Name Your Fear and Win

by mssinglemama on April 30, 2010

Fear is a real bitch.

And it’s been a while since I’ve addressed the unique fears that come for single moms dating.

Our fears, unfortunately, tend to control our dating lives for the first year as we regain our footing. But then, if you’re like me, we slowly gain control – recognizing a pattern. The next step is to break our habit of choosing the wrong men for the wrong reasons, which is just about as challenging as quitting smoking. But, for many of us single moms, driven by the love of our children and the vow to never “let that happen again” we take our new found freedom as a chance to re-discover our true selves.

Who are you without him?

Who are you without a man at all?

And what fear is keeping you from trusting in yourself to find someone good and true? And then the kicker – before you can find him you have to find yourself. You have to learn how to be happy alone and then you will find that there is really nothing to fear.

The answers are yours to find but, trust me, they’re worth the chase.

The topic of fear is on my mind because I’m putting the final touches on an essay on the subject for Woman’s Day magazine. (Find my piece in the August issue).

Now it’s your turn…

Name your fear and win.

The prize.

One of the new Antiqued New Leaf Bronze Necklaces and a copy of Ms. Single Mama Uncensored.

necklace1-1024x682

single mom book

The challenge.

What is your greatest fear as a dating single mom? And how do you plan on conquering said fear? Leave a comment answering the above and you’ll be entered to win. I will be choosing the winner at random.

The deadline.

Deadline to comment is Monday, May 3 at Midnight (EST).

Want more? There’s plenty of   Single Mom Dating advice in this complete archive of my single mom dating posts. They’ll be really helpful if you’re just now discovering my blog or dipping your toe into the big, bad dating world.

P.S.

Benjamin and I are in Chicago visiting our awesome cousins Terri and Larry. Pictures when I get back but I’ll be tweeting my adventures, so keep up here.

Related posts:

  1. Flatten Your Fear & Win a Flat Iron!
  2. Flatten Your Fear Contest Winners!
  3. Damn you, fear.
  4. Bring out the fears!
  5. Single Moms and Love

{ 77 comments… read them below or add one }

Crystal April 30, 2010 at 10:20 am

I had the biggest fear of trusting and letting someone in because I didn’t want to get hurt after my divorce and horrible ex husband. When I began dating again, I had to realize that not every guy is like my ex and not every guy is going to break my heart. The only way of getting over my fear was to finally let someone in. And I’m glad I did, we’re engaged to be married next month.

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JJ April 30, 2010 at 10:25 am

My biggest fear in dating would be meeting someone and having them hurt my children. Followed by not letting a good man in because of my fear. Learning to trust myself enough to go with the flow but to stand up for my children and myself.

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Juli Ruffing April 30, 2010 at 10:30 am

That’s an easy one– I have nightmares about a custody battle. I fear my ex using the boys to get back at me for leaving, that he’ll file for full custody and make things up about me to win. I have giving my sons over to him for a weekend’s visitation. It kills me every week. So when we fight, I always take the high road, I overlook things, I try to use calm words and not make accusations because I never ever want to face him in court.

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Mia April 30, 2010 at 10:34 am

My biggest fear is settling. I don’t trust my opinion of men anymore. I feel like I give the bad ones too much credit and I don’t trust that the good ones are what they seem. I don’t want my daughter to see me with the wrong man.

I am also afraid becasue I feel like I know the hardships of family life (the joys as well but let’s be honest it is hard to have kids and maintain a relationship), and if they don’t or haven’t experienced those hardships yet they might be shocked by it some day and freak out and find a some 24 yr old without the responsibilities I have. And leave…

What am I doing about it? Reiki, lots of Reiki. I’ll let you know when I figure something else out.

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Christine April 30, 2010 at 10:37 am

I think my two biggest fears were:
1. Can I really love someone and be loved back
2. Being left by another man.

By the time I finally left my husband I felt abandoned by every man in my life for one reason or another… from death to betrayal. So when I finally started dating again, I was constantly concerned that if I met someone I really cared about, that he would leave me like all the other men in my life. Which of course did happen. What I learned to combat those two fears was that I needed to love myself, and forgive myself for the mistakes I made so I could move on to a wonderful and loving relationship… which I now have!

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mommietopearl April 30, 2010 at 10:38 am

I wish I knew what I feared about dating as a single mom. It has cost myself and one other a great deal of heartache, recently. I could say the words I love you with ease at first and slowly I saw myself change and hesitate to say these words. I saw how I changed in a few week time from being so in love with this man to feeling like he was trying to control my life and I couldn’t be myself(which is far from true). Suddenly this wonderful person became the enemy. Anything he said I picked apart. Wow I am realizing how terrible I treated him in the end and it’s hitting me harder now. He just wanted to be apart of my amazingness and I wasn’t willing to share. Darn I never have been one for sharing!

I don’t know how to conquer said fear because I still don’t know what the fear is. I’ve been saying lately to myself I just was not ready yet.

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Lena April 30, 2010 at 10:46 am

My biggest fear… That would be pushing away the good men that come my way because the bad men have left me so jaded. To learn to trust.. to be trusted.. to believe that there is good in most people first before looking for all the bad.. to let love have a chance to grow before I dismiss it as a pipe dream. I suppose that would be my biggest fear.. giving up on love before it has given up on me.
~Lena

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Rachel April 30, 2010 at 11:01 am

My biggest fear with dating is letting go of the control of who has my heart. After my exhusband destroyed me, I’ve been leary to let anyone back close to me after painstakingly rebuilding me. After all, if they aren’t close, they can’t hurt me. Going to therapy, leaning on my best friends – those have been my sources to put the walls down, give up control and let love back in. I’ve been with my amazing boyfriend for 8 months and I can honestly say that the struggle has gotten easier, but it’s never gone. Something new seems to trigger a new fear frequently. Giving myself permission to feel that way and work through it helps!!

