Dating? Not this Mama. Do you know what happens when you assume? You could potentially agitate “the beast”! Take that as you will. “The beast” could be the exhausted full-time working single Mommy who can’t add another thing or life-altering change onto her plate, or “the beast” could mean the full-time working single Mommy who is killing it at life and is not open to what anyone is offering.
Actually, I believe we are one in the same. As one of said “beasts”, I get asked if I’m dating. The answer is a hard NO. I’m good with that question and I’m good with my decision. Sometimes I get a response of, “Don’t worry, it will happen for you.”
*Insert cringey emoji here*
I know that response comes from a good place, but that’s an assumption: that I want to date and makes me feel like I’m being viewed as lonely and that I’m being pitied. PLEASE don’t pity me.
A better question would be, “Do you have any interest in dating?”
If someone responds with “no”, leave it at that. If they open the door and want to discuss further with you, let that person lead that conversation and be mindful of what they are saying so you know how deep into the conversation you should go.
It’s ok to ask questions, but this can be a very triggering topic. Dating as a single Mommy, whose life is her child, 24/7, who works full time, who continues to maneuver through the toxicity thrown at her, but continues to move forward in life, holds it all down by herself and tries to be her best, most healthy self for her and her child and maybe throw in a hobby, while trying to nurture current relationships with family and friends?
Dating is NOT on my radar. Even a simple “let’s grab a cup of coffee” can make me feel like I’m about to break out in hives and can’t breathe.
There’s a part of me that feels almost offended because I feel like someone is trying to take some of my precious time and take me away from my child and my life. In reality, sometimes people really do just want to get to know you. But, what I heard was: “I am going to need to take you out of your element for a couple of hours away from your child.” And that is triggering for me.
This might sound like an extreme response, and it might have to do with some PTSD, but I immediately fast forward to “I don’t want my daughter to think someone else is more important than her. I don’t know if I would even introduce this person to her.” Sometimes I’ll get asked out to do something, and he’ll invite my daughter to come along, and I could not be more freaked out. When I talk myself down, I realize that this is what countless single parents do, but I feel like it takes me away from my child and she is number one in my life, always.
I would ask for advice and ask “How do you date as a single parent?” But, I that isn’t even on my radar because I’m that uninterested. Of course, I think about my daughter seeing her Mommy with a good man and having a wonderful father figure in her daily life and being “a family”, but she and I are a family.
I remind myself and discuss with her that every family is different.
Some people just live with their Mommy or just live with their Daddy. Some kids have two Mommies or two Daddies. Some kids have a Grandparent or someone else who raises them. Some children don’t have any of the aforementioned.
These are the hard conversations, but the real conversations. Sometimes she tells me that she wants me to meet someone, but I let her know that Mommy is happy and if Mommy wants to meet someone extra special who she and I will both love, then I will. But for now, this isn’t something Mommy does. You have to be in the right headspace and date for the right reasons. Sometimes those reasons are just to get out and meet someone new; sometimes you just want to take a chance and sometimes you want to find your life partner.
I’ve never been one to feel like I ever needed a romantic partner in my life.
I’ve been one to stay in a relationship for the child’s sake, and that was not the right decision. Now, I’m in a place of being the best Mommy I can be: a place of self-love, a place of confidence and wanting to venture out and explore my (non-romantic) passions, and for now, none of that includes dating. I’m sure there are many single parents out there who feel lonely, but I highly recommend digging deeper and seeing what those reasons are and if you really think you need to date someone or if you are seeking something else within yourself or out of life.
We aren’t running out of time. Families are made up of so many different dynamics.
YOU are enough. Your children want you to be happy, but let’s show them that happy doesn’t mean needing someone. Dating? Not this Mama. I will continue to live this single Mommy life for as long as I please, because it’s my decision…and when I want “it” to happen for me, it will.