One step back…two steps forward?

by mssinglemama on February 6, 2008

coabode.jpgWith single parenthood on the rise, many single moms and dads are shacking up – with each other. Once I dated a single father who lived with two other single fathers. His house had a climbing wall from the kitchen to an upstairs playroom. The kids had each other and so did the fathers.

My single mama best friend, Abby, also just split her rent in half by taking in a  roommate – another single mom. They found each other through Craiglist and in addition to being a great roommate, Cindy has also offered to baby sit and will undoubtedly help Abby out around the house.

Personally, I’m lucky enough to be in an okay situation financially. It’s not great but I don’t feel the pressing need for a roommate. If I found the right mom though – it would be a very, very tempting scenario.

And check this out – Co-Abode.com, an entire web site devoted to matching up single moms. The moms here report happier, healthier lives thanks to their roommates and the kids – well, they just love having another little one around. Here’s a testimonial from one of the women featured in the picture above:

“Our kids get along great. Emotionally its been great to have someone thats going through the same experience that you are. CoAbode has definitely changed my life for the better. My new roommate and I sit up at night after the kids fall asleep and laugh and joke about some of the trials and tribulations we go through, and dont feel so alone.”

What do you think? Have you ever considered getting a roommate?
coabode.jpgWith single parenthood on the rise, many single moms and dads are shacking up – with each other. Once I dated a single father who lived with two other single fathers. His house had a climbing wall from the kitchen to an upstairs playroom. The kids had each other and so did the fathers.

My single mama best friend, Abby, also just split her rent in half by taking in a  roommate – another single mom. They found each other through Craiglist and in addition to being a great roommate, Cindy has also offered to baby sit and will undoubtedly help Abby out around the house.

Personally, I’m lucky enough to be in an okay situation financially. It’s not great but I don’t feel the pressing need for a roommate. If I found the right mom though – it would be a very, very tempting scenario.

And check this out – Co-Abode.com, an entire web site devoted to matching up single moms. The moms here report happier, healthier lives thanks to their roommates and the kids – well, they just love having another little one around. Here’s a testimonial from one of the women featured in the picture above:

“Our kids get along great. Emotionally its been great to have someone thats going through the same experience that you are. CoAbode has definitely changed my life for the better. My new roommate and I sit up at night after the kids fall asleep and laugh and joke about some of the trials and tribulations we go through, and dont feel so alone.”

What do you think? Have you ever considered getting a roommate?
coabode.jpgWith single parenthood on the rise, many single moms and dads are shacking up – with each other. Once I dated a single father who lived with two other single fathers. His house had a climbing wall from the kitchen to an upstairs playroom. The kids had each other and so did the fathers.

My single mama best friend, Abby, also just split her rent in half by taking in a  roommate – another single mom. They found each other through Craiglist and in addition to being a great roommate, Cindy has also offered to baby sit and will undoubtedly help Abby out around the house.

Personally, I’m lucky enough to be in an okay situation financially. It’s not great but I don’t feel the pressing need for a roommate. If I found the right mom though – it would be a very, very tempting scenario.

And check this out – Co-Abode.com, an entire web site devoted to matching up single moms. The moms here report happier, healthier lives thanks to their roommates and the kids – well, they just love having another little one around. Here’s a testimonial from one of the women featured in the picture above:

“Our kids get along great. Emotionally its been great to have someone thats going through the same experience that you are. CoAbode has definitely changed my life for the better. My new roommate and I sit up at night after the kids fall asleep and laugh and joke about some of the trials and tribulations we go through, and dont feel so alone.”

What do you think? Have you ever considered getting a roommate?
steps-led.jpgThe past few days have been rough. I guess our split hadn’t really hit me and when it did – it hurt. Not because I was losing a boyfriend but because I was losing my best friend. I started to wonder – why is this happening? What happened to our fun, casual relationship? When did it become so serious? And when did he start feeling all of this pressure? All of the answers pointed back to me. I had been pressing him for goals…nagging him about his college-esque lifestyle and asking him to be more helpful around the house. Had I lost my mind? No. I had just lost touch with reality and lost sight of what I want and expect from Kris.

When this all started I was completely relaxed, at ease with being single and having him around was just a bonus. I didn’t expect much from him – other than to make me happy, which he always did. Especially in bed! We have this amazing attraction to each other and we also have so much fun together. It’s been a connection from first sight. We didn’t even have to really date – there was just an instant click. So what happened? Why was I suddenly putting demands on a perfectly fun and comfortable relationship?

