Daddy is coming back.

by mssinglemama on December 2, 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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?
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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?
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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?
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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

Clare, this site the co-founder of iHeart Single Parents, made an appearance on Fox’s Morning Show this week.

Click here to watch Clare’s interview.

I’m so excited that iHeartSingleParents.com is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Morning Show hosts Mike and Juliet say, at the start of this piece, that 40% of new mothers in the U.S. are unmarried and of those the fastest growing group is women in their late 20’s. Not sure where they got that statistic (and it is Fox) but could that be true? Forty percent!

Mike and Juliet also ask Clare if she would recommend that other women choose to be a single mom. In her blog post, Clare says they sprung these questions on her – “They didn’t ask the questions that the producer and I practiced on at all.”

I can’t speak for Clare but being a single mother is seldom a choice for any of us. It’s something that happens. We choose to go on as single moms… but we certainly didn’t choose this path? Or did we? I chose to leave my husband. Does that mean I chose to be a single mom? I’ve written about this here.

Food for thought. And evidence that talk show hosts will always go for the controversial chord of any conversation.

Regardless, Clare did a fantastic job representing! And if you haven’t been over to iHeart lately, get over there because there are hundreds of new members joining every day… and as Clare says in this interview, having a single parent social network to turn to really makes you feel less alone.

[Photo: Clare and her 2-year-old son, Colby]

P.S. Proves my point that Single Moms are on Fire!

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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?
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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

Clare, this site the co-founder of iHeart Single Parents, made an appearance on Fox’s Morning Show this week.

Click here to watch Clare’s interview.

I’m so excited that iHeartSingleParents.com is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Morning Show hosts Mike and Juliet say, at the start of this piece, that 40% of new mothers in the U.S. are unmarried and of those the fastest growing group is women in their late 20’s. Not sure where they got that statistic (and it is Fox) but could that be true? Forty percent!

Mike and Juliet also ask Clare if she would recommend that other women choose to be a single mom. In her blog post, Clare says they sprung these questions on her – “They didn’t ask the questions that the producer and I practiced on at all.”

I can’t speak for Clare but being a single mother is seldom a choice for any of us. It’s something that happens. We choose to go on as single moms… but we certainly didn’t choose this path? Or did we? I chose to leave my husband. Does that mean I chose to be a single mom? I’ve written about this here.

Food for thought. And evidence that talk show hosts will always go for the controversial chord of any conversation.

Regardless, Clare did a fantastic job representing! And if you haven’t been over to iHeart lately, get over there because there are hundreds of new members joining every day… and as Clare says in this interview, having a single parent social network to turn to really makes you feel less alone.

[Photo: Clare and her 2-year-old son, Colby]

P.S. Proves my point that Single Moms are on Fire!

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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

Clare, this site the co-founder of iHeart Single Parents, made an appearance on Fox’s Morning Show this week.

Click here to watch Clare’s interview.

I’m so excited that iHeartSingleParents.com is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Morning Show hosts Mike and Juliet say, at the start of this piece, that 40% of new mothers in the U.S. are unmarried and of those the fastest growing group is women in their late 20’s. Not sure where they got that statistic (and it is Fox) but could that be true? Forty percent!

Mike and Juliet also ask Clare if she would recommend that other women choose to be a single mom. In her blog post, Clare says they sprung these questions on her – “They didn’t ask the questions that the producer and I practiced on at all.”

I can’t speak for Clare but being a single mother is seldom a choice for any of us. It’s something that happens. We choose to go on as single moms… but we certainly didn’t choose this path? Or did we? I chose to leave my husband. Does that mean I chose to be a single mom? I’ve written about this here.

Food for thought. And evidence that talk show hosts will always go for the controversial chord of any conversation.

Regardless, Clare did a fantastic job representing! And if you haven’t been over to iHeart lately, get over there because there are hundreds of new members joining every day… and as Clare says in this interview, having a single parent social network to turn to really makes you feel less alone.

[Photo: Clare and her 2-year-old son, Colby]

P.S. Proves my point that Single Moms are on Fire!

It’s been four weeks now.

My new relationship status is beginning to sink in.

I have a boyfriend, cost and I’m actually enjoying it immensely. Usually at this point fear takes over and I start pushing them away. I slowly eject them from my life, thumb or cut it clean depending on my mood. But this time, I’m not feeling that way. I’m not stressed at all. I’m completely comfortable with him and totally into him. So far, the feeling is mutual.

I had him over for dinner on Thursday night. Benjamin was still awake. Kris has seen Benjamin in the mornings briefly but this would be his first evening with us, usually the highlight of my day because Benjamin is chipper, happy and ready to play.

Kris walks in, gives me a hug and then crouches down on his knees, “And, how are you?” He looks at Benjamin and Benjmain stares back. This is odd, usually he flashes a smile and runs away but he can’t take his eyes off of Kris.

Kris leads him into the living room and opens his toy chest. This is a first. Of all of the men I’ve dated since the divorce not one has genuinely just sat down and played with my kid. This used to surprise me because I thought – “If they’re trying to win me over wouldn’t they want to at least try to play with him?” To their credit, some would try, but it was awkward and forced. “I’ve never been around kids,” they would say. “I don’t know what to do.” Kris has never been around kids either, he’s actually only 23. Five years younger than me.

While I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner, I hear Kris talking to Benjamin, he’s calm, assuring and playful. A few hours later I take Benjamin up for bedtime. I come downstairs and all of his toys are cleaned up. Kris had tidied up my living room. I’m now pinching myself.

Kris is still there in the morning. We all eat pancakes together. There’s lots of laughter, more playing and the entire time Benjamin is following Kris around like a little puppy. I put Benjamin down for his nap and say good bye to Kris, we both have to work.

When Benjamin wakes up four hours later (he has a nasty cold which is why I’m home on a Friday) he searches the house for Kris. He’s going from room to room. As soon as he realizes Kris is gone – he starts crying…hard. My heart breaks. What am I doing? What if this doesn’t work out? Where will we be then? Benjamin is clearly well into toddlerhood (20 months) and now he is very well aware of what’s up.

The single mom dating conundrum:

When a man enters our life we want to see how they would fit into our family, or if they can even handle it. But we can’t do it without introducing them to the kids.

The solution:

When Benjamin was a teeny tiny baby, this wasn’t an issue. So everything I’m about to say clearly depends on the age of the children.

I’m not big on the idea of waiting six months to bring a man into my daily routine. I guess it’s because I’m afraid he would be shocked at the reality of how hard it is to raise a toddler and then split. Then I would have invested six months of my time in a guy who wasn’t really there for the right reasons.

The other problem. I am a working single mother. Not bringing him around Benjamin leaves me only a few hours in the late evening. Period. This can get old and can also hurt a budding relationship.

I have learned from my past mishaps not to raise this issue too early. Why? Because there is no way he or you actually know how long this will last yet, and you shouldn’t presume to know that. Once I actually told a guy I was dating, “the only way I can date you is if there’s potential – potential that one day we might get married.” We had only been dating for a few months. I didn’t even want to marry him. Isn’t that crazy? I just had to rationalize why I was spending time away from my son – to myself. In the end that one just fizzled out but the moral of the story is – it could have been more fun if I would have left my drama in my head. I’m thinking this is probably a good conversation to have 6-8 months in to a relationship. Just a hunch, but to each his own.

My solution: I am going to keep Kris’ encounters with Benjamin to a minimum for the next few months, but he will have a few. Because I also want someone to fall in love with my son, not just me…we are a package deal.
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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?
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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

Clare, this site the co-founder of iHeart Single Parents, made an appearance on Fox’s Morning Show this week.

Click here to watch Clare’s interview.

I’m so excited that iHeartSingleParents.com is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Morning Show hosts Mike and Juliet say, at the start of this piece, that 40% of new mothers in the U.S. are unmarried and of those the fastest growing group is women in their late 20’s. Not sure where they got that statistic (and it is Fox) but could that be true? Forty percent!

Mike and Juliet also ask Clare if she would recommend that other women choose to be a single mom. In her blog post, Clare says they sprung these questions on her – “They didn’t ask the questions that the producer and I practiced on at all.”

I can’t speak for Clare but being a single mother is seldom a choice for any of us. It’s something that happens. We choose to go on as single moms… but we certainly didn’t choose this path? Or did we? I chose to leave my husband. Does that mean I chose to be a single mom? I’ve written about this here.

Food for thought. And evidence that talk show hosts will always go for the controversial chord of any conversation.

Regardless, Clare did a fantastic job representing! And if you haven’t been over to iHeart lately, get over there because there are hundreds of new members joining every day… and as Clare says in this interview, having a single parent social network to turn to really makes you feel less alone.

[Photo: Clare and her 2-year-old son, Colby]

P.S. Proves my point that Single Moms are on Fire!

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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

Clare, this site the co-founder of iHeart Single Parents, made an appearance on Fox’s Morning Show this week.

Click here to watch Clare’s interview.

I’m so excited that iHeartSingleParents.com is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Morning Show hosts Mike and Juliet say, at the start of this piece, that 40% of new mothers in the U.S. are unmarried and of those the fastest growing group is women in their late 20’s. Not sure where they got that statistic (and it is Fox) but could that be true? Forty percent!

Mike and Juliet also ask Clare if she would recommend that other women choose to be a single mom. In her blog post, Clare says they sprung these questions on her – “They didn’t ask the questions that the producer and I practiced on at all.”

I can’t speak for Clare but being a single mother is seldom a choice for any of us. It’s something that happens. We choose to go on as single moms… but we certainly didn’t choose this path? Or did we? I chose to leave my husband. Does that mean I chose to be a single mom? I’ve written about this here.

Food for thought. And evidence that talk show hosts will always go for the controversial chord of any conversation.

Regardless, Clare did a fantastic job representing! And if you haven’t been over to iHeart lately, get over there because there are hundreds of new members joining every day… and as Clare says in this interview, having a single parent social network to turn to really makes you feel less alone.

[Photo: Clare and her 2-year-old son, Colby]

P.S. Proves my point that Single Moms are on Fire!

It’s been four weeks now.

My new relationship status is beginning to sink in.

I have a boyfriend, cost and I’m actually enjoying it immensely. Usually at this point fear takes over and I start pushing them away. I slowly eject them from my life, thumb or cut it clean depending on my mood. But this time, I’m not feeling that way. I’m not stressed at all. I’m completely comfortable with him and totally into him. So far, the feeling is mutual.

I had him over for dinner on Thursday night. Benjamin was still awake. Kris has seen Benjamin in the mornings briefly but this would be his first evening with us, usually the highlight of my day because Benjamin is chipper, happy and ready to play.

Kris walks in, gives me a hug and then crouches down on his knees, “And, how are you?” He looks at Benjamin and Benjmain stares back. This is odd, usually he flashes a smile and runs away but he can’t take his eyes off of Kris.

Kris leads him into the living room and opens his toy chest. This is a first. Of all of the men I’ve dated since the divorce not one has genuinely just sat down and played with my kid. This used to surprise me because I thought – “If they’re trying to win me over wouldn’t they want to at least try to play with him?” To their credit, some would try, but it was awkward and forced. “I’ve never been around kids,” they would say. “I don’t know what to do.” Kris has never been around kids either, he’s actually only 23. Five years younger than me.

While I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner, I hear Kris talking to Benjamin, he’s calm, assuring and playful. A few hours later I take Benjamin up for bedtime. I come downstairs and all of his toys are cleaned up. Kris had tidied up my living room. I’m now pinching myself.

Kris is still there in the morning. We all eat pancakes together. There’s lots of laughter, more playing and the entire time Benjamin is following Kris around like a little puppy. I put Benjamin down for his nap and say good bye to Kris, we both have to work.

When Benjamin wakes up four hours later (he has a nasty cold which is why I’m home on a Friday) he searches the house for Kris. He’s going from room to room. As soon as he realizes Kris is gone – he starts crying…hard. My heart breaks. What am I doing? What if this doesn’t work out? Where will we be then? Benjamin is clearly well into toddlerhood (20 months) and now he is very well aware of what’s up.

The single mom dating conundrum:

When a man enters our life we want to see how they would fit into our family, or if they can even handle it. But we can’t do it without introducing them to the kids.

The solution:

When Benjamin was a teeny tiny baby, this wasn’t an issue. So everything I’m about to say clearly depends on the age of the children.

I’m not big on the idea of waiting six months to bring a man into my daily routine. I guess it’s because I’m afraid he would be shocked at the reality of how hard it is to raise a toddler and then split. Then I would have invested six months of my time in a guy who wasn’t really there for the right reasons.

The other problem. I am a working single mother. Not bringing him around Benjamin leaves me only a few hours in the late evening. Period. This can get old and can also hurt a budding relationship.

I have learned from my past mishaps not to raise this issue too early. Why? Because there is no way he or you actually know how long this will last yet, and you shouldn’t presume to know that. Once I actually told a guy I was dating, “the only way I can date you is if there’s potential – potential that one day we might get married.” We had only been dating for a few months. I didn’t even want to marry him. Isn’t that crazy? I just had to rationalize why I was spending time away from my son – to myself. In the end that one just fizzled out but the moral of the story is – it could have been more fun if I would have left my drama in my head. I’m thinking this is probably a good conversation to have 6-8 months in to a relationship. Just a hunch, but to each his own.

My solution: I am going to keep Kris’ encounters with Benjamin to a minimum for the next few months, but he will have a few. Because I also want someone to fall in love with my son, not just me…we are a package deal.
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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

Clare, this site the co-founder of iHeart Single Parents, made an appearance on Fox’s Morning Show this week.

Click here to watch Clare’s interview.

I’m so excited that iHeartSingleParents.com is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Morning Show hosts Mike and Juliet say, at the start of this piece, that 40% of new mothers in the U.S. are unmarried and of those the fastest growing group is women in their late 20’s. Not sure where they got that statistic (and it is Fox) but could that be true? Forty percent!

Mike and Juliet also ask Clare if she would recommend that other women choose to be a single mom. In her blog post, Clare says they sprung these questions on her – “They didn’t ask the questions that the producer and I practiced on at all.”

I can’t speak for Clare but being a single mother is seldom a choice for any of us. It’s something that happens. We choose to go on as single moms… but we certainly didn’t choose this path? Or did we? I chose to leave my husband. Does that mean I chose to be a single mom? I’ve written about this here.

Food for thought. And evidence that talk show hosts will always go for the controversial chord of any conversation.

Regardless, Clare did a fantastic job representing! And if you haven’t been over to iHeart lately, get over there because there are hundreds of new members joining every day… and as Clare says in this interview, having a single parent social network to turn to really makes you feel less alone.

[Photo: Clare and her 2-year-old son, Colby]

P.S. Proves my point that Single Moms are on Fire!

It’s been four weeks now.

My new relationship status is beginning to sink in.

I have a boyfriend, cost and I’m actually enjoying it immensely. Usually at this point fear takes over and I start pushing them away. I slowly eject them from my life, thumb or cut it clean depending on my mood. But this time, I’m not feeling that way. I’m not stressed at all. I’m completely comfortable with him and totally into him. So far, the feeling is mutual.

I had him over for dinner on Thursday night. Benjamin was still awake. Kris has seen Benjamin in the mornings briefly but this would be his first evening with us, usually the highlight of my day because Benjamin is chipper, happy and ready to play.

