Staying Single is NOT Good for Your Kids

Category: Weekly Columns

24/7 parent cartoon

When I began dating again, after my divorce, I had certain desired requirements for any women I might date. They were simple – she had to be breathing. No, they weren’t that simple because my life at the time was far from simple. Raising two traumatized young boys alone meant, or so I thought, that I should only date women who also were single parents. I had my boys almost 24/7 in the beginning and later 24/7 period, now for over a decade.

Parenting cartoon

In my mind, what woman without kids and age appropriate would want to put up with my need to be there for my boys throughout these turbulent years? I still think that general thinking was accurate but, as we know, we make plans and God laughs. My future wife did not have kids and it couldn’t have worked out better insofar as the boys are concerned.

Navigating the world of dating, after being out of it for so long, was interesting to say the least. I eventually wrote a guide to Internet Dating, since I did figure out some things that made “the process” a lot easier and smarter. But, the biggest surprise I found was when I did meet that woman with kids, how she often chose to be the martyr where her life and kids were concerned.

Funny parenting cartoon

Even though this is not one of my Men vs. Women columns, I will assert that this trait is more common among single moms than single dads. How did and does this trait manifest itself? For those women that did allow themselves to date – and I’ve found that word to be very antiquated – they ONLY would do so under strict conditions.

Some of the conditions included:

~~ Only when their kids were with their father.
~~ Never on a school night.
~~ No man meets her kids for at least six months.
~~ Never two days/nights in a row.

Sometimes, I’d be dating a woman and we’d have the beginning of a nice relationship and she would simply be unavailable for something special because of a perceived need of her kids. Sometimes, that would mean missing a concert, event, or otherwise cool experience. And, when I’d question them, I always got a sort of snarky response as if I just didn’t understand the demands of being a mom.

Clean your room comic

Hmmm, I had two boys 24/7 and, in those days, was taking care of my ill parents (I’m an only child), yet I didn’t understand the demands? Oh, did I mention that my divorce was a typical ugly California drawn-out gunfight? Yet, I was able to make the time to date. Was I being selfish?

Now, sometimes, their reason was quite legitimate such as if they did not have child-care. Of course, that is very real and unquestionable. But, often I felt these women were letting themselves not have fun as if that was the price they had to pay during this time in their and their children’s lives. Some might argue that this is a noble way of thinking. I will argue otherwise with reasons a single parent’s personal life matters, even during the demanding time of raising kids with an ex or alone:

~~ What are you modeling to your kids if you’re not going out or you don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend? You are modeling that it’s not important to you OR you are indirectly projecting how all consuming important the kids are. Both are not good for your kids. Of course the kids and their well-being is important, but if they feel they dominate your life, they will become more dependent and entitled. This is a lose-lose!
~~ No, you shouldn’t parade numerous dates in front of your kids, but at some point in a new relationship, wouldn’t you want to see and know how this person behaves and acts around the most important people in your life?
~~ Many kids from divorced homes have illusions of mom and dad getting back together. If this is a definite NO-WAY, then the sooner they face this truth, the better.
~~ Why not involve your kids in your new social life? If they’re older and mature enough, even show them your online profile and potential candidates. Then they are invested in your happiness.
~~ When you hide a new partner from your kids, you are essentially keeping a secret from them. While the timing of when this partner should meet your kids is never fixed, their knowledge that mom or dad is dating is good for them. This teaches them that your life matters to you and they are NOT the center of your universe.

Single dad cartoon

I suspect this column will raise the ire of some single moms who have enjoyed their martyr status. I found that many of these moms reveled in it and part of their raison d’être was being the better parent and having their ex to revile. Again, not good for the kids. This is not a simple yes or no question. Your particular situation and kids obviously determine the right choices, but I’d love to get your thoughts on this tender topic.

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  • Ted Rubin

    I don’t agree. I believe staying single is often the very best thing you can do for your kids. All depends upon circumstance, and individual concerns. It is impossible here to make a generalization.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @ted_rubin:disqus – it’s funny, I expected to get more backlash from the moms…though your opinion makes perfect sense. Of course every situation is different and, to be clear, I’m not saying a single parent must or should remarry – I just think modeling a loving relationship and taking care of our own needs ultimately is good for us AND our kids!

    • LoriPace

      I agree with Ted. In a perfect world, it would be nice to move on. But in reality, my kids are traumatized enough and need the stability of their life with me being a constant.

      • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

        @LoriPace:disqus – again, it really is up to the individual parent – I just wish for most single parents that their lives can ease some and perhaps if they’re fortunate and “open” to finding a new partner, that can help. As for @ted_rubin:disqus – what does he know (LOVE you TR!)…

        • LoriPace

          LOL- Hey, I admire Ted. I hope I do as well with my girls as he seems to have done with his!

          • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

            @LoriPace:disqus – I’m proud to say that @ted_rubin:disqus is a buddy and you don’t know the half of it as far as what a great dad he’s been and is!

    • joecheray

      @ted_rubin:disqus I agree that it does depend on circumstances.

      • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

        @joecheray:disqus – I think we all agree that every parent must make the best decision for their kids and themselves!

  • KelliSmithgall

    While many women for whatever reason may enjoy their martyr status as a single mom, some women DO choose to be single, NOT because they want to be a martyr, but just as Ted said, it “is often the very best thing for their children.” And I would like to add that being single IS often the very best thing for themselves as well.

    Not every person always needs to be in a relationship. If you need to be in a relationship to be happy and fulfilled, then you’re relying on someone else to provide that for you, and if you cannot be happy and fulfilled by yourself (and model THAT for your children) then you’re truly not going to be happy and fulfilled in a relationship either.

    You can model many ways to your children that your life is important, that you can have fun, and that your life matters all the while being single.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @KelliSmithgall:disqus – incredibly well put Kelli – I don’t disagree with a word and you’ve added much value to the discussion!

  • Kasie

    This blog is so far from wisdom and truth. I have a heart for single moms, you obviously don’t. Do you know how much guilt they carry from not being in a relationship! They literally JUMP when anyone remotely close to a possible match comes their way. This piece of grovel literature only pours salt into their wounds! Do you understand how much their self esteem and self worth has faltered from being in doomed relationships based off that desire to no longer be lonely and regain dignity in society’s eyes? I literally could write a book on my own experiences and it wasn’t until i said NO to dating that I was able to really focus on the things that were WAY MORE IMPORTANT THAN MEN: God, my daughter, my family, my work, my church, my friends. If God places my Holy Hottie in front of my face I will add him to the list. But I’m not going to feel guilty for not being in a relationship until then.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @disqus_fYLNXGEslo:disqus – of course you shouldn’t feel guilty – I’m suggesting that “you” just should be open to it and make time for it. That is the point of this column. Not that you jump ANY guy that crosses your path! I wish you luck. Being a single dad is no picnic either and I was for FIVE years – with no mom in my boy’s life AT ALL! Plus, I had ailing parents. So, I know from stress and struggle. But, I didn’t play the martyr – and that is my point…

      • Kasie

        There are tons of reasons people stay single. Saying “it’s not good for your kids” is hurtful. You cannot shame someone into dating. There are tons of well adjusted successful happy people that were raised by single parents, who never remarried until after their kids were grown. You have so many holes in this theory, and you never backed up your claim that it’s bad for the kids, just wrote it to get attention in the headline. The problem with single parent dating is there is not very much quality info on it. The girls are getting their dating advice from Cosmo and quacks like you, who can just spout off whatever lame idea they have based off their own false theories and call themselves a guru, thereby alienating and adding more guilt and shame to all single women in the process.
        People stay single because they don’t have time (and no, they don’t “need to make it”) or they aren’t ready (and they don’t “need to stay open”) or because they want to keep their lives free of drama and distraction and stay focused on Christ, not on men. Singleness is a gift from god. 1 Corinthians 7:32!!!!

        • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

          @Kasie – first, why can’t you say some things that may not apply to everyone but would ideally be good for most people? Of course, “there are tons of reasons people stay single.” I am suggesting that if it’s a choice based on laziness (or frustration as another reader expressed) that perhaps that person should look closer at why? I am NOT shaming anyone into doing anything NOR did I even use that word – YOU inserted YOUR feelings into this – which you are fully entitled to do.

          As for singleness being a “gift from god” – I seriously disagree with that statement and I believe God made up to be coupled and wants us to be coupled. Of course, God loves us whether we’re a couple or not, but an ideal is an ideal.

          I’d love others to weigh in on this, PLEASE?

          • Kasie

            They have their reasons why! Everyone gets lonely so I’m sure they have looked into their reasons why. The woman expressing her frustrations below isn’t because she is refusing to date, or not making herself open or creating time… She wants to be married! Most single mothers do. Your vile piece of trash article only perpetuates her problem. You are doing nothing to edify single mothers, and in fact you are angling at their lifeblood: their children, in order to get this article read.

            And if you “seriously disagree” that singleness is a gift from God, take it up with Him, because it is there. Singleness is a gift because it is an opportunity for growth and service that we shouldn’t take for granted or slip by or spend totally focused on finding a man! God is asking us to wait and TRUST HIM.

          • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

            Okay @Kasie you and I are done. I haven’t called you names or replied in anger – is that how God would have responded? Take a look inside before you judge others…

          • Kasie

            @ Bruce You and I are done? Then why do you keep posting on twitter about how much you love the blowback? And you still haven’t answered my question: why is your headline claiming that being single will make your kids suffer?

          • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

            @disqus_fYLNXGEslo:disqus – no, we’re not done because you apologized for your anger and “owned” it while still standing behind your main points. THAT I respect. And, I do owe you an answer to the choice of headline.

            Of course it was a choice to be provocative. I want discussion and sometimes a good headline will promote that. The same with my tweets. Getting people’s passions stirred sometimes requires excessive rhetoric.

            I still stand by my column and think you’ve taken my suggestions and “ideals” as MUSTS for single moms. They are generalities and as I state over and over again, every generality will have its exceptions but it’s a “generality” because it applies to a lot of people.

          • Kasie

            Okay here you say we are “not done” from one side of your mouth, then two seconds later you @daisy that you are “done”: ” I’ve chosen not to engage Kasie any further”

            The problem with your “generality” that you seem to think is okay, is that it is a NEGATIVE JUDGEMENT CALL. Calling a single mother a MARTYR is wrong. Period. If she wants to complain to get attention, there’s probably a reason for that (she isn’t getting enough attention or support). If she doesn’t want to date or keep herself open to date, not only is that OKAY, but its really none of your business.

            Claiming her kids will suffer because of her putting all her time and energy into them is preposterous. Mothers over the course of history have been doing that, you’re basically saying the mother instinct is wrong in general. THATS a generality I’m not okay with.

            To that you might say “well i didn’t really mean it, it was excessive rheotoric garnered at building a brand.”

            OH so you are in it for the attention! And my hurt feelings over something I really care about is meaningless. And everyone attacking me because I have gotten my feelings hurt over your “provocative” words that were just trying to “stir up my passions” is meaningless.

            Glad to know that you’re only doing this for the self promotion and I’m only feeding your ego when I get offended

            As for this: “I keep her comments here (I could delete the more angry ones)” If you want to delete my comments, please be my guest. I’m not here to help an egomaniac.

            And this “There is more to Kasie’s anger at me/my column than any of its content deserves which leads me to believe it touched a sensitive nerve.” YES. I have said it from my first post. I have a heart for single moms. Stop judging them and negatively generalizing them.

          • Debra Usher

            I’m
            Bruce’s wife. I was there and saw what kind of dad and man he was.
            Kasie, when I was single most of my “girlfriends” bemoaned the state of
            dating and the unavailability of good men. I worked at it – so did Bruce
            – and I think that is his point. Of course, you are not judged
            negatively by he or most good people because you don’t have a man. But, I
            disagree with your assertions and really believe you missed the
            inherent point of Bruce’s column. Please read it again.

          • Kasie

            I read it a few times in total horror that a man would give this type of advice to women. Give it to men! There is a much bigger majority of men afraid or unwilling to work at relationships than women.

          • KelliSmithgall

            Hi Kasie – In Bruce’s column, I believe he was just giving one side of the coin as to why relationships are important, and how it can (keyword being ‘can’) be good for your children to see a healthy loving couple relationship. Because women are often the ones hurt, and often in emotional and financial despair from divorce, many project these feelings onto their children whether intentional or not, and children ‘learn’ this. Children grow up afraid of being in relationships, or stay away from relationships, or even have commitment issues themselves because they have seen what their single parent has gone through or even said. I believe his point in saying that modeling a healthy relationship is ultimately good for children was truly meant so they can see that those type of relationships are out there and possible (again, he was just giving his opinion and I feel he was not saying this is what single moms should do).

            You had made a comment that you were sorry his “time of singleness was such a bad experience.” I do not see where you could have thought he was saying this. To me, he was simply explaining his experiences with dating single moms that for the most part are typically true.

            Many single moms do enjoy playing the martyr status whether consciously or subconsciously. Based on my experience with single moms I know, the majority of these women I feel do enjoy some sort of that status because they can go around all day long to everyone talk to and complain about how hard their life is, or how busy they are, and how they are the better parent, and how they can do everything that a married mom can do, etc., and then try to become “super single mom” — all so people can say – “Wow, you’re just so amazing, how do you do it all.” And in a way, that bolsters their self-esteem.

            Re: Your comment of “no, they don’t “need to make it” — that sounded a tad harsh, as that did not come across at all to me in the article. I think you may have misconstrued what he was trying to say about the importance for single moms to take time out for themselves, and to enjoy some sort of a life outside of their children.

            Re: Your comment of “and they don’t “need to stay open” — Many women do close themselves off from relationships because they do not want to be hurt again, they aren’t ready, or are afraid of making wrong choices. But, if you aren’t at least open to the idea of a relationship, when God does place that “Holy Hottie in front” of your face, as you commented, how will you see it? By the way, I’ve been single by choice for several years and am a mom of four, and although I haven’t been interested (not out seeking) in being in a relationship for several reasons, I have always at least been open to the idea of it.