I made a list in my head and asked myself a few questions, which included:

  • Do I even want to get married again? Hell no…well, not anytime in the near future.
  • Do I really want a serious, boring relationship? Definitely not.
  • Kris is young and his life is a 180 from mine – but we enjoy each other – immensely.
  • Is it fair to ask a college kid to live up to a 28 year old woman’s standards of living? No.
  • Do you want a fun, easy-going boyfriend who loves you? Yes.
  • Do you want to be with someone who is so intriguing, loving, interesting and special? Someone you trust with everything? Yes.

So I called him. He was actually writing me a letter at that moment. A letter trying to clarify his feelings about all of this. He was just as upset as I was. So I told him how I felt I had been unfairly pressuring him to be something he wasn’t.

Then I offered up a compromise. Not really a compromise – more like a new way of looking at our relationship.

“Why not take a step back? Meaning – we still have the same intimacy, the same love for each other – but that we take the pressure off of the relationship and see each other a lot less…like two nights a week. You’re busy. I’m busy. And we both appreciate our independence.”

He couldn’t believe it. I guess this is a guy’s dream. “I thought of suggesting this but I thought it would upset you,” he said, “it’s just what I was trying to write in my letter.”

We talked and talked and both felt so relieved. He’s coming over tonight and then we’re going out on an official date Friday night. And you know what? I’m so excited to see him – to be with him – with no pressure on either of us. It’s just so hard for us single moms not to put self-imposed pressures on our relationships – the point where we (at least I know I do) send them into a self-destruction mode.

What do you think? Do you think I’ll be able to take the pressure off and just have fun again?

And – also, this will cut face time with Benjamin down big time. Now he’ll be seeing him two mornings a week – that’s it. Not bad, right? Benjamin sees my other friends and his own father more than that…so having a fun guy around a few mornings a week shouldn’t have that much of an impact.

Thanks everyone for reading all of this drama. I’m hoping it’s at the least – a bit entertaining. Oh – and on Monday’s girl’s night I did pick up a man – but then promptly delivered him to my friend. I wasn’t interested – even though he was a gorgeous Scot with a thick, sexy accent. He’s taking her out to dinner on Thursday. Nice.

See – there are plenty of men – but I already have everything I need from this one. Companionship – friendship – love – sex – happiness – and laughter. I don’t need a man for anything more. Ha! Being a modern single woman sure has its perks.

——————-

P.S. I’ve had a few reactions to this post regarding my relationships and how they affect my son – who is one month shy of two. This is an issue every dating single mother faces – and it’s not easy. I call it – the single mom dating conundrum. Please read this post if this topic is of interest to you. I know my son is not going to grow up in a “traditional” household – and this might not sit well with a lot of people. But I will say one thing – at least he is not growing up in a household with two miserably married parents – something that I view as much, much worse. I have dated so many men who’s parents never got a divorce and they have so many relationship “issues.” They fear commitment because they’ve never seen a happy couple … just food for thought.

One thing is for certain – Benjamin is a happy, thriving little guy and that will always, always be my number one priority.

[awesome photo from http://lowenddslr.com/img/steps-led.jpg]

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

drizitche February 6, 2008 at 7:30 pm

“What do you think?”

I think it’s possible that you’re underutilizing what sounds like a decent guy. I think it’s possible that using a deep, emotional, selfless and intuitive man as a vessel for sex and fun is probably the very thing that is driving him away.

I can certainly tell you that I would never accept such a situation. You fancy yourself a modern single woman, the ultimate single-mom… and yet you’re not exploring or developing the very qualities of life that I can assure you, your son will need to learn about and explore at some point. He will need to, because all good men have a very potent feminine side, and if mommy is tucking hers away in the closet, she can’t possibly teach him about it effectively when he’s ready.

These titles, modern single woman, single mom… they box you in. Your whole blogroll is filled with people who think exactly like you, accepting the same labels and job titles for the soul.

I think it’s possible in your rush to define yourself and emulate confidence, you’re selling the people in your life that bring you joy rather short. It’s possible the very reason you like this fellow Kris is because he cares and seems to value you for more than sex and friendship.

There is a good chance that these well-intended words will fall on deaf ears and be received and responded to with malice… but I take that chance anyways, in hopes that you might find some value in this perspective, if not in whole, at least in part.

