When Do You Tell Him You’re a Single Mom?

by mssinglemama on November 6, 2007

Six weeks ago I had reached a point of complete contentment with being single.

Over the past year and a half I have been looking, searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, “You’re calling him too much.”

“What? I have a child. Do I really have to play these dating games anymore?”

“Great,” I said, “Then I’ll get rid of him quickly. If he doesn’t want a phone call from me, why would I want to be with him?” It was like a reflex, something inside of me trying to protect our little life from being broken.

“There are rules,” my friends would say. Rules? Oh, yeah. Those damn rules. I used to play by the rules. I used to be a dating diva, often dating more than one guy at once. It was my independence that attracted them. But after being married for two years and a mother for nearly two years I have completely lost my edge. It just can’t happen.

I can’t see myself ever returning to those days of care free dating.

So, what’s a single mom to do? Forget about it. And that’s what I did. I decided not to date a guy who makes me feel like I have to play by the rules. No more games. They are either completely into me or they aren’t. And I have to be completely into them because this single thing is actually pretty damn cool.

I was at a coffee shop, enjoying my new found indifference when fate took over.

My phone rang. It was an old friend and she desperately needed a ride out to a bar in the suburbs. A place where I never venture past dark. I hate the suburbs, especially bars in the suburbs.

I can’t say no – she’s desperate.We get there and I find out she’s meeting two completely drunk men in their late 50’s. Not my bag. I head outside for a cigarette.

I’m still enjoying my own company, not striking up conversations with any of the men around me – completely content. And then a guy sits down at my table. He starts up a conversation. I’m witty, I’m funny, I’m happy because I just don’t care. And then his friend walks in, “This is Kris,” he says.

Oh no. Oh God, he’s cute, really cute. He’s wearing a vintage suit, he is tall, thick dark brown hair, big green eyes. I couldn’t have dreamt up a better guy for me – just based on looks. I still didn’t care. But I wanted to find out – is he intelligent, is he funny? I can’t go back inside and talk to the old creepy men.

So I test the waters with some witty comments a guy for me would understand. He sits up in his chair.

“We’ve got a smart one here,” his buddy says to him. He nods. His eyes are light now, his smile is huge and he’s actually excited… so am I. Damn it. 

From this point on it’s all over. We were laughing and talking all night. Before I left the bar I got his number, called his phone so he had mine and invited them out for Friday night. When we left, Kris grabbed me in a big hug. A hug that was so incredibly refreshing. He’s young, he’s innocent, he doesn’t have any baggage. He just wants to be with me. There were no rules in that hug.

That night I had a dream – about him.

We were kissing, we were together. What??? I had a dream about a man? This never happens. I was married for two years and had only a few dreams about my own husband. I woke up and decided to text him. That dream was an incredible tease.

“Thanks for the hug.”

He wrote back, “No problem, you’re a sweetie and very hugable. I’ve got class until 8:00 – after that I’ll be feeling like calling you.” He called at 8:15. No stress. Completely adorable and now it’s been three weeks. We talk on the phone at least two times day, we see each other two nights a week. I don’t feel myself losing control because this time around I am gauging this relationship against my content single frame of mind.

Note to self – you can not be happy with someone else, unless you are completely happy with yourself.

Getting there is the tough part.

**UPDATE**

To find out what happened with Kris, click here.
Six weeks ago I had reached a point of complete contentment with being single.

Over the past year and a half I have been looking, searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, “You’re calling him too much.”

“What? I have a child. Do I really have to play these dating games anymore?”

“Great,” I said, “Then I’ll get rid of him quickly. If he doesn’t want a phone call from me, why would I want to be with him?” It was like a reflex, something inside of me trying to protect our little life from being broken.

“There are rules,” my friends would say. Rules? Oh, yeah. Those damn rules. I used to play by the rules. I used to be a dating diva, often dating more than one guy at once. It was my independence that attracted them. But after being married for two years and a mother for nearly two years I have completely lost my edge. It just can’t happen.

I can’t see myself ever returning to those days of care free dating.

So, what’s a single mom to do? Forget about it. And that’s what I did. I decided not to date a guy who makes me feel like I have to play by the rules. No more games. They are either completely into me or they aren’t. And I have to be completely into them because this single thing is actually pretty damn cool.

I was at a coffee shop, enjoying my new found indifference when fate took over.

My phone rang. It was an old friend and she desperately needed a ride out to a bar in the suburbs. A place where I never venture past dark. I hate the suburbs, especially bars in the suburbs.

I can’t say no – she’s desperate.We get there and I find out she’s meeting two completely drunk men in their late 50’s. Not my bag. I head outside for a cigarette.

I’m still enjoying my own company, not striking up conversations with any of the men around me – completely content. And then a guy sits down at my table. He starts up a conversation. I’m witty, I’m funny, I’m happy because I just don’t care. And then his friend walks in, “This is Kris,” he says.

Oh no. Oh God, he’s cute, really cute. He’s wearing a vintage suit, he is tall, thick dark brown hair, big green eyes. I couldn’t have dreamt up a better guy for me – just based on looks. I still didn’t care. But I wanted to find out – is he intelligent, is he funny? I can’t go back inside and talk to the old creepy men.

So I test the waters with some witty comments a guy for me would understand. He sits up in his chair.

“We’ve got a smart one here,” his buddy says to him. He nods. His eyes are light now, his smile is huge and he’s actually excited… so am I. Damn it. 

