Entertainment of Sunday, 30 October 2016
I’ve been a single mom for about four years now, and I can honestly say that it’s changed me for the better. My dating life?
Well…that’s a different story. While I haven’t been on a ton of dates (because, hello, when do I have time for that?!), there are some things that are just too true about dating as a single mom to ignore…and I’m sure all single moms can agree.
1. Pretty much everything must be planned in advance.
Remember those carefree evenings when you would go out on a date and you’d be able to let the night linger on forever — even if the date was mediocre — because you had nothing else to do? Yeah, those are the paleolithic years of my dating life. Now, I can’t just drop everything that I am doing to hang out with a man for hours at a time. Outside of the usual and already time-consuming date night prep (like, you know, shaving my legs…), I have to make sure that my kid is well-cared for while I’m out, since I’m not the only person at stake here.
2. My time is extremely precious.
Children can take a lot out of you mentally as well as physically, so if there is ever a child-free moment in time, I typically prefer to spend it laying braless on my couch, binging on Netflix shows and drinking copious amounts of wine. But let’s be real: There’s most likely some serious housework that needs to be done. Yes, folding a pile of laundry is probably not as fun as going out on a date, but if it needs to get done, I’d rather just knock it out then go out with someone who might not be worth it in the long run at all. To that point, I really appreciate it when someone puts in the effort to try and make our time spent together well worth it…because there’s nothing worse than thinking I could be doing laundry while I’m on a date.
3. I can be extremely guarded.
This isn’t because I’m trying to be mean, it’s just that I have a child to look out for. It may take a while to get that guard to lower simply because I don’t have the luxury of sitting around and stewing in my emotions. My son is only four, but he can already tell if my mind is elsewhere. which is why I work really hard to make sure that I am attentive to whatever it is that he needs. I don’t have time to sit and be emo about whatever it is that may be going on in my personal life with a guy. (No offense to those of you who do.)
4. Meeting my kids is a very big deal.
Meeting my kid is such a big deal that I have yet to date a guy that has met my kid! I don’t want my child to get attached to a man after our first date only to have him become a disappearing act a week later. I totally understand that things don’t always work out, but there must be some serious level of commitment in place first — not just “oh, we’ve gone from messaging on Tinder to texting” commitment, but real, bona fide commitment.
5. My child is my main priority.
This should be a no brainer. A man will always be second fiddle to my kid. This may sound harsh, but I have put my entire body (I’ve got a C-section scar to show for it) and soul into raising this child, so there is nothing that you can say or do to distract me from him. Any man who tries to compete with that will lose.
6. Sometimes my kid has to tag along on dates.
While date nights involving just me and a guy are amazing, I have come to face the reality: They just aren’t aways going to happen. Now, I just need men to get that, too (sorry, you can’t get laid all the time!). But that said…kid-friendly dates are always a welcome thing in my world (assuming you’ve passed the test and can meet my kid). Are dates as ~sexy~ as they used to be? No, not really. But you hit a point when kindness and reliability are just as sexy as cocktail bar.
7. There might be an ex in the picture — but that doesn’t mean there are feelings.
I am personally grateful that the father of my child isn’t around for reasons I won’t get into, but that’s not the case for all single moms. Many of them are doing the co-parenting thing, but that doesn’t mean there are still feelings for their ex-partners — it does, however, show that she’s truly committed to raising her child in the best way possible, and will do whatever it takes.
8. Shit happens.
No matter how much planning we might do before a date night, stuff can come up at any given moment (i.e. weird stomach bugs, disciplinary issues that need to be handled, a mini breakdown, the list could go on forever..). Sorry, that’s life.
9. I don’t need to be saved, thankyouverymuch.
Fun fact: Single moms are not damsels in distress.Yes, raising a child on my own certainly has its challenging moments, but that doesn’t mean I need a man to ride in on a white horse/fancy car and save me. Yes, having a man in my life to split the bills with and serve as a strong father figure for my son would be amazing, but I am confident that it will happen in its own time. Until then, I am perfectly capable of handling everyday life on my own. I’ve been doing a damn good job already.