Fall at your own risk.

by mssinglemama on July 28, 2008

Just a warning to any of my current or potential suitors.

I love you all, I do – but I’m not sure if you’ll get me in the end… because I am not sure about what I’m feeling, I can’t be. I have a son. I have to be very, very careful with my heart. I hope you can understand that and I’ll be as honest as I can. Always, you can count on my honesty. 

And to my single mamas, men can definitely fall in love with us – just like they would fall for a single, childless woman. The reality on the other end is different, but that’s another story for another post.

But what about us? What does falling in love as a single mom feel like?

I’ve theorized that it will never really feel the same. If that’s true than what does it feel like? I’m tossing this to the veterans, the now married ex-single moms, or those of you who have really, truly fallen since becoming a single mom.

Related posts:

  1. Can single moms really “fall in love”?
  2. Baggage check: I won’t let myself fall in love.
  3. Married people are weird (for the most part).
  4. A Single Mom Dating Show. It’s About Time.
  5. A Christmas miracle…I got to go to the grocery…alone.

{ 3 trackbacks }

A fairy tale ending?
September 11, 2008 at 7:00 pm
A kink in the plans…
October 20, 2008 at 7:29 pm
Dude, he’s a natural.
October 27, 2008 at 5:23 am

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie July 28, 2008 at 7:02 pm

I think that in some ways it is just the same as falling in love when you are single, but you hold back more. You don’t trust as easily, you are more likely to see red flags a lot sooner, sometimes you have more dealbreakers, and you don’t fall as quickly or as easily because it is not just about you anymore. I love my dbf very much and I believe that he feels the same way, but he also understands that this is a package deal. He can’t love me without loving my son as well. Before, I was just a single girl, now I am a single mommy and the relationship and family that I have with my son, will always be the most important one to me.

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spatulahandle July 29, 2008 at 2:43 am

As a single mom of 3 I never had time to go out and meet anyone. My schedule was work, home, work, home and my kids at the time were able to go to work with me. I didn’t have time to meet anyone. One night I got sick of being alone and wrote down a little prayer asking God to send us someone who would love us and take care of us…I met him 2 days later in the produce section of Wal-mart. On our first date he came to my house and took all of us out to dinner. I never expected to meet anyone like the husband I have now. Everything just fit together. He is my answered prayer.

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cisforcow July 29, 2008 at 8:46 am

I don’t know if I’ve ever truly been in love before – so i don’t know if it would be any different with a child. I’m bored with the “right guys” and enticed by the ‘wrong ones”. The men that fall to quick for me either turn me off, or end up completely being psycho- insert BC’s dad’s name here- so i turn to pining for the wrong guy- insert name of the latest roll in the hay here-
I’m 37 i have a great job, home, finance situation, family support system. I dont want to get married (right now) but i do want a companion and best friend. I don’t need to be rescued or swept off my feet- i want a good conversation and an “aha” moment of “this is the guy for me”.

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T July 29, 2008 at 11:37 am

Its scary as hell!!!

You can still fall easily, just like Katie said, but there is a little more hesitancy. I try to keep my dating life and mommy life separate at first. Then once the trust is there, you find its natural to want to include your children and have them meet the guy. With my soldier, it was different. I knew him from high school so there was already some trust there. Still, I haven’t seen the guy or known what he was up to for many years. But something about the way my children instantly took to him, helped me to fall easier. Its still scary because more than one heart in involved but hey, you have to trust that you are exactly where you should be at any given time in your life!

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solo mama July 29, 2008 at 12:07 pm

I am glad you posted this thought–I am struggling with how to deal with a similiar situation. I am recently divorced and I have full custody of our toddler. The divorce was painful, but I quickly realized how badly I was treated and I deserved to treated with respect and honesty. This epiphany made it easier to move on. During this life transition, I wrote in my journal 11 charachteristics that I wanted in a partner. Shortly after my divorce, the person that I created on paper, a few short months earlier, appeard in my life. I am happier than I have been in a really long time. However, I am scared that this is the right person for me, but just not the right time. I need some advice:
Do I pursue this relationship and take it easy or do I convince myself it is in fact too early and that I should just concentrate on me and my daughter? I am scared that this could be to good to be true and if I walk away I would never find him again. Please help.