From this point on it’s all over. We were laughing and talking all night. Before I left the bar I got his number, called his phone so he had mine and invited them out for Friday night. When we left, Kris grabbed me in a big hug. A hug that was so incredibly refreshing. He’s young, he’s innocent, he doesn’t have any baggage. He just wants to be with me. There were no rules in that hug.

That night I had a dream – about him.

We were kissing, we were together. What??? I had a dream about a man? This never happens. I was married for two years and had only a few dreams about my own husband. I woke up and decided to text him. That dream was an incredible tease.

“Thanks for the hug.”

He wrote back, “No problem, you’re a sweetie and very hugable. I’ve got class until 8:00 – after that I’ll be feeling like calling you.” He called at 8:15. No stress. Completely adorable and now it’s been three weeks. We talk on the phone at least two times day, we see each other two nights a week. I don’t feel myself losing control because this time around I am gauging this relationship against my content single frame of mind.

Note to self – you can not be happy with someone else, unless you are completely happy with yourself.

Getting there is the tough part.

**UPDATE**

To find out what happened with Kris, click here.
Six weeks ago I had reached a point of complete contentment with being single.

Over the past year and a half I have been looking, searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, “You’re calling him too much.”

“What? I have a child. Do I really have to play these dating games anymore?”

“Great,” I said, “Then I’ll get rid of him quickly. If he doesn’t want a phone call from me, why would I want to be with him?” It was like a reflex, something inside of me trying to protect our little life from being broken.

“There are rules,” my friends would say. Rules? Oh, yeah. Those damn rules. I used to play by the rules. I used to be a dating diva, often dating more than one guy at once. It was my independence that attracted them. But after being married for two years and a mother for nearly two years I have completely lost my edge. It just can’t happen.

I can’t see myself ever returning to those days of care free dating.

So, what’s a single mom to do? Forget about it. And that’s what I did. I decided not to date a guy who makes me feel like I have to play by the rules. No more games. They are either completely into me or they aren’t. And I have to be completely into them because this single thing is actually pretty damn cool.

I was at a coffee shop, enjoying my new found indifference when fate took over.

My phone rang. It was an old friend and she desperately needed a ride out to a bar in the suburbs. A place where I never venture past dark. I hate the suburbs, especially bars in the suburbs.

I can’t say no – she’s desperate.We get there and I find out she’s meeting two completely drunk men in their late 50’s. Not my bag. I head outside for a cigarette.

I’m still enjoying my own company, not striking up conversations with any of the men around me – completely content. And then a guy sits down at my table. He starts up a conversation. I’m witty, I’m funny, I’m happy because I just don’t care. And then his friend walks in, “This is Kris,” he says.

Oh no. Oh God, he’s cute, really cute. He’s wearing a vintage suit, he is tall, thick dark brown hair, big green eyes. I couldn’t have dreamt up a better guy for me – just based on looks. I still didn’t care. But I wanted to find out – is he intelligent, is he funny? I can’t go back inside and talk to the old creepy men.

So I test the waters with some witty comments a guy for me would understand. He sits up in his chair.

“We’ve got a smart one here,” his buddy says to him. He nods. His eyes are light now, his smile is huge and he’s actually excited… so am I. Damn it. 

From this point on it’s all over. We were laughing and talking all night. Before I left the bar I got his number, called his phone so he had mine and invited them out for Friday night. When we left, Kris grabbed me in a big hug. A hug that was so incredibly refreshing. He’s young, he’s innocent, he doesn’t have any baggage. He just wants to be with me. There were no rules in that hug.

That night I had a dream – about him.

We were kissing, we were together. What??? I had a dream about a man? This never happens. I was married for two years and had only a few dreams about my own husband. I woke up and decided to text him. That dream was an incredible tease.

“Thanks for the hug.”

He wrote back, “No problem, you’re a sweetie and very hugable. I’ve got class until 8:00 – after that I’ll be feeling like calling you.” He called at 8:15. No stress. Completely adorable and now it’s been three weeks. We talk on the phone at least two times day, we see each other two nights a week. I don’t feel myself losing control because this time around I am gauging this relationship against my content single frame of mind.

Note to self – you can not be happy with someone else, unless you are completely happy with yourself.

Getting there is the tough part.

**UPDATE**

To find out what happened with Kris, click here.
***UPDATE***

If you’re here to find out how to change your Facebook or MySpace relationship status, click here.

Once you’re done – come back and read this…

“A relationship isn’t official until it’s on Facebook!” a young co-worker told me this morning. “My friend got engaged and two weeks later the announcement still wasn’t on Facebook. We all thought she had called it off or something.” Virtual social networks have changed the dating landscape… forever.

After my divorce I created a MySpace page. I was an innocent to the social networking world and had no idea how much it would change my dating experiences. My single friend was over the other night venting about a frustrating experience she’s having with an ex boyfriend right now.

“I’m not sure if he’ll call me tonight or not. I left him a comment today asking if he was going out and haven’t heard back.”

MySpace and Facebook have now effectively changed the way we date. Now we can call, text, e-mail or better yet – leave a MySpace comment or give someone a Facebook poke.

Here’s my translation of the MySpace and Facebook Dating Codes.