            Re: Your comment – “Singleness is a gift from god. 1 Corinthians 7:32.” Yes, HE gives the gift of being single to some, and the gift of marriage to others. But again, I do not think this is where Bruce was going in his column.

            Re: Your comment of “Your vile piece of trash article only perpetuates her problem.” also was harsh, because again, this is not where I saw his intention of his column was.

            At the end of his column, Bruce wrote – “This is not a simple yes or no question.” and that “Your particular situation and kids obviously determine the right choices.” I do not believe this column was written to shame or guilt any single moms, or to give out “advice.” Again, he was simply stating and writing about one side of this topic based on his experiences.

          • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

            Thank you @KelliSmithgall:disqus – where the heck were YOU when I was a single dad! Lol…

          • Fayth

            A friend sent me this article and said that she thought it applied to me. After reading the article, I am livid. I am a single mom of 3 children – 2 are teenage girls. I also have a career. I chose to model different values to my children. I do not believe that because I choose to work hard, strive for a career, remain an active part in my 3 children’s lives, that this by any means makes me a martyr. I do not complain about my choices. My kids and I joke about dating… they know that it is something that I want to do but that right now I am pretty focused on me and what makes me happy. While I think that companionship is great and hope to remarry one day, I also think that it is so important to know who I am as a person, as a mother and as a woman. That to me models more to my children than the fact that I am dating and over their father.
            Bruce – I definitely can see your side of the story. It is very different than mine. I guess we all have our opinions but we definitely should not be judging each other as we are not walking in each other’s shoes.

          • Kasie

            Exactly Daisy. This part “What are you modeling to your kids if you’re not going out or you don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend”

            COULD be answered: a woman who cares about providing for her kids and ensuring their health and well being… and isn’t codependent on a relationship… and patiently waits on the Lord for HIS timing.

            But, no, he assumes its this: “You are modeling that it’s not important to you OR you are indirectly projecting how all consumingly important the kids are. Both are not good for your kids.”

            wow, i feel so enlightened now, thank you GURUI!

          • Kasie

            Oops daisy=faith 🙂 strange mixup

          • Daisy

            @Kasie Perhaps before you point fingers at generalizations, consider your projections of your own feelings and generalizations in your comments.
            First, you spoke of single moms and the “guilt they carry from not being in a relationship.” You have no business speaking for all single moms. You can truly only speak for yourself. I have never felt guilty about being single. Then you went on to address all single moms’ lack of self-esteem and loss of dignity. ??? Icredibly presumptuous!

          • Kasie

            You know what Daisy? You’re right.
            There is a lot of over generalization and judgement going on, starting with the initial blog post and in my responses. I think both of our answers represent an extreme, and there are many single mom types that are not represented here.
            So I’m going to go ahead and apologize for my part: I’m sorry I got so defensive and angry at a subject that is very sensitive to me and dear to my heart. I do not assume any woman is how I have over generalized. We are all completely unique and are handling our lives the best we know how.
            I wonder if the owner of this blog can own up to his own mess he started in this blog? It seems he has been expecting backlash, as he repeatedly claims on twitter. The backlash is here but I guess he wasn’t as prepared as he thought. He was asking for controversy. It’s here. Hope you’re happy Bruce.
            I apologize for my anger but I stand by my points:
            1. Being single will not make your kids suffer.
            2. Singleness is a gift from God. It’s most likely temporary, use it well.
            3. If you are not making the time or are not open to dating, you are not broken.

          • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

            THANK YOU @0ef14cb12b6bb5ff174f08bb01abb3ad:disqus – while I’ve chosen not to engage Kasie any further – but keep her comments here (I could delete the more angry ones) – I’ve been thinking EXACTLY what you said. There is more to Kasie’s anger at me/my column than any of its content deserves which leads me to believe it touched a sensitive nerve.

            Anyone that really knows me – has read my work for a while – knows that I come from a good place. Yes, I do occasionally write provocative columns with provocative titles, but that is part of building a brand and/or personality.

            Again, thank you Daisy for stating what I believe to be the obvious. And, Kasie I sincerely wish for you ONLY the best. Let’s disagree but keep it nice?

          • Kasie

            Yeah Daisy, it doesn’t matter who he hurts or what he says, its just about building a BRAND!

          • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

            Okay now we’ve gotten “livid” @6bc22b42df45a93c6b7c4125d2f8aac2:disqus or is it @disqus_fYLNXGEslo:disqus? I clearly struck a nerve and I’m sorry it’s gotten you so upset. I will guess two things – you are under 35 and you went to college. Ask me why I am guessing those two things, if you want? But, tell me the truth if I am right?

          • Kasie

            I’m 34. I did not complete college, I had to drop out and start providing for my daughter. Next year, I will feel the exact same as I do right now. 5 years from now, when my daughter is 15, if I’m not married, I will still feel the same. When my daughter is in college I may become more intentional about dating.
            But, this blog is not just for single moms above 35 who didn’t go to college. If it is, you should change the headline to: “ATTENTION ALL STUPID OLD SINGLE MOTHERS, YOUR CHILDREN ARE SUFFERING SO PLEASE GET MARRIED”.

          • Tara

            You are making yourself out to sound like a martyr. You “had” to quit college? Ok, so maybe you did. Of course you had to provide for your child, but really you “chose” to quit college. You “chose” for good reason though. I think you may be missing the message Bruce is trying to make. Something tells me you are one of “those” moms who blame everything on the fact that you are a single mom. You are a MOM! Its hard, I get it. I’m a single myself and I like you don’t date. We all have our reasons for that. Bruce came to HIS website to post an article, you can disagree; he doesnt seem to mind that, but you don’t have to be rude. And that is all I have to say because I am a single mother with four kids to get to bed and do all the laundry all by myself and make everyones lunch and not get to bed until past midnight because I am a single mom! NOT, I’m a MOM. Single has nothing to do with it!

          • Kasie

            Hi Tara
            “Something tells you I am one of THOSE moms” huh?
            Interesting.
            I told my story only to make a point, that while I COULD complain and wallow in my run of bad choices, I don’t. I pulled myself up by my bootstraps and marched. And continue to march.
            Don’t assume to know anything about me. Just like mr. Bruce needs to stop labeling people. Calling a single mother a martyr because she won’t make time to go out with you is hateful.

          • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

            Well put @disqus_Q5C0ww7GCN:disqus and thank you for weighing in!

          • Kasie

            So you’re taking his defense by putting words in his mouth?
            RE: “I believe he was just giving one side of the coin as to why relationships are important, and how it can (keyword being ‘can’) be good for your children to see a healthy loving couple relationship. Because women are often the ones hurt, and often in emotional and financial despair from divorce, many project these feelings onto their children whether intentional or not, and children ‘learn’ this. Children grow up afraid of being in relationships, or stay away from relationships, or even have commitment issues themselves because they have seen what their single parent has gone through or even said. I believe his point in saying that modeling a healthy relationship is ultimately good for children was truly meant so they can see that those type of relationships are out there and possible.”
            He never said that, first. Second, COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS. It is not necessary for a child to see a healthy loving couple to turn out okay. Many marriages are complete crap and their children are suffering because it. Kids go through all sorts of problems in life, and just because they aren’t coming from June Cleavers household does not mean they will figure it out and turn into well adjusted citizens of society. This UTOPIA you’re trying to push on people is ridiculous. You’re a single mom… are your children going to grow up scared of relationships and avoid relationships because you’re not married? We ALL have scars and baggage. Its called LIFE.