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Bobbi Janay April 30, 2010 at 11:21 am

I am not sure if us married folks count, my greatest fear is to lose all of those I care about most and to be alone.

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Sarah April 30, 2010 at 11:34 am

I have many fears, but by far my biggest is whether i will ever not feel so unhappy with the way i look. I’ve suffered with BDD for many years. My current boyfriend dated models and dancers before me. I am 5ft2 and really unattractive with the boobs of a child and the skin of an old lady mixed in with acne scaring. Hideous.

I would love one day to look in the mirror and think the reflection is okay – however, i fear that won’t happen – ever.

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Rebecca Kollaras April 30, 2010 at 11:43 am

My fear is that I won’t be able to provide for my daughter. I have been the major breadwinner in the family since its inception, and have no real reason to have this fear. I have always been the risk taker and my ex was the one with the steady, government job, benefits, stability, etc. Now I don’t have that foundation and have to trust myself to fly without a co-pilot. Scary. That fear leads me to the inevitable what ifs – what if I can’t provide and I have to X. So, we take it day by day, putting away a little $ when we can, taking measures to live a little more conservatively and talk about things we want to do for us as a family. Ithink it’s important to show my daughter that fear can be used as incentive and needs to be part of the mix. Anxiety without coping skills is what I left behind in my marriage. I don’t want to return to that and I want my daughter to understand how to turn that anxiety into a positive.

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Liz Soranno April 30, 2010 at 11:50 am

I am a single mom because my boyfriend left me because I decided to keep my baby. My biggest dating fear, and challenge still, is that I am incapable of letting someone in fully. When you go through a pregnancy alone because you have been left, after the grieving, you shut down emotionally. You know you will never hurt like that again. I have since met a wonderful man, but it is still extremely hard to be completely open and trust in love again.

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Mandy S April 30, 2010 at 11:53 am

SO, this probably won’t count- since I’m seriously dating the father of our baby. But. I fear that he’ll never ask me to marry him, the way I want him to. I want him to ask because he wants to, not because he feels like he has to. I want him to WANT to marry me (I know he wants to…) and I want him to look forward to the simple process of making it legit. He’s the kind of guy who procrastinates everything, so I just fear that this is one of the things that will end up in a pile in the basement, waiting to get done, but he just never gets around to it. Le sigh. We already FEEL married. So where’s the urgency? I don’t know.

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the guy May 5, 2010 at 11:42 pm

Either stay or go. If you stay, stop wanting so much. All you’re going to do is push him away.

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Rachael April 30, 2010 at 11:53 am

being forgotten…by loved ones, old friends, new friends, old lovers…I believe this fear stems from childhood. I used to go the grocery store with my mother all the time, as most kids do. In her efforts to get the shopping done, she would always end up walking away from me or rather I would lag behind. Eventually, I would realize she wasn’t infront of me, panicked I would run around the store looking for her, ultimately settling on hiding beneath the clothing racks by the front of the store, looking for her feet to walk by. Sometimes I would wait for 10 minutes, sometimes I would wait for an hour, 100% terrified of being left at the grocery story until closing time. One can only imagine the relief I felt when I recognized her feet, rolled out from under the clothing rack Bruce Willis style and ran to hug her.
My hope and goal is, in meeting new people or cultivating old friendships, that I leave a positive and lasting impression so as not to be forgotten.

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Winecountrymom April 30, 2010 at 11:54 am

When I’m single, the fear is that I’ll end up alone. And even though my marriage never consisted of these things, I long for that equal partner to share stories from the newspaper with over coffee and to raise our kids together. Dating, I fear that he’s just like my ex and will be violent and shifty, and I look for any sign that might prove me right. As you can tell, that’s a major turn on. It’s when I finally accept my singleness when the next potential guy finds me, and I settle into a relationship. And that’s when I fear that my newfound freedom will be taken away from me. You’re right, it takes a year for that fear to subside. We’re now going on 2 years, and I couldn’t be more comfortably happy, and free.

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Morgans Mom April 30, 2010 at 11:54 am

After my divorce was final a week after my daughter turned one, I sat down and cried because a family I had wished for, for so long had now been broken. My fear was her father was not going to be there to witness in the joys and sadness of my daughters everyday life, (and for the most part he is not there but the times he is she loves him no matter what). I would have to be the one who would have to fix it or be the biggest cheerleader in her life. I felt alone, but not as alone as I felt when I was actually married.
It didn’t take to long after that I realized I had been given a second opportunity, a do-over, a chance to change the old and make it new to find someone who would be that lucky man to have to wonderful girls in his life. A person that would make me smile and feel good about myself in exchange made me a better Mom.
After three years of finding myself and trusting my motherly instincts, I have found that new person who is a great man and not afraid to pick up the slack of her father, which makes me so happy to hear someone else make her laugh.
The fear is still there, the loneliness, be it ever so faint. Remembering the gift given to be a Mother is one not to be taken lightly, I know my loneliness had been replaced the day my daughter was born. With her in my life I can not fear being alone because she will always need me and I will need her.
Trust in Love its one of life’s greatest stories.