  1. Add each other as friends. This is really no big deal and doesn’t mean much. But at least now you have unbridled access to their page, photos, blog, etc.
  2. Leave cute, flirty comments on each other’s page. A good sign. He’s writing on your page, you’re writing on his. All is well in the world.
  3. Move each other up to “top friend” status. This is a big step and could indicate a future relationship status change.
  4. Continue with more flirtatious comments like “last night was amazing, you make me crazy.” Getting closer.
  5. Change your relationship status. The biggest step. Now you’re taken. You’re off the virtual market and you’re shouting loud and proud to the rest of the world that you’re happy and committed.

In conversations with my single girlfriends the old burning questions like, “is he a good kisser?,” “does he call often?,” “does he make you laugh?” are still completely relevant but added into the mix are, “did he move you into his top friends?,” “who else is on his page?”

The Virtual Red Flag

Some men are all over your MySpace page while you’re dating…others will be silent, never leaving a comment or moving you into their top friends. Strange. A red flag. A new red flag. The virtual red flag.

The Relationship Status Change: Who brings it up…how does it happen?

A case in point: my current flame took matters into his own hands. Last night when we were falling asleep he said, “I changed my relationship status on Facebook.” What??? Wow!!! I didn’t know what to think. We’ve only been together for 3 weeks and now Facebook says we’re “in a relationship.”

“You want me to be your girlfriend?”

He says, “ya…is that okay?” He’s confused by my reaction. I mean, he’s a guy and he’s completely crazy about me. We’ve been seeing each other steadily for three weeks – why not change his status? Meanwhile my brain is on fire with a mix of happiness and fear. I feel like I’m in the 8th grade and a cute boy has just asked me out.

I can’t change my MySpace relationship status just yet- it’s too early. That page is like my temple of autonomy. I break the news to him, “I’ll change my Facebook account status, but not my MySpace account.” Hmmm….a virtual compromise.

This morning I go onto Facebook. Yep, there he is – “in a relationship.” I go to my profile and click in relationship (there is a special section for this). I change my status. Then Facebook asks me, “who are you in a relationship with?” I pick his name. Then it says, “Kris is now your boyfriend. We will be sending him a confirmation to see if he accepts your relationship request.”

What??? Oh my god…I have a boyfriend and they’re sending him a relationship request? I’m actually embarrassed. I call him immediately, “Facebook has just informed me that you’re my boyfriend, but you have to agree to it.” He laughed. “I’ll accept, I won’t leave you hanging. Later… girlfriend.” I feel like I’m 14 again.

A boy actually asked me out – even though he did it virtually I still think it’s absolutely adorable. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been asked out. Usually it’s me looking at the guy like, “so are you my boyfriend?”

See? This virtual world is good for something.

UPDATE/ Additional notes:

Crazy how MySpace and Facebook have changed the way we date. In just a few seconds you can scope out your ex’s relationship status, flirtatous comments and daily activities. Twitter makes it even worse. Maybe I should go on a delete binge tonight.

How often do you delete your the Ex-Profiles on MySpace? Can you do it? Do you think I can?

Deleting an ex is like permanently severing all ties…but then I think of the ex’s who were my friends – the ones I genuinely want to stay in touch with. And then I think of the sting when I see their “latest activity.”

I vote for delete.
Six weeks ago I had reached a point of complete contentment with being single.

Over the past year and a half I have been looking, searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, “You’re calling him too much.”

“What? I have a child. Do I really have to play these dating games anymore?”

“Great,” I said, “Then I’ll get rid of him quickly. If he doesn’t want a phone call from me, why would I want to be with him?” It was like a reflex, something inside of me trying to protect our little life from being broken.

“There are rules,” my friends would say. Rules? Oh, yeah. Those damn rules. I used to play by the rules. I used to be a dating diva, often dating more than one guy at once. It was my independence that attracted them. But after being married for two years and a mother for nearly two years I have completely lost my edge. It just can’t happen.

I can’t see myself ever returning to those days of care free dating.

So, what’s a single mom to do? Forget about it. And that’s what I did. I decided not to date a guy who makes me feel like I have to play by the rules. No more games. They are either completely into me or they aren’t. And I have to be completely into them because this single thing is actually pretty damn cool.

I was at a coffee shop, enjoying my new found indifference when fate took over.

My phone rang. It was an old friend and she desperately needed a ride out to a bar in the suburbs. A place where I never venture past dark. I hate the suburbs, especially bars in the suburbs.

I can’t say no – she’s desperate.We get there and I find out she’s meeting two completely drunk men in their late 50’s. Not my bag. I head outside for a cigarette.

I’m still enjoying my own company, not striking up conversations with any of the men around me – completely content. And then a guy sits down at my table. He starts up a conversation. I’m witty, I’m funny, I’m happy because I just don’t care. And then his friend walks in, “This is Kris,” he says.

Oh no. Oh God, he’s cute, really cute. He’s wearing a vintage suit, he is tall, thick dark brown hair, big green eyes. I couldn’t have dreamt up a better guy for me – just based on looks. I still didn’t care. But I wanted to find out – is he intelligent, is he funny? I can’t go back inside and talk to the old creepy men.

So I test the waters with some witty comments a guy for me would understand. He sits up in his chair.

“We’ve got a smart one here,” his buddy says to him. He nods. His eyes are light now, his smile is huge and he’s actually excited… so am I. Damn it. 

From this point on it’s all over. We were laughing and talking all night. Before I left the bar I got his number, called his phone so he had mine and invited them out for Friday night. When we left, Kris grabbed me in a big hug. A hug that was so incredibly refreshing. He’s young, he’s innocent, he doesn’t have any baggage. He just wants to be with me. There were no rules in that hug.

