"Four months after we began seeing each other casually, my last girlfriend said that if I were really serious, I'd want to move in with her by our one-year anniversary," recalls Tim*, 26.
"We were only getting together a couple of times per week, so it seemed crazy to suddenly contemplate sharing a set of keys.
While stigma and perceptions vary by cultural group, and changes in acceptance have occurred at different paces, it’s now commonly accepted that there are unmarried people who have children seeking love and companionship.
Single mothers, particularly in Black communities, have been viewed both as strong heroines who are the backbones of their families as well as vicious destroyers of the traditional family structure.
Single fathers are often demonized as deadbeat dads or heralded for their involvement in their children’s lives.
Whatever the perception, the majority of single mothers and single fathers want to date, find loving happiness with a great partner and build a solid companionship that makes them and their children happiest.
Anthony believes in being honest in the beginning about his status as a single father of three by two different moms.
Anthony, a single father of three, says that being a man with children by multiple women carries a stigma of him being irresponsible and incapable of fidelity and commitment. For a man, he says, dating with children is often easier when the woman of interest has a child too.
There’s a parental understanding that seldom needs explanation; she gets it.
After all, he feels better when she’s there versus when she’s not. She aims to bring him comfort and relief from his painful and tragic life.
What ends up happening is he becomes dependent on her to be his emotional crutch.