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jen_k_ April 30, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Fear of self, hands down. Regaining trust in myself has been a huge challenge. I’m finding myself much more cerebral (and grounded) in matters of love these days rather than allowing my heart to careen out of control like a Great Dane puppy in a house full of China. However, a part of me fears the ramifications of being so damned -orderly- too. I’m finding a balance, I hope.

Also? Plain old fear of rejection probably won’t show its self out any time soon. That one’s gotten pretty comfy here.

@ Mia, can I help with the Reiki? I can send if you’d like.

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Nikki April 30, 2010 at 12:12 pm

My greatest fear is not finding someone strong enough for me. I have a heap load of idiosyncricies and I’d like to be able to discuss anything with them; without them finding fault, trying to ‘fix’, somehow taking offense, or taking responsibility for my ‘stuff’. We live in a complex world and we all have our ‘stuff’. I fear there’s not a man out there strong enough or confident enough in who he is, to be able to simultaneously BE THE MAN, not only listen but HEAR me, support and encourage, and allow me to blossom into who I am supposed to be. All this being said…I’m also afraid that I would not be able to ACCEPT this man, if/when he does come along. I’m afraid of being who I’M supposed to be. All those idiocyncricies of mine…include my own insecurities that I’m working through. It takes healthy relationship to heal hurt parts. It just has to be an equal give and take.

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the guy May 5, 2010 at 11:45 pm

It’s less about finding the right person as being the right person.

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Stac April 30, 2010 at 12:52 pm

You know the Gin Blossoms song that goes “If you don’t expect too much of me, you might not be let down”? My biggest fear is being let down again. I’ve been always a single mom and never a non-single mom. I was let down very early on in my son’s life, and it was emotionally brutal. My biggest fear is letting someone into our lives (I mean really really into our lives) and then not just me being let down, but my son as well (as it is he’s always let down by his Dad (thank goodness for Grandpa, that’s all I have to say)). Maybe that’s why I always end up going for the wrong type of guy. With the wrong type we never make it far enough or committed enough for him to become a real part of our life, so we never get use to counting on him, and thus, haven’t been let down. But my second greatest fear is never opening up enough due to my first fear and missing out on a great thing.

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K April 30, 2010 at 1:01 pm

My biggest fear is trusting a man to not hurt my children. My kids are great, and get attached to people easily, and I’m scared they’ll like a guy so much, and then him and I not working out. So I refuse to let guys meet my children until I’m sure about us. Which..obviously isn’t working. As it’s like I have two lives. Hopefully I’ll figure something out to get over this fear!

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Jessica April 30, 2010 at 1:18 pm

My biggest fear about dating is that I will never find someone I love as much as I loved my ex. We were together for 10 years, had a beautiful son, and he left me. And I still love him. How can I love someone else if I still love my ex? I don’t know. I’ m dating a really great guy, and I think I might love him, but it’s so much different. Not as intense. It worries me that I will always compare every man and every relationship to my ex.

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Hillary Ruiz April 30, 2010 at 1:26 pm

I think my biggest fear is letting him see the real me, and having him like who it is that I actually am, and not what some guy has wanted for me to be. I fear letting him fall in love with me. The real me. The me who cries over movies, could live off of chocolate, opinionated,passion filled, nature loving girl that I have rediscovered as a single mamma. Though while this is my biggest fear to the right guy, it will be the easiest part of me for him to love. :o ) -Hillary

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Naim April 2, 2014 at 11:34 am

I observe this eecellxnt injustice happened within my relationship. Its a 1-time factor however i am very affected and totally unhappy because of it. I must bring this condition track of my partner, however i know that it’ll damage the connection as your partner is very sensitive. I value this relationship a great deal.What’s the best factor to complete? Could it be worth to confront and spoil the connection?

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Jamie Council April 30, 2010 at 1:31 pm

My greatest feat is that the man who is good for my children will neither be in love with me nor I with him OR the man with whom I feel great passion will be the worst possible choice for my children. Although, it is a no brainer what I would choose because my children will always win, I fear making that choice and living loveless for the rest of my life.
To overcome this fear I will listen to my intuition and, most importantly, concentrate on healing myself and nurturing my children until I feel comfortable venturing out into the world of dating. AND I will take it very, very slowly.

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Kelly April 30, 2010 at 1:53 pm

My greatest fear is…In six weeks I’m about to bring a little boy into this world and I can’t wait. I feel as if I have been waiting to have him for as long as I can remember. My fear comes from the fact that I have been with the father for 6 years in an on again off again romance. Needless to say his flaw is being unable to commit. My greatest fear is bringing my son into this world with a father who is incapable of commitment. I’m scared that he will be unable to commit to his son and if so will I be enough

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Anna April 30, 2010 at 2:03 pm

My fear is watching my boys fall in love with a father figure, and having him leave them like their father did. I would rather never love another then watch my children face that ultimate rejection again.

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Andrea April 30, 2010 at 2:58 pm

I have had 3 big fears:
1) Never meeting anyone before my eggs all dry up. :) I have one daughter, and always saw myself with a few children. I loved being pregnant and breast-feeding, so I would really like to have another biological child someday. But, I also know that the eggs dry up pretty early in my family – so I won’t be a 40 year old having a baby. :)
2) Settling for someone simply because I wanted to feel loved again and re-establish the dream that had been broken with the end of my marriage.
3) Not being able to trust again. My ex very much strayed from who he ever had shown himself to be. There honestly were no signs that he would have led a double life for 2 years of our marriage – even his friends and family still remain shocked. So, what if I meet a great guy, feel connected, have a good marriage like what I had before – how do I know it won’t crumble again?

