The Single Mom's Dilemma

zara's picture

I'm a "single mom." There are a lot of different issues that come up because of that fact. The biggest of which weighing on my mind right now is the fact that I'm not datable. At least not by my definition of the term.

Midget's father is not in the picture. He doesn't visit her, doesn't pay me any money and recently hasn't even been bothered to buy her a birthday or Xmas present. She's received more love and attention from my blog readers than she has from her paternal gene contributor. (Although you wouldn't think that from his profile on Myspazz where he's lifted the picture I have of her in my picture profile and captioned it with "My Baby Girl!")

The thing is, I really don't care that he isn't in the picture. He's become rather inconsequential to me. I just live my life and care for her as I feel it is my duty to do. It bothers me that he puts up this false image for the people in his life to see, but I've come to the understanding that he's just a pathetic loser for doing so.

I bring this up so that you'll understand that I don't have any problems with dating due to extenuating drama with my daughter's paternal gene contributor. (I feel that's nicer to say than the more popular "sperm donor" phrase.) My heart isn't in a place where I feel burnt out by men. I treat all males who come into my life with the clear slate that they deserve. There is no carry over.

Back before I had Midget, before getting together with the ex, I was your classic serial monogamist. I liked being in a relationship for the basic security that it gives you. There's someone to go to the movies with, someone to hold your hand, someone to fuck when the desire so occurs. I rarely invested a great deal of my heart in these relationships, although I would give them my fidelity. I did cheat as a means to break up with a couple of them solely because it was easier than having to deal with the fall-out of admitting that I just wasn't as into them as they were into me.

I never really liked the casual sense of dating. If I decided to date someone, it was in the hopes that we could make a regular thing of it. Otherwise, I just couldn't be bothered. Because it was less confusing to call it a boyfriend/girlfriend thing, that's what I'd do. It didn't always equal up to us being on the same plane of thought as to where the relationship stood, but I would work it out in my own mind to satisfy myself.

I'd like to go back to this now, although it'll never happen. I'd like to have a boyfriend that I could be faithful to but I'm not in a place where I can completely give over my heart. I've given my heart to my daughter. She is the focus in my life as it stands right now. I have a special place reserved for a man person, but he will always be in that place and not in my heart as a whole.

I haven't had great luck finding someone to fill that role. Hell, I haven't had any luck at all. I found someone who wanted to be a part of everything and who seemed to love me more simply because of Midget. She's a great kid, a cool kid, the kind of kid that even the most skittish of men would cock his head at and think, "I could do this."

The problem is, I don't want that. I don't want a husband-type person and I especially am not looking for a daddy replacement for her. She and I will do just fine. Anyone that comes into our lives will be our buddy in the mommy-daughter dynamic. A welcomed visitor, not the completion of some trifecta.

Most men that come around assume that I'm looking for someone who could be all that and the proverbial bag of chips. The dating pool shrinks down as the men who are of that opinion run away in fear. Then there are those men who look upon the opportunity to date me as a chance to play daddy. Some are men who aren't involved in the lives of the children that they've made with other people. Some are just fascinated by the novelty of the idea. Both are not welcome on my doorstep.

I don't want to date a guy who has kids. I don't want to deal with the drama of ex wives and/or girlfriends. I don't want to be concerned with someone else's kids, at least not in my dating life. Call me shallow, I really don't fucking care. A childless man has enough baggage. I don't want to compound my worries factoring in my heartburn over the thought that he'd be spending money on our date that he wasn't spending on his children. I don't want to worry about some crazy woman being pissed at my existence in her ex's life or whether or not I am a bad influence on her children. I've got enough that I have to deal with in my own set of issues.

So nothing serious. But also nothing casual either.

I have finally come to a place in my life where I would rather not have casual sex. I've now gone just over a year without having sex. I made the decision that after years of not really being all that concerned with the ramifications that go along with having sex with whomever struck my fancy, I'd rather only have sex with someone who matters. I don't believe that means I need to be in love, but I also don't want to think, "Gee, you're swell!" and only have sex for the evening. If I really need the orgasm, I'll just masturbate.