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mssinglemama July 29, 2008 at 12:13 pm

Katie, Spatula, C, T – your comments are so rich…so helpful. Thank you!!! I want to elaborate on the details of my situation/s but can’t … but all of this is helping me now and will in the future.

Solo Mama – Yep. That’s it… that feeling that you’ve found him but you’re not ready that really gets us single mamas confused. He has everything you want … is he devoted to you? If he is, he’ll give you the space you need – i.e. wait or see you less – until you are ready. Just ask for the space, tell him how you’re feeling. If he loves you, he will understand …

Anyone else? Is that the right advice. Lord knows, I’m no expert at relationships.

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incalculable July 29, 2008 at 12:51 pm

I’ve been a single mama of two boys since my early 20s — now, almost 10 years later I’m in a healthy, fulfilling relationship with a guy 5 years younger than me — by far my best relationship ever! The falling in love part of it just seems to happen (although this is not the first time I’ve fallen in love since my marriage ended) — the difference is in the person you fall in love with. Is he equipped to deal with the occasional complications that come with kids and exes? It took me a long time to get over my need/desire to have companionship and help, and looking for this potential in every guy I dated — clearly the WRONG approach! Once I accepted that I needed to be fully self sufficient and comfortable in my singleness, it was easier for me to reign in my hopes for a prince charming to sweep me off my feet. So unrealistic — but such a deeply ingrained mythology that was difficult for me to shake. My boyfriend is no mythological prince charming — he is a real person who doesn’t always find it easy to be in a relationship with me & my kids. Sometimes he feels a little excluded and sometimes he feels a little overwhelmed. But mostly he feels really lucky, and I do too. Life is like that — you never know what is coming around the next corner, but I’ve learned that being confident about my ability to handle it and thrive and live the best life I can makes all the difference.

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incalculable July 29, 2008 at 12:54 pm

Also, I’ll echo Ms Single Mama’s advice to Solo Mama — take all the time you need. If he really is the right guy, he’ll wait. If he can’t wait for you, you WILL find another wonderful man. I’ve found several — but I’ve also made the mistake of moving too quickly into a relationship with someone I thought was perfect for me, only to find that in the end, he wasn’t.

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cisforcow July 29, 2008 at 12:55 pm

T – while i agree with most of what you said, companioniship and help are two different things. I’m glad you have found that magic combination of things that make up a great partner for you. (im jealous!) LOL

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cisforcow July 29, 2008 at 12:56 pm

oops wrong person – i meant Incaluclable…sorry.

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solo mama July 29, 2008 at 1:40 pm

Ms. Single Mama- Yes, he is very devoted to me. We are getting serious, and I want to be serious, but I can’t seem to call him my “boyfriend.” I think that is telling me something, right? This saddens me. He is truly a very genuine person. He is also a single parent and he gets me on more than one level, but how do I I let him in besides giving myself more time? Does time heal everything? Or is it people? I guess I am also a little worried that people (family & friends) will think I am moving too fast. No one has said it yet, but I am always concerned about how it looks. I am still very young (27) and I want to move on with my life i.e; marriage, children, etc. I wasn’t married for very long, so when is the appropriate time to get started again? As you can see, I need some honest feedback.

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incalculable July 29, 2008 at 2:12 pm

Cisforcow – so true, companionship & help are completely different things. When I came to the place (where it sounds like you are now) that I was pretty comfortable with my situation, I found those two things from different places — mostly my circle of friends. And so by the time I met my boyfriend, it all happened in a pretty surprising way out of good simple intellectual and emotional connection — no baggage or crazy expectations, no burning needs to fulfill, etc. In fact, the age difference between us made me really expect that he’d be just a short-term fling (which I was completely into!) … that it turned into something more surprised me (but maybe not so much him…).

Ms. Single Mama — what matters is what YOU think . And from reading your comments, it seems to me that you’re not sure if you’re quite ready yet. The appropriate time to move on is when you’re ready and have met the right person. It could be next week, or it could be five years from now.

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incalculable July 29, 2008 at 2:37 pm

Ahh, I meant “Solo Mama” for my last bit of semi-solicited advice.