Best wishes,
~ Driz

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mssinglemama February 6, 2008 at 8:16 pm

First off – I am NOT using my boyfriend. I hate that anyone would take that away from this post. The opposite is really the case – I don’t need a boyfriend – I need him. He is, as you say – selfless, intuitive – a gem of a man. And by pressuring him like I was – I was forcing the part I love about him so much to retreat because it was freaking him out and stressing us out.

I think us single moms are proud of these labels we give ourselves – because being a single mom does define you in a way. Not who you are – but how you have to live your life. And this is why so many of us are blogging and connecting with each other – because no one, no one else can truly understand what it feels like.

When Benjamin sees Kris and I together he sees two people who love each other … and yes, he sees two people laughing – having fun and enjoying each other. He also sees a very, very feminine, emotional mother – quite often. Why does being independent – and a proud single mom somehow strip away my femininity?

You raise some really good points – I’m glad you wrote so that I could clarify. I actually went back into this entry and changed a few lines – that did, on the second read sound a bit harsh. Have to remember to tone it down for the tender male readers.

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Corey February 6, 2008 at 9:55 pm

I’m a little confused as to why your sons sees your boyfriend in the mornings…does he *have* to spend the night? I just see that as becoming more of a problem in the future as your son grows up. If you’re truly taking this one step back, you may want to consider taking Kris out of your son’s life as much as possible in case things don’t work out. Just my two cents.

I also want to say that I’ve enjoyed your blog since I found it a couple of weeks ago. Good luck!

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melshanesmith February 6, 2008 at 10:01 pm

The best advise I’ve ever received was this:

Is she the kind of woman you would want your daughter to become?

Is he the kind of man you would want your son to become? Is he a leader, commited, ambitious, Godly?

Another friend offered this:

What do you love about her? It should fill a book, not a paragraph.

Shane

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Hugo February 5, 2015 at 10:27 am

You could try OkCupid.com. its easy to use and its free. Plentyoffish.com is a good one also. Eharmony.com but its kinda run by bigots. Match.comcupid.comthere tons of them!

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mssinglemama February 6, 2008 at 11:07 pm

Corey – no, he doesn’t have to spend the night – but with his schedule and mine it would mean that we couldn’t really see each other at all. Read my Single Mom Dating Conundrum post for more on this – you can search for it – using my search icon.

Shane – yes, excellent advice. I always ask myself that question if things are serious with someone. And in this case – yes…at least I think so – it has only been four months and one thing I’ve learned is that it takes a long time to really know someone inside and out…and to know how you work/communicate together.

Thanks for your comments!

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drizitche February 7, 2008 at 5:00 am

I’m glad I misinterpreted your post then, and I appreciate you didn’t just flame me for my rather bold first remarks.

The only response I have, the only element I’d like to clarify, is the femininity part, and I’d like to do that in a post on my own blog, probably tomorrow afternoon.

I think what we view as the masculine, and what we view as the feminine, nowadays, is rather skewed, and I realize I may have a very different interpretation of these concepts than most.

Thank you for giving me a great topic to write about, and I hope you’ll check out the post when it’s up.

Regards,
~Driz

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mssinglemama February 7, 2008 at 11:22 am

Sounds very interesting Driz – I’ll definitely check it out. Excited to see it. Society does make it tough for women to be ultra-feminine. We can’t be too feminine in the work place – but we should be at home. Lots of mixed messages and it is tough.

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mssinglemama February 7, 2008 at 1:48 pm

Driz – what’s your blog addy – your link isn’t working???

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drizitche February 7, 2008 at 7:33 pm

drizitche.wordpress.com

=)

~ Driz

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Andrea February 8, 2008 at 4:16 am

I think that you should do what makes you happy. You always think of your son first; whatever makes you happy makes you better for him.

I think I’m really jealous of you too.

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mssinglemama February 8, 2008 at 6:31 pm

Yeah, you’re right. Mommy’s happiness leads to baby’s happiness. Good to hear from you Andrea! Was wondering where you went! I LOVE your Avatar picture – is that you? So cool.

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Andrea February 8, 2008 at 7:02 pm

Oh I’m still here! And no, the picture isn’t actually me, I just loved it!

