Relationship Friday: The Ick of Single Parent Dating


Firstly, before I start pissing and whining about the struggle of dating after a long-term relationship and having kids , I think it’s appropriate to tell you a little bit about myself.

My name is Ellie.  I am a divorced single mom of two elementary school-aged children who works a full-time job and has had to move in with her parents (that’s only mostly humiliating) because the housing in my area has exploded in price and I can’t afford a place to live.  I am what I consider an “intermediate level” sci-fi/fantasy nerd (I’ve only seen a handful of “Doctor Who” episodes, but hit me with “Star Trek” or “Star Wars”, and I’m your gal.  I’m working my way through the “Game of Thrones” novels and “Firefly”).   I’m not down with the bar scene, and when I first meet someone, I am painfully shy.

None of the above make meeting someone and establishing a relationship easy.  Tack in the fact that I live in oil country (read: young fools who have more money than brains and will bang anything that moves), and I spend pretty much every night at home.

Oh, I’ve tried a variety of things.  I went out with a friend of a friend, which fell flat pretty much before it got off the ground (awkward the next time I was around my friend, that’s for sure).  I went out with a colleague I met at work, which lasted for a couple of months before I realized that him falling asleep on the couch at 8 p.m. every night was not going to change.  Luckily, when I ended it, it didn’t end too clumsily, so we still have a pretty clean working relationship.  I also tried internet dating, including free sites like POF, and also shelling out (stupid girl) for match.com and eharmony.com.  And those stories are plenty odd with a disheartening track record of 0-11.  Lots of first dates.  Only one or two second ones.

And I’ve heard it all.  Guys who asked if I could “get rid of my kids more often” (asshats) to guys who wanted to meet my kids by the time we’d just finished our appies at The Canadian Brewhouse (creepy).  I met guys who had just been dumped by long-term partners only days before, and other guys who had never had serious relationships — and it showed.

So what’s a girl to do?  I don’t need to have a relationship with anybody; I want to have a relationship with somebody.  Honestly, I do get lonely every once in while.  It would be nice to have a warm hug when I got home, have a hand with the dishes, share my life and goals with somebody.  The sex thing might seem peripheral, but it’s really not.  Being held and cherished is important to me, and I’m not embarrassed to say so.  Em, being the doll that she is, helped me make a list on a bar napkin of what qualities  The One will need to have as we sat in a hotel restaurant during a ladies’ weekend away.  First on the list?  He has to love my kids, and be a good role model for them.  Teach my daughter how a real man should treat her through how he treats me, and show my son how a real man acts by the way he conducts himself.  Ideally, he’s funny, charming, stable, attractive, and makes me feel amazing about myself.

Given the dating pool around here, though, I think I’m shit outta luck.

Am I destined to be alone?  Just from asking around, it would seem like I’m not the only one looking for a quality guy in pretty slim pickings.

Are you single with kids?  How do you find people to go out with?  Do you find people to go out with?  I could use some advice — give me your comments below!

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