Kris walks in, gives me a hug and then crouches down on his knees, “And, how are you?” He looks at Benjamin and Benjmain stares back. This is odd, usually he flashes a smile and runs away but he can’t take his eyes off of Kris.

Kris leads him into the living room and opens his toy chest. This is a first. Of all of the men I’ve dated since the divorce not one has genuinely just sat down and played with my kid. This used to surprise me because I thought – “If they’re trying to win me over wouldn’t they want to at least try to play with him?” To their credit, some would try, but it was awkward and forced. “I’ve never been around kids,” they would say. “I don’t know what to do.” Kris has never been around kids either, he’s actually only 23. Five years younger than me.

While I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner, I hear Kris talking to Benjamin, he’s calm, assuring and playful. A few hours later I take Benjamin up for bedtime. I come downstairs and all of his toys are cleaned up. Kris had tidied up my living room. I’m now pinching myself.

Kris is still there in the morning. We all eat pancakes together. There’s lots of laughter, more playing and the entire time Benjamin is following Kris around like a little puppy. I put Benjamin down for his nap and say good bye to Kris, we both have to work.

When Benjamin wakes up four hours later (he has a nasty cold which is why I’m home on a Friday) he searches the house for Kris. He’s going from room to room. As soon as he realizes Kris is gone – he starts crying…hard. My heart breaks. What am I doing? What if this doesn’t work out? Where will we be then? Benjamin is clearly well into toddlerhood (20 months) and now he is very well aware of what’s up.

The single mom dating conundrum:

When a man enters our life we want to see how they would fit into our family, or if they can even handle it. But we can’t do it without introducing them to the kids.

The solution:

When Benjamin was a teeny tiny baby, this wasn’t an issue. So everything I’m about to say clearly depends on the age of the children.

I’m not big on the idea of waiting six months to bring a man into my daily routine. I guess it’s because I’m afraid he would be shocked at the reality of how hard it is to raise a toddler and then split. Then I would have invested six months of my time in a guy who wasn’t really there for the right reasons.

The other problem. I am a working single mother. Not bringing him around Benjamin leaves me only a few hours in the late evening. Period. This can get old and can also hurt a budding relationship.

I have learned from my past mishaps not to raise this issue too early. Why? Because there is no way he or you actually know how long this will last yet, and you shouldn’t presume to know that. Once I actually told a guy I was dating, “the only way I can date you is if there’s potential – potential that one day we might get married.” We had only been dating for a few months. I didn’t even want to marry him. Isn’t that crazy? I just had to rationalize why I was spending time away from my son – to myself. In the end that one just fizzled out but the moral of the story is – it could have been more fun if I would have left my drama in my head. I’m thinking this is probably a good conversation to have 6-8 months in to a relationship. Just a hunch, but to each his own.

My solution: I am going to keep Kris’ encounters with Benjamin to a minimum for the next few months, but he will have a few. Because I also want someone to fall in love with my son, not just me…we are a package deal.
My new boyfriend and I decided to quit smoking – together. It’s the first time I’ve done something together, advice as a couple in years. Well, if you count my divorce, it’s been nearly a year. Knowing Saturday night was going to be a baby-free all-nighter we pick Sunday to go cold turkey. I’m scared. Scared to quit smoking and scared to enter into a verbal contract with someone – a commitment.

I started smoking the day I realized I was going to leave my husband. He had come home and said he’d been fired from yet another job and that he didn’t want to work again, that he wanted to be a stay at home dad. We didn’t have the money for this scenario and I insisted he go out and look for more work. He refused. At this point he was bailing on me and my baby – that’s when I knew it was completely over. I heard my neighbor walking through the driveway. It was Abby, a single mom. Her daughter was just three at the time.

“Abby? Is that you?” I asked over the fence.

“Ya,” she said. We’d only talked a few times here and there, nothing too in depth. We were just friendly neighbors. She was the single mom, I was the married mom with the newborn, supposed to be completely happy.

“I need to have a cigarrette, and you need to tell me what it’s like to be a single mom because I’m about to be one.” She came running into my yard.

“Oh my god. I’ll be right back.”

It was in this moment as she went on and on about the trials and tribulations but about how ultimately, it was the right thing to do, that I realized the bond single mothers have with each other. Perhaps because we are the only ones – the only ones – who truly understand what the other is going through.

Leaving him, moving back in with my mother and leaving my career was the single most challenging thing I’ve ever done – I needed friends and I chose cigarrettes. Now, one and a half years later, I’m back on my feet. Have my career back, have my real friends and my life back. I don’t need them anymore.

On Sunday morning we quit together, as promised. But then today, Monday, I head into work and feel awful. I actually feel like I’m going to get sick all over my desk. Am I pregant? Nope. Definitely not. Could it be the smoking? I Google it. Yep. Smoking cessation can cause nausea. Weird.

I make it until 5:00 pm and then I have one. I just can’t do this. I can’t go pick up Benjamin like this. This nausea has got to go. The cigarrette doesn’t help. I get home and take my temperature – it’s 101.1. Oh my god. I’m sick. I’ve been home from work nursing Benjamin for weeks, have missed six work days and now I’m sick.

I call Kris. “I cheated. I just couldn’t stand it. I can’t be this sick. I thought it was nausea from not smoking, but I’m just actually sick as hell.”

“Do you really want to quit or not?” He sounds disappointed. I try to defend myself.

“But, I’m a single working mom. Any kind of stress relief I can get is worth it. I can’t be in withdraw around Benjamin. And tonight, being so sick, I nearly broke down in tears.”

(I actually had broken down in tears but didn’t want to tell him this). He still sounds pissed. And he should be – I broke a promise. I call him back later, he apologizes for being “difficult” and I apologize for cheating.

“Do you want me to come over? I can make you some tea, cuddle you down.” He offers.

“Nope…maybe tomorrow night.” Step by step, I tell myself. I can quit smoking with someone, sleep with them, even become emotionally attached to them, but it will be a long, long time before I’m ready to actually ask a man for help. I just can’t. I should call Abby and ask her why.

(P.S., I never smoke around Benjamin or in the house, which is why I really want to quit – it’s getting cold out).
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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?
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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

Clare, this site the co-founder of iHeart Single Parents, made an appearance on Fox’s Morning Show this week.

Click here to watch Clare’s interview.

I’m so excited that iHeartSingleParents.com is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Morning Show hosts Mike and Juliet say, at the start of this piece, that 40% of new mothers in the U.S. are unmarried and of those the fastest growing group is women in their late 20’s. Not sure where they got that statistic (and it is Fox) but could that be true? Forty percent!

Mike and Juliet also ask Clare if she would recommend that other women choose to be a single mom. In her blog post, Clare says they sprung these questions on her – “They didn’t ask the questions that the producer and I practiced on at all.”

I can’t speak for Clare but being a single mother is seldom a choice for any of us. It’s something that happens. We choose to go on as single moms… but we certainly didn’t choose this path? Or did we? I chose to leave my husband. Does that mean I chose to be a single mom? I’ve written about this here.

Food for thought. And evidence that talk show hosts will always go for the controversial chord of any conversation.

Regardless, Clare did a fantastic job representing! And if you haven’t been over to iHeart lately, get over there because there are hundreds of new members joining every day… and as Clare says in this interview, having a single parent social network to turn to really makes you feel less alone.

[Photo: Clare and her 2-year-old son, Colby]

P.S. Proves my point that Single Moms are on Fire!

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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

Clare, this site the co-founder of iHeart Single Parents, made an appearance on Fox’s Morning Show this week.

Click here to watch Clare’s interview.

I’m so excited that iHeartSingleParents.com is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Morning Show hosts Mike and Juliet say, at the start of this piece, that 40% of new mothers in the U.S. are unmarried and of those the fastest growing group is women in their late 20’s. Not sure where they got that statistic (and it is Fox) but could that be true? Forty percent!

Mike and Juliet also ask Clare if she would recommend that other women choose to be a single mom. In her blog post, Clare says they sprung these questions on her – “They didn’t ask the questions that the producer and I practiced on at all.”

I can’t speak for Clare but being a single mother is seldom a choice for any of us. It’s something that happens. We choose to go on as single moms… but we certainly didn’t choose this path? Or did we? I chose to leave my husband. Does that mean I chose to be a single mom? I’ve written about this here.

Food for thought. And evidence that talk show hosts will always go for the controversial chord of any conversation.

Regardless, Clare did a fantastic job representing! And if you haven’t been over to iHeart lately, get over there because there are hundreds of new members joining every day… and as Clare says in this interview, having a single parent social network to turn to really makes you feel less alone.

[Photo: Clare and her 2-year-old son, Colby]

P.S. Proves my point that Single Moms are on Fire!

It’s been four weeks now.

My new relationship status is beginning to sink in.

I have a boyfriend, cost and I’m actually enjoying it immensely. Usually at this point fear takes over and I start pushing them away. I slowly eject them from my life, thumb or cut it clean depending on my mood. But this time, I’m not feeling that way. I’m not stressed at all. I’m completely comfortable with him and totally into him. So far, the feeling is mutual.

I had him over for dinner on Thursday night. Benjamin was still awake. Kris has seen Benjamin in the mornings briefly but this would be his first evening with us, usually the highlight of my day because Benjamin is chipper, happy and ready to play.

Kris walks in, gives me a hug and then crouches down on his knees, “And, how are you?” He looks at Benjamin and Benjmain stares back. This is odd, usually he flashes a smile and runs away but he can’t take his eyes off of Kris.

Kris leads him into the living room and opens his toy chest. This is a first. Of all of the men I’ve dated since the divorce not one has genuinely just sat down and played with my kid. This used to surprise me because I thought – “If they’re trying to win me over wouldn’t they want to at least try to play with him?” To their credit, some would try, but it was awkward and forced. “I’ve never been around kids,” they would say. “I don’t know what to do.” Kris has never been around kids either, he’s actually only 23. Five years younger than me.

While I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner, I hear Kris talking to Benjamin, he’s calm, assuring and playful. A few hours later I take Benjamin up for bedtime. I come downstairs and all of his toys are cleaned up. Kris had tidied up my living room. I’m now pinching myself.

Kris is still there in the morning. We all eat pancakes together. There’s lots of laughter, more playing and the entire time Benjamin is following Kris around like a little puppy. I put Benjamin down for his nap and say good bye to Kris, we both have to work.

When Benjamin wakes up four hours later (he has a nasty cold which is why I’m home on a Friday) he searches the house for Kris. He’s going from room to room. As soon as he realizes Kris is gone – he starts crying…hard. My heart breaks. What am I doing? What if this doesn’t work out? Where will we be then? Benjamin is clearly well into toddlerhood (20 months) and now he is very well aware of what’s up.

The single mom dating conundrum:

When a man enters our life we want to see how they would fit into our family, or if they can even handle it. But we can’t do it without introducing them to the kids.

The solution:

When Benjamin was a teeny tiny baby, this wasn’t an issue. So everything I’m about to say clearly depends on the age of the children.

I’m not big on the idea of waiting six months to bring a man into my daily routine. I guess it’s because I’m afraid he would be shocked at the reality of how hard it is to raise a toddler and then split. Then I would have invested six months of my time in a guy who wasn’t really there for the right reasons.

The other problem. I am a working single mother. Not bringing him around Benjamin leaves me only a few hours in the late evening. Period. This can get old and can also hurt a budding relationship.

I have learned from my past mishaps not to raise this issue too early. Why? Because there is no way he or you actually know how long this will last yet, and you shouldn’t presume to know that. Once I actually told a guy I was dating, “the only way I can date you is if there’s potential – potential that one day we might get married.” We had only been dating for a few months. I didn’t even want to marry him. Isn’t that crazy? I just had to rationalize why I was spending time away from my son – to myself. In the end that one just fizzled out but the moral of the story is – it could have been more fun if I would have left my drama in my head. I’m thinking this is probably a good conversation to have 6-8 months in to a relationship. Just a hunch, but to each his own.

My solution: I am going to keep Kris’ encounters with Benjamin to a minimum for the next few months, but he will have a few. Because I also want someone to fall in love with my son, not just me…we are a package deal.
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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

Clare, this site the co-founder of iHeart Single Parents, made an appearance on Fox’s Morning Show this week.

Click here to watch Clare’s interview.

I’m so excited that iHeartSingleParents.com is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Morning Show hosts Mike and Juliet say, at the start of this piece, that 40% of new mothers in the U.S. are unmarried and of those the fastest growing group is women in their late 20’s. Not sure where they got that statistic (and it is Fox) but could that be true? Forty percent!

Mike and Juliet also ask Clare if she would recommend that other women choose to be a single mom. In her blog post, Clare says they sprung these questions on her – “They didn’t ask the questions that the producer and I practiced on at all.”

I can’t speak for Clare but being a single mother is seldom a choice for any of us. It’s something that happens. We choose to go on as single moms… but we certainly didn’t choose this path? Or did we? I chose to leave my husband. Does that mean I chose to be a single mom? I’ve written about this here.

Food for thought. And evidence that talk show hosts will always go for the controversial chord of any conversation.

Regardless, Clare did a fantastic job representing! And if you haven’t been over to iHeart lately, get over there because there are hundreds of new members joining every day… and as Clare says in this interview, having a single parent social network to turn to really makes you feel less alone.

[Photo: Clare and her 2-year-old son, Colby]

P.S. Proves my point that Single Moms are on Fire!

It’s been four weeks now.

My new relationship status is beginning to sink in.

I have a boyfriend, cost and I’m actually enjoying it immensely. Usually at this point fear takes over and I start pushing them away. I slowly eject them from my life, thumb or cut it clean depending on my mood. But this time, I’m not feeling that way. I’m not stressed at all. I’m completely comfortable with him and totally into him. So far, the feeling is mutual.

I had him over for dinner on Thursday night. Benjamin was still awake. Kris has seen Benjamin in the mornings briefly but this would be his first evening with us, usually the highlight of my day because Benjamin is chipper, happy and ready to play.

Kris walks in, gives me a hug and then crouches down on his knees, “And, how are you?” He looks at Benjamin and Benjmain stares back. This is odd, usually he flashes a smile and runs away but he can’t take his eyes off of Kris.

Kris leads him into the living room and opens his toy chest. This is a first. Of all of the men I’ve dated since the divorce not one has genuinely just sat down and played with my kid. This used to surprise me because I thought – “If they’re trying to win me over wouldn’t they want to at least try to play with him?” To their credit, some would try, but it was awkward and forced. “I’ve never been around kids,” they would say. “I don’t know what to do.” Kris has never been around kids either, he’s actually only 23. Five years younger than me.

While I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner, I hear Kris talking to Benjamin, he’s calm, assuring and playful. A few hours later I take Benjamin up for bedtime. I come downstairs and all of his toys are cleaned up. Kris had tidied up my living room. I’m now pinching myself.

Kris is still there in the morning. We all eat pancakes together. There’s lots of laughter, more playing and the entire time Benjamin is following Kris around like a little puppy. I put Benjamin down for his nap and say good bye to Kris, we both have to work.

