On the other side…

by mssinglemama on January 3, 2012

It is our second date.

Our first date after our coffee date. So, in my mind, this is our first real date. I am wearing my favorite gray Calvin Klein dress. It’s just short enough, but not too short and hits mid thigh. To keep off the Fall chill I’m wearing my light brown suede jacket and–because I can–my pre-Benjamin stiletto booties.

I am proud of myself for picking out an outfit so quickly, considering how daunting it had been to get dressed before the coffee date.

He texts me that he is parked around the corner, behind the bushes, where I know Benjamin can’t spot him. I kiss Benjamin good-bye, wish the sitter good luck and dash out the door. Per the sound and logical advice of my girlfriends, we have waited four days to see each other again. But, it has felt like weeks. Typically four days would be nothing for me, a splash in the water, nothing. But on each night we’ve spend hours on the phone talking and each night, I’ve woken up at 3:00 or 4:00 AM wide awake with anticipation.

“This is nuts,” I tell myself every morning when I wake up, not even tired.

“This is crazy, isn’t is?” says Meg Ryan.

“No, that’s what’s so crazy about it,” says Rosie.

That line from Sleepless in Seattle makes sense now and every obnoxious jilted love song on the radio doesn’t. What are those people even wasting their time on? It should just make sense from the start and always.

One night I tell him, “I haven’t talked to a boy on the phone for this long since middle school.”

He laughs. I love his laugh and notice that I can produce it easily. But then I wonder, does he talk to all of the girls this much? When I ask him this he pauses, taken aback, and says, “No. I don’t talk to all of the girls this much.”

Suddenly, I feel ashamed for asking in such an accusatory way and realize that was my baggage speaking for me. I make a mental note and in the future, when the time is right, I apologize to him. His response is completely accepting, “Sweetheart, that’s okay – you have every right to be cautious, you’ve been hurt before. You don’t owe me any apologies.” He accepts me, baggage and all.

In this moment as I’m walking and not trying to run, as I’m trying to look cool and calm and not utterly petrified as I turn the corner into the bushes, I try to forget about my baggage. When I see his face, it all melts away. My nerves, my anxiety. The only thing left is a peaceful contentment.

“Hi,” he says with a smile before he scoops me up into a hug, “How are you?”

“Better now,” I say.

He pulls the door open for me. I thank him quietly, feeling awkward, as I always have when men show me chivalry. When we start driving I look down at my hands and they’re shaking in my lap. The nerves are back.

“I’m sorry,” I say, “but I’m so nervous right now. I go out on a lot of dates. This is not like me, at all.”

“Me, too!” he says, “I’ve been totally nervous all day. And no, I’m not normally like this with all the girls.”

We laugh and then I snap my head into the back seat. Something has caught my eye. Something pink. With a full view, I see it’s the pink arm of a car booster seat. And then I see the other blue seat on the other side. Two car seats. Empty, of course, but I can imagine them there while he’s driving. Their awesome dad with his great big smile and his great big laugh and his great big heart.

Finally on the other side of the dating single parent spectrum, I blurt out, “Now, that is hot.”

He laughs again and I say, “No, really, you have no idea.”

“Oh, I definitely do.”

—–

On another night three months later, we were still laughing just like we were on that first, second date…  and taking goofy pictures.


My caption for this one is “My big, giant New Year’s gnome.”

Still haven’t decided on a name for him, but your feedback is simmering and baking. Thank you for that and for sticking with my totally boring blog, as it has become a love nest. But, hooray for love and damn the torpedoes.

 

 

Related posts:

  1. One side effect of being a dating single mama…my baby is trying to make out with me.
  2. My dark side
  3. The other side
  4. A letter to my future husband.
  5. Flying

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Savored Life January 3, 2012 at 8:21 pm

love. smile. happy happy new year!

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Andrea January 3, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Very happy for you! Funny thing is – ever since I read your first post about him – I’ve found myself in a similar situation! I think I’ve mentioned it before, but when you mentioned you met on okcupid, I figured “what the heck, I’ll give that site another chance”. Match wasn’t doing much for me, and okcupid was free – couldn’t hurt to try. And, after a week met the guy I’ve currently been dating for 2.5 months (longest relationship post-divorce for me).

I completely relate to your phone conversations. I never let guys call me before and talk for very long, because my only free time was after 9pm and I wanted that for ME. But, I run to pick up the phone whenever my new guy calls – and we talk for hours almost every night (except when exhaustion has overtaken us both).

A few weeks ago we were deciding where to go out for dinner, he kept asking me if I had been to various places and I kept responding “no”. Finally I said – “Let’s just assume I haven’t been to any of these great restaurants, because most of my time I have spent at home with my daughter.”. His response was – “Yes, I understand that. But, I figured since you have been dating actively for 2.5 years guys would have taken you out to some of these places”. I sat there stumped for a moment and realized no one I had ever dated had taken me out to dinner like he had! Wow – what was I thinking the past 2.5 years??!! Oh yeah…I was testing the waters…and finding out what I most desired/needed in a man. :)

I also have found I do have some baggage/insecurities that creep up on me, but the instant I see or talk to him they melt away again. I’m hoping eventually, they will simply be melted away forever.

Andrea

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Sharri January 3, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Yes, hooray for love and damn the torpedoes! Live while you can. Enjoy it!

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Lindsey January 3, 2012 at 8:53 pm

So so very happy for you! He seems lovely. I met an awesome guy by chance on okcupid as well. You just never know! Been an amazing year for us. There really are some great guys out there. Just need fate/timing/chance to connect. Enjoy!