As a potential dating interest, I am a waste of time proposition. I want someone to date on a regular basis but I don't really want to get all that serious. I want you to respect that I have a kid and occasionally hang out with the both of us, but don't get too attached. There aren't many men out there who are willing to dive into a relationship with no definable future. The common line of thought is that it is women who are always chasing down a relationship with potential, but men were not excluded from that sinking ship of life.

I don't go on single or casual dates because the short-term assumption is that if you're not in it for the relationship then you're in it for the sex. Since I'm not, I see those outings as a waste of my time. I don't want to waste my time unless there's a probability of a regular Friday night movie and a fuck. And since I'm not interested in doing that on the first date, I'm a losing proposition to those men looking for only the fuck.

When I think about it from the man's perspective, I wouldn't date me. I have a kid and therefore my attention will be divided and most likely focus more on my kid than on catering to their needs or ego. I can't really get too crazy when I go out, except on special occasions when Midget is safely stored away with a responsible babysitting party.I'm set in my ways and emotionally damaged enough where I will shut people out of my inner sanctum. You'll get close to me, but never THAT close. Unless you think exactly like I do, there is no "future" with me.

I wouldn't date me, but I'd fuck me. Only problem is that me wouldn't let me fuck me. At least not for the evening and then the handshake good-bye in the morning.

At times I feel nauseatingly lonely. It reminds me that I really wasn't cut out to be a mom. I'm sickeningly self-centered. I want things the way that I want them and I don't do compromise. I'm surprised that I haven't given Midget any complexes. Hell, I most likely have. We just won't get the pleasure of seeing them until I've released her into the dating world.

Awesome help us all when that happens.

Discussion of the Day:

Are dating restrictions stupid if you're a single parent? I'd also love to hear any dating experience stories from other single parents. As well as any dating stories from the children of single parents.


Single Moms

Isn't there something about the words "single mom" and "dating" in the same sentence that breaks up the natural flow? Great topic Zara. (Longtime reader, first time commenting.) As a single mother, I feel horrible to admit this. I am torn between my happiness and what is best for my kids. I've been involved with a guy for over a year now. We're in love...but not officially "together" because of my children. Plain and simple, he doesn't want kids. We still get together two times a week. I know there is no future with him because of his unwillingness to commit to having a relationship with every part of my life. He doesn't know me as a mother. Only as a girlfriend.

But the problem is...I love it. I love having my fun with him. And I love the time I get to spend with my kids, raising them as a single mother. I was raised by a single mother and I loved seeing my mom live the single life Sure, she had boyfriends, but I learned a lot about relationships and men at an early age. (Sheesh, maybe that's not such a good thing.) Being a single mother gives you more strength and character than any other possible lifestyle could. Maybe I'm afraid to give it up.

I have no idea what to do with my I live my life one day at a time. I'm getting a damn ulcer worrying too much about what I'm going to be doing in five years. Maybe I'm doing things the wrong way. But who's to say what is right anyway? So I stick to living my way. And it works.

Trying to get it right

I think every parent, single or not, is worried about whether or not they are doing things "the right way" or at least "the best way" that we possibly can. The main difference that I can see between single parents and parents that are still together is that there are just more things to worry about trying to get right. With the dating scene, I keep getting torn on when to introduce my daughter to people. They know about her from the get go, but I don't want to have her meet random guys that I am getting to know, but at the same time I would have such an easier time seeing how they interact with her to decide right then whether or no it's worth the time. I also think my daughter is at the age and maturity level where she meets people and wants to get to know them. Once she has she gets attached easily and talks about them often, whether the person is someone I'm dating or friends, it doesn't seem to matter. So, it seems like If I let them meet her early on I am letting them into my world too soon and I get uninterested quickly. But when I don't let them meet her I feel stange like they think Im ashamed of either them or of her which obviously isn't the case either.I really relate to this blog when you say that either end of the spectrum (either dating someone and them wanting to play family and make it into something more than it is or the other and just being around to screw around) isn't appealing. I seem to attract more of the family type and Im thinking it must be something that I'm doing to attract them but I don't knwo how to change it. I don't want to get married, it's not something that I have ever strived for. So, when people ask dumbfoundedly what I want, I don't know how to explain it. It's not something that I can pin point because I have never had it. I have picked apart every person I have dated and realized the qualities that I absolutely have to have in a signicant other and also the qualities that I can't stand. But, after that, knowing what type of relationship that I want to have with the person is still a bit unknown.