That night I had a dream – about him.

We were kissing, we were together. What??? I had a dream about a man? This never happens. I was married for two years and had only a few dreams about my own husband. I woke up and decided to text him. That dream was an incredible tease.

“Thanks for the hug.”

He wrote back, “No problem, you’re a sweetie and very hugable. I’ve got class until 8:00 – after that I’ll be feeling like calling you.” He called at 8:15. No stress. Completely adorable and now it’s been three weeks. We talk on the phone at least two times day, we see each other two nights a week. I don’t feel myself losing control because this time around I am gauging this relationship against my content single frame of mind.

Note to self – you can not be happy with someone else, unless you are completely happy with yourself.

Getting there is the tough part.

**UPDATE**

To find out what happened with Kris, click here.
Six weeks ago I had reached a point of complete contentment with being single.

Over the past year and a half I have been looking, searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, “You’re calling him too much.”

“What? I have a child. Do I really have to play these dating games anymore?”

“Great,” I said, “Then I’ll get rid of him quickly. If he doesn’t want a phone call from me, why would I want to be with him?” It was like a reflex, something inside of me trying to protect our little life from being broken.

“There are rules,” my friends would say. Rules? Oh, yeah. Those damn rules. I used to play by the rules. I used to be a dating diva, often dating more than one guy at once. It was my independence that attracted them. But after being married for two years and a mother for nearly two years I have completely lost my edge. It just can’t happen.

I can’t see myself ever returning to those days of care free dating.

So, what’s a single mom to do? Forget about it. And that’s what I did. I decided not to date a guy who makes me feel like I have to play by the rules. No more games. They are either completely into me or they aren’t. And I have to be completely into them because this single thing is actually pretty damn cool.

I was at a coffee shop, enjoying my new found indifference when fate took over.

My phone rang. It was an old friend and she desperately needed a ride out to a bar in the suburbs. A place where I never venture past dark. I hate the suburbs, especially bars in the suburbs.

I can’t say no – she’s desperate.We get there and I find out she’s meeting two completely drunk men in their late 50’s. Not my bag. I head outside for a cigarette.

I’m still enjoying my own company, not striking up conversations with any of the men around me – completely content. And then a guy sits down at my table. He starts up a conversation. I’m witty, I’m funny, I’m happy because I just don’t care. And then his friend walks in, “This is Kris,” he says.

Oh no. Oh God, he’s cute, really cute. He’s wearing a vintage suit, he is tall, thick dark brown hair, big green eyes. I couldn’t have dreamt up a better guy for me – just based on looks. I still didn’t care. But I wanted to find out – is he intelligent, is he funny? I can’t go back inside and talk to the old creepy men.

So I test the waters with some witty comments a guy for me would understand. He sits up in his chair.

“We’ve got a smart one here,” his buddy says to him. He nods. His eyes are light now, his smile is huge and he’s actually excited… so am I. Damn it. 

From this point on it’s all over. We were laughing and talking all night. Before I left the bar I got his number, called his phone so he had mine and invited them out for Friday night. When we left, Kris grabbed me in a big hug. A hug that was so incredibly refreshing. He’s young, he’s innocent, he doesn’t have any baggage. He just wants to be with me. There were no rules in that hug.

That night I had a dream – about him.

We were kissing, we were together. What??? I had a dream about a man? This never happens. I was married for two years and had only a few dreams about my own husband. I woke up and decided to text him. That dream was an incredible tease.

“Thanks for the hug.”

He wrote back, “No problem, you’re a sweetie and very hugable. I’ve got class until 8:00 – after that I’ll be feeling like calling you.” He called at 8:15. No stress. Completely adorable and now it’s been three weeks. We talk on the phone at least two times day, we see each other two nights a week. I don’t feel myself losing control because this time around I am gauging this relationship against my content single frame of mind.

Note to self – you can not be happy with someone else, unless you are completely happy with yourself.

Getting there is the tough part.

**UPDATE**

To find out what happened with Kris, click here.
***UPDATE***

If you’re here to find out how to change your Facebook or MySpace relationship status, click here.

Once you’re done – come back and read this…

“A relationship isn’t official until it’s on Facebook!” a young co-worker told me this morning. “My friend got engaged and two weeks later the announcement still wasn’t on Facebook. We all thought she had called it off or something.” Virtual social networks have changed the dating landscape… forever.

After my divorce I created a MySpace page. I was an innocent to the social networking world and had no idea how much it would change my dating experiences. My single friend was over the other night venting about a frustrating experience she’s having with an ex boyfriend right now.

“I’m not sure if he’ll call me tonight or not. I left him a comment today asking if he was going out and haven’t heard back.”

MySpace and Facebook have now effectively changed the way we date. Now we can call, text, e-mail or better yet – leave a MySpace comment or give someone a Facebook poke.

Here’s my translation of the MySpace and Facebook Dating Codes.

  1. Add each other as friends. This is really no big deal and doesn’t mean much. But at least now you have unbridled access to their page, photos, blog, etc.
  2. Leave cute, flirty comments on each other’s page. A good sign. He’s writing on your page, you’re writing on his. All is well in the world.
  3. Move each other up to “top friend” status. This is a big step and could indicate a future relationship status change.
  4. Continue with more flirtatious comments like “last night was amazing, you make me crazy.” Getting closer.
  5. Change your relationship status. The biggest step. Now you’re taken. You’re off the virtual market and you’re shouting loud and proud to the rest of the world that you’re happy and committed.

