With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, I see some friends around me that are single mothers and it takes me back to the days when I just wasn’t clicking with men; or clothing in my prenatal size; or stop signs; or anything or anyone really. But I digress.
Anyway, even though I’m not a single mother anymore, looking at some of my friends I’m reminded of those days.
These are some of my best tips for dating when you’re a single mother whilst still maintaining your sanity.
1. You’re not back in the JV league instantly after having a child
I remember someone telling me that if all you have is your age and being childless, to boast about, then you’ve got nothing. Having children doesn’t mean that you lose your stripes, and if you’re like me you’ve still got your stripes on your thighs, stomach, butt and arms, thanks to your little darling.
You’ve had to parent your little one or ones and you’ve gained the experience that only comes with having to ascertain at lightening speed who is and who is not an absolute weirdo, so you’re hardly a second-round draft pick. You’re the first-round draft pick, sauntering up to the stage with your sunglasses on; cameras flashing and your smile looking like it was chiseled from diamonds. Boom!
2. If anyone makes you feel like you should be happy you’re getting a meal out of the date; exit stage left
One time I read a someecard and it said, “It looks like it’s f*ck this sh*t oclock.” This is what you should say, after of course looking at your wrist that doesn’t have a watch, if you’re out on a date with someone who acts like they’re doing you a favour because you’re a single mother.
I was reading anonymous posts from guys who say that they’d never date a single mother. One of the gems came from a keyboard Ryan Gosling lookalike who said that “single mothers will drain your bank account on drinks and meals.” Can we say “ISSUES?” Dude has some serious unresolved issues.
3. Sex, yeah you aren’t dead yet
I’m unsure who put it in the mores of our social framework, but the idea that once a woman becomes a mother, she becomes a-sexual is ridiculous. Our value is not what’s found between our legs. If anyone tries to make you feel like that, they’re so ridiculously drunk off of some toxic crap, that you could die just by inhaling the vapors coming off their body. Just walk away.
Think back to the reason you are a mother in the first place. Cobwebs don’t instantly form on your vagina the moment your little one leaves your womb. You still have needs.
It’s OK to let yourself enjoy sex again. It’s OK to let yourself feel sexy again.
4. “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em. Know when to fold ’em. Know when to walk away, and know when to run.”
This was seriously one of the hardest things I learned whilst dating as a single mother. I found that, although I wouldn’t readily introduce someone to my daughter, I still let myself be secretly swept away by all these wishes and desires for this one to be “the one.” It was like as soon as I dated someone who made me laugh (which unfortunately isn’t that much of a challenge), I would start skywriting our names in hearts in my mind. Girl, bye.
Anyway, it was with my last relationship before meeting Vin where I was able to end things with him because I just didn’t like him or his character. I felt so in control of my destiny and it put me in a better place for knowing what I was looking for. There was no second-guessing myself, or the like, anymore. I stopped bestowing upon another person qualities that they didn’t actually possess as well.
5. Your kid(s) won’t hate you for it
A lot of single mothers suffer from this. They think that being a martyr to their children is in some way going to make it less likely that their child, or children, will hate them. This couldn’t be furthest from the truth. Your child wants to see you happy. Your child loves to see you laughing and at peace. This translates into you being a more stable parent to them, and children need stability.
Now it’s not to say that you don’t first need to master the tranquility that comes from being at peace with riding solo. You really should not skip this step. You need to be like that dude that walked the earth on a quest to be a kung fu master or whatever. You know what I’m talking about.
Like Yoda said, “You will know good from bad when you are at peace.”
Now get out there and enjoy yourself.