When Benjamin wakes up four hours later (he has a nasty cold which is why I’m home on a Friday) he searches the house for Kris. He’s going from room to room. As soon as he realizes Kris is gone – he starts crying…hard. My heart breaks. What am I doing? What if this doesn’t work out? Where will we be then? Benjamin is clearly well into toddlerhood (20 months) and now he is very well aware of what’s up.

The single mom dating conundrum:

When a man enters our life we want to see how they would fit into our family, or if they can even handle it. But we can’t do it without introducing them to the kids.

The solution:

When Benjamin was a teeny tiny baby, this wasn’t an issue. So everything I’m about to say clearly depends on the age of the children.

I’m not big on the idea of waiting six months to bring a man into my daily routine. I guess it’s because I’m afraid he would be shocked at the reality of how hard it is to raise a toddler and then split. Then I would have invested six months of my time in a guy who wasn’t really there for the right reasons.

The other problem. I am a working single mother. Not bringing him around Benjamin leaves me only a few hours in the late evening. Period. This can get old and can also hurt a budding relationship.

I have learned from my past mishaps not to raise this issue too early. Why? Because there is no way he or you actually know how long this will last yet, and you shouldn’t presume to know that. Once I actually told a guy I was dating, “the only way I can date you is if there’s potential – potential that one day we might get married.” We had only been dating for a few months. I didn’t even want to marry him. Isn’t that crazy? I just had to rationalize why I was spending time away from my son – to myself. In the end that one just fizzled out but the moral of the story is – it could have been more fun if I would have left my drama in my head. I’m thinking this is probably a good conversation to have 6-8 months in to a relationship. Just a hunch, but to each his own.

My solution: I am going to keep Kris’ encounters with Benjamin to a minimum for the next few months, but he will have a few. Because I also want someone to fall in love with my son, not just me…we are a package deal.
My new boyfriend and I decided to quit smoking – together. It’s the first time I’ve done something together, advice as a couple in years. Well, if you count my divorce, it’s been nearly a year. Knowing Saturday night was going to be a baby-free all-nighter we pick Sunday to go cold turkey. I’m scared. Scared to quit smoking and scared to enter into a verbal contract with someone – a commitment.

I started smoking the day I realized I was going to leave my husband. He had come home and said he’d been fired from yet another job and that he didn’t want to work again, that he wanted to be a stay at home dad. We didn’t have the money for this scenario and I insisted he go out and look for more work. He refused. At this point he was bailing on me and my baby – that’s when I knew it was completely over. I heard my neighbor walking through the driveway. It was Abby, a single mom. Her daughter was just three at the time.

“Abby? Is that you?” I asked over the fence.

“Ya,” she said. We’d only talked a few times here and there, nothing too in depth. We were just friendly neighbors. She was the single mom, I was the married mom with the newborn, supposed to be completely happy.

“I need to have a cigarrette, and you need to tell me what it’s like to be a single mom because I’m about to be one.” She came running into my yard.

“Oh my god. I’ll be right back.”

It was in this moment as she went on and on about the trials and tribulations but about how ultimately, it was the right thing to do, that I realized the bond single mothers have with each other. Perhaps because we are the only ones – the only ones – who truly understand what the other is going through.

Leaving him, moving back in with my mother and leaving my career was the single most challenging thing I’ve ever done – I needed friends and I chose cigarrettes. Now, one and a half years later, I’m back on my feet. Have my career back, have my real friends and my life back. I don’t need them anymore.

On Sunday morning we quit together, as promised. But then today, Monday, I head into work and feel awful. I actually feel like I’m going to get sick all over my desk. Am I pregant? Nope. Definitely not. Could it be the smoking? I Google it. Yep. Smoking cessation can cause nausea. Weird.

I make it until 5:00 pm and then I have one. I just can’t do this. I can’t go pick up Benjamin like this. This nausea has got to go. The cigarrette doesn’t help. I get home and take my temperature – it’s 101.1. Oh my god. I’m sick. I’ve been home from work nursing Benjamin for weeks, have missed six work days and now I’m sick.

I call Kris. “I cheated. I just couldn’t stand it. I can’t be this sick. I thought it was nausea from not smoking, but I’m just actually sick as hell.”

“Do you really want to quit or not?” He sounds disappointed. I try to defend myself.

“But, I’m a single working mom. Any kind of stress relief I can get is worth it. I can’t be in withdraw around Benjamin. And tonight, being so sick, I nearly broke down in tears.”

(I actually had broken down in tears but didn’t want to tell him this). He still sounds pissed. And he should be – I broke a promise. I call him back later, he apologizes for being “difficult” and I apologize for cheating.

“Do you want me to come over? I can make you some tea, cuddle you down.” He offers.

“Nope…maybe tomorrow night.” Step by step, I tell myself. I can quit smoking with someone, sleep with them, even become emotionally attached to them, but it will be a long, long time before I’m ready to actually ask a man for help. I just can’t. I should call Abby and ask her why.

(P.S., I never smoke around Benjamin or in the house, which is why I really want to quit – it’s getting cold out).
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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

Clare, this site the co-founder of iHeart Single Parents, made an appearance on Fox’s Morning Show this week.

Click here to watch Clare’s interview.

I’m so excited that iHeartSingleParents.com is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Morning Show hosts Mike and Juliet say, at the start of this piece, that 40% of new mothers in the U.S. are unmarried and of those the fastest growing group is women in their late 20’s. Not sure where they got that statistic (and it is Fox) but could that be true? Forty percent!

Mike and Juliet also ask Clare if she would recommend that other women choose to be a single mom. In her blog post, Clare says they sprung these questions on her – “They didn’t ask the questions that the producer and I practiced on at all.”

I can’t speak for Clare but being a single mother is seldom a choice for any of us. It’s something that happens. We choose to go on as single moms… but we certainly didn’t choose this path? Or did we? I chose to leave my husband. Does that mean I chose to be a single mom? I’ve written about this here.

Food for thought. And evidence that talk show hosts will always go for the controversial chord of any conversation.

Regardless, Clare did a fantastic job representing! And if you haven’t been over to iHeart lately, get over there because there are hundreds of new members joining every day… and as Clare says in this interview, having a single parent social network to turn to really makes you feel less alone.

[Photo: Clare and her 2-year-old son, Colby]

P.S. Proves my point that Single Moms are on Fire!

It’s been four weeks now.

My new relationship status is beginning to sink in.

I have a boyfriend, cost and I’m actually enjoying it immensely. Usually at this point fear takes over and I start pushing them away. I slowly eject them from my life, thumb or cut it clean depending on my mood. But this time, I’m not feeling that way. I’m not stressed at all. I’m completely comfortable with him and totally into him. So far, the feeling is mutual.

I had him over for dinner on Thursday night. Benjamin was still awake. Kris has seen Benjamin in the mornings briefly but this would be his first evening with us, usually the highlight of my day because Benjamin is chipper, happy and ready to play.

Kris walks in, gives me a hug and then crouches down on his knees, “And, how are you?” He looks at Benjamin and Benjmain stares back. This is odd, usually he flashes a smile and runs away but he can’t take his eyes off of Kris.

Kris leads him into the living room and opens his toy chest. This is a first. Of all of the men I’ve dated since the divorce not one has genuinely just sat down and played with my kid. This used to surprise me because I thought – “If they’re trying to win me over wouldn’t they want to at least try to play with him?” To their credit, some would try, but it was awkward and forced. “I’ve never been around kids,” they would say. “I don’t know what to do.” Kris has never been around kids either, he’s actually only 23. Five years younger than me.

While I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner, I hear Kris talking to Benjamin, he’s calm, assuring and playful. A few hours later I take Benjamin up for bedtime. I come downstairs and all of his toys are cleaned up. Kris had tidied up my living room. I’m now pinching myself.

Kris is still there in the morning. We all eat pancakes together. There’s lots of laughter, more playing and the entire time Benjamin is following Kris around like a little puppy. I put Benjamin down for his nap and say good bye to Kris, we both have to work.

When Benjamin wakes up four hours later (he has a nasty cold which is why I’m home on a Friday) he searches the house for Kris. He’s going from room to room. As soon as he realizes Kris is gone – he starts crying…hard. My heart breaks. What am I doing? What if this doesn’t work out? Where will we be then? Benjamin is clearly well into toddlerhood (20 months) and now he is very well aware of what’s up.

The single mom dating conundrum:

When a man enters our life we want to see how they would fit into our family, or if they can even handle it. But we can’t do it without introducing them to the kids.

The solution:

When Benjamin was a teeny tiny baby, this wasn’t an issue. So everything I’m about to say clearly depends on the age of the children.

I’m not big on the idea of waiting six months to bring a man into my daily routine. I guess it’s because I’m afraid he would be shocked at the reality of how hard it is to raise a toddler and then split. Then I would have invested six months of my time in a guy who wasn’t really there for the right reasons.

The other problem. I am a working single mother. Not bringing him around Benjamin leaves me only a few hours in the late evening. Period. This can get old and can also hurt a budding relationship.

I have learned from my past mishaps not to raise this issue too early. Why? Because there is no way he or you actually know how long this will last yet, and you shouldn’t presume to know that. Once I actually told a guy I was dating, “the only way I can date you is if there’s potential – potential that one day we might get married.” We had only been dating for a few months. I didn’t even want to marry him. Isn’t that crazy? I just had to rationalize why I was spending time away from my son – to myself. In the end that one just fizzled out but the moral of the story is – it could have been more fun if I would have left my drama in my head. I’m thinking this is probably a good conversation to have 6-8 months in to a relationship. Just a hunch, but to each his own.

My solution: I am going to keep Kris’ encounters with Benjamin to a minimum for the next few months, but he will have a few. Because I also want someone to fall in love with my son, not just me…we are a package deal.
My new boyfriend and I decided to quit smoking – together. It’s the first time I’ve done something together, advice as a couple in years. Well, if you count my divorce, it’s been nearly a year. Knowing Saturday night was going to be a baby-free all-nighter we pick Sunday to go cold turkey. I’m scared. Scared to quit smoking and scared to enter into a verbal contract with someone – a commitment.

I started smoking the day I realized I was going to leave my husband. He had come home and said he’d been fired from yet another job and that he didn’t want to work again, that he wanted to be a stay at home dad. We didn’t have the money for this scenario and I insisted he go out and look for more work. He refused. At this point he was bailing on me and my baby – that’s when I knew it was completely over. I heard my neighbor walking through the driveway. It was Abby, a single mom. Her daughter was just three at the time.

“Abby? Is that you?” I asked over the fence.

“Ya,” she said. We’d only talked a few times here and there, nothing too in depth. We were just friendly neighbors. She was the single mom, I was the married mom with the newborn, supposed to be completely happy.

“I need to have a cigarrette, and you need to tell me what it’s like to be a single mom because I’m about to be one.” She came running into my yard.

“Oh my god. I’ll be right back.”

It was in this moment as she went on and on about the trials and tribulations but about how ultimately, it was the right thing to do, that I realized the bond single mothers have with each other. Perhaps because we are the only ones – the only ones – who truly understand what the other is going through.

Leaving him, moving back in with my mother and leaving my career was the single most challenging thing I’ve ever done – I needed friends and I chose cigarrettes. Now, one and a half years later, I’m back on my feet. Have my career back, have my real friends and my life back. I don’t need them anymore.

On Sunday morning we quit together, as promised. But then today, Monday, I head into work and feel awful. I actually feel like I’m going to get sick all over my desk. Am I pregant? Nope. Definitely not. Could it be the smoking? I Google it. Yep. Smoking cessation can cause nausea. Weird.

I make it until 5:00 pm and then I have one. I just can’t do this. I can’t go pick up Benjamin like this. This nausea has got to go. The cigarrette doesn’t help. I get home and take my temperature – it’s 101.1. Oh my god. I’m sick. I’ve been home from work nursing Benjamin for weeks, have missed six work days and now I’m sick.

I call Kris. “I cheated. I just couldn’t stand it. I can’t be this sick. I thought it was nausea from not smoking, but I’m just actually sick as hell.”

“Do you really want to quit or not?” He sounds disappointed. I try to defend myself.

“But, I’m a single working mom. Any kind of stress relief I can get is worth it. I can’t be in withdraw around Benjamin. And tonight, being so sick, I nearly broke down in tears.”

(I actually had broken down in tears but didn’t want to tell him this). He still sounds pissed. And he should be – I broke a promise. I call him back later, he apologizes for being “difficult” and I apologize for cheating.

“Do you want me to come over? I can make you some tea, cuddle you down.” He offers.

“Nope…maybe tomorrow night.” Step by step, I tell myself. I can quit smoking with someone, sleep with them, even become emotionally attached to them, but it will be a long, long time before I’m ready to actually ask a man for help. I just can’t. I should call Abby and ask her why.

(P.S., I never smoke around Benjamin or in the house, which is why I really want to quit – it’s getting cold out).
I’ve been an online dating “lurker” since my divorce. I joined eHarmony on last year’s very depressing Valentine’s Day.

I was still living at my mom’s house which is out in the woods. There were no men in sight except for the biker across the street.

I took the eHarmony personality test. Be careful with this, thumb because once you take it – you never get another chance. Make sure you’re awake, viagra sale relatively chipper and feeling completely open and honest with yourself.

After the test eHarmony served up my first seven matches. I was excited – “Look, approved an inbox full of men! Just for me!” But I couldn’t see the photos. They wanted my money. But at the time it wasn’t in the budget – at all – so I started sifting through the descriptions.

One guy actually sneaked his e-mail into his profile, “EHarmony is expensive,” he wrote, “E-mail me at dude@dude.com.” Yay! A guy who likes to beat the system. I like that so I sent him a lonely Valentine’s Day e-mail. Days later there’s still no response. I had even attached a picture. Hmmmm. I forget about it and try to stomach my first virtual rejection. It stings a little.

Three months later I get a response, “Hi, this is Carlise, Dan’s friend. I am checking his e-mail because he actually died in a car accident last October.”

My heart cries for Dan for a moment and then my sympathy for he and his family is replaced wtih anger at eHarmony. How could they do that? Then it hits me. The “matches” on eHarmony are not paying members. Many just popped in, took the personality test, and then never returned – or even worse – died.

I still became a paying member. I’m was too tempted by all of those new “matches” they e-mail you every morning. So after I spent over $100 to activate my account I was like a kid at a candy store – hurrying to scope out every man’s photograph.

I didn’t think one of them was cute. I e-mail a few any way but never got responses – because they’re probably inactive accounts. I e-mailed eHarmony asking for a refund. They told me my matching preferences weren’t broad enough, that I should be open to dating people of all ages from all over the world.

After receiving over 155 matches, only one led to a lunch date, and that was a complete failure.

Bottom line: don’t waste your money on eHarmony.

My friend Abby, my bestest single mom friend, had three very interesting and very good looking dates from Yahoo Personals last week.

The reason Yahoo and Match are better online dating sites than eHarmony:

1. They’re inexpensive.

2. You can see rough dates of when matches last logged in (although both sites should improve this feature).

3. You can control your searches, don’t let a computer match you - especially if 80% of those matches aren’t even active on the site.

See my other online dating entries for more background on this and some very important online dating tips.
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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?
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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

Clare, this site the co-founder of iHeart Single Parents, made an appearance on Fox’s Morning Show this week.

Click here to watch Clare’s interview.