What am I doing about it?
1) Realizing that maybe just one biological child is ok. And realizing maybe there are other options in my life. I’ve always wanted to adopt, maybe years down the road that is what I’ll do.
2) I’ve put myself out there in the dating world. Even though it is tough due to time constraints when you have your child 24/7. And thru dating, I’ve realized I won’t settle. :) Plus, I’ve reconnected spiritually – which also helps keep my standards high.
3) This one I deal with by putting my faith in God. And, also recognizing that the next person MUST be able to be willing to get help if he needs it, connect with groups to help each other thru bad times,etc. If I had asked my ex if he would ever do those things – I think he would have said NO.

Andrea

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Andrea April 30, 2010 at 2:59 pm

FYI – sorry for the long comment! Guess I’ve thought about this one a lot the past year! :)

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Danielle April 30, 2010 at 3:07 pm

My biggest fear was that I my daughter would never come to terms with me dating my boyfriend and never let her guard down. It took me quite awhile before I even introduced the two of them for fear of how she would react since we are so close. It’s been just the two of us for so long that I feared she would see a man as a threat to her. I was right. She was very distrustful of my boyfriend at first. He never tried to win her over with gifts and sweet talk, he’s not that type. He, instead, set the tone early that she was to respect and obey me, as well as him. He’s never been around children before and so his patience level is increasing as her walls are tumbling down. I have a completely different (well-behaved) child who listens the first time and no longer whines when she doesn’t get her way. The two of them are buddies and it makes my day when I hear each of them say that they miss one another. It’s nice to finally have someone whom I trust with all of my heart, who has my back and would do anything to protect my little one.

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Samantha April 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Thanks for this post and this blog. It makes me feel that maybe my thoughts and fears aren’t completely crazy and that I am not alone. When reading your dating posts, it reminds me to keep my standards high even at 2am when I’m petrified that I will never find a worthy man who thinks that I am good enough. I’m not a single mom so please don’t enter me in the contest. Just wanted to say thanks and even people without kids are encouraged by your words.

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Robin~ April 30, 2010 at 7:58 pm

I’ve got 2 biggest fears that regularly compete with one another.

My main, kick-me-in-the-gut fear is that I won’t ever be financially independant again. I was with Da’ Ex for nearly a decade, and during that time I had 2 kids and left my steady job to raise my boys and run my own tiny company. He was my only funding for the biz and I had to close it down when he left. It’s been 3 years and I’m slowly dragging myself to a place where I can reopen the biz but I’m terrified almost daily that I will never be able to pull back from the brink of poverty and be free.

The other fear that generally stays in the wings until late at night is that I will never again find the magic that I had with DX. He was my light at the end of the tunnel, the guy that broke the mold for me, the one that ended the bad man patterns for me. Our relationship, even post-marriage, has raised the bar so high that I really don’t entirely trust that the universe will allow me to ever have something at least that good again.

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hef April 30, 2010 at 8:30 pm

My greates fear was hurting my child. My only solution was to take things slow, listen to my instincts, and trust myself. I didn’t navigate the dating-single-mom world flawlessly. There might even be an incident or two that I regret. But it somehow all worked out, and NOW everything is just right.

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Laura April 30, 2010 at 8:36 pm

I’ve been divorced for almost 3 years now and one of my biggest fears is that I will end up like my aunt (who I love to death, like a second mother) who is pushing sixty, single and living with her mother.
My other fear, and something I try to counteract every day, is that my son (5ya) will end up like his father with all of his anger, resentment and addictions.
The only thing I feel like I can do about the 1st is be a great mother and be fulfilled with my own life, career etc, and (from what I always hear) the right guy will come along….I’m getting there.
-L
P.S. I love your blog, you are a very compelling writer, thank you.

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Cathy J April 30, 2010 at 8:39 pm

I think all base fears come down to the little devil/inner critic in your mind saying “you are not enough…” could be not beautiful enough, not funny enough, not slim enough, not smart enough…. the biggy for the singles, at least, “will he love me enough…?”

Fortunately over the years I have come to learn it isn’t about that. When we learn to love ourselves enough (for me the turning point was accepting first that God loved me enough….) then I began a whole new perspective – from outside of myself. So rather than trying to split myself in two by supporting myself and those I love, and living out my dreams (study, travel, business…) which effectively created a 60 – 80 hour work week with all the household/life stuff on top… I have a new lens, through which I view my days and my life.

Some say that to take yourself off your mind and care for others is the key to happiness. Any exhausted mums, teachers, nurses, girlfriends, daughters… out there who agree with this one???

“Will he love me enough to care for me, protect me, provide for me (and my children), marry me …..?”

My epiphany now is that I do have a protector, provider, … and the man is only second to Him. When we expect our man to do all the above and also be best friend, lover and more, we are only ever setting him up for failure.

Now I stride into the fear and say ‘bring it on!!!’

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Erin May 5, 2010 at 12:46 pm

AMEN!!!!

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Ade May 7, 2010 at 10:54 am

Cathy, I loved your response. This is only my 100th time reading it.
My new mantra, “I do have a protector, provider.” That little sentence has SOOOO much power. I love it. Thank you!

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Jennie April 30, 2010 at 9:48 pm

My biggest fear is to never be open to love again. I feel so tired and jaded right now, that it seems impossible. I feel very un-lovable right now, and can’t see that changing in the near future.

