Jennifer Guinyard LMSW believes that a single dad is a total catch.
Have you ever seen a person approach a female who has a child and hear them say: “I think it’s amazing that you have stepped up to take care of your child?” No, of course you haven’t. Why? Because that doesn’t happen. Our society expects that women who give birth to children will step up and actually take care of them. Men on the other hand…well that is a different story.
Before I became a mother, I saw a woman on the train watching a man and his children. I then heard her say to the person she was sitting next to: “I think it’s amazing when men take care of their children.” I remember being shocked to hear such a statement. Amazing? Um, isn’t that what they’re supposed to do? I mean if you’re going to create, step up to the plate. (Yes, I just made that up).
But it goes deeper than that. Many women see me to be more attracted to men who have children whereas men seemed to be turned off by women who have children. I know…wtf? So I questioned some of my good friends about this to make sure I wasn’t loosing my mind. It turns out that women are so jaded about the staggering high number of men who skip out on raising children they helped to create that when they do find a man who has stepped up to the plate, it makes him look “responsible”, “loving”, “brave”, and “present.” Whereas a women with children isn’t the least bit impressive and actually quite daunting because what if she’s one of those chicks who have “eight” baby daddy’s, baby daddy drama, is looking for a man to take care of her and raise her child/children or is just fucking psycho? Men with children screams “stability” whereas women with children screams “run in the other direction.”
Why then is it so much easier for men with children to start over after a failed relationship as opposed to women? Is it a difference in maturity levels between the two sexes? Are women more attracted to men who seem like good nurturers (i.e. dads)? Perhaps men are more threatened by the perceived competition when it comes to dating a mother. Whatever the case may be, there is a distinct double standard here.
When I ended my marriage, I felt like the world was my oyster. After some soul searching, I bravely entered the world of dating again only to find that many men were quick to judge a single mother. I was written off, stigmatized as unavailable or being too preoccupied with my son to have room for another man in my life. I felt hurt, angry, and confused when seemingly promising connections quickly dissolved after I revealed I had a child. This didn’t seem to be the story for the single men. Quite the opposite occurred for these fellows, in my observation. Single women quickly flocked to men who had children (especially if they were the primary care givers) because they were the perfect reflection of a real man who had his shit together.
Now, here’s a thought – maybe I need to date a single dad. Apparently, he’s the catch of the universe.
Double standards do exist. There is nothing particularly special or extraordinary about a single mom who takes care of her offspring because well hell, that is what she is supposed to do! But a single dad…a man who takes responsibility for his offspring whether it be as the caretaker or co-parent…now that is a real catch!
This post was originally featured on Brooklyn Single Mama.
Photo Credit: Danielle MacInnes/Unsplash