I’m so excited that iHeartSingleParents.com is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Morning Show hosts Mike and Juliet say, at the start of this piece, that 40% of new mothers in the U.S. are unmarried and of those the fastest growing group is women in their late 20’s. Not sure where they got that statistic (and it is Fox) but could that be true? Forty percent!

Mike and Juliet also ask Clare if she would recommend that other women choose to be a single mom. In her blog post, Clare says they sprung these questions on her – “They didn’t ask the questions that the producer and I practiced on at all.”

I can’t speak for Clare but being a single mother is seldom a choice for any of us. It’s something that happens. We choose to go on as single moms… but we certainly didn’t choose this path? Or did we? I chose to leave my husband. Does that mean I chose to be a single mom? I’ve written about this here.

Food for thought. And evidence that talk show hosts will always go for the controversial chord of any conversation.

Regardless, Clare did a fantastic job representing! And if you haven’t been over to iHeart lately, get over there because there are hundreds of new members joining every day… and as Clare says in this interview, having a single parent social network to turn to really makes you feel less alone.

[Photo: Clare and her 2-year-old son, Colby]

P.S. Proves my point that Single Moms are on Fire!

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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

Clare, this site the co-founder of iHeart Single Parents, made an appearance on Fox’s Morning Show this week.

Click here to watch Clare’s interview.

I’m so excited that iHeartSingleParents.com is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Morning Show hosts Mike and Juliet say, at the start of this piece, that 40% of new mothers in the U.S. are unmarried and of those the fastest growing group is women in their late 20’s. Not sure where they got that statistic (and it is Fox) but could that be true? Forty percent!

Mike and Juliet also ask Clare if she would recommend that other women choose to be a single mom. In her blog post, Clare says they sprung these questions on her – “They didn’t ask the questions that the producer and I practiced on at all.”

I can’t speak for Clare but being a single mother is seldom a choice for any of us. It’s something that happens. We choose to go on as single moms… but we certainly didn’t choose this path? Or did we? I chose to leave my husband. Does that mean I chose to be a single mom? I’ve written about this here.

Food for thought. And evidence that talk show hosts will always go for the controversial chord of any conversation.

Regardless, Clare did a fantastic job representing! And if you haven’t been over to iHeart lately, get over there because there are hundreds of new members joining every day… and as Clare says in this interview, having a single parent social network to turn to really makes you feel less alone.

[Photo: Clare and her 2-year-old son, Colby]

P.S. Proves my point that Single Moms are on Fire!

It’s been four weeks now.

My new relationship status is beginning to sink in.

I have a boyfriend, cost and I’m actually enjoying it immensely. Usually at this point fear takes over and I start pushing them away. I slowly eject them from my life, thumb or cut it clean depending on my mood. But this time, I’m not feeling that way. I’m not stressed at all. I’m completely comfortable with him and totally into him. So far, the feeling is mutual.

I had him over for dinner on Thursday night. Benjamin was still awake. Kris has seen Benjamin in the mornings briefly but this would be his first evening with us, usually the highlight of my day because Benjamin is chipper, happy and ready to play.

Kris walks in, gives me a hug and then crouches down on his knees, “And, how are you?” He looks at Benjamin and Benjmain stares back. This is odd, usually he flashes a smile and runs away but he can’t take his eyes off of Kris.

Kris leads him into the living room and opens his toy chest. This is a first. Of all of the men I’ve dated since the divorce not one has genuinely just sat down and played with my kid. This used to surprise me because I thought – “If they’re trying to win me over wouldn’t they want to at least try to play with him?” To their credit, some would try, but it was awkward and forced. “I’ve never been around kids,” they would say. “I don’t know what to do.” Kris has never been around kids either, he’s actually only 23. Five years younger than me.

While I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner, I hear Kris talking to Benjamin, he’s calm, assuring and playful. A few hours later I take Benjamin up for bedtime. I come downstairs and all of his toys are cleaned up. Kris had tidied up my living room. I’m now pinching myself.

Kris is still there in the morning. We all eat pancakes together. There’s lots of laughter, more playing and the entire time Benjamin is following Kris around like a little puppy. I put Benjamin down for his nap and say good bye to Kris, we both have to work.

When Benjamin wakes up four hours later (he has a nasty cold which is why I’m home on a Friday) he searches the house for Kris. He’s going from room to room. As soon as he realizes Kris is gone – he starts crying…hard. My heart breaks. What am I doing? What if this doesn’t work out? Where will we be then? Benjamin is clearly well into toddlerhood (20 months) and now he is very well aware of what’s up.

The single mom dating conundrum:

When a man enters our life we want to see how they would fit into our family, or if they can even handle it. But we can’t do it without introducing them to the kids.

The solution:

When Benjamin was a teeny tiny baby, this wasn’t an issue. So everything I’m about to say clearly depends on the age of the children.

I’m not big on the idea of waiting six months to bring a man into my daily routine. I guess it’s because I’m afraid he would be shocked at the reality of how hard it is to raise a toddler and then split. Then I would have invested six months of my time in a guy who wasn’t really there for the right reasons.

The other problem. I am a working single mother. Not bringing him around Benjamin leaves me only a few hours in the late evening. Period. This can get old and can also hurt a budding relationship.

I have learned from my past mishaps not to raise this issue too early. Why? Because there is no way he or you actually know how long this will last yet, and you shouldn’t presume to know that. Once I actually told a guy I was dating, “the only way I can date you is if there’s potential – potential that one day we might get married.” We had only been dating for a few months. I didn’t even want to marry him. Isn’t that crazy? I just had to rationalize why I was spending time away from my son – to myself. In the end that one just fizzled out but the moral of the story is – it could have been more fun if I would have left my drama in my head. I’m thinking this is probably a good conversation to have 6-8 months in to a relationship. Just a hunch, but to each his own.

My solution: I am going to keep Kris’ encounters with Benjamin to a minimum for the next few months, but he will have a few. Because I also want someone to fall in love with my son, not just me…we are a package deal.
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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

Clare, this site the co-founder of iHeart Single Parents, made an appearance on Fox’s Morning Show this week.

Click here to watch Clare’s interview.

I’m so excited that iHeartSingleParents.com is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Morning Show hosts Mike and Juliet say, at the start of this piece, that 40% of new mothers in the U.S. are unmarried and of those the fastest growing group is women in their late 20’s. Not sure where they got that statistic (and it is Fox) but could that be true? Forty percent!

Mike and Juliet also ask Clare if she would recommend that other women choose to be a single mom. In her blog post, Clare says they sprung these questions on her – “They didn’t ask the questions that the producer and I practiced on at all.”

I can’t speak for Clare but being a single mother is seldom a choice for any of us. It’s something that happens. We choose to go on as single moms… but we certainly didn’t choose this path? Or did we? I chose to leave my husband. Does that mean I chose to be a single mom? I’ve written about this here.

Food for thought. And evidence that talk show hosts will always go for the controversial chord of any conversation.

Regardless, Clare did a fantastic job representing! And if you haven’t been over to iHeart lately, get over there because there are hundreds of new members joining every day… and as Clare says in this interview, having a single parent social network to turn to really makes you feel less alone.

[Photo: Clare and her 2-year-old son, Colby]

P.S. Proves my point that Single Moms are on Fire!

It’s been four weeks now.

My new relationship status is beginning to sink in.

I have a boyfriend, cost and I’m actually enjoying it immensely. Usually at this point fear takes over and I start pushing them away. I slowly eject them from my life, thumb or cut it clean depending on my mood. But this time, I’m not feeling that way. I’m not stressed at all. I’m completely comfortable with him and totally into him. So far, the feeling is mutual.

I had him over for dinner on Thursday night. Benjamin was still awake. Kris has seen Benjamin in the mornings briefly but this would be his first evening with us, usually the highlight of my day because Benjamin is chipper, happy and ready to play.

Kris walks in, gives me a hug and then crouches down on his knees, “And, how are you?” He looks at Benjamin and Benjmain stares back. This is odd, usually he flashes a smile and runs away but he can’t take his eyes off of Kris.

Kris leads him into the living room and opens his toy chest. This is a first. Of all of the men I’ve dated since the divorce not one has genuinely just sat down and played with my kid. This used to surprise me because I thought – “If they’re trying to win me over wouldn’t they want to at least try to play with him?” To their credit, some would try, but it was awkward and forced. “I’ve never been around kids,” they would say. “I don’t know what to do.” Kris has never been around kids either, he’s actually only 23. Five years younger than me.

While I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner, I hear Kris talking to Benjamin, he’s calm, assuring and playful. A few hours later I take Benjamin up for bedtime. I come downstairs and all of his toys are cleaned up. Kris had tidied up my living room. I’m now pinching myself.

Kris is still there in the morning. We all eat pancakes together. There’s lots of laughter, more playing and the entire time Benjamin is following Kris around like a little puppy. I put Benjamin down for his nap and say good bye to Kris, we both have to work.

When Benjamin wakes up four hours later (he has a nasty cold which is why I’m home on a Friday) he searches the house for Kris. He’s going from room to room. As soon as he realizes Kris is gone – he starts crying…hard. My heart breaks. What am I doing? What if this doesn’t work out? Where will we be then? Benjamin is clearly well into toddlerhood (20 months) and now he is very well aware of what’s up.

The single mom dating conundrum:

When a man enters our life we want to see how they would fit into our family, or if they can even handle it. But we can’t do it without introducing them to the kids.

The solution:

When Benjamin was a teeny tiny baby, this wasn’t an issue. So everything I’m about to say clearly depends on the age of the children.

I’m not big on the idea of waiting six months to bring a man into my daily routine. I guess it’s because I’m afraid he would be shocked at the reality of how hard it is to raise a toddler and then split. Then I would have invested six months of my time in a guy who wasn’t really there for the right reasons.

The other problem. I am a working single mother. Not bringing him around Benjamin leaves me only a few hours in the late evening. Period. This can get old and can also hurt a budding relationship.

I have learned from my past mishaps not to raise this issue too early. Why? Because there is no way he or you actually know how long this will last yet, and you shouldn’t presume to know that. Once I actually told a guy I was dating, “the only way I can date you is if there’s potential – potential that one day we might get married.” We had only been dating for a few months. I didn’t even want to marry him. Isn’t that crazy? I just had to rationalize why I was spending time away from my son – to myself. In the end that one just fizzled out but the moral of the story is – it could have been more fun if I would have left my drama in my head. I’m thinking this is probably a good conversation to have 6-8 months in to a relationship. Just a hunch, but to each his own.

My solution: I am going to keep Kris’ encounters with Benjamin to a minimum for the next few months, but he will have a few. Because I also want someone to fall in love with my son, not just me…we are a package deal.
My new boyfriend and I decided to quit smoking – together. It’s the first time I’ve done something together, advice as a couple in years. Well, if you count my divorce, it’s been nearly a year. Knowing Saturday night was going to be a baby-free all-nighter we pick Sunday to go cold turkey. I’m scared. Scared to quit smoking and scared to enter into a verbal contract with someone – a commitment.

I started smoking the day I realized I was going to leave my husband. He had come home and said he’d been fired from yet another job and that he didn’t want to work again, that he wanted to be a stay at home dad. We didn’t have the money for this scenario and I insisted he go out and look for more work. He refused. At this point he was bailing on me and my baby – that’s when I knew it was completely over. I heard my neighbor walking through the driveway. It was Abby, a single mom. Her daughter was just three at the time.

“Abby? Is that you?” I asked over the fence.

“Ya,” she said. We’d only talked a few times here and there, nothing too in depth. We were just friendly neighbors. She was the single mom, I was the married mom with the newborn, supposed to be completely happy.

“I need to have a cigarrette, and you need to tell me what it’s like to be a single mom because I’m about to be one.” She came running into my yard.

“Oh my god. I’ll be right back.”

It was in this moment as she went on and on about the trials and tribulations but about how ultimately, it was the right thing to do, that I realized the bond single mothers have with each other. Perhaps because we are the only ones – the only ones – who truly understand what the other is going through.

Leaving him, moving back in with my mother and leaving my career was the single most challenging thing I’ve ever done – I needed friends and I chose cigarrettes. Now, one and a half years later, I’m back on my feet. Have my career back, have my real friends and my life back. I don’t need them anymore.

On Sunday morning we quit together, as promised. But then today, Monday, I head into work and feel awful. I actually feel like I’m going to get sick all over my desk. Am I pregant? Nope. Definitely not. Could it be the smoking? I Google it. Yep. Smoking cessation can cause nausea. Weird.

I make it until 5:00 pm and then I have one. I just can’t do this. I can’t go pick up Benjamin like this. This nausea has got to go. The cigarrette doesn’t help. I get home and take my temperature – it’s 101.1. Oh my god. I’m sick. I’ve been home from work nursing Benjamin for weeks, have missed six work days and now I’m sick.

I call Kris. “I cheated. I just couldn’t stand it. I can’t be this sick. I thought it was nausea from not smoking, but I’m just actually sick as hell.”

“Do you really want to quit or not?” He sounds disappointed. I try to defend myself.

“But, I’m a single working mom. Any kind of stress relief I can get is worth it. I can’t be in withdraw around Benjamin. And tonight, being so sick, I nearly broke down in tears.”

(I actually had broken down in tears but didn’t want to tell him this). He still sounds pissed. And he should be – I broke a promise. I call him back later, he apologizes for being “difficult” and I apologize for cheating.

“Do you want me to come over? I can make you some tea, cuddle you down.” He offers.

“Nope…maybe tomorrow night.” Step by step, I tell myself. I can quit smoking with someone, sleep with them, even become emotionally attached to them, but it will be a long, long time before I’m ready to actually ask a man for help. I just can’t. I should call Abby and ask her why.

(P.S., I never smoke around Benjamin or in the house, which is why I really want to quit – it’s getting cold out).
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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

Clare, this site the co-founder of iHeart Single Parents, made an appearance on Fox’s Morning Show this week.

Click here to watch Clare’s interview.

I’m so excited that iHeartSingleParents.com is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Morning Show hosts Mike and Juliet say, at the start of this piece, that 40% of new mothers in the U.S. are unmarried and of those the fastest growing group is women in their late 20’s. Not sure where they got that statistic (and it is Fox) but could that be true? Forty percent!

Mike and Juliet also ask Clare if she would recommend that other women choose to be a single mom. In her blog post, Clare says they sprung these questions on her – “They didn’t ask the questions that the producer and I practiced on at all.”

I can’t speak for Clare but being a single mother is seldom a choice for any of us. It’s something that happens. We choose to go on as single moms… but we certainly didn’t choose this path? Or did we? I chose to leave my husband. Does that mean I chose to be a single mom? I’ve written about this here.

Food for thought. And evidence that talk show hosts will always go for the controversial chord of any conversation.

Regardless, Clare did a fantastic job representing! And if you haven’t been over to iHeart lately, get over there because there are hundreds of new members joining every day… and as Clare says in this interview, having a single parent social network to turn to really makes you feel less alone.

[Photo: Clare and her 2-year-old son, Colby]

P.S. Proves my point that Single Moms are on Fire!

It’s been four weeks now.

My new relationship status is beginning to sink in.

I have a boyfriend, cost and I’m actually enjoying it immensely. Usually at this point fear takes over and I start pushing them away. I slowly eject them from my life, thumb or cut it clean depending on my mood. But this time, I’m not feeling that way. I’m not stressed at all. I’m completely comfortable with him and totally into him. So far, the feeling is mutual.