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Barbara April 30, 2010 at 10:19 pm

My biggest fear ~ that all the rest of my fears will somehow hold me back from being/doing all that I am capable of. That I will let those fears keep me from really living life. I want to be the best example I can be for my daughters. I believe my fears are the only things that can hold me back.

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Kathleen Stephens April 30, 2010 at 10:48 pm

Sing it Cathy J!!! I think we have our winner! Whooohooo!

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mommybella May 1, 2010 at 12:37 am

my biggest fears are that theres a reason I’m still single. I mean I’m afraid that theres something wrong with me that makes men run the opposite direction. That I am not date material, that I will forever be single.
my other greatest fear is that I will never be able to have a loving father for my son, and that I will never have the opportunity to give my son little brothers and sisters to share his life with!

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Melissa May 1, 2010 at 1:27 am

My biggest fear is me and my kids getting hurt. I went straight from one relationship into another longterm one. I am now single with 2 kids by 2 different guys who hurt me too many times to count. I am at a point that I would much rather be alone forever rather than risk it all again on another man.

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Mimi May 1, 2010 at 2:17 am

My biggest fear is foremost that I will hurt my son. I try so hard to make sure he is happy and comfortable, and I worry that bringing someone else into our lives will take too much time from him. I also worry that no one will want to deal with and/or be patient about me having a kid. It’s allot of work and a boyfriend would have to wait in line for attention, which seems like it would be a turn off for most men. So, I guess I worry that no man is going to want to deal with all that. And where do I find the time to even meet a man anyway?!

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Stephanie May 1, 2010 at 7:25 am

I have been divorced for over 6 years and have had only one serious relationship that ended badly. I’ve worked hard to keep the house my ex-husband and I owned, to be financially independent (went back to school and am just waiting to hear about a principal position to be offered), and to raise 4 wonderful daughters (ages 6 through 23). My biggest fear is actually sharing all this with someone. I’ve worked hard to get to know myself and my needs and wants and I’m ok being alone. I actually welcome the down time when I can get it. Is there really someone out there who is comfortable with the tv off and just sitting on the porch or working in the yard without talking?? Writing it now, I can see that that’s really not too much to ask. But I can’t go through another break up in front of my kids. So maybe my real fear is if I wait until my children are all grown to start dating again, will I ever want someone else?

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maria May 3, 2010 at 7:42 pm

Oh – I sooo identify with your post. I’ve been divorced almost 5 years, and have 3 kids, 5, 7 and 9. I have the house we built together when we were married, and had the kids a majority of the time until last year. I have worked my butt off being a good mom, being fiscally responsible, budgeting like crazy and figuring out the balancing act between being “mommy” and being a (single) woman. I had a hard enough time sharing and dividing my time, attention, and LOVE with the kids’ dad; how in the WORLD can I share it with someone who isn’t biologically related to them?

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Irene May 1, 2010 at 9:25 am

My biggest fear is coming true (again)…I’ve been in a relationship since last August, and just yesterday we had a conversation about our relationship..and he is not ready to commit. My daughter’s father and I had a similar relationship and I stayed with him for years, hoping one day he’d commit. So I’m not looking to repeat that, even though it resulted in my beautiful angel of a daughter. I am very aware of why I am attracting these types of men, and I’m working on myself to let it finally sink in that yes, I am worth having a fulfilling, commited relationship. I’ve done a lot of healing this year and even if our relationship ends soon, I know I have the strength to get through it!

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Darcy May 1, 2010 at 9:55 am

My biggest fear is being let down again. When I got married, I got married for life. My ex gave up on our marriage, and I’m still trying to figure out why. He said he fell out of love. I wanted him to fight for us, for our kids, but he said he didn’t have it in him. He wanted to stay, but not be the husband he should have been. So I had to tell him to go, because I deserve more than that. I don’t want that to happen again. I am very loyal, and plan to give my all in my next marriage.
I have met a wonderful man, want to move on and be with him, but now my ex is trying to get stop me from moving. I want to move 50 minutes away, for goodness sakes. And he’s taking me to court for it. So, I’m happy, want to move on, move to a place where there are more opportunities for me and my kids. I’m finally happy. I have found myself again, and found a man that I think will treat me like I should be treated. So I hope that everything goes well, so that I can move on with our new, wonderful future that is ahead of us.

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Erin May 1, 2010 at 1:36 pm

My fear is not being able to properly support my three sons on my own. To get them braces. To get them through college. To make sure they wear shirts without holes in them and stains galore, and to not be on food stamps and Medicaid again. I don’t want to be one of THOSE single moms. I am in college while staying at home all day with my kids, and the burden is overwhelming. I feel like less than my best attention goes to each because I’m so overwrought at times. I may have gotten an A and a B, but with just two courses on my plate, it feels like small peanuts. I guess, to summarize, my fear is to not be “good enough” in virtually every realm of my life, since my husband left me for that reason.

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Ade May 1, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Wow. I don’t know how I stumbled across this blog, but at this moment it feels like a blessing. I watched a few of your videos and I’m bawling (in a good way)! Thank you for speaking out on behalf of strong, amazing single mothers.

“What is your greatest fear as a dating single mom?” My first thought is the fear of failure and rejection. My second thought is, is just does not feel right. I just have a hard time processing being a mom AND dating.

In a million years, I never EVER imagined myself as a single mother. I’m very idealistic and saw myself with a big, happy family. When my husband left us six weeks after my son was born, I vowed never to be in a situation like that again. (I was 21 years old and trying to finish up college) My mantra was, I can do this! I can do this! I can do this!

