I'm a single mom and until someone professes their love for me and we have a this-is-real-let's-be-together-talk, I am calling myself single. I'm not saying someone needs to "put a ring on it" for me to let my guard down, but I am admitting my guard is bulletproof. Dating as a single mom is scary. I've dated over the years, but this is the first time in nearly five years that I've actually felt ready to date, have embraced dating, and have well, wanted to date and connect with someone. Here are four things that freak me out about hitting the dating scene. *Warning: Shy readers may want to look away. Remember, I was dubbed a single-pregnant-Carrie Bradshaw by Glamour.com … and Carrie wrote about sex a lot ...
1. Getting pregnant
This is a completely irrational fear. I have been taking birth control pills for more than three years. Any sex I have is accompanied by a condom, or fine, you know, a (shy readers look away) "pull-out approach." But after getting pregnant at 25 (the result of champagne and no birth control whatsoever), I worry. I do happy dances in the bathroom every month, even though I take birth control pills and xyz precautions. I am 100 percent convinced I am the 1 percent that will conceive a child on BC. And whoever I conceive with will immediately LEAVE.
2. Letting my kid get close to someone who is going to leave
My son never met his dad, and if I have to be a single mom, I count myself lucky that his dad left me when I was pregnant. I know how insane that reads, but his dad left ME, not our beautiful boy. In my mind, JD and his dad will always have a chance at a fresh start. I can legit tell my kid, he left me. We had probs. It wasn't you. You weren't even born yet. The idea of letting someone meet JD and have him fall in love with this guy is so freaking scary, because the guy could totally leave and even though it wouldn't be about JD, he's four and he wouldn't get that. JD's interactions with *Joe or any other guy are far and few between. He never asks for *Joe or anyone and this is because I am preventing any bond. Maybe I'm too cautious, oh well.
3. Falling in love
I know this is what I'm supposed to want, but I'm damaged and I'm scared to fall in love because I'm used to bad stuff happening. My college boyfriend who I loved deeply (deeply) broke his neck and is currently a Quadriplegic (but doing great. He's married!). We broke up because I couldn't do the care-taking thing anymore. The entire event messed me up bad. I went on a dating rampage after that. Then I met JD's dad. I was, in fact, falling in love with JD's dad. I got pregnant. He left. My two main adult relationships were so Lifetime-Original-Movie traumatizing that I don't think I could mentally handle another crazy breakup. Sometimes I think being single and having casual safe sex is SAFER. Normal, right?
4. Not knowing who I'm really dating
Again, this is what dating is all about, but when you're dating as a single mom, your child is always on your mind and that child totally factors into who you like and, well, why you might not like them. If I wasn't a mom, I prob wouldn't really care if I was dating a smoker (even though I don't smoke or agree with it), but I don't want to date a smoker because my child has asthma and even if he didn't, second-hand smoke is bad. I don't want it around my kid. I'm also really big on ambition and career and I say this not because I'm a gold-digger (far from it), but I want an equal or at least an earner. I want someone who I can see actively contributing to a full life. When I was single, I always strived to date career men, successful artists or ambitious guys at best, but I mean, I wasn't thinking, Wait, you have an IRA, right? Please tell me your credit score is at least in the high 600′s. Would you be OK with a pre-nup? I think about this stuff now. I think about paying for my son's college and living a lifestyle, not just a life. I do want to travel, eat well and live in nice digs, forgive me if I'm asking for too much. *Cringing*
This is what I'm worried about in a single mom dating nutshell. Single moms, what are you worried about?
- By Christine Coppa
Follow Christine on Babble
For 7 things I wish I knew about men before I got married, visit Babble!
MORE ON BABBLE
11 hilarious tips for undressing in front of your lover (circa 1937)
14 things you should NEVER say to a woman
20 funny excuses women give to get out of sex
5 lessons learned from 18 years of marriage
25 things women will never understand about men
Stay connected. Follow Babble on Facebook and Twitter.