I had him over for dinner on Thursday night. Benjamin was still awake. Kris has seen Benjamin in the mornings briefly but this would be his first evening with us, usually the highlight of my day because Benjamin is chipper, happy and ready to play.

Kris walks in, gives me a hug and then crouches down on his knees, “And, how are you?” He looks at Benjamin and Benjmain stares back. This is odd, usually he flashes a smile and runs away but he can’t take his eyes off of Kris.

Kris leads him into the living room and opens his toy chest. This is a first. Of all of the men I’ve dated since the divorce not one has genuinely just sat down and played with my kid. This used to surprise me because I thought – “If they’re trying to win me over wouldn’t they want to at least try to play with him?” To their credit, some would try, but it was awkward and forced. “I’ve never been around kids,” they would say. “I don’t know what to do.” Kris has never been around kids either, he’s actually only 23. Five years younger than me.

While I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner, I hear Kris talking to Benjamin, he’s calm, assuring and playful. A few hours later I take Benjamin up for bedtime. I come downstairs and all of his toys are cleaned up. Kris had tidied up my living room. I’m now pinching myself.

Kris is still there in the morning. We all eat pancakes together. There’s lots of laughter, more playing and the entire time Benjamin is following Kris around like a little puppy. I put Benjamin down for his nap and say good bye to Kris, we both have to work.

When Benjamin wakes up four hours later (he has a nasty cold which is why I’m home on a Friday) he searches the house for Kris. He’s going from room to room. As soon as he realizes Kris is gone – he starts crying…hard. My heart breaks. What am I doing? What if this doesn’t work out? Where will we be then? Benjamin is clearly well into toddlerhood (20 months) and now he is very well aware of what’s up.

The single mom dating conundrum:

When a man enters our life we want to see how they would fit into our family, or if they can even handle it. But we can’t do it without introducing them to the kids.

The solution:

When Benjamin was a teeny tiny baby, this wasn’t an issue. So everything I’m about to say clearly depends on the age of the children.

I’m not big on the idea of waiting six months to bring a man into my daily routine. I guess it’s because I’m afraid he would be shocked at the reality of how hard it is to raise a toddler and then split. Then I would have invested six months of my time in a guy who wasn’t really there for the right reasons.

The other problem. I am a working single mother. Not bringing him around Benjamin leaves me only a few hours in the late evening. Period. This can get old and can also hurt a budding relationship.

I have learned from my past mishaps not to raise this issue too early. Why? Because there is no way he or you actually know how long this will last yet, and you shouldn’t presume to know that. Once I actually told a guy I was dating, “the only way I can date you is if there’s potential – potential that one day we might get married.” We had only been dating for a few months. I didn’t even want to marry him. Isn’t that crazy? I just had to rationalize why I was spending time away from my son – to myself. In the end that one just fizzled out but the moral of the story is – it could have been more fun if I would have left my drama in my head. I’m thinking this is probably a good conversation to have 6-8 months in to a relationship. Just a hunch, but to each his own.

My solution: I am going to keep Kris’ encounters with Benjamin to a minimum for the next few months, but he will have a few. Because I also want someone to fall in love with my son, not just me…we are a package deal.
My new boyfriend and I decided to quit smoking – together. It’s the first time I’ve done something together, advice as a couple in years. Well, if you count my divorce, it’s been nearly a year. Knowing Saturday night was going to be a baby-free all-nighter we pick Sunday to go cold turkey. I’m scared. Scared to quit smoking and scared to enter into a verbal contract with someone – a commitment.

I started smoking the day I realized I was going to leave my husband. He had come home and said he’d been fired from yet another job and that he didn’t want to work again, that he wanted to be a stay at home dad. We didn’t have the money for this scenario and I insisted he go out and look for more work. He refused. At this point he was bailing on me and my baby – that’s when I knew it was completely over. I heard my neighbor walking through the driveway. It was Abby, a single mom. Her daughter was just three at the time.

“Abby? Is that you?” I asked over the fence.

“Ya,” she said. We’d only talked a few times here and there, nothing too in depth. We were just friendly neighbors. She was the single mom, I was the married mom with the newborn, supposed to be completely happy.

“I need to have a cigarrette, and you need to tell me what it’s like to be a single mom because I’m about to be one.” She came running into my yard.

“Oh my god. I’ll be right back.”

It was in this moment as she went on and on about the trials and tribulations but about how ultimately, it was the right thing to do, that I realized the bond single mothers have with each other. Perhaps because we are the only ones – the only ones – who truly understand what the other is going through.

Leaving him, moving back in with my mother and leaving my career was the single most challenging thing I’ve ever done – I needed friends and I chose cigarrettes. Now, one and a half years later, I’m back on my feet. Have my career back, have my real friends and my life back. I don’t need them anymore.

On Sunday morning we quit together, as promised. But then today, Monday, I head into work and feel awful. I actually feel like I’m going to get sick all over my desk. Am I pregant? Nope. Definitely not. Could it be the smoking? I Google it. Yep. Smoking cessation can cause nausea. Weird.

I make it until 5:00 pm and then I have one. I just can’t do this. I can’t go pick up Benjamin like this. This nausea has got to go. The cigarrette doesn’t help. I get home and take my temperature – it’s 101.1. Oh my god. I’m sick. I’ve been home from work nursing Benjamin for weeks, have missed six work days and now I’m sick.

I call Kris. “I cheated. I just couldn’t stand it. I can’t be this sick. I thought it was nausea from not smoking, but I’m just actually sick as hell.”

“Do you really want to quit or not?” He sounds disappointed. I try to defend myself.

“But, I’m a single working mom. Any kind of stress relief I can get is worth it. I can’t be in withdraw around Benjamin. And tonight, being so sick, I nearly broke down in tears.”

(I actually had broken down in tears but didn’t want to tell him this). He still sounds pissed. And he should be – I broke a promise. I call him back later, he apologizes for being “difficult” and I apologize for cheating.

“Do you want me to come over? I can make you some tea, cuddle you down.” He offers.

“Nope…maybe tomorrow night.” Step by step, I tell myself. I can quit smoking with someone, sleep with them, even become emotionally attached to them, but it will be a long, long time before I’m ready to actually ask a man for help. I just can’t. I should call Abby and ask her why.

(P.S., I never smoke around Benjamin or in the house, which is why I really want to quit – it’s getting cold out).
I’ve been an online dating “lurker” since my divorce. I joined eHarmony on last year’s very depressing Valentine’s Day.

I was still living at my mom’s house which is out in the woods. There were no men in sight except for the biker across the street.

I took the eHarmony personality test. Be careful with this, thumb because once you take it – you never get another chance. Make sure you’re awake, viagra sale relatively chipper and feeling completely open and honest with yourself.

After the test eHarmony served up my first seven matches. I was excited – “Look, approved an inbox full of men! Just for me!” But I couldn’t see the photos. They wanted my money. But at the time it wasn’t in the budget – at all – so I started sifting through the descriptions.

One guy actually sneaked his e-mail into his profile, “EHarmony is expensive,” he wrote, “E-mail me at dude@dude.com.” Yay! A guy who likes to beat the system. I like that so I sent him a lonely Valentine’s Day e-mail. Days later there’s still no response. I had even attached a picture. Hmmmm. I forget about it and try to stomach my first virtual rejection. It stings a little.

Three months later I get a response, “Hi, this is Carlise, Dan’s friend. I am checking his e-mail because he actually died in a car accident last October.”

My heart cries for Dan for a moment and then my sympathy for he and his family is replaced wtih anger at eHarmony. How could they do that? Then it hits me. The “matches” on eHarmony are not paying members. Many just popped in, took the personality test, and then never returned – or even worse – died.

I still became a paying member. I’m was too tempted by all of those new “matches” they e-mail you every morning. So after I spent over $100 to activate my account I was like a kid at a candy store – hurrying to scope out every man’s photograph.

I didn’t think one of them was cute. I e-mail a few any way but never got responses – because they’re probably inactive accounts. I e-mailed eHarmony asking for a refund. They told me my matching preferences weren’t broad enough, that I should be open to dating people of all ages from all over the world.

After receiving over 155 matches, only one led to a lunch date, and that was a complete failure.

Bottom line: don’t waste your money on eHarmony.

My friend Abby, my bestest single mom friend, had three very interesting and very good looking dates from Yahoo Personals last week.

The reason Yahoo and Match are better online dating sites than eHarmony:

1. They’re inexpensive.

2. You can see rough dates of when matches last logged in (although both sites should improve this feature).

3. You can control your searches, don’t let a computer match you - especially if 80% of those matches aren’t even active on the site.

See my other online dating entries for more background on this and some very important online dating tips.
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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

Clare, this site the co-founder of iHeart Single Parents, made an appearance on Fox’s Morning Show this week.

Click here to watch Clare’s interview.

I’m so excited that iHeartSingleParents.com is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Morning Show hosts Mike and Juliet say, at the start of this piece, that 40% of new mothers in the U.S. are unmarried and of those the fastest growing group is women in their late 20’s. Not sure where they got that statistic (and it is Fox) but could that be true? Forty percent!

Mike and Juliet also ask Clare if she would recommend that other women choose to be a single mom. In her blog post, Clare says they sprung these questions on her – “They didn’t ask the questions that the producer and I practiced on at all.”

I can’t speak for Clare but being a single mother is seldom a choice for any of us. It’s something that happens. We choose to go on as single moms… but we certainly didn’t choose this path? Or did we? I chose to leave my husband. Does that mean I chose to be a single mom? I’ve written about this here.

Food for thought. And evidence that talk show hosts will always go for the controversial chord of any conversation.

Regardless, Clare did a fantastic job representing! And if you haven’t been over to iHeart lately, get over there because there are hundreds of new members joining every day… and as Clare says in this interview, having a single parent social network to turn to really makes you feel less alone.

[Photo: Clare and her 2-year-old son, Colby]

P.S. Proves my point that Single Moms are on Fire!

It’s been four weeks now.

My new relationship status is beginning to sink in.

I have a boyfriend, cost and I’m actually enjoying it immensely. Usually at this point fear takes over and I start pushing them away. I slowly eject them from my life, thumb or cut it clean depending on my mood. But this time, I’m not feeling that way. I’m not stressed at all. I’m completely comfortable with him and totally into him. So far, the feeling is mutual.

I had him over for dinner on Thursday night. Benjamin was still awake. Kris has seen Benjamin in the mornings briefly but this would be his first evening with us, usually the highlight of my day because Benjamin is chipper, happy and ready to play.

Kris walks in, gives me a hug and then crouches down on his knees, “And, how are you?” He looks at Benjamin and Benjmain stares back. This is odd, usually he flashes a smile and runs away but he can’t take his eyes off of Kris.

Kris leads him into the living room and opens his toy chest. This is a first. Of all of the men I’ve dated since the divorce not one has genuinely just sat down and played with my kid. This used to surprise me because I thought – “If they’re trying to win me over wouldn’t they want to at least try to play with him?” To their credit, some would try, but it was awkward and forced. “I’ve never been around kids,” they would say. “I don’t know what to do.” Kris has never been around kids either, he’s actually only 23. Five years younger than me.

While I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner, I hear Kris talking to Benjamin, he’s calm, assuring and playful. A few hours later I take Benjamin up for bedtime. I come downstairs and all of his toys are cleaned up. Kris had tidied up my living room. I’m now pinching myself.

Kris is still there in the morning. We all eat pancakes together. There’s lots of laughter, more playing and the entire time Benjamin is following Kris around like a little puppy. I put Benjamin down for his nap and say good bye to Kris, we both have to work.

When Benjamin wakes up four hours later (he has a nasty cold which is why I’m home on a Friday) he searches the house for Kris. He’s going from room to room. As soon as he realizes Kris is gone – he starts crying…hard. My heart breaks. What am I doing? What if this doesn’t work out? Where will we be then? Benjamin is clearly well into toddlerhood (20 months) and now he is very well aware of what’s up.

The single mom dating conundrum:

When a man enters our life we want to see how they would fit into our family, or if they can even handle it. But we can’t do it without introducing them to the kids.

The solution:

When Benjamin was a teeny tiny baby, this wasn’t an issue. So everything I’m about to say clearly depends on the age of the children.

I’m not big on the idea of waiting six months to bring a man into my daily routine. I guess it’s because I’m afraid he would be shocked at the reality of how hard it is to raise a toddler and then split. Then I would have invested six months of my time in a guy who wasn’t really there for the right reasons.

The other problem. I am a working single mother. Not bringing him around Benjamin leaves me only a few hours in the late evening. Period. This can get old and can also hurt a budding relationship.

I have learned from my past mishaps not to raise this issue too early. Why? Because there is no way he or you actually know how long this will last yet, and you shouldn’t presume to know that. Once I actually told a guy I was dating, “the only way I can date you is if there’s potential – potential that one day we might get married.” We had only been dating for a few months. I didn’t even want to marry him. Isn’t that crazy? I just had to rationalize why I was spending time away from my son – to myself. In the end that one just fizzled out but the moral of the story is – it could have been more fun if I would have left my drama in my head. I’m thinking this is probably a good conversation to have 6-8 months in to a relationship. Just a hunch, but to each his own.

My solution: I am going to keep Kris’ encounters with Benjamin to a minimum for the next few months, but he will have a few. Because I also want someone to fall in love with my son, not just me…we are a package deal.
My new boyfriend and I decided to quit smoking – together. It’s the first time I’ve done something together, advice as a couple in years. Well, if you count my divorce, it’s been nearly a year. Knowing Saturday night was going to be a baby-free all-nighter we pick Sunday to go cold turkey. I’m scared. Scared to quit smoking and scared to enter into a verbal contract with someone – a commitment.

I started smoking the day I realized I was going to leave my husband. He had come home and said he’d been fired from yet another job and that he didn’t want to work again, that he wanted to be a stay at home dad. We didn’t have the money for this scenario and I insisted he go out and look for more work. He refused. At this point he was bailing on me and my baby – that’s when I knew it was completely over. I heard my neighbor walking through the driveway. It was Abby, a single mom. Her daughter was just three at the time.

“Abby? Is that you?” I asked over the fence.

“Ya,” she said. We’d only talked a few times here and there, nothing too in depth. We were just friendly neighbors. She was the single mom, I was the married mom with the newborn, supposed to be completely happy.

“I need to have a cigarrette, and you need to tell me what it’s like to be a single mom because I’m about to be one.” She came running into my yard.

“Oh my god. I’ll be right back.”

It was in this moment as she went on and on about the trials and tribulations but about how ultimately, it was the right thing to do, that I realized the bond single mothers have with each other. Perhaps because we are the only ones – the only ones – who truly understand what the other is going through.

Leaving him, moving back in with my mother and leaving my career was the single most challenging thing I’ve ever done – I needed friends and I chose cigarrettes. Now, one and a half years later, I’m back on my feet. Have my career back, have my real friends and my life back. I don’t need them anymore.

On Sunday morning we quit together, as promised. But then today, Monday, I head into work and feel awful. I actually feel like I’m going to get sick all over my desk. Am I pregant? Nope. Definitely not. Could it be the smoking? I Google it. Yep. Smoking cessation can cause nausea. Weird.