Well, 13 years later, I really can do this. I have a great job. I own my own home. My son is incredibly fun to be with. And I have to add, he’s an “A” student! I became a strong, independent woman out of necessity, and I did it! I look back at those years of struggling and working my ass off, and I’m so happy they’re behind me. But all of this came with a price, too.

I do not date. I really don’t have any friends. I spend most of my time very much alone.

So what is my biggest fear about dating? I’m scared to be vulnerable. I’m scared of feeling dependent. I’m scared to actually love someone. I’m scared no one in the world can relate to me. I’m scared of getting pregnant. I’m scared of taking on the role of girlfriend or wife. I wouldn’t even know how to act.

I have to laugh at myself. I walk with my head held high. I even secretly feel like no one (at least that I know) is as strong as I am. But really, I’m the biggest scaredy cat EVER.

But I guess what is starting to scare me even more is the fact that I may never take the plunge and get back into the game. I’m scared of being complacent. I’m scared my life will never change. And as weird as this sounds, that’s what might actually help me make the leap.

I have to say thank you to everyone who left comments. Thank you so much. By reading your words, I realize other women are out there going through this with me. I am not alone. And we ALL deserve to walk through this life with a companion. I may not be as strong as I think I am. I may be stronger, but I first have to let go of my fear (that helped me when I needed it), and have faith in myself and in the process of life.

Thanks for writing this blog. I will be following it closely!

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Darcy May 2, 2010 at 10:39 am

Hi! I just had to comment on your words. You say you are alone. You’re not alone. You have your son. And now you’ve reached out in this blog to other women just like you. One thing that helped me immensely is I started a couple of women’s get togethers. I sew a lot (quilts) and I read a lot. So I started a little sewing group and a book club. The book club is usually at my house (so that I don’t have to worry about a sitter), and it’s more about getting together with other women to chat, talk about our lives, have a glass of wine, etc. It’s been great for all of us. I just asked a few people, and it grew. It’s helped me to start out with the girl friends to help with the loneliness. I actually ended up meeting my current boyfriend through one of the book club girls. how lucky is that?

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Ade May 2, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Thanks for reaching out with your reply. You’re very right, I am not alone. I appreciate your advice, and I think it’s about time to get involved. A nice book club sounds great.
Thanks again!

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Ms. Single Mama May 3, 2010 at 11:34 am

Thank you Ade. So glad you found us…. come back and comment often. That alone will help.

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Erin May 3, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Ade – I just got all teary-eyed reading your post – you really HAVE done it all for your son. I’m still in year two post-divorce, and with three boys 3 & under, and the notion of “making it” is still a mystery to me. I’m still in college and figuring it all out. Good luck with dating- it’s a minefield! ;)

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Ade May 7, 2010 at 10:27 am

Hi Erin -
First of all, you’re AMAZING…three boys under three?!? Right now I’m sure the days are long (but the years are short!) And I just want to add how lucky your boys are to be so close in age. I’m sure it’s A LOT of work for you, but what a blessing for them.
“Making it” is still a mystery to me too. I wish I had some words of wisdom to pass on, some answers or something. The only thing I can offer is support.
Women are amazingly strong. What you’re going through is incredibly tough. If I can support myself and my son, so can you. If I made it through schooling, so can you. There’s nothing special about me, I promise. Women are just really strong when they need to be, that’s all.
Good luck to you too;-)

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arscuore May 2, 2010 at 10:45 am

I had big fears when I first started dating, partially fueled by my mother who flat out told me that no one would continue to date me after they found out my son has autism. I tried the online thing, because I didn’t really have any other outlet in which to meet men. I dated a couple of guys, and then really started to fear that I would be alone for a long time. Then I really started enjoying being by myself. Then the fear became, “Will I have room in my life for someone else, if he comes along?” Little did I know that I already knew Mr. Right.

Now my fears are smaller, more conquerable. Things like blending our families, and making sacrifices for each other top the list (right now he lives 14 hours away, so we have some major life decisions to make). I’m not afraid of the relationship failing, because a) it’s just right, b) we had a major test of our relationship this week, and passed it with flying colors, and c) even if we did (heaven forbid) break-up, I’ve already been through that and survived, so I could do it again.

I wouldn’t say that I’m fearless, but I decided that my New Year’s resolution this year (which I rarely make) was going to be taking more risks. Not allowing fear to dictate my life. It’s working, because I am in charge and loving it.

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3girlsandaboy May 2, 2010 at 11:20 am

My biggest fear, after living a life that wasn’t mine, is living with regret. I opened up a door to relive the way I love…it is my greatest hope to love with wild abandon.

