Dating as a single mom

I'm in my early 30s and a new single mom. I'm nowhere near ready to start dating again, but lately I have been thinking about the future, and what I've read about single mothers on the internet is so discouraging. When I was pregnant and my ex bailed, it never crossed my mind that I would be looked down upon for having a child alone. If anything, I thought people could see that I was a good person for taking responsibility and not running away like his father.

Instead, this is the impression I get: single mothers are single for a reason; they have loose morals; they are gold-diggers looking for a bailout; they lack character for choosing a man who would leave; kids are baggage. I wish I could've seen his father for who he truly was before I was pregnant, but who hasn't dated and made this mistake? How many people will assume that I didn't use birth control? I feel like dating was already hard before all this, and when I do date again it will just be harder. Am I doomed? Maybe I should just stay off the internet.

– Single

Stop googling. Please. I don't know what websites are giving you information about single moms and their "loose morals," but they're not worth reading. Many people break up/get divorced, and many of those people have kids. Some people choose to have children by themselves. As you get older, you'll meet more and more people who are doing this on their own.

I'm not going to tell you that dating as a single mom will be the same as dating without kids. You'll probably have different questions. So will potential partners. But think about how many letters we get from single parents about their love lives. They seem to be dating a lot. You are not doomed, and you're certainly not alone. Also, many single parents are looking to find someone just like them.

You say you're not ready to start dating again, so it might be more productive to focus on building the life you want right now. That could mean cultivating a new and bigger group of friends. Perhaps you can check out social events that might put you in touch with other single parents. Knowing more people like you will help. Go find them.

– Meredith

Readers? Can you talk about dating as single parents? Or dating single parents?