I make it until 5:00 pm and then I have one. I just can’t do this. I can’t go pick up Benjamin like this. This nausea has got to go. The cigarrette doesn’t help. I get home and take my temperature – it’s 101.1. Oh my god. I’m sick. I’ve been home from work nursing Benjamin for weeks, have missed six work days and now I’m sick.

I call Kris. “I cheated. I just couldn’t stand it. I can’t be this sick. I thought it was nausea from not smoking, but I’m just actually sick as hell.”

“Do you really want to quit or not?” He sounds disappointed. I try to defend myself.

“But, I’m a single working mom. Any kind of stress relief I can get is worth it. I can’t be in withdraw around Benjamin. And tonight, being so sick, I nearly broke down in tears.”

(I actually had broken down in tears but didn’t want to tell him this). He still sounds pissed. And he should be – I broke a promise. I call him back later, he apologizes for being “difficult” and I apologize for cheating.

“Do you want me to come over? I can make you some tea, cuddle you down.” He offers.

“Nope…maybe tomorrow night.” Step by step, I tell myself. I can quit smoking with someone, sleep with them, even become emotionally attached to them, but it will be a long, long time before I’m ready to actually ask a man for help. I just can’t. I should call Abby and ask her why.

(P.S., I never smoke around Benjamin or in the house, which is why I really want to quit – it’s getting cold out).
I’ve been an online dating “lurker” since my divorce. I joined eHarmony on last year’s very depressing Valentine’s Day.

I was still living at my mom’s house which is out in the woods. There were no men in sight except for the biker across the street.

I took the eHarmony personality test. Be careful with this, thumb because once you take it – you never get another chance. Make sure you’re awake, viagra sale relatively chipper and feeling completely open and honest with yourself.

After the test eHarmony served up my first seven matches. I was excited – “Look, approved an inbox full of men! Just for me!” But I couldn’t see the photos. They wanted my money. But at the time it wasn’t in the budget – at all – so I started sifting through the descriptions.

One guy actually sneaked his e-mail into his profile, “EHarmony is expensive,” he wrote, “E-mail me at dude@dude.com.” Yay! A guy who likes to beat the system. I like that so I sent him a lonely Valentine’s Day e-mail. Days later there’s still no response. I had even attached a picture. Hmmmm. I forget about it and try to stomach my first virtual rejection. It stings a little.

Three months later I get a response, “Hi, this is Carlise, Dan’s friend. I am checking his e-mail because he actually died in a car accident last October.”

My heart cries for Dan for a moment and then my sympathy for he and his family is replaced wtih anger at eHarmony. How could they do that? Then it hits me. The “matches” on eHarmony are not paying members. Many just popped in, took the personality test, and then never returned – or even worse – died.

I still became a paying member. I’m was too tempted by all of those new “matches” they e-mail you every morning. So after I spent over $100 to activate my account I was like a kid at a candy store – hurrying to scope out every man’s photograph.

I didn’t think one of them was cute. I e-mail a few any way but never got responses – because they’re probably inactive accounts. I e-mailed eHarmony asking for a refund. They told me my matching preferences weren’t broad enough, that I should be open to dating people of all ages from all over the world.

After receiving over 155 matches, only one led to a lunch date, and that was a complete failure.

Bottom line: don’t waste your money on eHarmony.

My friend Abby, my bestest single mom friend, had three very interesting and very good looking dates from Yahoo Personals last week.

The reason Yahoo and Match are better online dating sites than eHarmony:

1. They’re inexpensive.

2. You can see rough dates of when matches last logged in (although both sites should improve this feature).

3. You can control your searches, don’t let a computer match you - especially if 80% of those matches aren’t even active on the site.

See my other online dating entries for more background on this and some very important online dating tips.
I don’t know about you, ampoule but movies just aren’t the same anymore. A lot of things aren’t. If I am going to take a few hours to sit down and watch one it better be good, prostate or I flip it off within the first 20 minutes.

Last night I watched Paris, thumb Je Taime (Paris, I Love You). It was unbelievable. There are 18, maybe more, short 5 minute love stories from Paris. Love stories you wouldn’t expect. Love between divorced couples, old couples, young couples, friends and a few on the love between a mother and her child. Some made me cry, some made me laugh and some made me believe in love again.
One story shows the strong will and determination of a single mother, completely driven by her love for her son. Warning. This might make you cry.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/v/RzaIQWQTARo&rel=1]

And the best single mom movie ever…Chocalot, take a peak. This movie has it all. The stresses of being a single mother and the huge benefits. Sex. Love. Chocolate. Johnny Depp. What more could you ask for? And it’s probably one of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever seen. Here’s the original preview.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/v/dLAuf4-a0I4&rel=1]

What are your favorite single mama movies? What about movies for the kids? Do share.
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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?
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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

Clare, this site the co-founder of iHeart Single Parents, made an appearance on Fox’s Morning Show this week.

Click here to watch Clare’s interview.

I’m so excited that iHeartSingleParents.com is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Morning Show hosts Mike and Juliet say, at the start of this piece, that 40% of new mothers in the U.S. are unmarried and of those the fastest growing group is women in their late 20’s. Not sure where they got that statistic (and it is Fox) but could that be true? Forty percent!

Mike and Juliet also ask Clare if she would recommend that other women choose to be a single mom. In her blog post, Clare says they sprung these questions on her – “They didn’t ask the questions that the producer and I practiced on at all.”

I can’t speak for Clare but being a single mother is seldom a choice for any of us. It’s something that happens. We choose to go on as single moms… but we certainly didn’t choose this path? Or did we? I chose to leave my husband. Does that mean I chose to be a single mom? I’ve written about this here.

Food for thought. And evidence that talk show hosts will always go for the controversial chord of any conversation.

Regardless, Clare did a fantastic job representing! And if you haven’t been over to iHeart lately, get over there because there are hundreds of new members joining every day… and as Clare says in this interview, having a single parent social network to turn to really makes you feel less alone.

[Photo: Clare and her 2-year-old son, Colby]

P.S. Proves my point that Single Moms are on Fire!

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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

Clare, this site the co-founder of iHeart Single Parents, made an appearance on Fox’s Morning Show this week.

Click here to watch Clare’s interview.

I’m so excited that iHeartSingleParents.com is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Morning Show hosts Mike and Juliet say, at the start of this piece, that 40% of new mothers in the U.S. are unmarried and of those the fastest growing group is women in their late 20’s. Not sure where they got that statistic (and it is Fox) but could that be true? Forty percent!

Mike and Juliet also ask Clare if she would recommend that other women choose to be a single mom. In her blog post, Clare says they sprung these questions on her – “They didn’t ask the questions that the producer and I practiced on at all.”

I can’t speak for Clare but being a single mother is seldom a choice for any of us. It’s something that happens. We choose to go on as single moms… but we certainly didn’t choose this path? Or did we? I chose to leave my husband. Does that mean I chose to be a single mom? I’ve written about this here.

Food for thought. And evidence that talk show hosts will always go for the controversial chord of any conversation.

Regardless, Clare did a fantastic job representing! And if you haven’t been over to iHeart lately, get over there because there are hundreds of new members joining every day… and as Clare says in this interview, having a single parent social network to turn to really makes you feel less alone.

[Photo: Clare and her 2-year-old son, Colby]

P.S. Proves my point that Single Moms are on Fire!

It’s been four weeks now.

My new relationship status is beginning to sink in.

I have a boyfriend, cost and I’m actually enjoying it immensely. Usually at this point fear takes over and I start pushing them away. I slowly eject them from my life, thumb or cut it clean depending on my mood. But this time, I’m not feeling that way. I’m not stressed at all. I’m completely comfortable with him and totally into him. So far, the feeling is mutual.

I had him over for dinner on Thursday night. Benjamin was still awake. Kris has seen Benjamin in the mornings briefly but this would be his first evening with us, usually the highlight of my day because Benjamin is chipper, happy and ready to play.

Kris walks in, gives me a hug and then crouches down on his knees, “And, how are you?” He looks at Benjamin and Benjmain stares back. This is odd, usually he flashes a smile and runs away but he can’t take his eyes off of Kris.

Kris leads him into the living room and opens his toy chest. This is a first. Of all of the men I’ve dated since the divorce not one has genuinely just sat down and played with my kid. This used to surprise me because I thought – “If they’re trying to win me over wouldn’t they want to at least try to play with him?” To their credit, some would try, but it was awkward and forced. “I’ve never been around kids,” they would say. “I don’t know what to do.” Kris has never been around kids either, he’s actually only 23. Five years younger than me.

While I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner, I hear Kris talking to Benjamin, he’s calm, assuring and playful. A few hours later I take Benjamin up for bedtime. I come downstairs and all of his toys are cleaned up. Kris had tidied up my living room. I’m now pinching myself.

Kris is still there in the morning. We all eat pancakes together. There’s lots of laughter, more playing and the entire time Benjamin is following Kris around like a little puppy. I put Benjamin down for his nap and say good bye to Kris, we both have to work.

When Benjamin wakes up four hours later (he has a nasty cold which is why I’m home on a Friday) he searches the house for Kris. He’s going from room to room. As soon as he realizes Kris is gone – he starts crying…hard. My heart breaks. What am I doing? What if this doesn’t work out? Where will we be then? Benjamin is clearly well into toddlerhood (20 months) and now he is very well aware of what’s up.

The single mom dating conundrum:

When a man enters our life we want to see how they would fit into our family, or if they can even handle it. But we can’t do it without introducing them to the kids.

The solution:

When Benjamin was a teeny tiny baby, this wasn’t an issue. So everything I’m about to say clearly depends on the age of the children.

I’m not big on the idea of waiting six months to bring a man into my daily routine. I guess it’s because I’m afraid he would be shocked at the reality of how hard it is to raise a toddler and then split. Then I would have invested six months of my time in a guy who wasn’t really there for the right reasons.

The other problem. I am a working single mother. Not bringing him around Benjamin leaves me only a few hours in the late evening. Period. This can get old and can also hurt a budding relationship.

I have learned from my past mishaps not to raise this issue too early. Why? Because there is no way he or you actually know how long this will last yet, and you shouldn’t presume to know that. Once I actually told a guy I was dating, “the only way I can date you is if there’s potential – potential that one day we might get married.” We had only been dating for a few months. I didn’t even want to marry him. Isn’t that crazy? I just had to rationalize why I was spending time away from my son – to myself. In the end that one just fizzled out but the moral of the story is – it could have been more fun if I would have left my drama in my head. I’m thinking this is probably a good conversation to have 6-8 months in to a relationship. Just a hunch, but to each his own.

My solution: I am going to keep Kris’ encounters with Benjamin to a minimum for the next few months, but he will have a few. Because I also want someone to fall in love with my son, not just me…we are a package deal.
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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

Clare, this site the co-founder of iHeart Single Parents, made an appearance on Fox’s Morning Show this week.

Click here to watch Clare’s interview.

I’m so excited that iHeartSingleParents.com is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Morning Show hosts Mike and Juliet say, at the start of this piece, that 40% of new mothers in the U.S. are unmarried and of those the fastest growing group is women in their late 20’s. Not sure where they got that statistic (and it is Fox) but could that be true? Forty percent!

Mike and Juliet also ask Clare if she would recommend that other women choose to be a single mom. In her blog post, Clare says they sprung these questions on her – “They didn’t ask the questions that the producer and I practiced on at all.”

I can’t speak for Clare but being a single mother is seldom a choice for any of us. It’s something that happens. We choose to go on as single moms… but we certainly didn’t choose this path? Or did we? I chose to leave my husband. Does that mean I chose to be a single mom? I’ve written about this here.

Food for thought. And evidence that talk show hosts will always go for the controversial chord of any conversation.

Regardless, Clare did a fantastic job representing! And if you haven’t been over to iHeart lately, get over there because there are hundreds of new members joining every day… and as Clare says in this interview, having a single parent social network to turn to really makes you feel less alone.

[Photo: Clare and her 2-year-old son, Colby]

P.S. Proves my point that Single Moms are on Fire!

It’s been four weeks now.

My new relationship status is beginning to sink in.

I have a boyfriend, cost and I’m actually enjoying it immensely. Usually at this point fear takes over and I start pushing them away. I slowly eject them from my life, thumb or cut it clean depending on my mood. But this time, I’m not feeling that way. I’m not stressed at all. I’m completely comfortable with him and totally into him. So far, the feeling is mutual.

I had him over for dinner on Thursday night. Benjamin was still awake. Kris has seen Benjamin in the mornings briefly but this would be his first evening with us, usually the highlight of my day because Benjamin is chipper, happy and ready to play.

Kris walks in, gives me a hug and then crouches down on his knees, “And, how are you?” He looks at Benjamin and Benjmain stares back. This is odd, usually he flashes a smile and runs away but he can’t take his eyes off of Kris.

Kris leads him into the living room and opens his toy chest. This is a first. Of all of the men I’ve dated since the divorce not one has genuinely just sat down and played with my kid. This used to surprise me because I thought – “If they’re trying to win me over wouldn’t they want to at least try to play with him?” To their credit, some would try, but it was awkward and forced. “I’ve never been around kids,” they would say. “I don’t know what to do.” Kris has never been around kids either, he’s actually only 23. Five years younger than me.

While I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner, I hear Kris talking to Benjamin, he’s calm, assuring and playful. A few hours later I take Benjamin up for bedtime. I come downstairs and all of his toys are cleaned up. Kris had tidied up my living room. I’m now pinching myself.

Kris is still there in the morning. We all eat pancakes together. There’s lots of laughter, more playing and the entire time Benjamin is following Kris around like a little puppy. I put Benjamin down for his nap and say good bye to Kris, we both have to work.

When Benjamin wakes up four hours later (he has a nasty cold which is why I’m home on a Friday) he searches the house for Kris. He’s going from room to room. As soon as he realizes Kris is gone – he starts crying…hard. My heart breaks. What am I doing? What if this doesn’t work out? Where will we be then? Benjamin is clearly well into toddlerhood (20 months) and now he is very well aware of what’s up.

The single mom dating conundrum:

When a man enters our life we want to see how they would fit into our family, or if they can even handle it. But we can’t do it without introducing them to the kids.

The solution:

When Benjamin was a teeny tiny baby, this wasn’t an issue. So everything I’m about to say clearly depends on the age of the children.

I’m not big on the idea of waiting six months to bring a man into my daily routine. I guess it’s because I’m afraid he would be shocked at the reality of how hard it is to raise a toddler and then split. Then I would have invested six months of my time in a guy who wasn’t really there for the right reasons.

The other problem. I am a working single mother. Not bringing him around Benjamin leaves me only a few hours in the late evening. Period. This can get old and can also hurt a budding relationship.

I have learned from my past mishaps not to raise this issue too early. Why? Because there is no way he or you actually know how long this will last yet, and you shouldn’t presume to know that. Once I actually told a guy I was dating, “the only way I can date you is if there’s potential – potential that one day we might get married.” We had only been dating for a few months. I didn’t even want to marry him. Isn’t that crazy? I just had to rationalize why I was spending time away from my son – to myself. In the end that one just fizzled out but the moral of the story is – it could have been more fun if I would have left my drama in my head. I’m thinking this is probably a good conversation to have 6-8 months in to a relationship. Just a hunch, but to each his own.

