South Bend

First-Parent Singular: Why I Only Date Single Moms

She wanted sex. I think.

When a woman takes off her clothes in your apartment and says she feels hot all over, I recall that's one of those subtle indications she wants you. Or a cold beverage.

I chose door number one and thank God, I was right. But I was a little rusty at this sort of thing. I was married for 15 years before suddenly finding myself middle-aged and single. This was my first shot at what my son calls "doin' it" in the 10 months following my separation and divorce. A lot of thoughts race through a man's mind at a moment like this. Mine were mostly on the babysitter. Not that way. But in the parent-guilt way. I could almost telepathically feel the sitter growing angrier and angrier as I was missing my promised time of being home by 11. But she could spare another 15 minutes, can't she? Surely I could wrap everything up by then I tried to explain my childcare dilemma to my date, but she took insult that I would let "something so trivial," as she called it, rain on our barbecue.

Trivial? This woman obviously never came face-to-face with a babysitter who herself, has a life.

This is why I now stick to dating only other single parents. They get it. They understand why I don't spend money on travel to exotic reaches of the planet. Why my spending money is heavily invested in Thomas the Tank Engine DVDs and chicken nuggets. Why I can't go out to dinner on a school night and why -- if I do -- I doze off in the artichoke dip around 9:15.

We parents know that babysitter time is sacred. Thou shalt not trifle with it.

I once broke a date with a woman who lives three hours away. She went to considerable lengths to arrange a babysitter. So I called the restaurant and left a $60 gift certificate for her on my Visa. That way, even though I couldn't have dinner with her, she could enjoy a nice night out with someone while not wasting the babysitter.

Parents understand.

That's because parents are parents before they are anything else. Of course, you can take that concept too far. A woman once told me she would date me, but, ever-so discreetly, added that her boy might not approve of his mom dating a lowly writer. Whatever this kid's problem was, it probably has a long name in Latin.

My son and I have an understanding. While I'm dating, he can feel free to comment and I will take his opinions under advisement. If I decide to remarry, then we'll have a serious sit-down discussion and I will carefully consider any objections. But unless my fiancé has tried to slice him up and serve him as paté, I will gently express my sincerest sympathy for how much it sucks to be him. In return, he can tell me to get stuffed in a few years when I ask him about his dates.

I am a grown man, closer to the senior discount at Denny's, than I am to the day I got to vote for the first time. I refuse -- refuse -- to let a child manage my sex life. But an irate babysitter paid by the hour? That's whole other can of beer.

This is why I only date single moms. They know sex is great, but it's not worth trying to find a new babysitter.

This article was originally published on Detroid-based dating site called and republished and edited with permission from the author.

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