Someone read this blog on myspace and forwarded your blog address to me so I could read it. Actually they said, "I hope your not this pessimistic." So going to your site originally I was expecting to see something that was totally over the top, but when I started reading, it was so much more realistic then pessimistic and I related to a lot of it. I started debating with this guy about it trying to explain where you were coming from until I realized that there was no way for a guy to understand it period, let alone a guy with no children which is who this happened to be. From this blog I read all the rest of your blogs on myspace and then moved on to here where I keep coming back to get my fix. It's amazing when you feel like you have so much in common with someone that you don't know and have only read things that they have written. Your writing is so honest and addictive. I'm envious of how you can say what your feeling, if even on a computer, and make people hear it. I have started many times in the past in blogs or e-mails trying to get my words out and wanting to tell them what I'm thinking and bagging it half way through with the worry of going overboard or offending the person. I want your honesty to rub off on me but at least at this point I'm reading your words and I'm feeling like what I'm thinking isn't way off base. Thanks

Something to Look Forward too.

My date criteria is similar to yours, in that i will not waste my time on a 1st date if i dont think there is the possibility of it becoming a regular thing. All we want -kids or not- is some1 to respect, trust and enjoy regularily. Once or twice a week is all i feel up for.. but the problem again is.. the sex.
I grapple with when is the right time to throw my legs open if we're only *dating casually*?
Casually yet Monogomously. Thats what im looking for.
And if your only dating slow-motion style _becouse you enjoy having something to look fwd too, why does this have to equal disintrest or be taken as frigid within the first few meets?
Sure, theres nothing better than the first fuck with some1 that you dig! But its the looking fwd too that i love. The wondering when its gona happen. Thats so underatted... especially from the firmer sex.
But yeah... gotta actually meet someone who tickles your fancy first err?
Guess this all comes down to meeting THE RIGHT ONE. Whoever they are.. and being honest about your intentions.
Keep your door open, just a smidge, your 2 awesome to be single for the rest of your life. :)

princessvictoria's picture

Been there, done that

I can absolutely relate to you on this! I couldn't believe this when I read it because my daughter's "paternal gene contributor" is the same exact way. I found out he had an account on Myspace and of course my curiosity had to see what the loser was up to. Well...he had stolen a picture of MY daughter from Myspace and uploaded it to his with the caption, "That's my girl." I was pissed. If you're a dead-beat absentee parent then the world shouldn't believe otherwise. I bust my ass being the best mother I know how to be and you shouldn't get the recognition of being a great parent if you simply aren't a parent at all. I reported him and had the picture removed. It bothered me too much because his friends and family were commenting on it like they actually believed he was there for her.

Back to your question, when I was a single mom, which I'm not anymore, I defintely had some guidelines. I would not date someone who didn't accept the fact that I had a child. If you are with me then you accept the fact that my daughter is a part of ME. If you can't, then I can't be with you. Treat her well, but don't try too hard, as that may weird me out. Don't dwell on the fact that she has a father that is not in the picture and don't pry into that situation either. When I am ready to tell you, I will. Don't get jealous or try to take my attention away from her. She is my world and I am being nice by letting you in our world as well.

Luckily, I found someone that was very accepting of our situation. I know that deep down it may have drove him crazy when I would leave his side to go cuddle her back to sleep, but he accepted that as a mother, that is what I did.

In the long run, I think it helped me to have someone else to spend time with too. It felt good having an adult to share a mature bond with. It's hard to live every hour immersed in cartoons and toys.

I just joined your site, by the way. Hi!

zara's picture

Hi! Thanks for commenting!

Hi! Thanks for commenting!

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