My solution: I am going to keep Kris’ encounters with Benjamin to a minimum for the next few months, but he will have a few. Because I also want someone to fall in love with my son, not just me…we are a package deal.
My new boyfriend and I decided to quit smoking – together. It’s the first time I’ve done something together, advice as a couple in years. Well, if you count my divorce, it’s been nearly a year. Knowing Saturday night was going to be a baby-free all-nighter we pick Sunday to go cold turkey. I’m scared. Scared to quit smoking and scared to enter into a verbal contract with someone – a commitment.

I started smoking the day I realized I was going to leave my husband. He had come home and said he’d been fired from yet another job and that he didn’t want to work again, that he wanted to be a stay at home dad. We didn’t have the money for this scenario and I insisted he go out and look for more work. He refused. At this point he was bailing on me and my baby – that’s when I knew it was completely over. I heard my neighbor walking through the driveway. It was Abby, a single mom. Her daughter was just three at the time.

“Abby? Is that you?” I asked over the fence.

“Ya,” she said. We’d only talked a few times here and there, nothing too in depth. We were just friendly neighbors. She was the single mom, I was the married mom with the newborn, supposed to be completely happy.

“I need to have a cigarrette, and you need to tell me what it’s like to be a single mom because I’m about to be one.” She came running into my yard.

“Oh my god. I’ll be right back.”

It was in this moment as she went on and on about the trials and tribulations but about how ultimately, it was the right thing to do, that I realized the bond single mothers have with each other. Perhaps because we are the only ones – the only ones – who truly understand what the other is going through.

Leaving him, moving back in with my mother and leaving my career was the single most challenging thing I’ve ever done – I needed friends and I chose cigarrettes. Now, one and a half years later, I’m back on my feet. Have my career back, have my real friends and my life back. I don’t need them anymore.

On Sunday morning we quit together, as promised. But then today, Monday, I head into work and feel awful. I actually feel like I’m going to get sick all over my desk. Am I pregant? Nope. Definitely not. Could it be the smoking? I Google it. Yep. Smoking cessation can cause nausea. Weird.

I make it until 5:00 pm and then I have one. I just can’t do this. I can’t go pick up Benjamin like this. This nausea has got to go. The cigarrette doesn’t help. I get home and take my temperature – it’s 101.1. Oh my god. I’m sick. I’ve been home from work nursing Benjamin for weeks, have missed six work days and now I’m sick.

I call Kris. “I cheated. I just couldn’t stand it. I can’t be this sick. I thought it was nausea from not smoking, but I’m just actually sick as hell.”

“Do you really want to quit or not?” He sounds disappointed. I try to defend myself.

“But, I’m a single working mom. Any kind of stress relief I can get is worth it. I can’t be in withdraw around Benjamin. And tonight, being so sick, I nearly broke down in tears.”

(I actually had broken down in tears but didn’t want to tell him this). He still sounds pissed. And he should be – I broke a promise. I call him back later, he apologizes for being “difficult” and I apologize for cheating.

“Do you want me to come over? I can make you some tea, cuddle you down.” He offers.

“Nope…maybe tomorrow night.” Step by step, I tell myself. I can quit smoking with someone, sleep with them, even become emotionally attached to them, but it will be a long, long time before I’m ready to actually ask a man for help. I just can’t. I should call Abby and ask her why.

(P.S., I never smoke around Benjamin or in the house, which is why I really want to quit – it’s getting cold out).
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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

Clare, this site the co-founder of iHeart Single Parents, made an appearance on Fox’s Morning Show this week.

Click here to watch Clare’s interview.

I’m so excited that iHeartSingleParents.com is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Morning Show hosts Mike and Juliet say, at the start of this piece, that 40% of new mothers in the U.S. are unmarried and of those the fastest growing group is women in their late 20’s. Not sure where they got that statistic (and it is Fox) but could that be true? Forty percent!

Mike and Juliet also ask Clare if she would recommend that other women choose to be a single mom. In her blog post, Clare says they sprung these questions on her – “They didn’t ask the questions that the producer and I practiced on at all.”

I can’t speak for Clare but being a single mother is seldom a choice for any of us. It’s something that happens. We choose to go on as single moms… but we certainly didn’t choose this path? Or did we? I chose to leave my husband. Does that mean I chose to be a single mom? I’ve written about this here.

Food for thought. And evidence that talk show hosts will always go for the controversial chord of any conversation.

Regardless, Clare did a fantastic job representing! And if you haven’t been over to iHeart lately, get over there because there are hundreds of new members joining every day… and as Clare says in this interview, having a single parent social network to turn to really makes you feel less alone.

[Photo: Clare and her 2-year-old son, Colby]

P.S. Proves my point that Single Moms are on Fire!

It’s been four weeks now.

My new relationship status is beginning to sink in.

I have a boyfriend, cost and I’m actually enjoying it immensely. Usually at this point fear takes over and I start pushing them away. I slowly eject them from my life, thumb or cut it clean depending on my mood. But this time, I’m not feeling that way. I’m not stressed at all. I’m completely comfortable with him and totally into him. So far, the feeling is mutual.

I had him over for dinner on Thursday night. Benjamin was still awake. Kris has seen Benjamin in the mornings briefly but this would be his first evening with us, usually the highlight of my day because Benjamin is chipper, happy and ready to play.

Kris walks in, gives me a hug and then crouches down on his knees, “And, how are you?” He looks at Benjamin and Benjmain stares back. This is odd, usually he flashes a smile and runs away but he can’t take his eyes off of Kris.

Kris leads him into the living room and opens his toy chest. This is a first. Of all of the men I’ve dated since the divorce not one has genuinely just sat down and played with my kid. This used to surprise me because I thought – “If they’re trying to win me over wouldn’t they want to at least try to play with him?” To their credit, some would try, but it was awkward and forced. “I’ve never been around kids,” they would say. “I don’t know what to do.” Kris has never been around kids either, he’s actually only 23. Five years younger than me.

While I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner, I hear Kris talking to Benjamin, he’s calm, assuring and playful. A few hours later I take Benjamin up for bedtime. I come downstairs and all of his toys are cleaned up. Kris had tidied up my living room. I’m now pinching myself.

Kris is still there in the morning. We all eat pancakes together. There’s lots of laughter, more playing and the entire time Benjamin is following Kris around like a little puppy. I put Benjamin down for his nap and say good bye to Kris, we both have to work.

When Benjamin wakes up four hours later (he has a nasty cold which is why I’m home on a Friday) he searches the house for Kris. He’s going from room to room. As soon as he realizes Kris is gone – he starts crying…hard. My heart breaks. What am I doing? What if this doesn’t work out? Where will we be then? Benjamin is clearly well into toddlerhood (20 months) and now he is very well aware of what’s up.

The single mom dating conundrum:

When a man enters our life we want to see how they would fit into our family, or if they can even handle it. But we can’t do it without introducing them to the kids.

The solution:

When Benjamin was a teeny tiny baby, this wasn’t an issue. So everything I’m about to say clearly depends on the age of the children.

I’m not big on the idea of waiting six months to bring a man into my daily routine. I guess it’s because I’m afraid he would be shocked at the reality of how hard it is to raise a toddler and then split. Then I would have invested six months of my time in a guy who wasn’t really there for the right reasons.

The other problem. I am a working single mother. Not bringing him around Benjamin leaves me only a few hours in the late evening. Period. This can get old and can also hurt a budding relationship.

I have learned from my past mishaps not to raise this issue too early. Why? Because there is no way he or you actually know how long this will last yet, and you shouldn’t presume to know that. Once I actually told a guy I was dating, “the only way I can date you is if there’s potential – potential that one day we might get married.” We had only been dating for a few months. I didn’t even want to marry him. Isn’t that crazy? I just had to rationalize why I was spending time away from my son – to myself. In the end that one just fizzled out but the moral of the story is – it could have been more fun if I would have left my drama in my head. I’m thinking this is probably a good conversation to have 6-8 months in to a relationship. Just a hunch, but to each his own.

My solution: I am going to keep Kris’ encounters with Benjamin to a minimum for the next few months, but he will have a few. Because I also want someone to fall in love with my son, not just me…we are a package deal.
My new boyfriend and I decided to quit smoking – together. It’s the first time I’ve done something together, advice as a couple in years. Well, if you count my divorce, it’s been nearly a year. Knowing Saturday night was going to be a baby-free all-nighter we pick Sunday to go cold turkey. I’m scared. Scared to quit smoking and scared to enter into a verbal contract with someone – a commitment.

I started smoking the day I realized I was going to leave my husband. He had come home and said he’d been fired from yet another job and that he didn’t want to work again, that he wanted to be a stay at home dad. We didn’t have the money for this scenario and I insisted he go out and look for more work. He refused. At this point he was bailing on me and my baby – that’s when I knew it was completely over. I heard my neighbor walking through the driveway. It was Abby, a single mom. Her daughter was just three at the time.

“Abby? Is that you?” I asked over the fence.

“Ya,” she said. We’d only talked a few times here and there, nothing too in depth. We were just friendly neighbors. She was the single mom, I was the married mom with the newborn, supposed to be completely happy.

“I need to have a cigarrette, and you need to tell me what it’s like to be a single mom because I’m about to be one.” She came running into my yard.

“Oh my god. I’ll be right back.”

It was in this moment as she went on and on about the trials and tribulations but about how ultimately, it was the right thing to do, that I realized the bond single mothers have with each other. Perhaps because we are the only ones – the only ones – who truly understand what the other is going through.

Leaving him, moving back in with my mother and leaving my career was the single most challenging thing I’ve ever done – I needed friends and I chose cigarrettes. Now, one and a half years later, I’m back on my feet. Have my career back, have my real friends and my life back. I don’t need them anymore.

On Sunday morning we quit together, as promised. But then today, Monday, I head into work and feel awful. I actually feel like I’m going to get sick all over my desk. Am I pregant? Nope. Definitely not. Could it be the smoking? I Google it. Yep. Smoking cessation can cause nausea. Weird.

I make it until 5:00 pm and then I have one. I just can’t do this. I can’t go pick up Benjamin like this. This nausea has got to go. The cigarrette doesn’t help. I get home and take my temperature – it’s 101.1. Oh my god. I’m sick. I’ve been home from work nursing Benjamin for weeks, have missed six work days and now I’m sick.

I call Kris. “I cheated. I just couldn’t stand it. I can’t be this sick. I thought it was nausea from not smoking, but I’m just actually sick as hell.”

“Do you really want to quit or not?” He sounds disappointed. I try to defend myself.

“But, I’m a single working mom. Any kind of stress relief I can get is worth it. I can’t be in withdraw around Benjamin. And tonight, being so sick, I nearly broke down in tears.”

(I actually had broken down in tears but didn’t want to tell him this). He still sounds pissed. And he should be – I broke a promise. I call him back later, he apologizes for being “difficult” and I apologize for cheating.

“Do you want me to come over? I can make you some tea, cuddle you down.” He offers.

“Nope…maybe tomorrow night.” Step by step, I tell myself. I can quit smoking with someone, sleep with them, even become emotionally attached to them, but it will be a long, long time before I’m ready to actually ask a man for help. I just can’t. I should call Abby and ask her why.

(P.S., I never smoke around Benjamin or in the house, which is why I really want to quit – it’s getting cold out).
I’ve been an online dating “lurker” since my divorce. I joined eHarmony on last year’s very depressing Valentine’s Day.

I was still living at my mom’s house which is out in the woods. There were no men in sight except for the biker across the street.

I took the eHarmony personality test. Be careful with this, thumb because once you take it – you never get another chance. Make sure you’re awake, viagra sale relatively chipper and feeling completely open and honest with yourself.

After the test eHarmony served up my first seven matches. I was excited – “Look, approved an inbox full of men! Just for me!” But I couldn’t see the photos. They wanted my money. But at the time it wasn’t in the budget – at all – so I started sifting through the descriptions.

One guy actually sneaked his e-mail into his profile, “EHarmony is expensive,” he wrote, “E-mail me at dude@dude.com.” Yay! A guy who likes to beat the system. I like that so I sent him a lonely Valentine’s Day e-mail. Days later there’s still no response. I had even attached a picture. Hmmmm. I forget about it and try to stomach my first virtual rejection. It stings a little.

Three months later I get a response, “Hi, this is Carlise, Dan’s friend. I am checking his e-mail because he actually died in a car accident last October.”

My heart cries for Dan for a moment and then my sympathy for he and his family is replaced wtih anger at eHarmony. How could they do that? Then it hits me. The “matches” on eHarmony are not paying members. Many just popped in, took the personality test, and then never returned – or even worse – died.

I still became a paying member. I’m was too tempted by all of those new “matches” they e-mail you every morning. So after I spent over $100 to activate my account I was like a kid at a candy store – hurrying to scope out every man’s photograph.

I didn’t think one of them was cute. I e-mail a few any way but never got responses – because they’re probably inactive accounts. I e-mailed eHarmony asking for a refund. They told me my matching preferences weren’t broad enough, that I should be open to dating people of all ages from all over the world.

After receiving over 155 matches, only one led to a lunch date, and that was a complete failure.

Bottom line: don’t waste your money on eHarmony.

My friend Abby, my bestest single mom friend, had three very interesting and very good looking dates from Yahoo Personals last week.

The reason Yahoo and Match are better online dating sites than eHarmony:

1. They’re inexpensive.

2. You can see rough dates of when matches last logged in (although both sites should improve this feature).

3. You can control your searches, don’t let a computer match you - especially if 80% of those matches aren’t even active on the site.

See my other online dating entries for more background on this and some very important online dating tips.
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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?

It’s been two weeks now since Benjamin’s father has seen his son.

His car is broken down because he drove it without oil. Sigh.

Coincidentally Benjamin has also been sick, price sick, sildenafil sick. I have missed four days of work and will be missing two more. I am also broke because I’ve had to pay for an extra two days of childcare each week.

I called him today en route to the hospital today. Benjamin had a fever of 104.5 and I thought he should know about it.

“Oh, ambulance ” he says, “Well, I’m in a meeting, I’ll call you back.” CLICK.

I called him tonight to vent a bit. I know, I know. Should have let it go. He’s completely out of our lives now but when I’m missing days upon days of work and he doesn’t even seem concerned or offer to take a day off from his job I get upset.

“I understand,” he says.

“No you don’t.” I snap. “You don’t understand. How could you understand? You have never, ever had to take a day off from work to take care of your son when he’s sick.”

What he says next blew my mind.

“If we were married I would. But, my boss is not going to give me a day off to take care of my ex-wife’s kid. We are not a family anymore.”

“What?!!! He’s your son. You mean he is less of a son to you because we’re not married? Your boss can’t think that unless you think that.”

I should have hung up at this point but I  didn’t. And then he drops this bomb (not the first time).

“It was your choice to leave me,” he says, “it was your choice and now you have to deal with it.”

Was it really my choice to be a single mom? Yes, in that the idea of actually still being with him, had I stayed, makes my skin crawl. Being a single mom is tough but being with a husband like him was a hell of a lot harder. He was cold, insensitive, hurtful and down right useless.

He’s now on month 9 of a relationship with another single mother. Her son is 6 and they’re now living together. Poor her. Poor kid.