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AnneMarie January 4, 2012 at 2:33 pm

YAWN……. same story; different guy.

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Karissa January 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Then stop reading if your so stinkin’ bored and get your own life…bwahahaha

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Glenda January 4, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Live. Laugh. Love!!! and damn the torpedoes.
Best to you, B and Mister Gnome :) for 2012!!!

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Terri January 4, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Ha! Hooray for love and damn the torpedoes, INDEED! I am so happy for you. So very happy!

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Elizabeth January 5, 2012 at 11:01 am

I’m so happy for you. I’ve just finally walked away from my very own “John Bear”…after two years of trying to accept things as they were. He was great, but still something was missing. It’s incredibly difficult…and I’m so scared. But there has to be that right guy out there.

I’m glad you’re happy. Ann Marie…just go away and take your negative vibe with you….

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Elizabeth January 5, 2012 at 11:08 am

…only unhappy judgemental people spew their negative energy around here. I’m sorry if you’re unhappy and going through a tough time…I am also. But just be happy for the woman…otherwise go away. I’m just sick of the negative comments. Sorry for the rant.

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SingleMama January 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Happy 2012 indeed!

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Emma January 5, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Same old, same old.

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Sarah January 5, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Amen Anne Marie and Emma.

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Elizabeth January 5, 2012 at 10:26 pm

WHO CARES if it’s the same ole…same ole. Seriously!!! I’m glad she’s happy. I’ve been around for years and I’ve gone through a couple of similar relationships myself. I hate to break it to ya’ll…but that’s life. I’d rather read about her happiness than about her being stuck in a dead end relationship, or worst….. an abusive one.

:) -

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Ann January 6, 2012 at 6:04 am

Same ole or not (and I sadly agree with the naysayers) what jumped out at me was having him ‘discretely’ pick her up from home on just their second date. That defies all the dating advice I’ve ever read, especially for single moms with a young child at home. I’ve always seen it considered necessary to have your own means of ‘escape’ for a while at least.

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AnneMarie January 6, 2012 at 10:39 am

Honest to god, do you really think that people need a blow by blow account of your dates? And lets play name THE NEW GUY….awww so cute, we’ll call him the GNOME. WTF? You plaster his face all over the damn internet — it would take about two minutes for anyone to figure out who he his, what he does, and whatever else they wanted or needed to know. Why don’t you just call him by his NAME?? Hey I’m happy you’re in “love” or in lust ….because at this stage of the game that is all it really is, is lust. You wrote almost identical stories about John Bear ….. same kinda feelings, thoughts about dating, pictures, and happiness. IMHO….. you need to figure out who YOU are before you fall in blissful love yet again. Look, I get it, we all want to be in L O V E. But comm’on you haven’t even known this guy two months and already once again, “you’ve never felt like this before”…….. go back and read your archives about John Bear. Same story. Until it wasn’t.

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Elizabeth January 7, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Ok, you’ve made a couple of valid points. I give you that. But do you know why I come back to read the “same ole, same ole” ? I come back because it gives me hope. Hope that you can have those wonderful loving feelings with more than one person…one door closes, another opens kind of hope. She’s not perfect…and I’m sure she hasn’t been “perfect” in her past relationships. But you know what, I can relate to that. I’m not perfect either. I’m happy for her. I am HAPPY for her. My life is in shambles..but, she gives me hope.

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susan January 8, 2012 at 4:09 am

the laughing gnome sounds perfect…good on you:)

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Honoree Corder January 8, 2012 at 10:12 am

Woo hoo! Congrats!

To the “same old, same old” folks: dust off your cynicism! All relationships that become relationships start well … when we’re lucky enough, we wake up four years later, happily married and (still) counting our blessings. Can’t have what you don’t believe is possible.

Congrats, lady! Cheers to you, your man and 2012!

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Dee January 8, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Nice read.

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Aussie Krys January 9, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Naysayers…. you obviously don’t enjoy reading her triumph’s… and that’s OK! But log off and don’t come back if you don’t like it! I think it’s brilliant someone is happy… it gives us all ‘hope’.

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Melanie January 9, 2012 at 11:09 pm

okcupid is the best!! i split up with my husband after almost a decade of marriage only to find out 3 weeks after i moved out i was 3 months pregnant. talk about a YIKES moment! i met my now hubby on okcupid when my now 2 year old son was still in infancy. we got married in july and i am still pinching myself daily. i cannot imagine anyone more compatible for me and i couldn’t ask for a better daddy for my benjamin :)

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Diana January 11, 2012 at 6:47 am

I’m a busy mum who lives in a crowded city (London) so the only way to meet someone was seeking on online dating websites!
I met a great guy on a site called toyboywarehouse.com and I’m gonna meet him for the second time today…I always feel guilty when I have to leave my kids to go out but I think it’s worth today:) fingers crossed xx

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Elizabeth January 11, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Good luck Diana!!

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Chicago Matchmaking January 12, 2012 at 3:56 am

Happy New Year 2012!! Hope you enjoyed your real date in new year. Have a great time

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DatingDaddy January 14, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Hey, you are not only smart but you are very good looking as well. I think your guy should be happy next to you. I really enjoyed reading though it.

Art

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Billie January 18, 2012 at 1:22 pm

Dude, looks like an ax-murderer. Your spiraling downward trend continues.

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Datinggeek January 21, 2012 at 10:54 am

The way you have written the blog is very interesting to go on reading. Nice to see you. You look really great. Your guy should be proud about you and your loving nature.

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anton August 6, 2012 at 4:16 pm

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