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christine May 2, 2010 at 1:38 pm

when i boil down all my fears and insecurities about being single and dating again, i realize the root of it is my distrust and fear of men in general. i am afraid that any man i get close to will hurt me. i was abused by my stepfather and i am afraid my girls will likewise be hurt. i had one very abusive relationship as a teenager-my early 20′s, and when i got out of it i swore i would never let anyone hurt me like that again. what i didn’t realize was how very nuanced abuse can be. a man doesn’t have to hit you to abuse you. after nearly a decade with the father of my daughters, i feel as though i’ve lost my ability to be a good judge of character, to trust, to even be close to someone again.

i’ve been separated for a year and a half now, and i haven’t even dipped my toe into the dating waters. it terrifies me. i know i need to do A LOT of work on myself before i will even be ready to have coffee with someone. as cheesy as it sounds, i’ve been reading a lot of self-help books. i know what i truly need is some long term therapy, but that’s unfortunately out of my reach and budget for now. in the meantime, i’m working my way through “The Feeling Good Handbook” as well as “The Power of Flow”. i’m journaling every night, and doing my best to confront my fears and anxieties honestly.

this might sound kind of silly, but i’ve also been keeping a list of Good Men. these are not men i want to date, but men who demonstrate the qualities i would like to have in a future partner. like the man who helped out with the bedframe i bought off craigslist a few months ago. the woman i was buying the bed from was leaving the country, and had all her stuff in storage. when we realized between the two of us there was no way to get the bed into the truck i was using, she called up her brother-in-law to help. he came over to the storage unit on only a moments notice. he even followed me back to my mom’s house to help us unload the bedfram and bring it inside, because we wouldn’t have been able to manage on our own. he did it all without impatience, complaining, or irritation.

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singlemama_cc May 2, 2010 at 6:17 pm

I always thought I knew what my biggest fear was. (I often like to think I know more than I do….it’s just my learning process i guess)
My biggest fear has turned into my reality.
Facing a broken heart without anger, just feelings….it’s much easier to loose someone you’re already over. I wasn’t over him…I’m not over him…and I’m not mad about it (HUGE for me)
My biggest fear has been letting my daughter see me broken hearted. As hard as I try to hide it, she’s on to me. She asks about him, why we don’t call each other anymore, why we don’t talk…..the hardest part and apparently scariest part for me is not being able to answer those questions. Mom always has the answers….right?
Not always babe, turns out, your mama is human~
I dont have the answers. I dont even know all the questions. Thats the best part I guess….facing your own fears of uncertainty…learning, living and letting myself love…

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Leah May 3, 2010 at 3:46 am

I have been working on coming to terms with who I really am but I think I fear most that I may not be able to truly accept myself. I’ve always somehow blamed myself for the end of my marriage (even though I’m not the one who cheated and drank every night and he still has no interest in our son). But, I’ve always struggled with accepting my flaws and in so doing, they sometimes manage me rather than the other way around….And I think if I can’t do it, how could a man accept them in me? Marilyn Monroe said it well:

“I’m selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I’m out of control, and at times, a little hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.”

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Heidi May 3, 2010 at 11:11 am

So I am recently divorced, I have 2 amazing kids, but I am afraid a lot of the time. I have started dating. I met the most amazing guy.. My biggest fear is that what things seem to be actually is not the way they are. I mean I thought I married a guy that was “right” for me and that turned out to be untrue. I left him. I still cannot believe I actually left… I am afraid that someone will leave me too, when I am truly, madly, deeply in love with them. I am afraid I can’t handle the idea of not knowing what is around every corner.. I am building that sense of calm and sureness about myself, but I will admit I am both terrified and exhilarated at the same time.

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SueB. Ont. Canada May 3, 2010 at 12:18 pm

My biggest fear is introducing someone else new to my children. My ex met(online) and married his wife in China a year and half ago, March 21st of this year at the age of fifty, he took his own life, leaving behind our two daughters, our grandson, his wife and a stepson. His wife had only been in this country for eight months when it happened. My ex bailed on us ten years ago because he didn’t want the responsibility of a family anymore. I was in a long term relationship for four and a half years after that but it ended badly. I promised my youngest daughter that I wouldn’t date anyone else until she turned eighteen, which she did at the end of February. How do I introduce someone new to my kids now? They have/ had a dad and I don’t want to be with someone who feels that he needs to replace him. My girls wouldn’t go for that anyway. They now have a stepmom , who is very nice, that probably will be going back to China at the end of this school year. My girls don’t want to get close to her as they feel there is no connection there anymore, and she may be leaving anyway. How will a new man feel about dating someone who’s ex committed suicide?

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Jennifer May 3, 2010 at 12:29 pm

My real fear is someone hurting my twin daughters.

But I’m fearful of men running when they hear I have twins! Or of never feeling comfortable enough to fart in front of them.

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Holly May 3, 2010 at 1:42 pm

My fear is that I will never be able to take down the walls I have built up over the last 8 years. My ex was controlling and abusive and at this point I cannot imagine myself being happy with anyone. I’m obvioiusly not ready to date yet but what if I’m NEVER able to tear down the walls and let someone in?

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Sharesa May 3, 2010 at 2:37 pm

My biggest fear… introducing my son to him. Where is the rule book on that one? He is only 4 and I’m afraid as much as I am attached to this guy, that if and when he meets him, he will get attached to… What if it doesn’t work out??? How do I explain that? I was never married, so he has only ever known Mommy and Daddy live in seperate houses… Any thoughs/ opinions would be truly appreciated!

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Linda Stewart May 3, 2010 at 2:41 pm

My fear was finding someone that would realize I was a package deal and accept that my kids were as important in my life as they were.
I overcome that fear when my first grandson was born and I realized that I really didn’t need a man in my life after all. I am perfectly content being a happy, single mama/grandma.