In conversations with my single girlfriends the old burning questions like, “is he a good kisser?,” “does he call often?,” “does he make you laugh?” are still completely relevant but added into the mix are, “did he move you into his top friends?,” “who else is on his page?”

The Virtual Red Flag

Some men are all over your MySpace page while you’re dating…others will be silent, never leaving a comment or moving you into their top friends. Strange. A red flag. A new red flag. The virtual red flag.

The Relationship Status Change: Who brings it up…how does it happen?

A case in point: my current flame took matters into his own hands. Last night when we were falling asleep he said, “I changed my relationship status on Facebook.” What??? Wow!!! I didn’t know what to think. We’ve only been together for 3 weeks and now Facebook says we’re “in a relationship.”

“You want me to be your girlfriend?”

He says, “ya…is that okay?” He’s confused by my reaction. I mean, he’s a guy and he’s completely crazy about me. We’ve been seeing each other steadily for three weeks – why not change his status? Meanwhile my brain is on fire with a mix of happiness and fear. I feel like I’m in the 8th grade and a cute boy has just asked me out.

I can’t change my MySpace relationship status just yet- it’s too early. That page is like my temple of autonomy. I break the news to him, “I’ll change my Facebook account status, but not my MySpace account.” Hmmm….a virtual compromise.

This morning I go onto Facebook. Yep, there he is – “in a relationship.” I go to my profile and click in relationship (there is a special section for this). I change my status. Then Facebook asks me, “who are you in a relationship with?” I pick his name. Then it says, “Kris is now your boyfriend. We will be sending him a confirmation to see if he accepts your relationship request.”

What??? Oh my god…I have a boyfriend and they’re sending him a relationship request? I’m actually embarrassed. I call him immediately, “Facebook has just informed me that you’re my boyfriend, but you have to agree to it.” He laughed. “I’ll accept, I won’t leave you hanging. Later… girlfriend.” I feel like I’m 14 again.

A boy actually asked me out – even though he did it virtually I still think it’s absolutely adorable. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been asked out. Usually it’s me looking at the guy like, “so are you my boyfriend?”

See? This virtual world is good for something.

UPDATE/ Additional notes:

Crazy how MySpace and Facebook have changed the way we date. In just a few seconds you can scope out your ex’s relationship status, flirtatous comments and daily activities. Twitter makes it even worse. Maybe I should go on a delete binge tonight.

How often do you delete your the Ex-Profiles on MySpace? Can you do it? Do you think I can?

Deleting an ex is like permanently severing all ties…but then I think of the ex’s who were my friends – the ones I genuinely want to stay in touch with. And then I think of the sting when I see their “latest activity.”

I vote for delete.
Six weeks ago I had reached a point of complete contentment with being single.

Over the past year and a half I have been looking, searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, “You’re calling him too much.”

“What? I have a child. Do I really have to play these dating games anymore?”

“Great,” I said, “Then I’ll get rid of him quickly. If he doesn’t want a phone call from me, why would I want to be with him?” It was like a reflex, something inside of me trying to protect our little life from being broken.

“There are rules,” my friends would say. Rules? Oh, yeah. Those damn rules. I used to play by the rules. I used to be a dating diva, often dating more than one guy at once. It was my independence that attracted them. But after being married for two years and a mother for nearly two years I have completely lost my edge. It just can’t happen.

I can’t see myself ever returning to those days of care free dating.

So, what’s a single mom to do? Forget about it. And that’s what I did. I decided not to date a guy who makes me feel like I have to play by the rules. No more games. They are either completely into me or they aren’t. And I have to be completely into them because this single thing is actually pretty damn cool.

I was at a coffee shop, enjoying my new found indifference when fate took over.

My phone rang. It was an old friend and she desperately needed a ride out to a bar in the suburbs. A place where I never venture past dark. I hate the suburbs, especially bars in the suburbs.

I can’t say no – she’s desperate.We get there and I find out she’s meeting two completely drunk men in their late 50’s. Not my bag. I head outside for a cigarette.

I’m still enjoying my own company, not striking up conversations with any of the men around me – completely content. And then a guy sits down at my table. He starts up a conversation. I’m witty, I’m funny, I’m happy because I just don’t care. And then his friend walks in, “This is Kris,” he says.

Oh no. Oh God, he’s cute, really cute. He’s wearing a vintage suit, he is tall, thick dark brown hair, big green eyes. I couldn’t have dreamt up a better guy for me – just based on looks. I still didn’t care. But I wanted to find out – is he intelligent, is he funny? I can’t go back inside and talk to the old creepy men.

So I test the waters with some witty comments a guy for me would understand. He sits up in his chair.

“We’ve got a smart one here,” his buddy says to him. He nods. His eyes are light now, his smile is huge and he’s actually excited… so am I. Damn it. 

From this point on it’s all over. We were laughing and talking all night. Before I left the bar I got his number, called his phone so he had mine and invited them out for Friday night. When we left, Kris grabbed me in a big hug. A hug that was so incredibly refreshing. He’s young, he’s innocent, he doesn’t have any baggage. He just wants to be with me. There were no rules in that hug.

That night I had a dream – about him.