            When I said his “time of singleness was such a bad experience” i was referring to him saying this “Being a single dad is no picnic either and I was for FIVE years – with no mom in my boy’s life AT ALL! ”

            This is very appalling:
            “Many single moms do enjoy playing the martyr status whether consciously or subconsciously. Based on my experience with single moms I know, the majority of these women I feel do enjoy some sort of that status because they can go around all day long to everyone talk to and complain about how hard their life is, or how busy they are, and how they are the better parent, and how they can do everything that a married mom can do, etc., and then try to become “super single mom” — all so people can say – “Wow, you’re just so amazing, how do you do it all.” And in a way, that bolsters their self-esteem.”
            You’re a single mom of 4. Do your single mother friends know you feel this way about them?
            I personally have always had a “pull yourself up by your bootstraps and MARCH soldier” point of view when being a single mom. My entire focus was to provide for my child in the best possible way I could. MOST single mom’s I know have this mentality. There are no complaints in being a mother, we only work as hard as we can doing the best we know how. TO BE DAMNED for a man or anyone else to JUDGE them on how they are handling their business, or to place assumptions on them that they SHOULD be open or SHOULD date, otherwise their child will grow horribly transfigured because their mom is single.

            RE: “I think you may have misconstrued what he was trying to say about the importance for single moms to take time out for themselves, and to enjoy some sort of a life outside of their children.” I’m not misconstruing it, you’re glamorizing it. Sure its important, do you think for a second any mother, especially single mothers, would not take the opportunity to have some alone time if offered and available? We don’t always get that, we have to take care of their schedule as well as provide. Scheduling free time in is part of time management, but not all moms have the capability to do that. When they are ready to make the time, or feel more comfortable leaving their children with others so they can enjoy free time, they will. If they want to spend every waking moment with their kids outside of work, I don’t blame them for a second. They grow up quick, and dads are not always in the picture, and there will be plenty of alone time available after the kids are older.

            RE: “many women do close themselves off from relationships because they do not want to be hurt again, they aren’t ready, or are afraid of making wrong choices. But, if you aren’t at least open to the idea of a relationship, when God does place that “Holy Hottie in front” of your face, as you commented, how will you see it? By the way, I’ve been single by choice for several years and am a mom of four, and although I haven’t been interested (not out seeking) in being in a relationship for several reasons, I have always at least been open to the idea of it.”
            Are you assuming I’m not open to the idea? Or speaking in generalities? I personally am open and casually looking. I know exactly what I’m looking for, and God hasn’t presented a man with those qualities yet. So I’m TRUSTING in HIM to provide a mate IF and WHEN the time is right. It isn’t any different from your approach:
            ” By the way, I’ve been single by choice for several years and am a mom of four, and although I haven’t been interested (not out seeking) in being in a relationship for several reasons, I have always at least been open to the idea of it.”

            How do you know these other single moms you’re judging aren’t going about it in the same way you are? We are BUSY and if Mr. wonderful decides to show up and fit himself in, fantastic! Otherwise Stay Out of my life and stop distracting me, because frankly none of us have time to mess with Mr. playboy… which is a BIG majority of men out there. Bruce might be the exception to the rule, but if he was the minority, then the woman he is speaking about is the minority as well.

            In any case, If a woman closes herself off from relationships because she needs time to heal, STOP JUDGING HER. She may NEVER want to get into a relationship again. So what? That is her choice, and God is working in her heart just like He is working in ours. Lots of women never remarry, stop assuming something is broken with them for not wanting to be in a relationship.

            RE: “Again, he was simply stating and writing about one side of this topic based on his experiences.” His side of the topic is wrong and uses scare tactics: ” YOUR CHILDREN ARE SUFFERING BECAUSE YOURE SINGLE, STOP BEING A TERRIBLE MOM, GET MARRIED OR THEY WILL SUFFER AND ITS ALL YOUR FAULT”

            Your refutes to this are weak and overgeneralized, just like his initial article.

          • Kasie

            6 months later, here is an update for me: I waited for my Holy Hottie, and I found him. He is a Godly man who waited for me too (10 years and he didn’t even have kids as a “crutch” or reason to not date). He is everything I ever dreamed of and more and we are getting married in 40 days! So I stand by my original refute to this really bad advice for single moms: if you wait on The Lord, and trust Him, and focus on the blessings and responsibilities He has given you (children job home family friends church volunteering), He will introduce you to your Holy Hottie at the right time.

          • Kasie

            Also he is adopting my 10 year old daughter. She is kind, loving, funny, gifted, talented, peaceful, beautiful, charming, and wise beyond her years. Everyone that meets her tells me what a good job I’ve done with her. Most of its due to her natural disposition but I didn’t screw that disposition up because I was single and she didn’t have a dad in her life. So being single was never bad for my kid. Kasie over and out.

          • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

            That’s GREAT NEWS @disqus_fYLNXGEslo:disqus – best wishes to you and your future husband!

          • Tara

            I agree with you that there are single moms that do enjoy playing the martyr status, if only to get that “Wow, you’re just so amazing, how do you do it all.” But there are those (myself included) who feel uncomfortable with those type of comments. I mean, yeah I work hard at being a mom, I’m super busy with kids and always feel like I’m playing catch up to get everything done, but so do you and many other moms, married or not. When people tell me “I don’t know how you do it”, my response is usually along the lines of “I do it the same way you do it, I just ……do it”. Being married or single shouldn’t have anything to do with it. Just wanted to add my two cents on that.

          • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

            @disqus_Q5C0ww7GCN:disqus – you know, ALL I care about is raising good kids and being the best parent you can be – mom or dad. That is how I close my radio show EVERY show – “Be the best dad or mom you can be!”

      • Kasie

        YOU are the martyr. “I was single for FIVE years with no mom in my boys life AT ALL”. Please. I’ve been single MY WHOLE LIFE, and my daughters father hasn’t been in her life since she was ONE (she is about to turn ten). He lives in a TENT on a marajuana farm dreaming about becoming a famous dj while racking up 20K in debt to me! You know what? I’m happy he is not in our lives. I don’t care about the money if it means he will keep hiding and stay far far away. My daughter is kind, smart, level headed, peacemaking, responsible, funny, intelligent, gifted, beautiful… She literally is a joy to everyone. My parents are in our lives and she gets to see what a loving marriage looks like through them. In the meantime, I’m preparing myself for marriage, getting my life in order, and spending a bunch of time in prayer, service, work, exercise, and having fun! I’m sorry YOUR time of singleness was such a bad experience, sounds like you were spending the time wisely. But don’t try to spread your bad ideas to everyone else.

        • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

          @disqus_fYLNXGEslo:disqus – I know you won’t agree with this, but you and I are much more on the same page than you are willing to see because you’re angry at what you think my motivation is for writing this and what YOU see between the lines. I never wore my hard years raising my boys alone as a “badge of honor” or wanted it to continue. I was sad that my boy’s mom was unable to be a mom anymore and wished she could have. So, re: the father of your daughter, I fully “get” your feelings and I’d NEVER say be with a man JUST to give your child a father. Be with a good man or do it yourself is a much better alternative.

          As for your daughter being a “joy to everyone” please – single parents raise great kids and raise lousy kids just as any family combination. We do our BEST with what we’ve got – and then there’s a degree of luck and circumstance that take it from there!

          • Kasie

            Okay.. If single parents “raise great kids and lousy kids like everyone else” then WHY is your headline “being single is bad for your kids???!”

  • Daisy

    I have been a divorced parent for 17 years and have had tremendous frustration in dating. It has nothing to do with guilt, martyrdom, or desire to stay single. Frankly, it has been very difficult for me to find anyone whom is remotely interested in a relationship involving someone else’s children. Cliche, yes, but it fits.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @Daisy – I fully understand your sentiment and should have actually mentioned exactly this frustration in the column. I found – when I was dating – that many women simply gave up because they met so many men who were just not telling the truth and other disappointments. Don’t give up – HE is out there. And, do read my column on Internet Dating: http://www.brucesallan.com/2009/06/30/internet-dating-101-and-how-i-met-my-wife/

      • Daisy

        At least now, with internet dating, it’s a little easier to meet people. When I was first divorced, AmericaOnline was just emerging as the pioneer of social media. Way back then, people would ask me why I was still single and said they’d introduce me to guys. Not one ever did. I suspect this is because none of my friends was single or knew anyone, other than me, who is. I still have no single friends. I’m all for internet dating, though I have only met three people who have had success with it.

        • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

          I met ALL my significant others via personal introductions @0ef14cb12b6bb5ff174f08bb01abb3ad:disqus and when I became divorced, I thought the same would happen again. Hardly anyone bothered, seemingly afraid to risk one of us being hurt. Yipes, I was stunned and ultimately so grateful for Internet Dating which still had a minor stigma of sorts when I began meeting women that way. Thankfully, it’s become a wonderful industry and if you’re smart and put in the effort – a great source of meeting good people! I met my wife online – so now you know four!

  • LoriPace

    Hi Bruce – here in lies the issues with single parents and dating. I, personally, do not see how any one ever meets another mate once they are single and the primary parent with kids. My ex-husband moved out of my house and in with his girlfriend within two weeks. Before I even had time to file for divorce. While he enjoyed his new life and spent almost no time with his kids the first 6 months he was gone, I was left to pick up the pieces.

    Now that the divorce is final and his visitation is steady, I have ventured out into the dating world. Though halfheartedly, I will admit. Just as men will not give up time on their rare weekends with their kids to spend getting to know someone, neither will a good woman ask them to. I have to automatically reject anyone who is not available when I am. And no, I will not involve my kids in my dating world because I have watched the trauma and confusion my kids have endured watching their dad move from one to another so quickly. I am their only point of stability and I want it to stay that way.

    Another thing that I have to admit is that, as much as I would love to be in a healthy relationship, I am on guard constantly. I, for one, came out of a traumatic marriage and had an equally traumatic divorce. My trust issues are magnified right now. So I do think that, sometimes, I use my children as an excuse not to meet people or get out. So, when he has them, I spend my time getting the chores done, catching up on sleep and working so that I have the income I need to take care of my children.

    So while I think you have a valid point, and I completely understand your frustration, please also know that sometimes, it is easier for one partner to move on than the other. And no one should be called out or punished for the excuses they use. It might be the only control they feel they have in their overwhelming lives.

    But.. I love this piece!

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @LoriPace:disqus – what a well-written and beautiful comment – EVERYONE is different and even though I assert an ideal, it is up to the individual and their circumstances to make the best decisions for themselves and their children. From what you’ve said, you’ve done EXACTLY that!

      • LoriPace

        I sure hope so. Everyday is a new challenge… but an amazing experience!

        • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

          I am sure of it, @LoriPace:disqus!

  • David W.

    I wouldn’t want to weigh in most of the points made in this column, for the simple reason that I don’t have kids, have never been a single parent and can’t speak to these very sensitive issues from direct experience. There are a few topics in the world of dialogue, discussion or debate that I feel obliged to know “from the inside” before I would want to comment.
    That said, I read the following passage with interest: “What are you modeling to your kids if you’re not going out or you don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend? You are modeling that it’s not important to you OR you are indirectly projecting how all consuming important the kids are. Both are not good for your kids.”
    I would take issue with that in a couple of ways — and if I misread it, please forgive and correct me. So…I am wary of two-prong conceptualizations that ought not to be two-prong conceptualizations. That is, such-and-such a person is modeling EITHER “x” OR “y”…yet it seems like there is at least one “z,” and likely more.
    As for martyrdom of single moms, I will stay FAR away from that one. Over the years I have met single moms who would perhaps fall into “martyr” category and I have met those who do not. I don’t personally have a sense that there is a trend in either direction.
    The “z” that comes to mind has nothing to do the importance, or non-importance, of being involved in dating/romantic activity, nor with giving undue priority to kids and child-rearing. It seems to me that one may not be involved in dates/romance because (a) the dating pool is small at the moment, (b) one is calling a halt for a while to going out or (c) something OTHER THAN one’s kids are of high priority, although not necessarily higher priority than those kids.
    An example of “c” could be professional/occupational responsibilities, community service activities (e.g., you are deeply involved in a political campaign, which can consume a great deal of time and attention, and you’ve decided not to worry about dating/etc. until after the election) or some pressing family responsibilities (e.g., working through estate issues involved with a parent’s recent death).

    • Kasie

      Yeah, science!

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Thank you Professor @7f990e539df4ddefe26884eb65a5f04c:disqus – you don’t have to be a parent to weigh in on this one and you raise valid points. My only response is when a woman chooses to take herself out of the dating pool, are the reasons good and for how long is she making that choice? Again, EVERY individual is different!

  • Kristin

    This comment may be coming a tad late, but here it is.

    I am not a single mother, however, I have worked alongside and been/am close friends with single mothers. There have been the martyrs and the ones who truck along, trying to do the best they can for themselves and their kids without wanting any recognition and making no excuses. I believe that Bruce is targeting this towards all the women who want the pity party, who use being a single mom as either a crutch or a “give me a pat on the back” to their benefit, switching between the two when it will benefit them the most. I was friends with a lady who was a single mother of two and wanted everyone to know it, wanted everyone to praise her and what a great job she was doing, and she also wanted sympathy when it could benefit her. On the other end, my other friend is a single mother of 3 and works hard, asks for nothing, and never brings it up in any conversation where it’s not solicited and wants no praise.

    Some of my friends choose to not date because they personally are not in a place to do so, and in my opinion, that is the best choice they can make for themselves and their child/children. I think it’s healthier to be single and work on yourself than try to get your fulfillment from someone else and have your kids watch you bounce from one person to the next. But there are some who use being a single mother and being busy doing everything they must do, as their excuse for not dating; this group is who I interpreted this article being directed towards. There are no brownie points given for being a single parent and even though people who aren’t single parents don’t quite understand, it makes you no better. You are making the choice to live life the way you do. You have the choice to make time for other things besides your kids. Get out and have some fun! Take care of yourself and enjoy life!

