“Can a Single Mom Ever Find Love Again?”
I’ll never forget the day it happened. We were planning on going to the beach to spend the day with friends who had rented a beach house for the week. I don’t remember what we were fighting about on the way there, but I remember him being so mad at me that he wanted to turn the car around and go home. “The kids are looking forward to going to the beach. We are not going home! We are going to the beach, for the kids, and we are going to pretend for ONE DAY that we are a happy family!” I exclaimed. And that is just what we did. We put on our happy faces and had a great day with our kids & our friends. Then on the way home, we got into another fight. He was mad because I wanted to go to my exercise class that night. I don’t even remember what he was saying, I just remember him yelling and b*tching at me. One thing lead to another, and another. That’s when it happened. I looked at him and told him that was it, the marriage was over. I told him that I didn’t love him anymore; I was tired of feeling numb and unhappy all of the time. I wanted a divorce. Honestly, thinking back to that moment, he turned white as a ghost. Then he started crying, saying something to the effect of no, I couldn’t do this, I couldn’t break up the family. At that point, though, it was too late. The feelings were gone, I felt numb inside. Things had been too bad for too long and I could not stand my life anymore. I no longer looked forward to him getting home from work because I knew what the evening had in store; bickering, yelling, and me crying… no, balling ….my eyes out once again, with no comfort from him, no apologies, no understanding. When we fought, he usually refused to sleep on the couch because nothing was ever his fault. So, I would occasionally go sleep on the couch downstairs, and I didn’t care. I couldn’t stand being in the same room with him, let alone being in the same bed! Anyway, I was done, I wanted to get divorced, raise my kids, do what I wanted, and get him the hell out of my life forever. I never wanted to be in love again. I never wanted to get married again. I didn’t want to have to answer to anyone except me!
Despite the fact that the kids kept me very busy, life did get lonely. I felt kind of funny getting together with couple-friends and their kids. I couldn’t help wonder what they were thinking about me. Do they feel bad for me? I hope not! I never really talked about my unhappiness with anyone, so no one really knew what was going on. I remember someone told me “What is the point of happiness if you have no one to share it with?” True…to an extent. But I found myself thinking why do I need a man to make my life complete? Can’t I just be happy raising my kids and living out my dreams? A lot of women do it! We are women of the 21st century, we don’t need men! Admittedly, though, I did miss having someone in my life to share happy times and silly stories with. Not “him” though, I didn’t miss “him”. In fact, I was so happy to be rid of “him”, that the day I told “him” that I wanted a divorce was the day the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders. I never looked back. I never wondered if I had made a mistake. However, I had heard numerous dating horror stories from single women which all had the same message in common: all the good men were taken. This lead me to start asking myself the question “can a single mom ever find love again?” At times it seemed the answer was NO WAY! Who in his right mind would ever want to take on a woman and her three kids? Now, however, I’m not so sure. Maybe there is an intelligent, well spoken, wonderful, sensitive man out there who would be willing to fall in love with me. One who would realize that I am not just a mom, but a woman who is capable of living, laughing, and loving again. Maybe, in time, he might even develop a special relationship with the kids too.
I recently had been reading some articles online about single moms and dating. I could not believe the awful articles out there, encouraging guys to stay away (don’t get sucked in by single moms, be careful with single moms). “She’ll expect you to watch and take care of her kids while she goes out, she’ll expect you to fill in her budget gaps, and she’ll expect you to be her personal savior” the articles said. It really made me feel awful! The fact that these men based their opinions on one bad relationship with a woman, who happened to have kids, was really discouraging. I will acknowledge that there are some women out there who are just nuts, kids or no kids. You will always run into selfish, money grubbing people, women AND men included. There are some people who are bound to think they are God’s gift to the world, and that they can do no wrong. Therefore, they prevent themselves from recognizing their part in what caused the relationship to fail. Sure, I have my flaws. We all do! But at least I feel as if I recognize the areas I need to work on, and I accept it. I am learning to love myself, to be a better communicator, and to realize that I am a good person. I cannot be everything to everyone at every minute. I am not Wonder Woman! (though I’d eventually like to get a pair of her boots – hahahaha). I don’t care what anyone says, I would never expect a man to fill my budget gaps or be my savior. That is ridiculous. Would I ask him to babysit? Who knows, I can’t say yes or no right now. It would depend on the circumstances and the stage of our relationship. I am at the point now where I have felt alone and empty for so long that I am ready to have a meaningful relationship again. This time, hopefully, with the right person.
So what happened with Rockstar Guy I bet you are wondering? Did I ever hear from him again? Well, the answer, happily, is yes. He did call me and we went out the Sunday after the reunion. Having just seen the kids off for the day with their dad, I was still getting ready when he came over. “So…how did you think yesterday went? Are things ok?” I asked. “Yes, absolutely.” he said. “Why, do things not seem ok?” “No I didn’t mean it like that” I explained. “I was just wondering what you thought of the kids. They didn’t scare you, did they?” Then he looked at me and smiled, “I’m here, aren’t I?!” “Yes” I said and smiled back. With that, I decided to leave the subject alone for the time being. I didn’t want to make a big deal of it and have him feel overwhelmed. I didn’t want him to think that I was grilling him for answers, and that upon meeting them that I now expected him to take on the father role, and all of the responsibility that goes with it. I want to just take it slow, and let things progress at their own pace.
We had a great day together, as we always do, talking, eating, having some good laughs, listening to good music. His family taught me how to lay “pitch” (you know, the card game), I met a few more of his relatives, and I attempted to bribe his parents’ crazy dog into not jumping on me by giving her handfuls of doggy biscuits. Before I knew it, the day had passed and I had to get going; the kids would be home soon. Where some men might be jealous that my schedule revolves so much around the kids, Rockstar Guy seems very understanding in that respect. He knows how important the kids are to me, and has been very accommodating.
It has been a couple of weeks now since their initial meeting, and all is going well. Rockstar Guy and I have talked about the situation, and we both agree that we want to take things slow, for everyone’s benefit. He has been honest with me about his feelings; that he enjoys spending time with all of us and that he thinks the kids are great! He has also shared with me that sometimes when he thinks about the distant future, the possibility that one day we could conceivably become a family, he gets nervous. I completely understand that, because I think about it and get nervous too. We both just want to enjoy each other and see where things go. Neither of us wants to read into things too much, get scared and run away from the relationship. Only time will tell. But he has helped me realize that the answer to my question is yes; it is possible for a single mother to find love again. I know I have found love in him, now as a partner, but forever as at least a close friend. And I am so very thankful.