We were kissing, we were together. What??? I had a dream about a man? This never happens. I was married for two years and had only a few dreams about my own husband. I woke up and decided to text him. That dream was an incredible tease.

“Thanks for the hug.”

He wrote back, “No problem, you’re a sweetie and very hugable. I’ve got class until 8:00 – after that I’ll be feeling like calling you.” He called at 8:15. No stress. Completely adorable and now it’s been three weeks. We talk on the phone at least two times day, we see each other two nights a week. I don’t feel myself losing control because this time around I am gauging this relationship against my content single frame of mind.

Note to self – you can not be happy with someone else, unless you are completely happy with yourself.

Getting there is the tough part.

**UPDATE**

To find out what happened with Kris, click here.
***UPDATE***

If you’re here to find out how to change your Facebook or MySpace relationship status, click here.

Once you’re done – come back and read this…

“A relationship isn’t official until it’s on Facebook!” a young co-worker told me this morning. “My friend got engaged and two weeks later the announcement still wasn’t on Facebook. We all thought she had called it off or something.” Virtual social networks have changed the dating landscape… forever.

After my divorce I created a MySpace page. I was an innocent to the social networking world and had no idea how much it would change my dating experiences. My single friend was over the other night venting about a frustrating experience she’s having with an ex boyfriend right now.

“I’m not sure if he’ll call me tonight or not. I left him a comment today asking if he was going out and haven’t heard back.”

MySpace and Facebook have now effectively changed the way we date. Now we can call, text, e-mail or better yet – leave a MySpace comment or give someone a Facebook poke.

Here’s my translation of the MySpace and Facebook Dating Codes.

  1. Add each other as friends. This is really no big deal and doesn’t mean much. But at least now you have unbridled access to their page, photos, blog, etc.
  2. Leave cute, flirty comments on each other’s page. A good sign. He’s writing on your page, you’re writing on his. All is well in the world.
  3. Move each other up to “top friend” status. This is a big step and could indicate a future relationship status change.
  4. Continue with more flirtatious comments like “last night was amazing, you make me crazy.” Getting closer.
  5. Change your relationship status. The biggest step. Now you’re taken. You’re off the virtual market and you’re shouting loud and proud to the rest of the world that you’re happy and committed.

In conversations with my single girlfriends the old burning questions like, “is he a good kisser?,” “does he call often?,” “does he make you laugh?” are still completely relevant but added into the mix are, “did he move you into his top friends?,” “who else is on his page?”

The Virtual Red Flag

Some men are all over your MySpace page while you’re dating…others will be silent, never leaving a comment or moving you into their top friends. Strange. A red flag. A new red flag. The virtual red flag.

The Relationship Status Change: Who brings it up…how does it happen?

A case in point: my current flame took matters into his own hands. Last night when we were falling asleep he said, “I changed my relationship status on Facebook.” What??? Wow!!! I didn’t know what to think. We’ve only been together for 3 weeks and now Facebook says we’re “in a relationship.”

“You want me to be your girlfriend?”

He says, “ya…is that okay?” He’s confused by my reaction. I mean, he’s a guy and he’s completely crazy about me. We’ve been seeing each other steadily for three weeks – why not change his status? Meanwhile my brain is on fire with a mix of happiness and fear. I feel like I’m in the 8th grade and a cute boy has just asked me out.

I can’t change my MySpace relationship status just yet- it’s too early. That page is like my temple of autonomy. I break the news to him, “I’ll change my Facebook account status, but not my MySpace account.” Hmmm….a virtual compromise.

This morning I go onto Facebook. Yep, there he is – “in a relationship.” I go to my profile and click in relationship (there is a special section for this). I change my status. Then Facebook asks me, “who are you in a relationship with?” I pick his name. Then it says, “Kris is now your boyfriend. We will be sending him a confirmation to see if he accepts your relationship request.”

What??? Oh my god…I have a boyfriend and they’re sending him a relationship request? I’m actually embarrassed. I call him immediately, “Facebook has just informed me that you’re my boyfriend, but you have to agree to it.” He laughed. “I’ll accept, I won’t leave you hanging. Later… girlfriend.” I feel like I’m 14 again.

A boy actually asked me out – even though he did it virtually I still think it’s absolutely adorable. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been asked out. Usually it’s me looking at the guy like, “so are you my boyfriend?”

See? This virtual world is good for something.

UPDATE/ Additional notes:

Crazy how MySpace and Facebook have changed the way we date. In just a few seconds you can scope out your ex’s relationship status, flirtatous comments and daily activities. Twitter makes it even worse. Maybe I should go on a delete binge tonight.

How often do you delete your the Ex-Profiles on MySpace? Can you do it? Do you think I can?

Deleting an ex is like permanently severing all ties…but then I think of the ex’s who were my friends – the ones I genuinely want to stay in touch with. And then I think of the sting when I see their “latest activity.”

I vote for delete.
I have seen a few google searches with this question pointing to my blog. Not sure why they’re taking you here, but it’s a very valid question. So here goes.

My friend Abby has been a single mom for over three years now and one night when we were on a crazy girls night, I had struck up a conversation with a charming dentist. He seemed interested so I thought, “better get it out on the table.” But this is how I phrased it, “Well, you’ll never actually be able to date me.” He looked surprised, “why not?”

“Because I have a baby.”

“Oh. Well, that must be fun.” After some awkward small talk he disappeared.

