Dating as a Single Mom is Complicated

February 1, 2018

As I just sat down to write this blog Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” comes blaring through Pandora….

 

2017, was the year of heartbreak for Rowan and I. Walking away from the partner who helped me raise my son for almost his entire life was harder than getting a divorce from his biological father when he was born.  I can’t say mean things about the man because he really was my lifesaver in 2015 when we met.  He stepped up to the plate and took Rowan in as his own and gave his all to us. A series of events lead me to being the one to completely check out and be done with our relationship early last year. My head was no longer in the relationship as I saw our relationship had become toxic as some do.  My biggest concern was making sure my son had a healthy and stable life as any good mother does. I tried for MONTHS to find a way to let it work and let him be a dad to him but every time it pointed back to, it can’t happen Sara there is too much hurt and damage right now. So I left and moved on with our lives.  One thing about me is I am stubborn as shit and I know what I want in life. I have been in plenty of long term relationships to know how to walk away before you invest more time.  I am way too fucking young to not be happy with EVERY aspect of my life and my son is too innocent to be dragged through all the unpleasant drama and bull shit.  So here I am single mom to an amazing little boy and I couldn’t be happier with it right now.

 

2018, brings a new found enjoyment of being #singleAF !

I am so exhausted from being in nothing but the wrong long term relationships that end after years of mine and his time. Why do I say “wrong long term relationships”?  It’s easy…they seemed so perfect in the moments and in the times I was happy but they were wrong for me in many ways.  I have this habit of getting lonley especially as a single mom who works her ass off and takes NO time for herself. So in the last few months I have started dating for fun to honestly get myself out there and just have some adult time and kind of just have my moments of feeling normal in real clothes.

How do I meet men? I have done nothing but online dating for the last four years and lets be honest most of the time its a lets just have sex situation.  I also am a bartender in a bar where I met nothing but men every single night.  I could really have my pick of the litter but I have always had a rule, don’t date customers this is just a job.  In the last few years I have met a few genuine men who I have maintained friendships with.  I love that I can have these friendships with people and have no pressure.  This right here gives me hope for a happily ever after someday.  Let’s be honest I say I don’t want that but deep down everyone does.  I can strongly say I am NOT wanting a crazy serious relationship right now in my life but I also am way too old and responsible to be having casual sex.  So here I am in the dating pool again enjoying dating and getting to know people.

So what does this mean for the single thirty something mom of Carlsbad California?  It means I have to be extra cautious of my little man who let’s be honest holds my heart first and always.  I have to take things super slow because the last thing I want is to screw up my son with mommy’s men drama.  It means I can’t and won’t bring men to our home until there is somebody worthy of being let into our safe place.  I have to pay someone to watch my child so I can date.  Now that is a big one for a single mom, if I am dropping $40-60 on a babysitter so I can be with him, he better be pretty fucking special. Most people look at single moms as desperate and clingy. What you don’t realize is I run my own home, pay my own bills, look after myself and my son while holding down a job and dealing with everything life throws at me. So if I make time for you, you should feel like the luckiest person in the world because I don’t even make FUCKING time for myself.  So if your a man or woman who is dating a single parent, appreciate them because I know I have an amazing respect for the few #singledad friends I have in my life.

For the record I have gone out with a couple amazing men who get who I am and my soul. Dating is fun so I want to keep it that way for a little bit because rushing anything sets us up to fail in life.

What any single parent should understand is these few things.

1. Realize that you’re not just forming a relationship; you’re creating a family. When kids predate dating, the couple’s relationship inherently creates competing attachments. The choice to be with the dating partner or children generally means the other is left waiting … and wondering how their relationship with you is being influenced by your relationship with the other.

2. Avoid a quick turn-around. Parents who begin dating quickly after the end of a relationship (whether by death or divorce) or who reach a quick decision to marry after a brief dating period often find their children more resistant to the marriage. This sabotages the ability of a stepparent and stepchild to get off on the right foot with one another and puts the family at risk.

3. Healthy dating begins with self-examination. Smart singles take a good long look in the mirror before dating. They examine their motivations for dating, fears (e.g., their children not having a father), loneliness, and unresolved hurt (e.g., after divorce). How do you know when you’re ready to date? When you don’t need to.

 

4. Meeting The Kids. OH CRAP!  Early on your kids may meet your date, but the first few dates should primarily be about the two of you. At first reference your date as “a friend” or if your kids are prepared, call them your “date.” Casual introductions are fine when you start dating someone, but don’t proactively put your kids and the person together until you are pretty sure there are real possibilities for the relationship. This is especially true for children under the age of five, who can bond to someone you are dating more quickly than you can.

As your interest in the person grows, gradually become more intentional about finding time for your significant other and your kids to get together. Tread lightly at first and continue to monitor and process everyone’s fears or concerns. If the other person has children as well, it might be wise to orchestrate early get-togethers with just one set of children.

5. Expect hot/cold reactions. Liking a parent’s dating partner sometimes creates a loyalty problem for kids: They don’t know how to embrace everyone and not hurt feelings (especially the other biological parent). Because they are caught in a loyalty conflict, children sometimes warm up nicely to the person you are dating and then turn cold. Sometimes they vacillate back and forth. Don’t panic or judge the children too harshly. Confusion comes with the territory. Relax and work with what they give you.

6. Don’t Settle.  Find the person who is your everything and stop picking the person who makes you feel good, or is fun in bed. Pick the person who understand you on a deeper level and who you want around your children. If you see reg flags, RUN!

So here I am coming up on the dreaded Valentines Day as a single lady and I couldn’t be more excited to explore what the world has to offer me but most importantly enjoy my life with my son as the most important person in his life, his MAMA.