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pisceshanna July 29, 2008 at 3:57 pm

Honestly, right now I satisfied with the occasional booty call whenever my friend is in town. Its easy, convienent and safe, and I don’t have to deal with any drama.

This probably sounds horrible and that I’m just using the guy, but when I think about how much of myself I sacrificed and dedicated to my ex, it really makes me never want to something serious again.

Of course one day I will realize I want something deeper, and maybe I’m just too bitter and scared to go there right now.

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jonb July 29, 2008 at 5:03 pm

From my experience with my single mom, you may fall for someone faster because you have met SO MANY who are immature or can’t cope with you having a child. Then you meet someone who steps in and steals your heart, and at the same time accepts your child and includes him/her. But at the same time, you fear it more and pull away at times because you don;t want to be hurt again or see your child hurt by another male figure who could possibly disappear from his/her life.

There are two hearts to be broken, yet yours will be the worst, because you will hurt for yourself and your child. It’s not like being single, where you can pick up and move on. Everything affects your child, and I am learning this bit by bit in my relationship. I have a lot of hope for our future, but at the same time I find myself considering the little guy, our time together, and wanting to make sure htings are right with his mom and me before moving in and being a part of his life everyday.

I think the ability to love is hard for both people involved because it is the most rewarding if it is meant to be, and devastating to everyone if it doesn’t.

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solo mama July 29, 2008 at 5:28 pm

Thank you, JonB. From the bottom of my heart. I also read your blog about dating a single mom-it left a tear in my eye. I will tread lightly with my own situation. Thanks again.

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Ms. Single Mama July 29, 2008 at 5:53 pm

Solo Mama – I’m only 29 … so I feel the same way. Have you read this post? It might help. Sounds like you are where I was when I wrote this about my decision to break up with my ex-boyfriend. He was perfect in so many ways, but something wasn’t sitting right…

http://mssinglemama.wordpress.com/2008/05/07/did-i-lose-my-mr-good-enough/

Kris is still around by the way. He comes to see Benjamin, and watches him if I’m really in a bind. He’s such a great friend.

Jon B. – you’re so smart … make sure you two are solid before moving in. You have to for the little guy. And you know what – I think if, by some fluke chance, it didn’t work out between you two that you would stay in his life… right? I have a friend who is in that situation.

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jonb July 29, 2008 at 10:06 pm

Well I can’t say I’m smart…I made an error in judgement and the little one hit his head way hard on my watch, so my name is mud right now.

At this time, I would liek to think that if things went wrong with us we could salvage a friendship and Slim and I could stay in touch. There is something powerful about him saying “i wuv you too” that hits hard. He desperately needs a male role model and he loves his rough and tumble time with me. Although I must say I would prefer option 1! lol.

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jonb July 29, 2008 at 10:08 pm

Solo mama, M\my one word of advice is to be patient and take your time. Everything is as it should be, as hard as that is to accept at times. And things will be as the are to be. You don’t need to force anything, just focus on your happiness, your heart, and your child. The rest will work itself out.

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mssinglemama July 29, 2008 at 10:22 pm

Jon B!

That is nothing. Benjamin lost his first tooth when Kris was watching him! I didn’t really write about it, because, well… it could have happened to any one. Benjamin tripped on the sidewalk in his stupid winter moon boots.

Anyway, I wasn’t upset b/c he got on the phone immediately and one of his friends (a dentist) saw Benjamin on Christmas day.

Yes, he lost his front tooth on Christmas. Sigh.

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solo mama July 30, 2008 at 9:10 am

mssinglemama-I read your article regarding Mr. Good Enough however, the man that I am seeing now is Mr. Perfect and that ‘s what freaks me out. He is and will be a great potential “partner in life.” I guess maybe I just need to stop thinking too much about it and take jonb’s advice and focus on my happiness, my heart and my baby girl. I am sure things will happen for a reason–it’s a little something called faith and I am not about to push the issue.

Thanks to all of you for helping me talk through this-I don’t have any single mama friends so noone knows how I feel, ever. I blog at http://www.motherverse.com and I am starting my own blog at http://www.picklesandpedicures.wordpress.com.

Thanks for listening!

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mssinglemama July 31, 2008 at 12:15 am

Solo Mama – yes, just try to relax and enjoy him. Please… you owe it to yourself. Can’t wait to read your blog!

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