If he would have had it his way, right now he would be sitting on MY couch, drinking MY beer, eating MY groceries and treating me like shit. I just wish he weren’t on another single mom’s couch right now. I wish I could warn her.

Conclusion = It was his choice to give me no choice.

Clare, this site the co-founder of iHeart Single Parents, made an appearance on Fox’s Morning Show this week.

Click here to watch Clare’s interview.

I’m so excited that iHeartSingleParents.com is finally getting the attention it deserves.

Morning Show hosts Mike and Juliet say, at the start of this piece, that 40% of new mothers in the U.S. are unmarried and of those the fastest growing group is women in their late 20’s. Not sure where they got that statistic (and it is Fox) but could that be true? Forty percent!

Mike and Juliet also ask Clare if she would recommend that other women choose to be a single mom. In her blog post, Clare says they sprung these questions on her – “They didn’t ask the questions that the producer and I practiced on at all.”

I can’t speak for Clare but being a single mother is seldom a choice for any of us. It’s something that happens. We choose to go on as single moms… but we certainly didn’t choose this path? Or did we? I chose to leave my husband. Does that mean I chose to be a single mom? I’ve written about this here.

Food for thought. And evidence that talk show hosts will always go for the controversial chord of any conversation.

Regardless, Clare did a fantastic job representing! And if you haven’t been over to iHeart lately, get over there because there are hundreds of new members joining every day… and as Clare says in this interview, having a single parent social network to turn to really makes you feel less alone.

[Photo: Clare and her 2-year-old son, Colby]

P.S. Proves my point that Single Moms are on Fire!

It’s been four weeks now.

My new relationship status is beginning to sink in.

I have a boyfriend, cost and I’m actually enjoying it immensely. Usually at this point fear takes over and I start pushing them away. I slowly eject them from my life, thumb or cut it clean depending on my mood. But this time, I’m not feeling that way. I’m not stressed at all. I’m completely comfortable with him and totally into him. So far, the feeling is mutual.

I had him over for dinner on Thursday night. Benjamin was still awake. Kris has seen Benjamin in the mornings briefly but this would be his first evening with us, usually the highlight of my day because Benjamin is chipper, happy and ready to play.

Kris walks in, gives me a hug and then crouches down on his knees, “And, how are you?” He looks at Benjamin and Benjmain stares back. This is odd, usually he flashes a smile and runs away but he can’t take his eyes off of Kris.

Kris leads him into the living room and opens his toy chest. This is a first. Of all of the men I’ve dated since the divorce not one has genuinely just sat down and played with my kid. This used to surprise me because I thought – “If they’re trying to win me over wouldn’t they want to at least try to play with him?” To their credit, some would try, but it was awkward and forced. “I’ve never been around kids,” they would say. “I don’t know what to do.” Kris has never been around kids either, he’s actually only 23. Five years younger than me.

While I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner, I hear Kris talking to Benjamin, he’s calm, assuring and playful. A few hours later I take Benjamin up for bedtime. I come downstairs and all of his toys are cleaned up. Kris had tidied up my living room. I’m now pinching myself.

Kris is still there in the morning. We all eat pancakes together. There’s lots of laughter, more playing and the entire time Benjamin is following Kris around like a little puppy. I put Benjamin down for his nap and say good bye to Kris, we both have to work.

When Benjamin wakes up four hours later (he has a nasty cold which is why I’m home on a Friday) he searches the house for Kris. He’s going from room to room. As soon as he realizes Kris is gone – he starts crying…hard. My heart breaks. What am I doing? What if this doesn’t work out? Where will we be then? Benjamin is clearly well into toddlerhood (20 months) and now he is very well aware of what’s up.

The single mom dating conundrum:

When a man enters our life we want to see how they would fit into our family, or if they can even handle it. But we can’t do it without introducing them to the kids.

The solution:

When Benjamin was a teeny tiny baby, this wasn’t an issue. So everything I’m about to say clearly depends on the age of the children.

I’m not big on the idea of waiting six months to bring a man into my daily routine. I guess it’s because I’m afraid he would be shocked at the reality of how hard it is to raise a toddler and then split. Then I would have invested six months of my time in a guy who wasn’t really there for the right reasons.

The other problem. I am a working single mother. Not bringing him around Benjamin leaves me only a few hours in the late evening. Period. This can get old and can also hurt a budding relationship.

I have learned from my past mishaps not to raise this issue too early. Why? Because there is no way he or you actually know how long this will last yet, and you shouldn’t presume to know that. Once I actually told a guy I was dating, “the only way I can date you is if there’s potential – potential that one day we might get married.” We had only been dating for a few months. I didn’t even want to marry him. Isn’t that crazy? I just had to rationalize why I was spending time away from my son – to myself. In the end that one just fizzled out but the moral of the story is – it could have been more fun if I would have left my drama in my head. I’m thinking this is probably a good conversation to have 6-8 months in to a relationship. Just a hunch, but to each his own.

My solution: I am going to keep Kris’ encounters with Benjamin to a minimum for the next few months, but he will have a few. Because I also want someone to fall in love with my son, not just me…we are a package deal.
My new boyfriend and I decided to quit smoking – together. It’s the first time I’ve done something together, advice as a couple in years. Well, if you count my divorce, it’s been nearly a year. Knowing Saturday night was going to be a baby-free all-nighter we pick Sunday to go cold turkey. I’m scared. Scared to quit smoking and scared to enter into a verbal contract with someone – a commitment.

I started smoking the day I realized I was going to leave my husband. He had come home and said he’d been fired from yet another job and that he didn’t want to work again, that he wanted to be a stay at home dad. We didn’t have the money for this scenario and I insisted he go out and look for more work. He refused. At this point he was bailing on me and my baby – that’s when I knew it was completely over. I heard my neighbor walking through the driveway. It was Abby, a single mom. Her daughter was just three at the time.

“Abby? Is that you?” I asked over the fence.

“Ya,” she said. We’d only talked a few times here and there, nothing too in depth. We were just friendly neighbors. She was the single mom, I was the married mom with the newborn, supposed to be completely happy.

“I need to have a cigarrette, and you need to tell me what it’s like to be a single mom because I’m about to be one.” She came running into my yard.

“Oh my god. I’ll be right back.”

It was in this moment as she went on and on about the trials and tribulations but about how ultimately, it was the right thing to do, that I realized the bond single mothers have with each other. Perhaps because we are the only ones – the only ones – who truly understand what the other is going through.

Leaving him, moving back in with my mother and leaving my career was the single most challenging thing I’ve ever done – I needed friends and I chose cigarrettes. Now, one and a half years later, I’m back on my feet. Have my career back, have my real friends and my life back. I don’t need them anymore.

On Sunday morning we quit together, as promised. But then today, Monday, I head into work and feel awful. I actually feel like I’m going to get sick all over my desk. Am I pregant? Nope. Definitely not. Could it be the smoking? I Google it. Yep. Smoking cessation can cause nausea. Weird.

I make it until 5:00 pm and then I have one. I just can’t do this. I can’t go pick up Benjamin like this. This nausea has got to go. The cigarrette doesn’t help. I get home and take my temperature – it’s 101.1. Oh my god. I’m sick. I’ve been home from work nursing Benjamin for weeks, have missed six work days and now I’m sick.

I call Kris. “I cheated. I just couldn’t stand it. I can’t be this sick. I thought it was nausea from not smoking, but I’m just actually sick as hell.”

“Do you really want to quit or not?” He sounds disappointed. I try to defend myself.

“But, I’m a single working mom. Any kind of stress relief I can get is worth it. I can’t be in withdraw around Benjamin. And tonight, being so sick, I nearly broke down in tears.”

(I actually had broken down in tears but didn’t want to tell him this). He still sounds pissed. And he should be – I broke a promise. I call him back later, he apologizes for being “difficult” and I apologize for cheating.

“Do you want me to come over? I can make you some tea, cuddle you down.” He offers.

“Nope…maybe tomorrow night.” Step by step, I tell myself. I can quit smoking with someone, sleep with them, even become emotionally attached to them, but it will be a long, long time before I’m ready to actually ask a man for help. I just can’t. I should call Abby and ask her why.

(P.S., I never smoke around Benjamin or in the house, which is why I really want to quit – it’s getting cold out).
I’ve been an online dating “lurker” since my divorce. I joined eHarmony on last year’s very depressing Valentine’s Day.

I was still living at my mom’s house which is out in the woods. There were no men in sight except for the biker across the street.

I took the eHarmony personality test. Be careful with this, thumb because once you take it – you never get another chance. Make sure you’re awake, viagra sale relatively chipper and feeling completely open and honest with yourself.

After the test eHarmony served up my first seven matches. I was excited – “Look, approved an inbox full of men! Just for me!” But I couldn’t see the photos. They wanted my money. But at the time it wasn’t in the budget – at all – so I started sifting through the descriptions.

One guy actually sneaked his e-mail into his profile, “EHarmony is expensive,” he wrote, “E-mail me at dude@dude.com.” Yay! A guy who likes to beat the system. I like that so I sent him a lonely Valentine’s Day e-mail. Days later there’s still no response. I had even attached a picture. Hmmmm. I forget about it and try to stomach my first virtual rejection. It stings a little.

Three months later I get a response, “Hi, this is Carlise, Dan’s friend. I am checking his e-mail because he actually died in a car accident last October.”

My heart cries for Dan for a moment and then my sympathy for he and his family is replaced wtih anger at eHarmony. How could they do that? Then it hits me. The “matches” on eHarmony are not paying members. Many just popped in, took the personality test, and then never returned – or even worse – died.

I still became a paying member. I’m was too tempted by all of those new “matches” they e-mail you every morning. So after I spent over $100 to activate my account I was like a kid at a candy store – hurrying to scope out every man’s photograph.

I didn’t think one of them was cute. I e-mail a few any way but never got responses – because they’re probably inactive accounts. I e-mailed eHarmony asking for a refund. They told me my matching preferences weren’t broad enough, that I should be open to dating people of all ages from all over the world.

After receiving over 155 matches, only one led to a lunch date, and that was a complete failure.

Bottom line: don’t waste your money on eHarmony.

My friend Abby, my bestest single mom friend, had three very interesting and very good looking dates from Yahoo Personals last week.

The reason Yahoo and Match are better online dating sites than eHarmony:

1. They’re inexpensive.

2. You can see rough dates of when matches last logged in (although both sites should improve this feature).

3. You can control your searches, don’t let a computer match you - especially if 80% of those matches aren’t even active on the site.

See my other online dating entries for more background on this and some very important online dating tips.
I don’t know about you, ampoule but movies just aren’t the same anymore. A lot of things aren’t. If I am going to take a few hours to sit down and watch one it better be good, prostate or I flip it off within the first 20 minutes.

Last night I watched Paris, thumb Je Taime (Paris, I Love You). It was unbelievable. There are 18, maybe more, short 5 minute love stories from Paris. Love stories you wouldn’t expect. Love between divorced couples, old couples, young couples, friends and a few on the love between a mother and her child. Some made me cry, some made me laugh and some made me believe in love again.
One story shows the strong will and determination of a single mother, completely driven by her love for her son. Warning. This might make you cry.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/v/RzaIQWQTARo&rel=1]

And the best single mom movie ever…Chocalot, take a peak. This movie has it all. The stresses of being a single mother and the huge benefits. Sex. Love. Chocolate. Johnny Depp. What more could you ask for? And it’s probably one of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever seen. Here’s the original preview.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/v/dLAuf4-a0I4&rel=1]

What are your favorite single mama movies? What about movies for the kids? Do share.

datingsinglemom.jpg

Hi guys. So you’re dating a single mom? I don’t blame you. You’ve found a woman who has been put to one of life’s hardest tests – on her own – and survived. Single mothers are amazing.

But, stuff find she’s created a life for her and her little ones and letting anyone in could be risky. If you want in, you’ve got to be patient, understanding and respectful.

You may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. I’m hoping these tips will help you out. But first, let me preface it with this…

One guy dating my best single mom friend, Abby, told me, “someone needs to write a book about dating a single mom.” I shook my head, “no, someone needs to write a book about dating Abby.” With or without her daughter, Abby is Abby and she’s a firecracker.

My point… Yes, we are single moms. But kids or no kids, we are still the same people. We still have the same communication issues, the same baggage, the same heart aches, the same dreams, the same goals, the same desires.

With that in mind here are some single mom dating tips for the guys. Moms, check out my single mom dating tips here.

  1. Be patient. She may seem rough around the edges – that’s her finely tuned defense mechanism. Don’t worry, in time, that tough cookie will crack and you’ll discover a well of the most rewarding love you’ve ever imagined. But until she can completely trust you – hang on for the ride.
  2. No experience with kids? Who cares. We’re all big kids inside. Were you ever a kid? So you do have some experience! Don’t be afraid to get down on your hands and knees and run around with her little ones. Experience or not. If you love her, loving her kids will come naturally. Just because she’s a single mom doesn’t mean she’s looking for Mr. Super Dad. She’s looking for someone who has the ability to completely and totally love her children.
  3. She’s testing you. Yes, she’s testing you. She has to. Think about it. Would you want to date a single mom who didn’t have high expectations for who she let’s into her child’s life? Don’t stress out about the tests. Chances are you won’t even notice them. Just be yourself and you’ll pass. The most important thing is to try to understand why she needs to test you. Understand it, respect it and once again, be patient.
  4. If she hasn’t introduced you to her kids… don’t pressure her and don’t think it means she’s not serious about the relationship. This is not about you. She’s doing what she has to do to protect her family. Once again, understand it, respect it and be patient. Your reaction to these obstacles and your patience will mean everything to her.
  5. Don’t play games. Single moms don’t have time to play games. If you wait three days to call her play any other dating games she’ll lose patience and probably drop you before you have a chance to hurt her.
  6. If you aren’t into her – tell her right away. If you don’t have serious intentions or if you don’t think there’s a chance in hell you would ever “settle down” with her than for god’s sake – tell her. You never know, she might be totally up for a casual relationship too. If not, at least you weren’t messing with a single mom, that’s just wrong.
  7. Treat her like a princess. This applies to dating all women, moms or not. Just didn’t want you to forget it.
  8. Talk to her about her kids. Ask her how they’re doing. Ask how she’s doing. And listen to her answers.
  9. If you’re a control freak…you might want to move on. You’re dating a single mom. She’s in control and you might just have to follow her lead for a while before she relinquishes any.
  10. If you really want to be with her… prove your worth. Not with money, although money is always nice to have. But with actions. What do you bring to the table? These are questions and tests you usually don’t have to ask yourself when dating single, childless women. But with a single mom, life is happening – right now. How will you handle it? Can you clean? Can you cook? No? You better learn or at least try.
  11. Make her life easier. Single moms don’t like asking for help. Take the initiative. Make her life easier. Maybe it’s making her smile, hugging her, taking out her garbage or bringing over some treats for the kids. Bottom line – if you’re making her life easier you’re in.

What you’ll get in return…you get the girl. And what an amazing girl she is. Good luck!

Here are more tips on How to Date a Single Mom:

Single Mom Dating, Part 2

Single Mom Dating, Part 3

Single Mom Dating, Part 4

[Photo credit: PlanetPersonals.com]

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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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?
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, treat searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, price “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, site 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, cost text, store 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, pharmacy 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 yo