That's a strong factor, too. I know many people who insist they are 'great catches' but the opposite sex leaves them alone, or when they get to know them they run away. This is true for men and women. A person tends to be rejected by the opposite sex for substantive, rather than shallow reasons.
Another handicap many single mothers have is that many men just don't want to get involved in a long term relationship with a woman with children. Not all, but many. I know I never would.
To each his own Hitman, but you're limiting yourself there, imo. I'm a step-father and its been one of the most rewarding things about my life. But of course if that isn't for you I respect your decision on the matter. There aren't many things worse than a bad step-parent.
I've known many single women with children ... co-workers, tenants in my apartment buildings, fellow political activists, voters in precincts I work, etc. Virtually all of these women say they want a spouse. Most (but not all) of them are physically attractive and have OK personalities.
I've seen both men who would make good spouses and men who would not chase after them. The women overwhelmingly reject the hard working, sober men who would make good spouses. The women overwhelmingly hook-up for short term relationships with men who provide them with entertainment and excitement, even when that excitement is domestic violence, cheating on them, financial irresponsibility, etc.
"A person tends to be rejected by the opposite sex for substantive, rather than shallow reasons."
You are making a HUGE leap of faith there.
Sometimes, the problem really is with those who reject.
Being popular doesn't mean you're a catch.
BTW, thank God my dad didn't follow your last statement!
He is the ONLY dad to my older siblings (technically, half-siblings), who had a poor excuse for a dad who was actually married to my mom. Abusive (threatened, but didn't get anywhere - not with MY mom), adulterous, lecherous and just plain odd and seedy. Probably best described as 1 of those "good ol'boys" in the bars.
Mom made a poor choice (father warned her) young, got 2 children out of it in short time, left back to her parents' who helped raise her children while she worked, until she met my dad.
A woman of 29 with 2 sentient children. My never-married virgin dad didn't mind apparently, because he not only asked her to dance (not knowing she's a mother), but married her after only 5 months. And adopted the children, who asked if they could call him "Daddy" when they heard the wedding news.
And here we are 40 years later....he's still the only Dad my brother and sister care about. And at least he gave them stability.