• Flash Fiction

    Single Mother… Date or Not?

    The knock was brusque.

    He opened the door swiftly. “You’re late.” He growled.

    “Unavoidable. He wouldn’t go to sleep and you know I cannot come when he is yet awake.” She brushed past him and entered the room.

    The scent of her, always fruity and sweet, whiffed and seduced him. “You should have sent a message.” He shut the door with a click. “A word would have reassured me.”

    “I thought of doing so. But thought it better to give you my message directly.”

    There was something in her voice. A tightness. A weariness.

    Wary, he approached her. She evaded his touch and he frowned. “What is this?”

    “I cannot do this anymore.” Her voice was rigid. Her eyes, unflinching, held his. “I cannot leave him anymore to come to you.”

    Something sank inside of him. Maybe it was his heart. He did not know. “You can’t do this. You know how much I need you.”

    “He needs me too.” Defiance shimmied in her eyes. “He needs me more than you do.”

    “He has you!” The words bubbled out with the bite of fury. “He has you more hours of the day, more days of the week, than I do.”

    “He has a right to me. He has a right to my hours and to my days.”

    “And I have no rights?” Incredulity echoed in his voice. “I love you, does that not give me rights?”

    “He loves me too. And…” She blinked once and her chin squared resolutely. “And his love is more definite.”

    “What?” Shock pushed his feet to stumble back. “You doubt me? You doubt my love for you?”

    There was a moment’s pause, where she only looked at him, sadly.

    “Your love would not commit. Not to me as long as he is there.” Her voice was quiet, empty of blame or judgment. “Your love is primed with conditions and limited in scope. You love me but you cannot love him.”

    “He is not mine to love.”

    “But he is mine to love. Mine to protect, to provide for and to care for.” A small smile etched her face. But it was sad. “I thought pleasure was enough. I thought satisfaction, no matter how fleeting, would suffice. But it does not. My heart wants more. My heart wants more for him. For me too.”

    “I cannot give you more. If he did not exist…”

    “But he does exist. He lives, not just exist. He lives in my heart. He came forth out of me.” She touched her mid-section. “He deserves more. He deserves love.”

    “I have tried. But I cannot.” His head drooped. “I want to. But I am unable to love him.”

    “I know. I have hoped. I have prayed. But I cannot unmake your choice.”

    “It is not a choice.” His head snapped back up and his head rose with his defense. “It is an inability. I just can’t find love in me for him.”

    “You can’t find love in you for him because you can’t accept him as your own. That is why.”

    “But he is not mine.”

    “He could be. But you do not want him.” She backed a step. “I have to go back to him. He will need me should he wake up.”

    “I need you now.” He grasped hold of her hand, held on to it. “I love you. With all my heart, I love you.”

    “I can only accept the love that extends to him too.” A tear slipped and rolled down her cheek. “I must go.”

    “Stay with me. Please.” He wouldn’t let her go. He did not want to. “I could have pretended. I could have lied.”

    “And I am thankful that you did not. It is why it was so easy to love you.”

    “If you love me, you will stay.”

    “Love does not bargain. It does not trade. It does not blackmail. It just loves.” She gently extricated her hand. “You will find another; another without an extra to love. For me, I go back to him who loves me without conditions and who needs me more than all else.”

    He watched her walk through the door without a backward glance. When the door shut after her, he sank to his knees and buried his face in his hands.

    Why couldn’t she accept what he could only offer?

    Why did she have to ask for more?


    She approached his bed on silent toes.

    His eyes were still closed in sleep. Relief smoothered over her like fresh air.

    Why could he not love him, this amazing gift that had sprung from her?

    It did not matter. She loved him and that was enough.

    She would give him more, because her son deserves more.


    Now, I know it’s not just single mothers feeling this bite. Single father’s do too. But we know, and we need to honestly acknowledge this truth, that single mother’s get bitten harder and more often than their male counterparts.

    So, my questions are:

    Gentlemen, would you date a single mother and seriously consider marrying her?

    Still on gentlemen, if you dating a single mother is a no-no, why is that?

    Ladies, are you a single mother, how’s that for you and what are your experiences in the dating pool thus far?

    Still on ladies, does a friend or relation of your have an experience you’d like to share?

    * Now, ladies and gentlemen, would you encourage your brother, friend or close relative to marry a single mother or do you have a problem with them? If you do, what is that problem?