I ran up to Abby. “That guy just vanished after I told him about Benjamin!” She pulled me aside and whispered, “Oh no. You can’t tell them that right away. You’ve got to wait until at least a couple of dates.” What? I was floored. She just didn’t tell them.

“They have to fall for you first,” she insisted, “and then the baby thing is just like an added bonus – and ‘oh by the way, I do all of this and I’m an amazing single mom.’ It works!”

I am skeptical of Abbey’s theory. Here’s why, if the baby thing is too much for them to handle, why find that out two dates in? And wouldn’t that be a form of dishonesty?

I’ve decided that it depends on a few factors. If you are out for a night filled with multiple encounters with men on the dance floor or behind a bar – don’t mention it. Unless one of these men grabs your attention, you end up hitting it off and you feel like there’s potential for a future date – then dish. But make sure you frame it positively. The dentist was scared off because of the way I phrased it. I made it an obstacle when it really isn’t and I made it sound like Benjamin was a hinderance.

Having a baby or a child in your life is an amazing thing. Sure it’s an obstacle to dating men who don’t care about you, but not when you’re dating men who are genuinely into you. Beware of scaring off the good ones by making it sound like a bad thing, one of my nasty little habits.

Here’s a male perspective. My single friend Dave was out recently and called me the next day after bumping into a few single moms at a bar. “We were hitting it off and then they told me they have a baby. But they made it sound like it was a horrible thing. Their bad attitude was totally unattractive and I just had to walk away.”

When I told my new boyfriend about Benjamin it was the first night we met. But I waited until the end of the night, when I knew I would want to see him again. I brought it up within the flow of conversation and had a smile on my face. “So…I have a little bit of baggage, and he weighs 22 pounds. If you want to see me again, I just thought I should get that out there..so…” I trailed off and looked down into my lap, hoping I wouldn’t see fear in his eyes. “Do you have a picture?” He looked at Benjamin on my phone and smiled, a genuine smile. “He’s a cutie. Want to play another game of pool?”

My conclusion – having a child is as big of deal as you make it. And we can’t expect a man who’s never had a child before to possibly understand on a first date or on a first encounter. That comes later. But there’s no sense in not giving him a chance to understand.

When do you tell a man you’re a single mom?

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

deerwood November 6, 2007 at 8:04 pm

I suggest you tell him as soon as you can. If you leave it too late it will only look as if you were misleading him. Whenever he finds out, there will be a period of re-adjustment for him, the later you leave it, the more difficult that re-adjustment will be. If you are serious about the other guy then tell him almost from the outset, if he is serious about you, really serious, then he will accept you and your situation.

John
deerwood.wordpress.com

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anthony November 19, 2014 at 1:59 am

John very good advice!

Anthony

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jonolan November 6, 2007 at 8:24 pm

OK, I’ve only dated two single mothers in my life and have had mixed results. One had an infant / near-toddler daughter, one had an 11 year old son.

While neither relationship lasted, only the one with the 1 year old ended because of the child. In that particular case the woman probably should have had some long talks with her son. He essentially ended the relationship by his behavior. He felt betrayed because he felt his father would be coming back.

I would advocate bringing up the matter of children fairly early on – if one is looking to date. “booty calls” are a completely different affair I assume.

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jonolan November 6, 2007 at 10:41 pm

That should have been “While neither relationship lasted, only the one with the 11 year old ended because of the child. “

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nearlynormalized November 6, 2007 at 10:59 pm

You tell him when you know he is not a pedophile.

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Jenn November 10, 2007 at 6:23 am

I struggle with that, too. Mostly out of protection for them, I think.

Being what I value most in my life, why would I tell a stranger where I keep them? (Figuratively, not literally. Maybe if I get married I’ll tell a dude where I live)

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ana.biosis January 24, 2008 at 5:26 pm

You know, before I met boyfriend (and when I met him) the very next thing out of my mouth after my name was, “I am mom”. Sometimes, after someone asked my name, it was usually followed with, “so what do you do?” and I would always respond with, “I am a mom”. You could always see the element of surprise on anyone’s face, because that isnt’ a bomb someone expects to be dropped. But I have to tell you, when I was just out there dating, as a single mom, I had better luck than I did before baby. But I was uber-confident, and in my head, if some guy so much as grimaced at my confession, I walked away, didnt’ give him the chance to.

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Shanice March 2, 2015 at 1:55 pm

I LOVE your comment!! You’re my hero!!! 😀

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dadshouse March 1, 2008 at 5:50 pm

As a single dad, I get the parenthood thing out there ASAP, mostly so I don’t have to filter any conversations. I like spending time with my kids, and while they don’t dominate conversations, they do come up.

I think with the dentist you met, it might be how you told him: “you’ll never actually be able to date me”… If a woman tells me that, I believe her! It sounds like you were warding him off. Maybe you didn’t really want him in your life.

Compare that to how you told the man you ended up dating: “I have a little bit of baggage, and he weighs 22 pounds. If you want to see me again, I just thought I should get that out there.” That clearly lets him know you’re interested, but only if he accepts you for who you are.

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mssinglemama March 2, 2008 at 1:28 am

Ana…it is funny to see that reaction on their faces. Because they’re flirting with you – attracted to you and you’re like “I’m a mom!” So funny. I think it surprises them in my case…and if they don’t like it I move on.

Dads House – yep…it’s all about delivery. But I’m right there with you – I always tell them straight up. Don’t want to waste my time with someone who’s uncomfortable with the idea.

