I’ve been trying to make this post for years now. Seriously, years. Even since I was on my old blog, I’ve been trying to write this. But no version of this post ever went beyond a draft.
I say lots of things on this blog. I don’t go out of my way to insult people, but I do speak my mind and, on occasion, someone, somewhere will find something to be offended about, and I don’t give a single F. I don’t let ‘what if someone gets their pweshus feewings hurt?’ stop me from writing what I want to write. The whole point of having a blog is so that I can speak freely and maybe, just maybe, find out if there are a few people out there who feel the same but don’t often get to say it.
This particular topic, however, is a bit different. I have a lot of trouble writing on this topic without it looking like an unprovoked attack even in my own eyes. And considering the people involved, it’s a lot like just kicking someone when they’re already down, even if, really, they have only themselves to blame. I do feel sorry for single parents trying to date, I sympathize with their problems having normal adult relationships. But not enough to date them myself.
Now, this post will be about a specific kind of single parents, a kind I suspect to be the majority. It’s important to remember that people become single parents in many ways, and there are cases wherein someone will be an exception to the reason I’m about to give (although I still would not date them anyway.)
- Some were dudes who were dragged into having a biological offspring against their will by some selfish woman who “oopsed” him intentionally (or stole his sperm – it happens,) and/or refused to abort, resulting in that helpless man having a baby he never wanted, all while her irresponsibility grants her the legal power to rob him blind and there’s not much he can do about it. Cases like this are why I wholeheartedly support the idea of legal paternal surrender (sometimes called “male abortion,”) and do respect men who fight this injustice and refuse to have some selfish broad use a child as a pawn to hold his life hostage. (Although I still don’t want any part in that drama.)
- (I forgot to include this before.) Women who were denied birth control and abortion by means of force, coercion, legal dickery, or denial of services. They are the unfortunate victims of a war on women.
- Some are wealthy people who found it in their hearts to adopt or become foster parents, and had the money to fund it themselves. Kudos to them.
- And some are widows/widowers who made responsible choices in their reproductive lives but, tragically, lost their partner due to unforeseen death. They have my sympathies.
These are NOT the people who I am referring to in this post. Mind you, I’d still never date any of the people above, but not for the reason I’m going to get into, the reason that I think applies to the overwhelming majority of single parents.
Finally, I’ve said it.
When I do a web-search for reasons not to date single parents, I find that people give many reasons. They don’t want kids. They don’t want to deal with those particular kids. They want to focus exclusively on their own kids, not someone else’s (even many single parents don’t want to date single parents.) They don’t want a ready-made family. They’re wary of being seen as target for gold-diggers or as free-babysitting. They want to be the same priority to their partner as their partner would be to them. They don’t want to deal with baby-mama/daddy drama. They don’t want their dates out to be few/cheap/child-friendly. They don’t want to share in childcare/child-support/alimony costs. The list goes on and on. But few people say it’s because, in general, single parents are just irresponsible.
Ok, ok, maybe they’re not necessarily irresponsible people anymore, but they’re at least people who made irresponsible actions where it really counted. What does it take to become the typical single parent (someone who doesn’t fall into the categories mentioned earlier)? Making horrible choices about a really important thing that has major consequences that affect lots of people including that innocent child dragged into it all. That is not a minor mistake but a MAJOR fuck-up and a serious failure as a parent. Someone chose to breed with someone they shouldn’t have or at a time they shouldn’t have. That’s what it all comes down to. The first and arguably one of the most important responsibilities of any fit parent is be carefully selective of who to breed with and under what conditions, and being a single parent (again, besides the exceptions mentioned earlier) is proof that a person has completely failed to do this very basic thing.
Cards on the table, I must admit that I’m mildly anti-natlist and pretty concerned about the current overpopulation crisis, I could well argue that any breeding by anyone other than exceptional genetic specimens is at least a little irresponsible, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. If someone must breed at all, then they’d damned well better at least do it right. They owe it to themselves, their partner, their child, and society.
Sure, maybe they’ve learned from this horrible decision, have come to regret it, have done their best afterwards, have made every effort to ensure that they would never repeat it, and have managed to become responsible people later, after the damage was already done. Maybe. But it’s unlikely. We live in a natalism-worshipping society where it’s just as much a taboo to criticize someone’s bad choices to breed as it for someone who has bred to admit that they regret doing it. And without that realization that a bad choice was made at all, that they aren’t some unlucky victim of circumstance but are actually to blame for what has happened to themselves and their children, then they can not learn from it. Some even manage to be single parents of multiple kids with multiple partners, and they’re really just the worst.
That’s why I always find it a bit ironic when sites that try to list reasons why single parents should be desirable dating partners try to cite responsibility as a selling point. Just visit any article about reasons why someone should date a single mom or single dad. I’ve never seen one that didn’t try to claim that being a single parent was, bafflingly, proof of responsibility. These sorts of claims always amaze me. The way I see it, the real truth is the exact opposite. The fact that they’re single parents proves that they have, somewhere, failed to be responsible. They don’t get any credit from me for cleaning up their own mess which they just shouldn’t have made in the first place. And as someone who values responsibility, real responsibility, I can’t consider being a single parent as anything but a total deal-breaker.
Now, admittedly, a person without kids may or may not be responsible, but at least you can be reasonably sure that they understand how and when to use birth control. They’re responsible about at least one extremely important thing. They’re responsible in one of the areas where it really matters. I’d certainly consider them to be more likely to be responsible than I would consider the typical single parent to be.
Dating as a single parent is hard. Money is tight, time is limited, and options are few. I sympathize, I do, but that’s really not my problem. It’s not that I think that single parents should be punished with being forever alone due to their actions, but I wouldn’t date them, nor could I, in good conscience, advise anyone except perhaps another single parent or a childless (not childfree) person who desperately wants kids and doesn’t care about biological relation to do so. I always advise the childfree to stay well away.