It's Monday, and you know what that means? It's business time. Time for the business of sweet, sweet love. So let's offer up your love and sex questions to Ask Dad.
I'm a single mother to a 4-year-old looking to date again. Where do I go to meet grown-up men without wedding rings?
With a child that young to take care of, I'm guessing you can't find true love where the rest of us do: The Craigslist Casual Encounters section. (Or maybe you just have an aversion to fur suit fetishes and random meet-ups in airport bathrooms, though I can't imagine why.)
I know that your child can feel like a great big man-deflecting zit on your nose when he's hanging on you. But let me assure you, single moms are unspeakably sexy. Or, as my romantic mentor Prince would put it, "hecka slammin!"
Single moms have been through a lot. You exude power. You often have the exact combination of youth and maternal warmth that men are looking for. Single moms don't have a lot of time for games or bullshit, but also aren't anxious to dive into something big. Smart men should be looking for you.
So where to find us? I'm assuming you know how to find single men in general -- unfortunately we're almost everywhere -- but are thinking about where to dig up desirable, kid-friendly dudes.
I'm going to stick with places where you can bring your kid along. While it's tempting to go on a manhunt stag, I think it's best if you just meet them while your kid's right up in your business. It lets them know what they're getting into, helps avoid nervous meetings later, and gives you something to talk about during awkward pauses in the conversation. Plus you'll know you've got a man willing to tolerate a kid at least long enough to shoplift the pootie.
Church: If you're a God-loving lady already, you've tried this angle. But if like me you think sleeping on Sunday is sacred, there are Unitarian and similar churches meant more as community meeting spots. I've got atheist and lapsed Catholic and other friends who go to these places for every reason conceivable, and they can be full of good men. And they are so non-judgemental you can even be up front about why you're there. One note of warning: Such places are, to their credit, very gay-friendly, so that hot solo guy you see may not be as available as he looks.
Golf tournaments: I know, if you've watched golf on television, it's the most boring thing on earth. I LOVE golf and I still use the TV version mostly as a nap aid. But going to a PGA tournament (there's one near almost every major city) is like spending a day at the most lush and beautiful public park you can imagine -- with beer. There are loads of golf groupies at these things looking to be the next wife/nanny/mistress (or all three!) of a professional golfer. But I'm not talking about that. The gallery is loaded with well-heeled single men, and with chances to meet them. Of course they run towards the preppy, so if you take your men tattooed, this is not for you.
College campuses: Yes, you can go cougar cradle-robbing for undergraduates if that's what you're after, but that's not what I mean. Colleges are full of professors, grad students, alums, and staffers, many of them single because they've been married to their work in law and physics, and all of them, of course, very educated. And professors and grad students aren't really allowed to sleep with their students anymore (not that they don't do it), so that means less competition from sorority girls. You may need to find a way to justify being on campus, of course, but many of them have great playgrounds (there's a good one at Cal Tech, near where I live). This has the added benefit of getting your kid around a place of higher learning. Gotta be at least as effective as a Baby Einstein vid, right?
Preschool neighborhoods: Not sure if you're after a single dad -- that's a double-edged sword. They have a lovely understanding of where you're coming from, but managing two or more kids, and two or more exes, can be a hell of a handful. But if they sound good, find a nice neighborhood with a nice preschool in the middle of it. Go to the nearest cafe or restaurant around drop-off or pick-up time. You're bound to see men desperate -- though hopefully not too desperate -- for some adult interaction.
And as you look, keep your expectations realistic. Do not read the novels of Nicholas Sparks. They use embarrassing writing to create unreal hopes. Though even this jaded single dad gets a little misty during the movie version of The Notebook. Ryan and Rachel are just so cute. I'm not made of wood.
Image via Flickr/RuthanneReid