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polisny April 22, 2008 at 12:21 am

Sharing peronsal information with other people is your prerogative. It is not manipulative nor dishonest to wait until you are perfectly comfortable to tell strangers what you do or do not wish. On a first date, if you told your recipient about your mother, and on the second mention in that conversation called her by her name, and from there fourth the opposing started calling your mom by her first name as well; I am sure it would make, if not you, many of us a bit uncomfortable in that we might feel like the person is standing a bit too close. This means that there are zones of comfort that are our natural right to explore or leave until a more comfortable time of experience.

Being a single man with children is completely different to having children as a woman. Not going to argue why, I think it is clear.

The point I would like to make is that your friend was right, I think. A lot of guys need to be pampered on that issue, just like a lot of guys in marriage and in relationships; having children, differently than for women, is not necessarily as easy and an ohhh-whooo-hoooo experience about which they will in no way be confused or uncertain. I say this impersonally.
Just like with money or occupation. A lot of women are searching for a stable career-oriented guy and will scarcely stray from that course. But I would be willing to bet that a lot of them would be more open to at least slight variation on the second or third time than they would have been on the first. I.E. personality goes far, and I think we all know how much we can overlook if we really like or feel a bond with someone. I also think that we all know that unless we get to know the person a bit before, we are quite naturally inclined to misunderstand or hold too impersonally this figure, I.E. first impressions last or, are at least impactive.
I dont even talk about my family until I can see whether the person is really compatible. Not my mother, father, no one. Can you imagine going into some bar and telling a complete stranger about your mother and father when it is clear that there is no sexual interest whatsoever? Just some guy? Hey, I am a single father, Jim… what do you do? Why should sex change that?
I think if you want to go out and find a date, that this relates to your desires and you personally; to no one else. It is not for other people that you are dating, but for youself. this is not a way to say…hey… cheat and hurt people. It is a way to remind you that if you want to get a date, maybe you should consider what makes people tick.
Its like saying… dont put on make up for your first date because this would not be your ‘true self’. The same can be said of clothes and countless other things. Of being in a good mood, or trying to smile though in fact you are down. What… we are supposed to meet people as our naked and natural selves no matter what? Overlook etiquette and all things mannered so as to maintain perfect sincerety!!! But—that is impossible.
If you dont want to talk about your children, dont worry… there is probably plentiful stuff they are conveniently leaving out as well–its called communication.
timing is everything.
Bottom line, your children do not harm them, and if this is the case, than why would you be so considerate as to put yourself out? Dont you remember?–you are the one looking for a date.

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David (a dad) July 1, 2008 at 2:07 pm

When i meet women in the street, i bring it up when it comes up and present it as if why in the hell would this be a problem? Like if you were talking about widgets and were like “yeah, that’s just like the one in my son’s room!” i’m all about natural.

When i’m meeting women online, i put that sort of thing out there right quick and its relevance. As in… i’m a parent of a sweet little son… this is what he and i are about together… you probably won’t meet him unless i think you’re going to stick around…

Of course this is a different world. Men, i’d guess, run away scared or get turned on fetish-wise (MILFers). The women i meet, initially, seem to take the child living with me as evidence of stability and trustworthiness, and then after they decide they like me (a few weeks) they panic and consider whether they want to adopt my life (as if they need to!?) and take the child living with me as evidence of the need to dump me.

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Michael January 1, 2009 at 1:16 pm

This one is really simple: Simply meet and date people that you get set up with (so they already know the situation) and or date online. Every online site has this question answered. It is a big world and web really expands your ability to mingle. As a single father I have come to the conclusion that I would rather date women with children because we have more compatibility. Woman without children generally want to have children and I don’t and I won’t lie to just hook up.

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Justin January 5, 2009 at 4:12 pm

It seems like the question should mostly be about who you are meeting versus when you are telling them about your children. If one were dating 10 year olds, obviously it would not matter if they were told about their date’s children because 10 year olds would not be ready for anything. Likewise with a lot of normal people, who are simply not ready for children of their own let alone those of someone else.

If you have answered questions about yourself such as, what it is you are really searching for in someone else, then maybe you should be asking yourself what type of people you are meeting. Is there a way to meet certain people who are dating? What kind of person are you to the rest of the world? And, who would be interested in that and, if there is a kind of person who might be interested in that, are there lots of those people in special groups? Maybe adds are one of the best ways.

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Justin January 6, 2009 at 5:07 am

In general I agree with you, I think. I do not think there is one simple, perfect answer to dating while being the single parent of any number of children. There are so many factors that play both into defining the question asked (and the words in it) and the answer. Maybe a case-by-case question and answer is one of the only ways to really approach the search for someone.

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New to the single life November 29, 2009 at 2:32 am

Hi, Im recently divorced 26 yr old mother Of 3 beautiful children. I was so scared Of dating so i put it off for 3 yrs. Now i think im ready to start to get to know someone. I dont want to deny i have kids, but i Aldo dont want to scare a guy off. I feel if i say something they will take me less seriously. Then again do i really want to tell them something so personal from the start.

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Nick Stanham March 4, 2011 at 5:25 am

I think it was more the way you phrased it, to me, that comment would have made me think you just weren’t interested. Relationships are based on honesty. You have to be honest from the start. If someone has a child, it doesn’t bother me, i get on great with kids. But I can’t accept decieving behaviour.

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