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Mandy May 3, 2010 at 2:52 pm

I fear that the inadequecies I feel about myself will prevent me from ever moving beyond the safety of the little box Nevaeh and I live in. I don’t go out, I don’t meet people, and though I’ve been single from the time I was 6 months pregnant (N is 3 1/2 now)There was one brief moment, based off a blind date, but I was too afraid to like him or try, so if fizzled as soon as it started. I always thought it would get better rather then worse as time goes by, but it hasn’t. I know I’m capable of loving someone, as I love Nevaeh more then anything. I worry that because she’s been the sole recipient of my love for so long sharing that part with someone else would be too hard for her. She’s already lacking a dad, so if I suddenly wasn’t enough, what would she have? I don’t want her to deal with sadness and heartbreak because of my actions. There’s enough heartbreak out there waiting to happen without the person she loves and trusts the most adding to it…
The other fear is that if I don’t get over this, and I never move on, and I wind up all alone. The day will come when she move on with her life, school, job, husband… And I want that for her….But I can’t see myself trying to start over again when I’m 50, after being single and alone for more then 20 years…

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Michelle May 3, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Biggest fear = trusting a man. How to conquer = let go and let God.

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Mai May 3, 2010 at 5:47 pm

My fear is that I’ll be teaching my son to trust someone that turns out to not be trustworthy at all and then not only will I be heartbroken he will be too. I’ve already let it happen once, I don’t think I could let it happen again.

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Angela May 3, 2010 at 7:56 pm

oops, still new to this blogging following thing and actually added mine to yoru facebook. Here it is again, if it was in wrong spot!

Never finding anyone with enough love and fortitude to take me and my kiddo on.

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charles May 3, 2010 at 9:45 pm

I like your post
I believe one of the unwritten rule of success is that you can not control your environment, Only your reaction to it.

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Sharon May 3, 2010 at 11:53 pm

My biggest fear is being duped again. I thought I knew my ex. Turns out he was able to hide something HUGE from me for years. I felt like something was off, but didn’t know what. When I found out, it completely threw me. I NEVER want to go through something like that again. Then the first guy I dated post divorce wasn’t faithful….not so great a picking them. The other half of that fear is that I’ll find someone great, but won’t be able to trust him enough to make it work. How do you go from being hurt down to the core to being able to trust someone new? Also, it isn’t just me that could get hurt. Its my kids too. I’m fiercely protective of them and don’t ever want to be the reason they get hurt. How do I trust someone with that?

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Kristie May 4, 2010 at 10:38 am

I went around and around with this topic, because there are SO many things I worry about and am fearful of. I realize now that I am mostly scared of myself — that I will let insecurities guide my decisions and sabatoge my chances at finding true happiness and fullfillment. I’ve been with a man (my first post divorce relationship) for over a year who I have known is all wrong for me right from the start, but I stayed with him out of comfort, convenience, and fear that someone better will never come along. I finally am feeling strong and confident enough to walk away…I just hope that this feeling sticks and that I don’t continue allowing other people’s criticism or judgement bring me down.

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Jen May 4, 2010 at 11:41 am

I am constantly in fear of being forgetable. i have no problem just being a mom, but when i think about just being an adequate mom, and a so-so employee, and a forgetable friend, i feel as though all the air is being sucked from my chest. i know i can’t be the best in everything, but sometimes i seem to be spread so thin i’m not even in the same universe as the best.

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Kris May 4, 2010 at 11:55 am

My biggest fear is that I will never be able to open myself up to anyone ever again and I will not be able to show my Lucy what a real relationship is. I want us to have a family but after three years (and she’s only 3 TODAY..YAY!) of doing it alone, I just don’t know if I can imagine someone else in our world.

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Brittney May 28, 2010 at 4:41 pm

I’m a new follower of your blog, as of last night and happened it upon it quite randomly in search for a way to pay for the dental hygiene school I’ve been accepted to. It’s a huge accomplishment to have been accepted but all of this work will be for nothing if I can’t come up with money, and believe me I’ve exhausted my options, but thats a whole different battle. Anyways, somehow I’ve found you. =)

This particular question I see has been answered not only as “what’s your biggest fear as a DATING single mom” but more generally, what is your biggest fear as a single mom. I haven’t actually dated since my divorce, but I think my fear lies within myself and self doubt. Now how to change this? I’m not sure.

It’s nice to see that I’m not the only one ready to pour out their fears at first chance. These fears haunt my thoughts frequently and thus probably the reason why I’m so anxious to get them out. It almost feels like I need to say “THANK YOU FOR ASKING!”
1. I fear that my ex-husband will marry Amber Homewrecker Sams (yes I just said that). In my mind I say, any other girl, any other girl then the girl you cheated on me with and constantly chose over our son and I…but I’m sure I’d be heartbroken either way, picking this girl would just be like taking his heel and grinding it into shards of glass too small to repair.

2. Fear of my son calling her (ok I have issues) or any other woman mommy. He’s just started saying “mo-mee” not too long ago and I’m worried I’ll be replaced essentially.

3. Fear that I’ll never get over the hurt I’ve gone through, or get over my ex-husband.

I’m sure I could go on, but these are at the top of my list currently.

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walkingindarkness February 16, 2014 at 9:49 pm

After years of performing Orals for my husband and sperm, I am starting thinking of leaving him for good.
My biggest fear is that my son will get hurt. There are so many little boys get molested by their mother’s boyfriends or new husbands.
I am so worried that I will fall into the traditional image of single moms: mooching of the government and go from man to man. My husband was literally my first man. And he is pushing me to the edge of sanity
I hate to be start off on my own find that I am hurting my son by taking his father out of his life.
I have no family here. I do have some friends; not sure how they will support me if I do become single mom. I have never worked in this country; not sure how I am going to support my son and myself. I am so dreaded of being a single mom; can’t stand to leave my son behind; can’t stand to suck on someone’s D and swallow his sperm everyday either.

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