Monday, November 16, 2009

No Time to Waste -- by Jamie

As I’ve articulated here before, the experience of dating as a single mother is quite a bit different than dating as a single woman without a child. For me, both logistically—and emotionally—it’s a lot more difficult.

That said, ever since Jayda was born, all of my dating has evolved at a much slower pace, since the act of actually setting up a date is complicated, and involves a sitter and a lot of Jewish mommy guilt. Consequently, as a single mother, I haven’t had a serious relationship with anyone yet. This has been partly out of choice—I often feel I don’t have the time to devote to anyone else but me and Jayda—and partly because I haven’t met anyone whom I could actually picture myself with long-term (especially with Jayda in the picture). And I don’t have the spare time to spend on Mr.-Nothing-Special anymore.

In the past, I dove into a myriad of forced-dating ventures—went to singles events, visited all types of online dating sites, and even tried speed-dating. But, a romantic at heart, I always pictured myself meeting Mr. Right in a not-so-pressurized setting—at the gym, in a coffee shop, or at some other chance meeting.

Once I had Jayda, I felt a lot less pressure to “have to” meet a man quickly; my attitude instead, became, that I’d simply like to meet a man…and if it didn’t happen soon, that would be fine, too. But, regardless, I’ve always had a vision of meeting Mr. Right-for-Both-Me-and-Jayda at a family-friendly outing. At the playground…or a PTA meeting…or some place where I’d find a doting single dad taking care of his own child. The commonality of being parents would bring us together (and there’s also the fact that I find doting dads extremely sexy!).

Fast-forward to a few weeks ago when I met a single dad at a local town fair. Our children (both young girls) presented a great conversation starter, and that led to a flurry of emails between us over the following weeks. We finally met for breakfast the other day…and our 9:15 meeting abruptly ended at 12:30, when we both looked at our watches and realized Single Dad was late for a meeting! It’s been a long time since I’ve lost track of time like that, and even longer since I’ve been on a date where both of us had so much in common, had so much to talk about, and clearly enjoyed each others’ company (and had no hesitation in admitting that to each other). Though it seemed to take us eons to get together for that “first date,” neither of us wasted any time cutting to the chase. Single Dad effusively told me he hasn’t remembered having such a good time in ages, and that he can’t wait to see me again. I agreed.

I left the date knowing I’d hear from Single Dad soon, and that we’d go out again. I did. And we will. And that’s one nice thing about dating as a single mother; there’s no time to throw away on nonsense. These days, I can’t waste a moment sitting by the phone, waiting for it to ring, or wondering if a guy is “just not that into me.” I’m honest now—and anyone whom I’d like to date is honest with me, too. Single Dad told me that up until our breakfast date he hadn’t called me because he’d been afraid of rejection—that if he didn’t reach me directly, I might not call him back. But I told him—and I meant it—that if I didn’t want to call him back, he’d know it. I don’t have time to play games. And any Mr. Right-for-Both-Me-and-Jayda won’t have time for that either.

I’m looking forward to getting to know Single Dad. And I’m hoping, someday, Jayda might get to know him, too. He appears to be a really great father, and a good, honest man. He has a lot of potential, and I’m happy to invest the few extra moments I do have, in finding out more about him. I suspect it will be time well-spent.

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