Dating while being a single mom
WHEN I told Tom*, a guy I was dating, that I didn’t want to see him any more as we ‘wanted different things’, he probably thought I meant marriage and commitment.
You know, the things women are so unimaginatively accused of wanting more than men?
In reality, the things I want are fantastic nights out followed by lots of sex – but sadly they didn’t seem to top his list of priorities.
It might sound harsh to ditch someone because they’re happy simply cuddling on the sofa once a week, but as a single mum, my free time when I can actually leave the house is precious, and I certainly didn’t want to waste it watching telly with Tom.
I’ve been flying solo since my divorce a few years ago, not long after my son Josh*, now five, was born. I was in my early 30s, single for the first time in 10 years and, after the trauma of a failed marriage, was keen to go out, have some fun and meet new people.
And, of course, the only way to find guys if you’re at home every night while your child is asleep is online dating.
They even implied that I should wait until my son was 16 – only another 15 years on my own then!
Their comments made me feel that my desire for dating and sex meant I wasn’t measuring up as a mum in some way.
But I seriously doubt any single dads ever receive the same type of criticism.
I learned to keep quiet about my dating adventures and largely ignored the so-called ‘advice’, but I soon realised that meeting new men isn’t quite the wall-to-wall fun I’d imagined.
What became immediately clear is that lots of people my age are like Tom – old before their time and acting like we’ve been married for 30 years.I realise I’m not a teenager any more, but that doesn’t mean I want to fast-track to a relationship that involves arguing over the remote control when Match of The Day is on.Then there is simply my lack of free time – my son goes to stay with his dad every other weekend, so I have precisely 48 hours a fortnight to have fun. In truth, I doubt we’re even seen as a great catch and imagine lots of people think I should just settle for whoever I’m lucky enough to get.I once crammed four dates with different men into two days, but as my ability to pick interesting and nice men online seemed to be rather lacking, having four bad dates in two days was just too depressing to repeat. But I still think I deserve someone really special.