I've got to tell you, I'm giggling a little bit on this side of the screen. It's a bit of a nervous, girly giggle that pops up when I when I think about this post. I'm not really sure where to start. Maybe from the beginning, or something more recent... I don't know, either way, the rambling thoughts will take over soon enough. So yeah, dating, as a (practically full time) single mom, with a small kid... well, it can be interesting. It's not really the same as when your only responsibilities are work and a pet... it's slightly (incredibly) more challenging. I mean, it's challenging enough for couples with children to get alone time out of the house together... so for someone to raise a kid, by themselves, ehhh... well, it depends. Sometimes it's easier, sometimes it's harder, it really depends on the co-parenting schedule in place. A friend recently asked how I was doing with my life/dating life. I told them, things were good, it was just a bit challenging and a bit saddening because with Alex's new schedule, I didn't have even one night out to myself. They're response "Well, now that you're dating someone, you don't really need to go out anyway." Wait what? That's implying I went out just to try to find someone to date. Er, no. I HATE going out to meet people. I cringe at the idea of first dates and small talk. I'm red in the face nervous when men come to talk to me in a bar. And more times than not, I *non-chalantly* throw out the "Oh, I'm a mom" right off the bat to detour conversation from going any further... cause you know, most men slowly creep (ahem: run, as quickly as possible) away from a woman with a small child. It works for me. Stay away, creeps.
Looking back, most of the relationships I've had in my life, whether, a teen high school romance or some of my more serious relationships in my adult years, have been with friends... or with people I've known well enough to skip the small talk with. (Can we always skip the small talk, please?) In the beginning of the year, I guess it was a bit easier. Alex took M, overnight, two nights a week. I had Tuesdays (or Mondays) and I would be able to sneak out Thursdays, after work to meet with friends. Now, well, I'm in my house every single night of the week. Unless, my parents offer to take M overnight (or Alex's parents), I don't really have a ton of babysitting options. So now, if I was trying to meet someone, go out for drinks or dinner and potentially start a relationship, well it would be near impossible. I mean, how do you, when you're home every night with your sleeping child, and no way to get out? You don't. Before, two nights a week could, would, and was plenty for me to get out (when I wanted).
My first date since January, was in maybe March/April... it was a little bit, um, awful. The guy was my type in appearance, good-looking, seemingly put together and well off, but our personalities, were so far from each other. Not to mention, there was too many similarities between him and Alex. Twilight zone creepy. No thanks.
One night, out of the blue, (okay, I may have had two drinks prior) I joined an online dating site. What I was thinking... I have no idea. I do believe online dating sites can be wonderful tools and relationship creators for tons of people, but for someone as quiet and shy as myself and who doesn't fair well in new grounds with new people? Not so much. I went on two dates from there.
The first one: he was nice, laughed a lot, but unfortunately, "is not a stoner" is not an option box on a dating site. Oh well, better luck next time.
Second and last online date: Nice date, nice face and personality, selfish type, and worst of all: no chemistry... cause, you know, chemistry isn't something you can figure out online.
And that was the beginning... and the end of my online dating life.
It's just... I've gotten to place where I know exactly what I want and I don't plan on settling for any less. I don't plan on ever having that absolutely *perfect* problem-free relationship, that's not real life. In real life, people have issues, differences, and things need to get worked through, I understand that. I just want to be sure that if I'm going to spend my time in a relationship, that is without-wanting, potentially taking time away from my daughter, then it better be for someone that's worth it. You know?
Chemistry is huge for me. Huge. After that, in order of importance: their would-be potential relationship with Marlowe, life style choices, personality, cuddle-ability, family life, and looks. Also: must have dark hair. *Brown eyes are preferable, but not a must ;)
In between my first date, my online dating minute, and now, I've been on a few dates with people I knew. Nothing incredibly serious, but usually fun, and while Marlowe was away... making it a guilt free date. I'm not sure how most people feel about dating with kids, but Ive found that for myself, if Marlowe was with Alex, I felt fine. But to try to find a babysitter, so I can go out on a date... I would feel guilt, a fair amount of it. Sure, it's "me time" and everyone needs that, but "me time" for meeting a *new guy*, always felt selfish. (This varies on the seriousness of the date/relationship). Luckily, the guilt is much less, for my time away, with friends. Which works because I find (and have always found) myself much more the "I'm going to hang out with my lady friends or strictly-platonic guy friends". No pressure, no worries, much better.
I've always known to be cautious when it comes to bringing a kid into the dating whole situation... luckily, for now, Marlowe is young enough where I don't have to worry too much. Unless she were to see me plant a big kiss on someone, she doesn't know the difference between a friend or a potential date. According to Marlowe, everyone is just over for playtime. That's not to say I've introduced M to all or even any of the few guys I've been on dates with, cause, I haven't. (I should also mention that I wouldn't have planted a big kiss on any of them, except maybe one).
I mentioned recently how there is much more going on behind the scenes of this blog, than in front of it. In general, thats how it is. Especially now, but like I mentioned, I do plan on slowly opening up again about the day to day things, as I feel comfortable. I've received a few emails, over the past weeks, with questions about my dating life, and if there was a new man in the picture. And, yes, I've opened up in every one of them. Well, maybe, it's time I open up a bit about my romantic relationship life, here too. Yes, I am dating someone. And, for the most part, it's been wonderful. It's been a challenge with time constraints, amongst other things, but dating can be, especially with so many extra factors involved. It's not with anyone incredibly new to me, someone I've known for quite some time, which is of course what I prefer. And yes, things are good, great, and slowly moving forward. I'm quite smitten, really. It's been interesting for me to work on balancing out the overly romantic that lives in my head, with a touch of realism to stay grounded and let what will be, be. You won't be seeing too much more about said romantic partner on the blog, not now, and probably not for a while, because this time around, I plan on keeping my relationship strictly off-line. It's just easier that way ;)
but, PS. I totally have a date tonight. Maybe only for an hour or two, but I've had a half smile on my face all day and I'm totally looking forward to it :)
Happy friday, everyone :)