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Dating as a single parent feels me with fear...

(37 Posts)
Cherryblossom200 Fri 20-Jan-17 14:59:21

Hi everyone,

I’m looking for a little bit of advice really. I’m 41 and have a little girl who is almost 2. I was with a partner (not married) for 15 years from the age of 18 and we broke up because we didn’t love each other any longer. I wasn’t very good on my own (because I was always in a relationship) and because I had no real experience of dating I went from my bad guy to another. I met the father of my daughter we dated for a few months and I fell pregnant, as I was in my late 30’s I decided to keep the child. However the father of my daughter didn’t want any involvement so I with the help of my family I decided to bring her up on my own. Having a child is the best decision I have ever made, I love being a mother. It’s changed me for the better most definitely.

I work, send my daughter to nursery and in the process of buying us a house. So we are pretty much sorted life wise. But there is one thing missing - a partner for me and father for my daughter. I absolutely love our life together, in so many ways I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.

I’ve had a lot of time to think/reflect about my mistakes and realise where I’ve gone wrong. But I still do worry about dating. My focus still is solely on my daughter. But sooner or later I would like to meet someone.

I’ve had such bad luck in the past with boyfriends that I do worry about letting someone ‘in’ again. There is a part of me which even thinks it might be easier to just stay single forever! I know I need to take it slowly, get to know someone etc. But still the thought of meeting someone fill me with fear. I would like to say I’m a fairly attractive woman and look younger then my age, however I just don’t know if someone would want to be with me now I have a child. I would hate my daughter to grow attached to someone and then it go wrong. Any advice/stories of it working out?

Lostsoul231 Fri 20-Jan-17 21:47:43

I know exactly how you feel. I feel the same here. I recently posted on here too asking for dating advice as a lone parent but there wasn't much of a response.

Angrybird123 Sat 21-Jan-17 09:03:11

I have two dcs, primary age. Following my ex leaving us for OW I went OLD as a distraction for a while. ..was only looking for casual dates and it worked well. A couple of years in I have far less opportunity to go out as ex hardly sees the kids so its hard but i am dating a really lovely man that has the potential to be a pretty serious thing.BUT I am not sure how we could become a real 'family unit' as I won't give up my security of being the householder etc. I won't put me or the kids in the position that if the relationship fails all aspects of life have to change.

Cherryblossom200 Sat 21-Jan-17 09:16:43

That's exactly how I feel. I shortly will be owning a nice house for me and my daughter in a good area and I can't see us giving that up. I have no intention of moving in with a partner even if he has a bigger house etc - I just don't want to lose the life and stability I'm so working so hard to give my daughter.

Lostsoul231 Sat 21-Jan-17 09:27:10

Angry bird I'm in a similar situation as exh rarely sees my kids and they never stay at his.

How do you go about dating without introducing him to your kids too soon?

Steamgirl Sat 21-Jan-17 09:38:00

There's no need to give up your home and security. I have very little time to go out and did not do OLD but still managed to find time to do my hobbies with the support of some good friends. I met a lovely man doing my hobby and we dated for six months before the dc were aware. I introduced him very slowly and he was very understanding. DC really like him and a few years later he stays over sometimes and dc are fine with a 'sleepover' but we will never ever live together and are both fine with that. My dc have become quite attached to him but He isn't a replacement father for my dc he is 'mummy's boyfriend'

Steamgirl Sat 21-Jan-17 09:39:49

We 'found time' by taking things VERY slowly. It was (and still is) really romantic!

PenguinRoar Sat 21-Jan-17 09:44:23

I'm gently trying to do this now. Have been seeing someone for nearly a year - both single parents, but we haven't involved the children at all yet.

I feel a bit like I'm living two lives - my normal one with my son, day to day stuff and work and then random date nights all cunningly planned around when we can both see each other.

As time is wearing on, we both realise we need to start integrating our lives, but no idea where or how to begin. We're also both very conscious of what our children will think and other people who will be impacted on.

I have to admit it's so hard and I can't decide yet if it's worth the risks, or if I'm just being very over protective.

Cherryblossom200 Sat 21-Jan-17 11:16:21

I'm so glad you all feel the same way as me, all experiencing the same fears and weighing up the risks. I guess at some point you have to decide right this is the man I want to be with and become a solid family unit. But it is extremely scary because I would hate it go wrong and my daughter be impacted. But that's the risk with any relationship I guess?

Angrybird123 Sat 21-Jan-17 13:38:17

It's v hard to find child free time - i use up all my babysitting options for work commitments so I can only date about once every two weeks. It will be easier when I feel we are ready to involve the kids but to be honest in my case that it's separate, adult time and the scarcity of time together does make it rather romantic and special. We tend to do 'nice' things and treats, not just a quick pizza or film

Memom Sat 21-Jan-17 13:44:09

I raised my two children for 11 years alone. I met DH and I have to say he was more concerned about my children's feelings and security etc than I was. I went into the relationship very much that he had to fit us, and if necessary he would have to be the one that changed. He had no children. 8 years later there have been some ups and downs but all is good. I would say be sure of the things there is no compromise on and stick to it. Enjoy!

megletthesecond Sat 21-Jan-17 13:44:32

I've been a lp for eight years and not dated once. The logistics are too much, I've got work, always with the dc's, body is a bit crap, don't want to risk my home and mortgage, no energy and no babysitters. I'm basically writing off almost two decades of a social life 😕 .

