Dating and the Single Mom

Posted on | December 9, 2011 | 10 Comments

I’ve been struggling this week, looking for the right balance of who I’m supposed to be and who I really am.

See, when you start dating again after you thought your dating life was over, there is this chasm between the person you are expected to be “on the dating scene” and the person you truly are, deep down in your soul.  If I learned anything from my foray into the dating world it is this: I am too old and too exhausted to put on any airs at all anymore.

It should be totally okay that I like to dress up and look and feel sexy one day and lounge in dirty, grungy pajamas the next, eating Hot & Spicy Cheez-its straight from the box and washing them down with wine.  I shouldn’t have to hide one to embrace the other. I should be able to be both. I should be able to find someone who can appreciate both.

Because if you don’t understand that a real woman can’t be Sex and The City every day of the week, then you can’t expect to ever find a real woman.  I love heels.  I love cute tights and short skirts.  I love flirty dresses and curls and bows and everything girly and frilly, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t love a beer at the end of the day while I cheer on a basketball team.

I don’t want someone who expects me to be anything other than me.

I want someone who can get dressed up for a night on the town one night and who can throw on jeans and a t-shirt to play around on a playground the next.   I just want someone I can be real with… someone who doesn’t expect me to be anything other than who I am at the moment we are in.  Someone who gets that I can be serious and ridiculous in the same email, or the same phone call, or the same birthday card.  Someone who gets that I can be whatever and whoever I want to be.

And I don’t think that’s so much to ask, to be honest.

Because I change diapers, people. I kiss boo boos.  I run a house by myself.  I raise a child, by myself.  I work full time at a very busy law office where I am the only workers’ compensation attorney.  I am doing this all by myself.  And honestly? I’m rocking out at it.

So yeah… I don’t want to pretend that I am clueless or incompetent.  I don’t have time to pretend that I can’t handle my shit all on my own.  I don’t have time to pretend that I care if I actually don’t or that I don’t care if I do.

It’s a daunting task, dating as a single mother.  You’re dating for two and pretending you aren’t. You’re scanning and surveying and praying and hoping and all the while trying to remember if you have talked too much or too little about the little person who makes your entire life worth living.

There are fine lines that can’t be crossed.  You can’t spend an entire date discussing your child but you certainly can’t table him for another day, another conversation.

And that’s especially true because I don’t just want someone for me.  I want someone to share our lives and make memories with us.  I want someone’s leg to tuck my feet under when they’re cold.  I want someone to refill my wine glass when I’m tired.  I want someone to shop for, someone to cook for, someone to come home to and with.

Being alone at a time that celebrates togetherness is hard.  But it’s not so very hard that I’m willing to settle for just anyone.

Comments

10 Responses to “Dating and the Single Mom”

  1. Kinnison
    December 9th, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

    Did your date(s) with the “opposing counsel” not go well?!

  2. Law Momma
    December 9th, 2011 @ 7:02 pm

    It went fine. But I can’t maintain that level of charm forever!

  3. Allison
    December 9th, 2011 @ 8:43 pm

    I havent started dating yet (which prob isnt a bad thing since Im not divorced yet) but I fear this same problem. good luck!!

  4. Erica Snipes
    December 9th, 2011 @ 10:36 pm

    I love everything you have to say! Would that everything could be so perfect for you…but I certainly pray that you get very close to everthing that you could ever want in a relationship. Single moms are very special, as are women who have had the relationship rug yanked from under them and been completely blindsided. You are both, and you have to care for your heart and your son’s. I know you’ll be careful with both, and I wish you joy in the journey toward finding someone who can appreciate the very interesting mixture that your life can be!

  5. Deecee36
    December 10th, 2011 @ 11:57 am

    We have the same birthday … it’s not a coincidence that we think the same on every topic … Twin sisters from different birth years … and you got all the writing talents!! xoxo debbie

  6. BigDreams1632
    December 11th, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

    I think this is very well said. I am not a mother but there are so many things that apply to how I am feeling right now. This is exaclty what I needed to read today. “I don’t have time to pretend that I can’t handle my shit all on my own. I don’t have time to pretend that I care if I actually don’t or that I don’t care if I do.” Seriously could not have been said any better.

    Thank you for sharing.

  7. Ponywriter
    December 12th, 2011 @ 9:36 am

    I too am dating for two. And it’s not easy. But maybe it is better. I know I hold a higher standard when I have my little guy in mind. Holidays can be a reminder of what you don’t have but it’s an adventure – the two of you together.

  8. rynerman
    December 12th, 2011 @ 12:13 pm

    It took me awhile to figure this out. I kept trying to be “cool” on dates and not let the geek flag fly and then I finally realized (after dating someone particularly unsuitable for too long) that I had to be more myself or I’d never find someone who liked me (as opposed to the person I was trying to be). My husband appreciates both the together career person and the huge geek. Took awhile to find him, but it worked out for the best.

  9. Lola M.
    December 12th, 2011 @ 12:26 pm

    Amen and amen.

  10. Roxanne Piskel
    December 12th, 2011 @ 4:58 pm

    Yes.

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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