    I agree with the points made. Not too keen on the title, but once I started reading, I began to agree with Bruce!

    • Kasie

      @kristin, agree. I guess there are some women who act like martyrs. But those same women would act like martyrs no matter what life handed to them. It’s a personality flaw, an insecurity. It happens. Calling them out on a blog is not necessary in my opinion, it won’t help their mentality, more likely increase it. Just like anyone with a personality flaw, loving them through it is a good solution.
      That being said if those ladies are martyrs, should they even be dating? Sounds like the setup for codependency to me. Let her try to figure her life out, then maybe she can add some time for men. Yes she “should” “try” to be “open” to it, but she is obviously not ready. People can complain of loneliness and not make themselves open to love. I say fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
      And not when some guy is telling you your kids are gonna suffer because you’re not wanting to date.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      You’re not too late @disqus_jtcwJX1kxh:disqus – heck I think the debate is just getting started and it’s a very worthwhile debate to have! There’s much wisdom in your comment including this, “I think it’s healthier to be single and work on yourself than try to get your fulfillment from someone else and have your kids watch you bounce from one person to the next.” Thanks so much!

  • http://www.stirringtroubleinternationally.com/ Stirring Trouble International

    When the right partner comes along and you know in your heart your ready to take the plunge again, you kids will celebrate with you and enjoy the new family unit. In the beginning it will be a challenge. Giving time to new people is only something you can measure. By having a group discussion about it you are creating an environment for people to meet up and talk what they are passionate about, someone will notice. That’s nice, thanks Bruce. The more new relationships built mean more of a flexible and social life. The kids have school, education, night clubs. We have festivals, meetings and long walks outside as well as the Internet. You are paving the way online and making it a happy and engaging platform for Dads who want to do the right thing, moms who want to understand men and adults who like a laugh and a nice cartoon. It must be a big responsibility and your doing just swell. The arts are an amazing conversational piece, being passionate about things is great too, something to fall back on quiet days.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Thanks so much for your addition to this powerful and important discussion, @stirringtroubleinternationally:disqus !!!

  • Heather

    Wow! I am not sure what is more exciting, the title, the article, or the commentary. So, here are my thoughts.

    1) I agree with @ted_rubin:disqus in that in some instances, staying single may be the best thing for you to do for your kids, but I believe that is when specific instances make single the ‘healthier’ option for your well being and for the family/household well-being. (i.e. it’s better to be single than married and fighting)

    2) I agree with @brucesallan:disqus that as a mother, we should not allow any martyrdom or other similar emotions/actions prevent us from finding or living a healthy and successful relationship.

    Here is my take:

    I think @KelliSmithgall:disqus said it best with: “Children grow up afraid of being in relationships, or stay away from relationships, or even have commitment issues themselves because they have seen what their single parent has gone through or even said.”

    And this, is the whole point, in my opinion, of this article, Kelli just makes it a bit more palatable than Bruce.

    The concept is, SINGLE PARENTS who are staying single FOR their kids, because they think it is the BEST option for them, should think twice. IF you have found someone that you love, you respect, is good to you, respectful of you, and shares qualities that you look for…. do not THROW away the relationship or write it off because you feel that it is better to ‘stay single for the kids’.

    Children who are exposed to healthy marriages and/or family/parental units are more likely to have healthy marriages and/or relationships.

    Children who are exposed to single parents are more likely to remain single, have problems with commitment, or have unsuccessful relationships.

    And before anyone ‘complains’ to me – I am voicing my opinion based on my OWN family.

    My sister was raised by my single mother, and is still single. My brother was raised by my single mother, and is still single. And by single I mean they don’t even have a boyfriend/girlfriend.

    I was raised by my father and stepmother and have been happily married 7, almost 8 years. My two other brothers, both raised by my father and stepmother are also happily married, one for 5 years and one for 7 years.

    Just my .02 cents!

    • Kasie

      Again, over generalization. I’m still single and my parents have been happily married for 35 years. My best friends parents got divorced and remained single until the kids were out of the house, both her and her brother are not only happily married but have also have PhDs (not exactly suffering). We can all make generalizations from our own perspective. Does not make it right.

      • Heather

        Kasie, as I said they are my opinions! Just as you have yours. Everybody has different opinions.

        But for you to say that making generalizations from our own perspectives is not right, yet you are defending your opinions heavily, makes you hypocritical. How can your opinions and generalizations based on your own perspective be acceptable, but mine can’t?

        Again, I don’t think their is a right or wrong answer here, and there are exceptions to every rule and/or theory, but I don’t think you can continue to berate people for their experiences and opinions as that implies that only your opinions count.

        • Kasie

          I’m not implying that. I’m giving you a counter to your over generalizations. Not making new ones. Just stop labeling people and making negative assumptions about them.

          • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

            @disqus_fYLNXGEslo:disqus – you continue to miss my point – and others – about generalizations. Of course there are going to be exceptions to EVERY generalization of, for that matter, every cliche. But cliches become cliches because they’re common – not because they’re 100% accurate. The irony of our “debate” really stems – IMO – from your distaste for the title of my column and you’re projecting that I think a single mom MUST get with a man RIGHT NOW or she’s doing something wrong. That is not there at all. Again, it’s just an “idea” and the same holds true for single dads – though as I’ve stated, I think the “problem” is more endemic to single moms – but I’m SURE there are single dads who also play the martyr!

          • Kasie

            That would be all hunky dory if your generalizations were positive about your demographic. But they aren’t. Apparently you didn’t get my last response to you discussing this same thing, so I’m just gonna cut and paste to save myself time.

            The problem with your “generality” that you seem to think is okay, is that it is a NEGATIVE JUDGEMENT CALL. Calling a single mother a MARTYR is wrong. Period. If she wants to complain to get attention, there’s probably a reason for that (she isn’t getting enough attention or support). If she doesn’t want to date or keep herself open to date, not only is that OKAY, but its really none of your business.

            Claiming her kids will suffer because of her putting all her time and energy into them is preposterous. Mothers over the course of history have been doing that, you’re basically saying the mother instinct is wrong in general. THATS a generality I’m not okay with.

            To that you might say “well i didn’t really mean it, it was excessive rheotoric garnered at building a brand.”

            OH so you are in it for the attention! And my hurt feelings over something I really care about is meaningless. And everyone attacking me because I have gotten my feelings hurt over your “provocative” words that were just trying to “stir up my passions” is meaningless.

            Glad to know that you’re only doing this for the self promotion and I’m only feeding your ego when I get offended

            As for this: “I keep her comments here (I could delete the more angry ones)” If you want to delete my comments, please be my guest. I’m not here to help an egomaniac.

            And this “There is more to Kasie’s anger at me/my column than any of its content deserves which leads me to believe it touched a sensitive nerve.” YES. I have said it from my first post. I have a heart for single moms. Stop judging them and negatively generalizing them.

          • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

            @disqus_fYLNXGEslo:disqus – shall we call it a “draw” and say that we simply disagree?

          • Kasie

            Sure, if your dogs stop trying to bite me.

          • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

            Yeah @disqus_fYLNXGEslo:disqus – but I can’t control those dogs that aren’t mine – which I’m sure you understand! It is a public forum and I haven’t deleted a single comment from this post!

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Boy @disqus_64KKE5AvVX:disqus – that is worth WAY MORE than 2 cents! You said it much better than I with, “The concept is, SINGLE PARENTS who are staying single FOR their kids, because they think it is the BEST option for them, should think twice.” And, “Children who are exposed to healthy marriages and/or family/parental units are more likely to have healthy marriages and/or relationships.’ And the coup d’etat: “Children who are exposed to single parents are more likely to remain single, have problems with commitment, or have unsuccessful relationships.” @disqus_fYLNXGEslo:disqus , I didn’t write ANY of that!

  • anonymous

    I do agree with a lot that Bruce has to say although it’s always impossible to make a general statement. Most single mom’s do incorporate that martyr role because of a need to fill the gap and to feel better about themselves in the eyes of the children. I do believe that it’s important to show the kids that it’s ok to move on. Not everything in the world is going to work out the way we intended but we still need to show them life goes on. I just think it is very important to show your kids that it’s okay and healthy for single parents to date, after all we are human!

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Well said, @8488d138570fffcbde4a4de35e3369c0:disqus – why be secretive given your comment was not the least bit controversial. It seems I’m the one stirring the pot. So, perhaps I should have added something more to the title such as, “Staying Single is NOT Good for the Kids Much of the Time?”

  • SAHD who wants a good woman!

    Hello, I’m a SAHD and I’m so sick and tired of moms, Moms, MOMS! It takes two to make a baby and it takes two if you’re lucky to raise ’em! My wife left – drug addict – and left me with debt, and two girls. Try being a guy raising girls without a mom – especially when it comes to “that time!” Try being the only guy at elementary school with the PTA and all the cliques of moms. Oh, they support each other just fine but the guy doing it alone – FORGET HIM. But, I wouldn’t trade a mimute of it for a minute of so-called freedom. My girls are the bomb. I do date, but it’s hard to meet a good woman and this martry stuff Bruce talks about is so true in my experince! Men just get the job done. Women complain. As for you Kasie, I wish you luck and suggest you think a second time about all this. What the heck got you so angry? And, you single moms that want a guy – we are out there doing our jobs, too. We just get NONE of the media attention you get and usually we’re portrayed as simple goofballs! Sorry Bruce, I had to get this off my chest!

    • Tara

      I applaud you SAHD. We all know, and can agree, that raising kids is hard. Its hard for singles, divorced, widowed and married. Its a hard (although rewarding) job. I do however, and some may disagree, think that single dads might have more of a hard time with it. Its not the “norm” and some people (those at the PTA meetings) don’t do well with things that may seem out of that “norm”. I think that a mom taking on the role of both parents is probably easier than a dad taking on the role of mom and dad, especially girls “at that time”…..God bless you SAHD! I don’t agree that women complain and a man gets the job done. Probably true in many cases, but the opposite is also true. Good luck to you!

      • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

        I’m glad @disqus_Q5C0ww7GCN:disqus that some dads – or one dad so far – have weighed in on this discussion. And, I appreciate your comment Tara!

  • Griffin

    Single dad here with full custody of a teen. I’ve got this single mom friend who is smart and sexy as hell but has remained single for a very long time. Don’t get it? I often joke with her and tell her she’s a martyr because I don’t think she has a life outside of her kids. Although she never complains about being single or about everything that goes along with it, she rarely goes out or does things that doesn’t involve her children. She’s always got an excuse as it’s always something with the children or her work. To some extent I think she may even use this so-called “single mom martyr status” to keep the guys at bay. Because it is a turnoff. I’ve got other single mom friends who all they do is complain. Not trying to offend, but some of these single moms need to chill out. Stop with all this feminist liberal crap and live your lives – be happy. For the women who don’t want to be single – just stop complaining and while most of you probably don’t realize you do this, you need to stop. This guy Bruce was on point with much of his article. He was also right on with his comment that men get the job done – period. Bravo to the women here who were smart enough to keep perspective about this article and throughout these comments.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      TY @disqus_r6GpWcLOoR:disqus – notice that the title of this column does not say moms or dads! I believe it applies to both – but there are the differences I elucidate!

    • Jennifer Weberman

      Let me see if I can summarize your post.
      1) The moms who complain are martyrs and need to “chill out” but the mom friend you have who isn’t complaining is still wrong in your eyes because “she’s using this so-called single mom martyr status to keep guys at bay (which, unless you are her shrink, is a big assumption on your part, which comes from an emotional place).

      2) Women need to stop “all this feminist liberal crap” (which according to your post seems to apply to any woman who doesn’t actively date men – another emotional perspective)

      3) “Men get the job done” (since there are many men who also don’t get the job done, this is another emotional – not logical – perspective)

      4) And finally you give credit to women who were “smart enough to keep perspective about this article” (I assume the smart women you refer to are the women who share your opinion, which you think is right)

      Do you even realize how deeply embedded your anti-female, one-sided, and clearly emotional (not evidenced-based) your view points are? Pot. Kettle. Black. Not exactly a screaming endorsement for women to date.

      • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

        That’s why I love you so much @jenniferweberman:disqus – because you talk straight – and I’m that kettle, for sure – with lots of emotional opinions!

        • Jennifer Weberman

          Hi Bruce – I was speaking directly to Griffin – NOT YOU! My apologies if that wasn’t clear! 🙂

          • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

            Well you got me that time @jenniferweberman:disqus – and you have so much of my respect, it made NO MATTER! Love you!

    • Jason Weberman

      In your comment you say she doesn’t complain about being single. The question I have is why are you complaining about her single status? My only conclusion can be that she’s just not that into you and that’s what really irks you. See, now I’m making crap up!

      • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

        Hey @jasonweberman:disqus – good to “see” you here. You know, that book “She’s Really Not Into You” came out when I was dating (between marriages) and it was one of those rare self-help books that really spoke to me. So often ANY problem we think we have with another person has nothing to do with US! It often has to do with things going on in their lives – present or past. But, it’s normal to think it’s me!

        • Jason Weberman

          Hey Bruce! I didn’t read the book, but I saw the movie and enjoyed it. My above comment was directed at Griffin not you. I’m pretty sure you got that, but I just wanted to make sure. I agree, our first instinct is to say it’s not me it’s you. Responsibility starts with “me”. When people keep having similar experiences over and over again there has to be a point where they ask themselves, “What’s the common denominator?”

          • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

            EXACTLY @jasonweberman:disqus

  • http://thisbeast.com/ netster

    Interesting topic.

    I think it’s okay to went back dating if you’re divorce or a widow (Where I came from, widow seldom went back dating — my mom included.)

    However, it really important to have the communication with your children about the relationship. You do not want your children to be the last to know, that would make them feeling frustrated because you’re not being honest.

    Speaking from experience.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Thx for commenting @netster:disqus. I so agree that the children should be included when/if you re-enter the world of dating!

