up for diaper changing at 5 a.m. Enough said.

5. Home Turfer

At first, you unconsciously like escaping your world to hang out in his. (The baby is with grandma and you’re getting a break from the single mommy routine!) But if he’s constantly refusing to come to your neck of the woods, that’s a sign something’s not quite right.

“If making the effort to get together with you on your turf doesn’t interest him, then he’s just not that into you and is likely seeing other women,” warns Klungness.

6. Insta-Dad

Your one-date-wonder wants to meet your kid already? This may be his awkward way of letting you know that he’s fine with your single mom status. But don’t feel pressure to force this meeting. “Make it clear it’s 100 percent your call when or _if _your kid meets him,” says Klungness. “If he has a problem with that, cut him loose!”

7. Mr. ADD

When you go out on a date, you don’t want to deal with someone who’s constantly making lame jokes with the waitress, or who can’t take his eyes off the basketball game on TV or the pretty woman at the bar. Find someone who has a bigger attention span than your toddler does. “Your two year-old will grow up and grow out of the short attention phase,” says Klungness. “This is _not _just a phase for this guy. He’s letting you know, loud and clear, that you’re barely on his radar.”

8. Issues Man

He’s depressed and won’t see a doctor. He downs three Manhattans before the appetizers arrive. You found a bottle of painkillers in his medicine cabinet, but he’s not hurt and hasn’t been any time recently. He’s asked you for money. The most important reason not to date someone with serious issues is that you won’t want him around your child. The other reason is that his problem _will _get in the way of his relationship with you. You can’t fix him, so, wish him well and run away, mama.

9. Over-the-Top Mama’s Boy

If he drops everything to change a light bulb at his mom’s house and takes her calls when you’re in bed together (ew), there may be a good reason. “Is she in poor health? Recently widowed? Emotionally unstable?” asks Klungness. “Remember, guys that treat their moms well are usually keepers.” But if there’s no good reason for him to be attached to Mom’s apron strings, you should probably rethink the relationship because you’re not his main squeeze. His mom is.

10. Your Neighbor

He’s hot, single, nice to your kid and gave you an emergency cup of milk once. It’s tempting and seemingly easy to, well, get it on with the guy next door — but don’t do it if you’re not serious about him. If it ends badly, he’ll still be your neighbor, which means he’ll be in your life. And your kid’s. Your child won’t understand why it’s suddenly weird for him to play catch with the neighbor or why you hide when you see his new girlfriend pull into the driveway.

Christine Coppais a single, dating mom. Recently, a sweet guy bought her kid an ice cream and spent the day at the park with them. She’s hopeful.

save article
ADVERTISEMENT

Next on Your Reading List

toddler sitting in grocery shopping cart
Unexpected Heroes Help Mom Amid Her Toddler’s Grocery-Store Meltdown
By Wyndi Kappes
babysitter doing laundry with toddler
TikTok Weighs in on Mom Offering Babysitter Extra Cash for Chores
By Wyndi Kappes
Bliss Poureetezadi Goytowski and Zack Goytowski attend The Players Alliance Game Changers Celebration at AQUA by El Gaucho on July 09, 2023 in Seattle, Washington
Love Is Blind's Bliss and Zack Goytowski Reveal the Sex of Their Baby
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
Gabrielle Ruiz attends the opening night of "Les Misérables" at The Hollywood Pantages Theatre on August 03, 2023 in Hollywood, California
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Actress Gabrielle Ruiz Welcomes Baby No. 2
By Wyndi Kappes
Hilary Swank is seen at GMA on October 05, 2022 in New York City
Hilary Swank Reveals Her Twins' Names in Adorable Beachside Snap
By Wyndi Kappes
doctor giving vaccine to baby
Doctor Starts “Ouchless Jab Challenge” to Ease Pain & Needle Fears
By Wyndi Kappes
baby feet wrapped in pink blanket with heart
NICU Nurses Capture Baby’s First Valentine’s Day
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger attend Cleobella x Katherine Schwarzenegger event at The Coast Lounge at Palisades Villages on November 04, 2023 in Pacific Palisades, California
Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt Reveals How She Combats Mom Burnout
By Wyndi Kappes
pregnant woman sitting on couch
Maternal Syphilis Rates Have Tripled in Recent Years, CDC Report Says
By Wyndi Kappes
Esther Choi speaks onstage at the 2023 James Beard Restaurant And Chef Awards at Lyric Opera Of Chicago on June 05, 2023 in Chicago, Illinois
Food Network Star Esther Choi Is Pregnant With Her First Child
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
serena williams holding newborn baby with husband and daughter
Serena Williams Celebrates Her Postpartum Body in Powerful Post
By Wyndi Kappes
toddler cleaning up toys
Ms. Rachel Partners With Dr. Becky to Share Toddler Cleanup Hack
By Wyndi Kappes
mom giving toddler a bath
Mom’s Twice-a-Week Bath Time Routine for Kids Sparks Conversation
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
Scheana Shay at the "Vanderpump Rules" Season 11 Premiere held at the Hollywood Palladium on January 17, 2024 in Los Angeles, California
Vanderpump Rules’ Scheana Shay Opens Up About Postpartum OCD Diagnosis
By Wyndi Kappes
moana 2 walt disney studios
Moana 2 Is Coming to Theatres This Fall, Disney Reveals
By Wyndi Kappes
Hallie Ray Light McCollum and Parker McCollum attend the 57th Annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on November 08, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee
Parker McCollum and Wife Hallie Ray Light Expecting First Baby
By Wyndi Kappes
various types of dairy products
Popular Super Bowl Snacks Linked to Listeria Outbreak
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
brittany mahomes with her children bronze and sterling
Exclusive: Brittany Mahomes on Game Day Rules and Diaper Bag Go-Tos
By Wyndi Kappes
baby in red dress holding a red heart balloon for valentine's day
18 of the Best Valentine's Day Sales for Families Happening Now
By Wyndi Kappes
 Miss USA Sarah Rose Summers poses for photos on the red carpet at the NFL Honors on February 2, 2019 at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, GA
Miss USA Alum Sarah Rose Summers Shares Her Baby’s NICU Journey
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
Article removed.
Article removed.
Name added. View Your List