PenguinRoar Sat 21-Jan-17 16:05:18

Angry bird- I like the treats too! It is nice to have something just for myself for a change. Another reason I get twitchy about bringing it all together as I don't want to lose the tiny bit of me time I've carved out.

On the downside, I do feel like I'm having an affair, or being a bit studenty! It's such a weird situation.

Angrybird123 Sat 21-Jan-17 21:57:34

Well I got home from soft play hell today to find flowers had been delivered and he is going to inconvenience himself to some degree tomorrow to help with's things like that that make it worth the additional logistical effort ☺

Foslady Sun 22-Jan-17 17:31:08

I just wish I could find anyone who wants to date me! I've been trying OLD now for about 3 months, membership runs out in a week and I'm taking a break as I think I'm getting a skewed view of men......

PenguinRoar Mon 23-Jan-17 21:28:35

Yes, take a break Foslady. OLD gets depressing after awhile. I changed platforms a few times, but I'd def go back to it when you feel ready.

What don't you like about the dates so far?

Foslady Mon 23-Jan-17 23:49:17

Only managed 4 dates so far- 1 said he wanted to 'not go home' before we'd even met, 2 was like a failed job interview, 3 had 0 chemistry, had already bought a take away coffee as he assumed I'd be late (was on time) told me his sexual history in the 1st ten mins and how FFJ had been involved RE the children.....and followed up a week later with a very oddly worded text asking how 'wild' I got. The 4th I can't remember! That along with an assortment of 'I can't believe how we have connected's within 24 hours of 1st contact (freaks me out, how can you say that over a few texts?) and a few ghosts have put me off - oh and not forgetting Mr Mysogenistic's as if I've found all the ends of the bell curve......

Cherryblossom200 Tue 24-Jan-17 06:49:48

Ha Foslady grin your post did make me giggle! But I do feel for you, so many oddballs out there. Do you use the paid for OLD sites? I think a few of them are supposed to be better. I haven't even got to that point yet confused

PenguinRoar Tue 24-Jan-17 09:35:28

That is the most marvellous array of weird! They make great stories!

I met a guy who told me he was going to burn down the house he had inherited from his father because he didn't think people should have possessions.... hmmmm... taxi!

Miraculously, I quite like tinder. Found a few smut obsessed idiots, but actually seems to attract people more like me. POF was a disaster and I can't afford the paid sites. If I could, the guardian one would be preference based on the free trials.

My big golden rule, learnt through bitter experience, is to not spend too long chatting by messages before meeting. I had some lovely conversations by text and built up all my hopes, then discovered in person that they were nothing like that.

Has anyone been brave enough to go speed dating?

Foslady Tue 24-Jan-17 21:24:20

Forgot to add the one who said he was 12 years older than me (ok at a push) but when he ignored requests for a pic it turned out he was 22 years older......if I was younger maybe so but I'm 48, I'm looking to be a partner not a care assistant......

Foslady Tue 24-Jan-17 21:27:26

Boss of mine went with her mates once. They all worked in local housing and recongised most of the blokes as their clients who were causing ASB issues, arrears etc. One kept talking over the woman and kept saying 'I know you, don't I?' As the bell went she looked up and said 'Yeah, I'm your rent officer, I'm down to sanction you on Monday!'.
Wasn't all back - boss dated the bell pinger for 18 months!!!!!

Cherryblossom200 Wed 25-Jan-17 06:37:04

I'm loving all your stories grin 😆Keep them coming! Though I think they will put me off dating forever! The care assistant comment had me in stitches!!!

AliOh Wed 25-Jan-17 08:01:13

I'm I'm a similar situation too, ExP doesn't see DC's so I hardly have any child free time at all, the little that I do I use to go out with friends normally. I haven't dated in about 10 years so I'm nervous about it and over thinking it more than anything, not sure I'm quite at that point at the minute anyway.

I did dabble in POF a little but swiftly deleted my account when I got a message asking me if I'd consider selling my unwashed knickers grin

Vitchling Wed 25-Jan-17 21:28:32


Well, I'm about to start the dating thing after avoiding women for the last 4 years. DD is 6 and stays with me every second weekend, holidays etc.

I have a prospective partner with a 5 yo son and was just wondering where to go for a first date with 2 kids in tow. East Brum area.

Lots of places to take the kids but with dodgy weather, options are a bit less than romantic...

Any suggestions?

Looking at the posts here I haven't fully thought this through but the hell with it, I'm an optimist smile

Older bloke, young head

Foslady Thu 26-Jan-17 00:16:46

OMG - It looks like I have a date for Saturday with a bloke that is both normal and has my sense of humour (if the two things can be said to match up!!!!)

My new mantra- dontfuckitupdontfuckitupdontfuckitup!!!!!!

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