We all have the same basic needs, we all want to be loved and to share our lives with people we deem important to us. We take the risk and put our hearts in the hands of others hoping that they will take care of it. It is a little more intimidating as a single mother; not only are you trusting this other person with your heart, but with the hearts of your children. They grow attached to the people we bring into our lives and they are influenced by them. Dating is such a more complicated thing when your kids are put into the equation. There is more risk involved, more things to consider. I feel like I should be hosting interviews instead of dating.
I suddenly find myself thrust back into the “available” market and it just seems overwhelming all over again. I am under no delusion that, for men, dating a single mom is simple. It is anything but; plans need to be made ahead of time, babysitters need to be arranged, the sense of spontaneity seems to be lacking. I’m not saying we are all frumpy moms that prefer to stay home, I’m just saying it takes a little more work is all. I think we are usually worth the little bit of extra work. It does save me from making some rash decisions. I’m not looking forward to trusting someone else to come into my life and not make a mess of it. I don’t make it a habit of introducing my children to ever man I see, but once you do it all begins to get complicated. I was with him for two years. He probably spent more time with them then their actual father, he was good with them and they care about him. So how do you tell them that yet another man has walked out of our lives? He was a good man, and he did care about me and my kids, but he wasn’t ready for the role of father. Oh the joys of single motherhood.
I know eventually that the trusting will become easier, but the idea of letting anyone else into my life just seems like an impossibility. I have had to sacrifice a lot in my life in order to make sure my kids are safe and have what they need; my love life is just another one of those sacrifices.
At this time in life I have to take a moment and share with others my appreciation for the men that can look at a single mother and the mess of a life she occupies, and thinks to himself, “I want to be a part of that.” It takes a special breed of man to take on and share the responsibilities that a single mother shoulders day after day.
When I first became a single mother and faced with the reality that I would have to, eventually, start the dating game, if I didn’t want to become a celibate nun, I was scared. I questioned the existence of a man that would see me, see my kids, and see the mess that I call life and want to share it all with me.I thought that any sane man would take one look at it all and run screaming for the hills. After three plus years of being single and my numerous failures at dating, that a rather suppress, I had given up all hope that such men existed. But in the end I found one. I found a man that came into my life and charmed not just me, but my children as well.
Even before I had kids I had a rather negative view on love and men in general, but things change when you meet someone that can accept you for everything you are. So I would like to say to the men in the world that takes a single mother into their hearts, and loves her and her children, that you are all truly knights in shining armor. There is something amazing about you all. Thank you all for being so awesome. And to the men that are terrified of these strong, amazing mother’s, you don’t know what you’re missing.
Alright, so I have been doing some thinking and thought that I might offer some advice to others that are in the same sort of position that I am in. Well it is actually advice for anyone that finds themselves single. In truth dating advice is not really something I see myself doing simply because I turn into some awkward preteen when placed in the presence of a member of the opposite sex. Believe me I am not over exaggerating on this, I have friends that can verify this and in fact enjoy teasing me about it. But I am offering this only because it is something that I find important for those in the dating game.
So the little piece of wisdom that I would like to bestow on who ever reads this is that in dating you need to know what you are looking for. Both the things you would like in your future partner and the things you do not want; such as deal breakers. The easiest way to explain this is to give you examples from my list. For me things that would be deal breakers would be: they would have to like children because I have kids, they would have to like reading since I am a hard core book nerd, and they have to be non-smokers because it is something that bothers me. Then there are things on my list that I would like but that aren’t important. For example, I am a tall woman and so I would like my partner to be taller then me, but as I have recently discovered that isn’t necessarily a must. Anyway I have a list of about 30 characteristics of what I am looking for and it has actually helped me to make the right decision’s when it comes to men. It is actually reassuring to know exactly what you want and don’t want. So try it out and see what you find out about your wants and dislikes.
As I am sure I have mentioned before that after my relationship with my kids father came to an end, to put it nicely, I didn’t even think of dating for quite some time. I also explained how much of a failure my online dating was (slight understatement), but I thought I would share my success as well as my failures.
About ten months ago I met a guy. It seemed like one of those star’s align, fate stepping in, kind of things. He worked at the book store I frequented so I had seen him around and thought him rather attractive and then I ran into him at an art event. So when I went book shopping we began to talk. After some awkward conversation stumbling (more on my side then his) I was sure he wasn’t interested. Turned out the flustered, red faced me had won him over. He had slipped his number into the book I had bought. I can go on for ever about the conversations, my awkwardness, my red face, and every other uncomfortable thing that usually goes with dating and getting to know someone but I think I’ll save you the pain.
The important thing is that he was actually everything I was looking for in a man. He was able to mend the holes in my heart and make me feel whole again (I am more than aware of the cheesiness of it all). We were compatible in every way and we made each other happy. I would love to end this all with “and we lived happily ever after”, but life rarely ends that way. He is at a different stage in life and so our paths have parted. There is a chance that later on in life our paths might cross once more and then who knows what will happen. But for now he is still my best friend and I am his, we talk often and he still brings a smile to my face.
I wanted to share this because even though we aren’t together any more I never regretted a moment of it, it was the happiest I had been in a very long time. He has restored my faith in love and in the male gender. I am grateful that he is a part of my life.
In most parts of my life I was happy, but when it came to men and the possibility of a relationship I still considered myself tainted. I didn’t think I had worth, that I didn’t have anything to offer someone in a relationship. Finally after years of being single and the inability to meet available men got to me and I made the decision to look for love online. Oh I know there are some of you out there rolling your eyes at how ludicrous that sounds but I was getting lonely and maybe just a tad desperate so I tried it. But in the end all I got was a bunch of bad dates with men that wanted sex and not a whole lot more. I had set out looking for love and ended up with a feeling of inadequacy and a self esteem that was sorely bruised. I soon discovered that I ended up with these guys because of how I looked at myself. I didn’t think I was worth the effort. I didn’t think I deserved to find someone. I guess there was part of me that just didn’t believe that I could find love with the life I had.
In the end I realized that before I could bring someone else into my life I had to first forgive myself for putting up with the abusive of my ex for so long. Also I had to start forgiving him for what had happened. My forgiveness for my ex is something that I am always working on and I expect that I always will. But forgiving myself felt incredible and helped me to become happier in my life.
I have come to realize that even though my story is a difficult one it is not uncommon. There isn’t really a need to go into too much detail. What’s important is that you understand that I am a single mom of two and that the relationship I had/have with their father is slightly poisonous. Like most girls I was young and slightly foolish when I met him. He was the typical “bad boy” and I fell for it.
For some reason that I don’t understand girls like to believe that they can take a bad boy and turn him into something…more, but that’s getting a bit off topic. Anyway he ended up being verbally abusive and what’s worse I actually believed what he said about me. I was depressed, lonely, and thinking the worst about myself. In the end the relationship obviously ended. I would love to say I ended things but unfortunately I did not. I was six months pregnant with my second child when he decided that he rather be with someone younger and more willing to go out and have “fun”.
Recovering from that relationship was a long process. I didn’t date or even consider it for three years. I was scared of falling into another poisonous relationship and being too blind to see it. My kids helped me find my strength and they gave me reason to move forward. After a while I was able to find myself and parts of me that I had been missing for far too long. I was able to look in the mirror and see Teresa, to see who I really was. It took years but I was able to build myself back up into a human being instead of a living target for misdirected anger. Even though I am still get the blunt end of his anger now and then.