According to dating site Match.com, “21% of single parents are currently dating someone versus 16% of singles without kids; 35% of single parents have been on a first date in the past year versus 27% of singles without kids.” Now, these statistics could have been manipulated in a million ways (what does “single” mean exactly, how precisely do you define “dating,” etc.), but the good news is, this means that single parents aren’t moping around sad, lonely and bored. We’re getting out, and as Jezebel’s Anna North put it, “getting it on.”
As a single mother myself, I can attest to the getting it on part. Since I’ve spent the better part of the last two years since my divorce following doing all of the things Match recommends the newly single parent do: compiling a killer wardrobe, maintaining a great hairstyle (one Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert described as an “eff you cut“), I seem to have no problem snagging a squire for an evening of romance. What I can’t get is a date.
Let me rephrase that: it’s not that I think I am unable to get a date or that I think I’m not girlfriend material. It’s that I haven’t had a man ask to buy me dinner. That being said, I won’t deny that one of the first thoughts that exploded into my brain and out of my mouth when I knew I was leaving my husband was, “I gave you my 20’s! I had a kid. No one is going to want me now.” It took about a year, but as I devoted more time to my emotional recovery, health and well-being, I realized I wasn’t “damaged goods,” despite the fact that I felt it and meant it the day that I posted that as my Gchat status circa summer 2009.
No, it’s not that I think I’m undateable, it’s that I echo the sentiments of my friend, fellow comedian and single mother Calise Hawkins, when she says, “I’ve read too many books. I have an unrealistic definition of love. Or maybe I have an overinformed perspective on my possibilities. Either way, I’m ruined. I’m not gonna find it on a street corner. It’s not gonna find me in a free comedy show.” That last bit there is the clincher. It seems that men in New York – especially male comedians – are not interested in (and maybe can’t afford) buying a fancy dinner for a lady with a baby. When it comes to dating Gotham’s single mothers, I wonder if the prevailing male philosophy is, “Why buy the cow when you can get the MILF for free?”
So what are the top cities where, according to Match, “single moms rule the dating scene?”
1. Yonkers, NY
2. Alpharetta, GA
3. Newport News, VA
4. Beverly Hills, CA
5. New Haven, CT
6. Schenectady, NY
7. Olympia, WA
8. Fairfax, VA
9. Green Bay, WI
10. Rockville, MD
Yonkers is number one! I’m not surprised. (Guess I shoulda moved to the suburbs.) Now we know where all the single ladies are, but “where are the cities full of single dads?,” Anna North asks. I don’t know, but the people at speeddate.com might. Unlike Match, they’re pimping single dads as potential dates, on my very Facebook page, in fact. (Nothing like being mocked by your Facebook ads to make you realize you might be oversharing about your personal life.) Here’s an advert that popped up on my right-side column the other day:
Sure, I bet there are a million tatted-up single dads out there just waiting to take me for a ride on the ol’ Harley. It’s just that most of them are in jail. Still the improbability of meeting someone hasn’t stopped me from scanning for a wedding ring every time I see a man alone with his child(ren) here in Park Slope, the land of the family man. There was a dad in the park last night without a wedding ring, but of course that’s no guarantee that he’s single. Besides, he was cute, but he had creepy eyes, and I figured if he was single, it was for a reason. I suppose that points to the fact that when it comes to dating in New York, it’s not just the men who are picky, judgmental and afraid of losing their autonomy to a jerk. We all are. Especially those of us with children to protect. Still, like my friend Calise, I secretly want to find a nice boyfriend at some point down the line, even if I refuse to get my hopes up.