    It’s a big big, ‘humongously’ big talk and I’m going to keep bringing us back to this one. No insults are allowed… mercifully, we’ve never experienced them here. But even in your responses, no insults permitted please. Let’s all be mature about this and know that life’s about choices.

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  • Reply Patience Bassey November 9, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Hmmmm, this is deep. For me, I think I can date a single dad. No reason though

  • Reply Ogbara Eluanza November 9, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    My dating a single dad depends on the individual… Its good to be open minded , extend that love also the d child. I believe love comes with bagages and if you truly love someone, you will love all that’s part of him|her.

  • Reply Bara Yekorogha November 9, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    I can’t date a single mother mainly because I can’t marry one, and if I don’t see us having a future together, there’s no point dating. I don’t want my kids to have step siblings.

    • Reply Toss. O November 11, 2017 at 8:07 am

      Ignorant much? So you would let go of the love of a good woman because you don’t want your kids to have step siblings? How myopic!
      P:S The kids you guys would have together would be Half sibs not step sibs.

      • Reply TM David-West November 11, 2017 at 8:41 am

        Now, now, Toss O., we did talk about no insults, didn’t we? It’s right up there? Everyone’s got a right to their opinion and he just gave his, as did you down below.

        Let’s all be respectful of other’s opinions and choices, please.

        • Reply Toss. O November 16, 2017 at 8:11 am

          Hi T.M i wasnt trying to insult him….i was a little peeved but insulting him? Not my intention. Maybe my choice of words suggested that (blame it on the part of the world i live in lol) but that was definitely not the intention. Will try to be more careful about words i use in the future.

  • Reply Onoja Beatrice November 9, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    Hmm this is really deep though married but if i were not i can date and even marry a single parent with a claus though cause the child must love me and accept me as his/her mum anything short of dat am out .

  • Reply Toss. O November 11, 2017 at 8:01 am

    I think its easier for women to love kids that they didn’t birth than for men to love kids they didnt father. I can already tell you that a major number of women will answer Yes to dating single fathers and marrying them. The men? Not so much! This is part of the many mysteries of the mind of the male homosapien.

  • Reply Mobolaji olanrewaju November 13, 2017 at 10:29 am

    Well written, TM. The story makes me feel like crying though.
    I am a single mom. I have dated single men but I realized they see my son as a rival and a threat to them.
    Infact my last relationship ended without tangible reason but I wasn’t surprised because I have seen it coming. He doesn’t care about my son, even as he tried to pretend to ask after him. So I let him go once he come out and let me know he is no longer interested in the relationship.
    It hurts but life continues. At first they will tell you it doesn’t matter but when the reality of the child’s existence hit them, they will balk.
    It takes matured men to really love and accept single moms and the package that comes with them.

    • Reply TM David-West November 13, 2017 at 11:35 am

      Oh, darling Lanre, this really touched me. I didn’t know. I didn’t really.

      I think, first and foremost, that being a single mum makes you, and every woman who rightly makes that choice, strong women and also admirable women. There are things you could have done, choices you could have made, but you chose to give life and to care for that life. It is simply admirable.

      What is sad though is that many don’t see it that way. Whether it’s shallowness or self-righteousness or plain self-centredness, I don’t know. But many look down on single mothers and want to only use them and then dump them. So sad.

      But you deserve better and so does your son. Both of you deserve better and I pray, and hope, that you will find that better that you deserve. There are good and kind and open-minded men out there, one of them will find you and he will love and accept your son. I believe that.

      While you wait you, keep your chin up and let no one make you feel any less of yourself. And kisses to my handsome little man.

      Cheers, Lanre.

      • Reply mobolaji olanrewaju November 13, 2017 at 11:50 am

        Thank you, TM. It is not easy to be strong but it is damn worth every sacrifice and more. My bobo will hear.

    • Reply Toss. O November 16, 2017 at 8:14 am

      I appaud your strenght and guts. Dont settle for less. Keep your head up?

  • Reply Madyv November 27, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Hmmm… Am nt a single mum n definitely nt a guy. Av gat no real connection to single mum/dad real life experience so can’t really say for sure what ma take on it Sud be. Buh I strongly believe that everyone deserves a chance and Dat anything that’s worth doing is worth doing well..

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