Where do I begin…dating when you’re a single mother is and always will be a challenge. At no given point will it become easier to date, especially when you have a young child. I should probably give up on the whole concept overall until Micah is a little bit older, but it’s nice to get out and meet new people and build friendships and potential relationships.
When I moved into my apartment a little over a year ago, I never thought I would consider the option of dating again. I was so wrapped up in Micah and seeing him grow and change, I didn’t have the time to really even think about it.
To be completely honest, I really don’t have time for a relationship right now either…especially with all the things I plan to do in 2013. I just don’t have the energy to put into a full-time relationship right now.
That is normally how you meet someone though…when you least expect it. I met this guy at a work-related event…for the sake of anonymity, let’s call him Curtis.
Curtis is the first man that I have met that completely got me. He understands my quirky nature, he can handle my mood swings, and he can surely handle my assertiveness. Many men that I have met just can’t handle that…I think that they imagine women to always have it under control. Unfortunately for them, that’s not the case.
Just like a number of women I know, I’m a tough cookie and I don’t suffer fools lightly. In other words, I will speak my mind in a heart beat, then think about the impact afterwards. So meeting a man that is willing to accept that and finds it endearing is somewhat of a challenge.
But Curtis “gets” me. I can sense that regardless of what happens in the future, we will always be friends.
And that’s HUGE for me…there’s only 2 people that I’ve EVER dated that I still talk to — and one of them is Micah’s Daddy, so that really says something. All the rest of them have fallen to the wayside and have been lost in the crowd never to be seen or heard from again.
Right now, Curtis and I are on “pause” (for lack of a better term). Yeah, I know that sounds strange but it’s the best way to put it.
We’re still friends and we talk regularly, but we’re not actively engaged in a relationship. Before, we were moving full steam ahead, but we both have way too much going on individually that we don’t have the time to work on us.
But that’s ok with me…it was a mutual decision. I said in the very beginning that I don’t really have the time for a full-time relationship anyway.
That’s the thing about dating when you’re a mom…you have to choose your child first at all times. For a period of time, I found myself trying to balance being with my child and focusing on myself and a relationship. And that was just too difficult for me…
Well, guess who won? If you guessed Micah, then you’re absolutely right. If you didn’t guess Micah, don’t you know me by now? It’s all about Micah!
After this short dating spell, I’ve come up with a few conclusions that I hope will help other single mothers attempting to date out there:
- Always put your child first and foremost. Yeah, it’s all nice that you can be in a relationship and potentially give your child a full-time Daddy, but you have to focus on what’s right for your child right now and that’s you building a bond and relationship with your child, not giving them a new Daddy. Men come and go, but your family always has to come first. Think about that!
- Relationships are H.A.R.D. Accept the fact that relationships are extremely difficult, time-consuming, and exhausting all at the same time. It’s just wrapped up in this pretty little bow to convince people that it’s as easy as laying out Thanksgiving dinner. Yeah, the meal is great at the end of the day, but when you’re up at 3am the day before Thanksgiving defrosting the turkey and preparing the fixings, you get close to losing your mind. A relationship is the same way. Don’t think that you can put a half-ass effort into a relationship and things will turn out just fine. You have to be all in it or just walk away.
- Be prepared to meet a lot of frogs. One of my friends told me this and it is so true! You’re not going to meet Prince Charming in the first person you meet. Be prepared to meet a whole bunch of frogs dressed like Prince Charming. Also, understand that people are not perfect. There are some situations where you will truly have to decide if the good outweighs the bad.
- Don’t go dating because you don’t want to be alone. There’s a big difference between being alone and being lonely. I’m not lonely, I’m just alone; I can spend lots of time by myself and be just be fine. Micah occupies so much of my time and energy that I honestly forget that it’s just the 2 of us sometimes. Of course, I would love to be in a relationship and have someone around to enjoy the good times with us, but that’s not necessary, at least not at the moment. Don’t go out dating for the wrong reasons; really think about why you want to start dating before you get out there.
There’s a whole lot more to this story…but it’s still progressing as we speak. But I did want to share some of my thoughts on the whole single mom dating issue.