  • Pingback: Single Mom, Single Dad - Get MARRIED! | Bruce Sallan Radio Show | Bruce Sallan()

  • PumaMom

    Well, I haven’t been ‘staying Single’ for martyrdom status but I get to show my kids (one of whom has a disability) what ‘living’ means by getting involved in community, going on two Missions trips and seeing the world, and soon maybe now that I’m living to my full
    Potential for them as a strong example of an independent woman my daughter will be more apt to being the best version o herself before she does find someone. I’m all for going through this world ‘2 by 2’ but I’m not forcing the hand. I’ve only been asked out once, but it fizzled after a few weeks. The other thing I’m noticing, is that the men who do seem eager are always at least 5-10 years younger than me.. Society would then say I’m a cougar even though I’m not quite in that demographic yet. I’m a single ‘Puma’ as my friends have dubbed me, and life is good so far in the single seat.

  • Jennifer Weberman

    I think there are many ways for mothers to model a healthy well rounded
    life, without it involving a romantic relationship. A mother can model this by
    having time with friends, pursuing hobbies, having a satisfying career, or just
    having quiet time with herself. All of these can show her children (as you
    wrote) that they are not the “center” of her universe.

    I love the metaphor of the oxygen mask on an airplane. We are instructed to
    put our own mask on before assisting others, even children. The same goes for
    life. When we women nourish ourselves emotionally, spiritually and physically,
    we are healthier people and then can give to others on a much higher level.
    Otherwise we are shadows of our true selves.

    As for the “6 month rule” (how long to wait until you introduce
    your new partner to your children), I think the number seem arbitrary and would
    be better determined by some deep self examination rather than a set number of
    months. If you have done the WORK to heal yourself from your past so that you
    can be open and trusting with a new relationship, you are in good shape. If you
    haven’t, waiting 6 months or 6 years isn’t going to matter. You are going to
    drag your past into your present.

    On a side note, single parents have great challenges and I enjoy
    conversations that are supportive, educational and encouraging. When we tear
    each other down, we don;t move the conversation forward. We keep it stuck. If
    someone is acting in a martyr type fashion, unless I’ve walk a mile in their
    shoes, I’m in no position to judge them. Its their story, their journey and my
    job is to walk my own path.

    • Lori TranslationLady

      I agree to everything Jennifer says. Most of the comments are from defensive people putting on the boxing gloves. I think each individual can ponder deep inside as to why they responded the way they did. There is a lesson to be learned here if you choose. Listen and the answers will be revealed. Every situation is very unique, this just gives you an opportunity to think why am I doing what I am doing. If you deem it to be valid, then it IS valid for YOU and no one should be able to rock your boat.

      • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

        VERY well put, @ea213f83901ea5bc1aba4922efd470ce:disqus – thank you!

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      Always love when you weigh in @jenniferweberman:disqus – I know we’ll get truth AND wisdom! And, I agree with every word you wrote! TYVM!

  • joecheray

    I have to weigh in on this one.

    I grew up seeing the unhealthy side of marriage. My dad wanted a divorce but my mom wouldn’t give him one. We were taken away from them by the state because they were declared unfit parents. After spending roughly just over two years in foster homes we would then go to live with my grandparents. Well my grandfather was an abusive, alcoholic and my grandmother was a devout Catholic woman who lived her marriage vow’s till death due us part.

    She spent 51+ yrs in an abusive marriage. Although I don’t know what the marriage was like before my mom was born. I just know what I went through seeing as a child and an adult.

    I came to resent marriage. I thought why get married to someone if you feel like being married to them is like being trapped.

    I went on to have many dysfunctional LTR and I gave my first son up for adoption because I was in no way size shape or form able to give him the life he deserved. I have spent most of my adult life in and out of abusive dysfunctional relationships. I have tried to date after having my second son, and still am very interested in the opposite sex. I have a special needs child and it is very important to me to not bring anyone around that doesn’t get that.

    I still have a life for the most part. I am active in many things in my community and elsewhere. I am not looking for a replacement dad for him, however I am looking for a positive strong male role model that would step up and guide him through life.

    I forced myself to be single for awhile so I could work on getting myself together. I wanted to work on me and try to get myself to where I felt I was comfortable with who I saw when I looked into the mirror. I have been single for almost 8 yrs. My last LTR ended around 2006 after I busted my ex for lying to women on the internet telling them he was single and lived alone while he was stationed oversees. I made it a point to be gone by the time he got home. I figured if he is telling women he is living alone then he might as well come home to an an empty house and truly be alone.

    I say to anyone man or woman who is a parent-single or married-we do the best we can with what we are given and we try hard to give our kids what they need. There is no owners manual that comes with our kids when they are born. If there was we might as well just go buy a car, or appliance or gadget.

    It is my hope that my son sees that I am not “sacrificing” being with someone, rather that I am wanting to be with someone who genuinely wants to be in both of our lives.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @joecheray:disqus – beautifully written comment, Joe but I’m so sad you’ve had to go through so much – you’ve done very well and don’t wear your past on your sleeve and project a very positive attitude. I respect you more now that I know more…and thank you so much for so openly sharing!

      • joecheray

        Thank you Bruce. I am thankful that you give parents a safe place on the Internet to discuss and debate. I know I haven’t participated in #DadChat as much as you probably would love me to but I do watch Twitter and Facebook and ever so often there is a nugget that catches my attention that I have to weight in on.

        You have done very well nurturing your community.

        • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

          TY @joecheray:disqus – come when you can – YOU are always welcome here and at #DadChat!

  • http://www.martinamcgowan.com/ Martina McGowan

    I am in the camp that says that there are many people who choose to remain single for a variety of reasons. I was in a situation similar to yours, except that I had two young daughters to raise. My life felt, and still feels, completely fulfilled taking care of them, and now spending time with my granddaughters, attending to their activities, needs and some of their wants, while working a full-time job at the same time.
    Is it good or bad? I do not think anyone can answer this for another. I think the issue hinges on what you want to do and what you feel you need to do all against the backdrop of what you perceive your children’s needs at the time.
    I think there is also confusion in the minds of many between being able to be contentedly alone and being lonely. Not all who are alone are lonely. As Gandalf would say, “Not all who wander are lost.”

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @Doc_1:disqus – what a beautiful comment – AND I agree with EVERY word you wrote! Thank you, Martina!

  • Pingback: Staying Single is NOT Good for Your Kids, Part Two | Weekly Columns | Bruce Sallan()

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  • Amy

    Ha. I stay single because I don’t want the headache of a man calling me a martyr because I don’t devote my time to him. Can I throw out an adjective specific to divorced/single Dads? Needy. I don’t feel like I’m missing out or sacrificing myself…I feel like I’m dodging an obnoxious bullet…and getting to spend time (carefree) with my kids, without the obligation of having to explain to someone that I would rather spend my Saturday night without him. This article reminded me why I love not being in a relationship.

    • http://www.brucesallan.com Bruce Sallan

      @disqus_rj7PIyFRYw:disqus – I respect your choice but you didn’t answer how it affects your kids?

  • cathysalonga27

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