I’ve been on three dates in three and a half years. And no second dates. The last one was over a year ago and that’s just fine with me. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t enjoy being alone. Actually, I think the only thing really missing in my life right now is a partner to share it with. But I’m not doing anything about finding that someone and I have no plans to, at least for the time being.
Prior to my life as a mommy, dating was sort of the center of my world. Pretty much everything I did revolved around meeting a guy, going on dates and starting relationships (or ending them.)
I went on dinner dates, movie dates, drinks dates, concert dates…I even went away for weekends with dates. It took a LOT of time and energy. A bad date or blow-off by a guy I really liked could devastate me. Emotionally, dating was exhausting. I spent a lot of my time thinking about and analyzing my relationships wondering if this guy might be ‘the one’ or what I did that made that guy not like me back. My world revolved around my dating.
Now I go on park dates, pizza dates, zoo dates, and last week I even went on a beach date for the weekend. I’m trying to get tickets to see the Wiggles in concert this summer. All of my time and energy is spent on Boo Boo. Sometimes my love for him feels so strong I think my heart might burst. Talk about emotionally exhausting. I spend a lot of my time thinking about all the things I need to do to take care of him and wondering if I’m being a good enough mom to him. My Boo Boo is my world.
Attempting to date as a single mom has so many layers to work through just the thought kind of exhausts me. And I don’t have time to be exhausted. My biggest fear is that I will be the kind of mother who makes the decision to put a man before my son. It happens so often it almost feels inevitable. Society certainly expects me to be out living it up while my son is home with Grandma. If my life were a book or movie, I’d marry a man who loved me but was jealous of my relationship with my son and would do anything to come between us. My vow is to NEVER let anything or anyone come between me and my Boo Boo.
When I found out I was (unexpectedly) pregnant, my world changed in an instant. Every thought, every decision immediately became about his needs first, mine second (before I even knew he was a HE.) Today I am a single mother because three and a half years ago I made the most difficult decision of my life, to leave my son’s father and embark on this journey alone. I signed us both up for this life and now it’s my job to make sure it’s a good one. I remind myself of that every single day.
Not dating is not a sacrifice. It’s just what I signed up for. Boo Boo deserves a mommy who is one hundred percent emotionally invested in him. I only have so much emotional energy to give and dating would require me to take some of it away from Boo Boo and give it to someone else. That’s just not something I’m willing to do, at least for the time being.
As he gets older, it will get easier (or so everyone tells me.) Boo Boo will become more self sufficient and require less of my time and energy. Maybe then I’ll have a just enough left over to try and share it with someone else. But for now, I’ve found my partner. All my dates are with Boo Boo, and that’s just fine with me.
Update: 1 Year Later