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sara February 9, 2008 at 11:45 pm

When I read your post about you breaking up I felt so bad, and thought you were taking it pretty good. I would have been sad….angry …..devastated…..only since you seemed so happy about this guy. I would not have been wanting to go out…..then you mentioned he was in college and that you had been pressuring him about goals. If a guy is mature and working hard and considerate, but at his age does not have things figured out would i be ok with it? Yes, I put myself in his position when I was his age I didn’t have a clue let alone be with a single dad on top of my busy schedule. He sounds like a gem and maybe just having realistic expectations will help out. Both of you may want something different later, but just stick around to see especially if you are happy. Now if something keeps bothering you deep inside later on you can address it. Well I am just saying since like the post above mentioned I am just a bit jealous lol I am trying the yahoo pers. like you recommended let’s see if I am brave enough to just get in there.

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mssinglemama February 10, 2008 at 2:35 am

Thanks Sara! Things are still bothering me – I must admit. I’ll keep you all posted. I guess the real question for me is – can I date someone who I have doubts I will actually marry? Can any of us? When there are children involved, everything changes. And minus the kid factor? Am I the kind of woman who can be with someone who doesn’t have clear goals and ambitions? All of these questions are definitely ringing in my head right now. So … as always, time will tell.

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Jenny February 12, 2008 at 9:53 pm

On the subject of goals, I must say I’m glad to see you’re letting up a bit on the boyfriend. Indeed, one thing to consider in all this is, how do you define “clear goals and ambitions” and what does it say to you about someone?

I mean, objectively I’m sure you know that not everyone is driven or motivated in the same way you are, and you know that not everyone values the same things in exactly the same way as you do. So, imo, it’s not really a question of “can I be with someone w/o clear goals, etc.” Instead, it’s a question of “can I be with someone who has different values, different indicators of achievement and success, etc.”

Regarding the question of “can I date someone who I have doubts I will actually marry?” I think this is a question often brought on by the social conditioning we undergo as we mature. Basically, if we’re not pair-bonded & sexually exclusive for life, we tend to think we should be and that there’s something potentially wrong with us if we don’t want those things.

I think to answer that question well means making a serious attempt at separating the social conditioning talk from the speech our spirit makes when we consider what we need to truly flourish in our own lives. For many people, what they need to flourish aligns with what society wants us to do. Hurray for them. But it’s not that way for everyone.

I don’t know if it’s that way for you — I know certainly that it’s not that way for me. But I only knew that when I made a conscious effort to consider what I needed independent of what my culture demanded of me.

Anyway, just some thoughts…

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mssinglemama February 13, 2008 at 12:31 am

And very insightful thoughts…thanks Jenny! I think I’m on a path of self-discovery here…trying to figure out the answers to all of these questions. I do see “objectively” that my driven nature is not the norm, but I guess my ideal partner would have similar goals. He has the goals – the desire to succeed it’s just his lifestyle – being so young, his head is just in a completely different place. Baby’s awake!! Gotta run…sigh.

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Imajule76 October 31, 2012 at 1:57 pm

I JUST found your blog so I’m sure my comments will be out-dated. THANK YOU for being so open. I’m currently am in “hold” mode with my BF. I did exactly what you did – started putting pressures on him because of expectations that when I sat down and thought about, I didn’t even want.

As for the reaction to your having a child and having a BF spend the night…I have been in the same place. Having grown up with parents who are still married – but were/are miserable, I knew I could NOT raise my own children in that environment. It is more detrimental to stay together just to be “married” than it is divorce and show children what a good, healthy, happy relationship is.

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josh March 22, 2013 at 9:29 pm

This is a great artical! But here’s the thing… So I recently started dating this single mother who is a few years older than me. Things where awesome until things got “real” and we both started getting feelings for each other. Then she went into mommy surviaval mode and said she doesn’t wanna get involved with some one. She wants to focus on her carrier and build a better life for her and munchkin. Which I totaly get! My mom was a sinlge mom for a bit. Its these things about her that t attract me even more to her. It is safe to say that I quickly fell for a single mom.

I have the upmost respect for her as a person and as a mother. But I am a strong minded person and know an AMAZING woman when I see one. And though I could not begin to know the challenges we would face together I just have this feeling that we would get through them. And thus lies my deliema. I wanna keep doing little things that show I care about her but I also don’t wanna be like “that guy that won’t leave me alone”. What’s the line? Is there one? Am I over thinking this or is this a test to see if I will stay around

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