Hey there, awesome readers!
Before we get into this, I have a few confessions to make:
One, I’m not a dating coach.
And two, I. Am. Awkward.
I’m ESPECIALLY awkward in situations where I have to spend time with people I barely know. Like on a first date.
Sidenote: THANK GOD THOSE DAYS ARE OVER.
I’ve been with my someone for five years and I think it’s pretty safe to say that I feel comfortable around him now. But it wasn’t always that way. When we first started hanging out*, I was so awkward that his cutesy term of endearment for me was Bozo. True story. To prove it, his first-ever random gift to me was this mug:
Five years later, here we are today talking about perhaps maybe one day living together**. Lucky for me, he was able to see past my quirky awkwardness.
Before we continue, let me explain the asterisks above.
As a single mom, you’ve probably already figured out that life IS one big-ass asterisk.
You think your life is going in one direction when, OOPS! God or Mother Earth or Grand Poo-Bah (or whatever you believe in) sticks a big-ass asterisk in your plans.
My biggest big-ass asterisk was waking up one morning and realizing that Mr. What-Was-I-Thinking was sleeping in… AGAIN.
No judgment. Everyone deserves to sleep in sometimes. But this was a Tuesday and we had two kids to feed, and he should have been at work.
Well, you know how that turned out.
Back to those asterisks.
The first asterisk, you may have noticed, is with the words “hanging out.” This is because five years ago I made the decision that I was done with dating.
Have you ever noticed that the words “dating” and “disappointing” both start with the letter “D”? Yeah, well there’s a reason for that.
So, I was done with being disappointed. And when my someone and I decided to
go on a date hang out that first time, I had no expectations. We were just two people who decided to go to the same bar at the exact same time and have a drink while sitting at the same table.
Except that “a drink” turned into a number greater than one after I realized that I was, for the first time in a very long time, enjoying myself.
Because we were HANGING OUT.
No expectations, no disappointments.
The second asterisk above is with the words “living together.”
As I was writing those words, I could already hear the gasps of…
Wait! What? You’ve been together for FIVE years and you’re only now “talking about perhaps maybe living together???”
Quoting me, huh? Well, I truly appreciate that you’re paying attention.
And the answer to that question is, yes.
Listen. This is not my first rodeo and sometimes taking things slow is the best way to make sure that something good doesn’t get ruined by, well, moving too fast.
I mean, look at what happened the last time I moved too fast. I ended up calling my someone at that time Mr. What-Was-I-Thinking. Life doesn’t get more asterisky than that.
And now back to dating and why it sucks, especially when you’re a single mom.
Reason #1 Dating as a Single Mom Sucks
Let’s begin by talking about the investment.
Investment of our time, and investment of our hard-earned money. As single moms, we don’t have a lot of either.
Yes, person reading this? You have a question?
Shouldn’t your date pay for you?
First of all, it’s not a date. It’s HANGING OUT. (I thought you were paying attention.)
Second of all, this is not the 1980s. We’re independent women who like to pay for our own coffee or glass of wine or meal, thank you very much!
Sidenote: But if he reaches for the bill, LET HIM.
But that’s not really what I meant. I was referring to the cost of a babysitter.
Reason #2 Dating as a Single Mom Sucks
The second reason why
dating hanging out with other humans as a single mother sucks is because of how unreliable we are. When you’re the head honcho of a household, making plans is HARD. You know it. I know it.
The problem is, he doesn’t know it.
You set a time and place to hang out for the upcoming weekend. You spend all of Saturday taking a shower, shaving your legs, meticulously applying mascara, and maybe even lipstick. You give yourself one last glance in the mirror and realize it’s a GOOD hair day.
Then, just as you bend down to give little Johnny a kiss goodbye, the words, “ah crap” pop in your head. This is because little Johnny has a fever. Now you have to dismiss the babysitter AND pay for her time.
13 minutes before you’re supposed to meet the person who could potentially be your new someone (but most probably your next Mr. What-Was-I-Thinking), you’re texting him:
Sorry. Gotta bail. My kid is sick.
Well, that didn’t sound like BS at all.
Oh and tip!
Of course, 13 minutes. First get-togethers of any kind should ALWAYS be at YOUR convenience. Except don’t tell him that your meeting place is close to your home because there are a lot of weirdos out there.
And this is why I’m not a dating coach.
Mona Andrei is an award-winning humour blogger and author known for her entertaining perspective on life’s quirks. In her most recent book, SUPERWOMAN: A Funny and Reflective Look at Single Motherhood, she shares her journey of challenges and triumphs along with stories and insights from other single mothers around the globe.
When Mona isn’t writing, ten times out of nine, you’ll find her practicing her dance moves. As a member of a competitive hip hop team, she likes to think that she’ll stay young and cool forever. She may be delusional.