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I really want this and I'm really terrified.....

(15 Posts)
drowningindaffodils Mon 27-Mar-17 20:14:08

Hello Mumsnet.
Hope everyone's ok....
Really not sure what I am asking for here. Understanding or similar 'this worked out' stories or advice all welcome!
Nutshell - single mum to 4 year old. Her dad rarely has her (it's complicated) I'm exhausted, worn out & just turned 40 😳
A few dates/sexual encounters since I split with DD dad 3 years ago but have pretty much single handedly brought her up & had no time to get into serious relationships as don't want to introduce anyone to DD early on & her dad has her basically around 1-2 nights a month & don't want anyone staying over til they have met DD. Plus usually exhausted & not really up for entertaining in the eves! Too tired.
I've met someone. There's a spark.
He's extremely cool. Generous. Open. Thoughtful. Has expressed an interest in me. Big time.
I want this. I want a partner & I think it's him. But I just feel I don't have time or energy or opportunities for this to grow.
He met my daughter the other day as helped me with something & it involved him coming to my home. Introduced as a friend. Not a big deal.
I'm terrified & don't want to move too fast, but at the same time he has given me back something I kind of lost. When I'm with him I feel strong. Attractive.
How can I do this?
I should also add (& this is relevant) that me & DD have a great time but on a small budget. I work 25 hrs PW & we are not exactly rich...
He is clearly not in the same position financially... In fact he took me out for dinner on second date & bill was £200... Which I think is insane.... And I feel anxious about that too.
Any advice or input welcome. Torn between running away & enjoying every minute confused

RunRabbitRunRabbit Mon 27-Mar-17 20:18:47


Drop the forward thinking. Enjoy it for what it is now. If it doesn't work out then you've still had a great time.

If you've planned out your future and things don't work out then you've lost a future, which will hurt you and put you at risk of not moving on when you should.

This one might just be your starter boyfriend. And that would be fine

Live in the now, not in the future.

SaltySeaDog72 Mon 27-Mar-17 20:25:27

Slowwwwly is how.

To be honest you sound like you're getting a bit ahead of yourself. When and how did you meet him? How well do you know him? Just date him and take it slowly, babysitters, low key dates etc and see what happens. It's lovely when you meet someone but when you have dc things move kinda slowly, out of sheer necessity.

I would balk at the £200 dinner bill tbh (ever the cynic) and like to have a sense of equality as much as poss but that's just just me.

Lovely to have that frisson and anticipation but feet on ground also important

Ok I'll get my coat

Butterymuffin Mon 27-Mar-17 20:30:23

If it's meant to be, it will work even if you have to take it slowly. And not rushing into anything is good.

Somerville Mon 27-Mar-17 20:32:50

A wise Mner told me, when I had basically the same dilemma of kids, no time, etc... (though different circumstances leading up to it) that once one has had kids or are a bit older, there are always going to be complications. So, eventually, if you don't want to remain single, you'll need to take the risk of investing time and emotional capital in a relationship.

On a practical level - your DD is 4, so at school, or soon will be? Would daytime dates ever work while she's there - lunch or a coffee? We did a lot of that, as my evenings were too busy to get together a lot then.
Or you could try to find a friend to do babysitting swapsies with?

In some ways I think it was good for our relationship, that arrangements had to always fit around my childcare plans (and work, and housework, and the dog..) - it meant he got to understand the realty of my life really quickly. If he hadn't been keen on fitting in, or had taken it personally when I had to cancel dates at short notice, then I'd have been able to weed him or quickly.

On the costs... very quickly we went to taking it in turns to pay. When it was my turn I would cook, or pack up a picnic. When it was his, sometimes we'd go somewhere expensive. Having said that, if he regularly spent £200 on a night out I'd probably have concluded that we weren't a good long-term fit for each other, but as we had just as much time when we stayed in and played scrabble (not a euphemism grin) it didn't bother me what we did - we had fun whatever.

Whatever you decide, good luck. flowers

TheNaze73 Mon 27-Mar-17 20:34:53

Don't blow it & overthink the future, there is nothing scarier than being on the receiving end of that.
Take a step back, enjoy the moment & see what happens

drowningindaffodils Mon 27-Mar-17 21:07:38

Thank you for taking the time to post, everyone.
Yes yes to your post, Somerville - - He has indeed already had a taster of what my life is & is still hanging around - first few dates I had babysitters & felt chilled & excited (& had more than 10 mins to get ready) & the last one I was an hour late & all flustered & a bit vacant & stressed. Agree it's good to him to see that smile
He has a kid who he has EOW so kinda gets it....
DD is at school when I work so daytime dates not really an option but good idea.
My circumstances also mean that sex is tricky... I've got needs 😳 but have only managed to orchestrate one overnight...
My life is insane at times!!

Itsmytemporaryname Mon 27-Mar-17 21:41:06

Enjoy this.
I don't have any experience of your exact situation but excitement and butterflies and well... lust are dripping from your posts! I just had to join in and tell you to go for it.
You deserve to be loved and in love and I always think you should show your child what they can expect for themselves from life. If you were my friend I would say do everything you can to have this guy in your life, even if just for a fling.

LesisMiserable Tue 28-Mar-17 00:01:59

Drowning I'm sure you didnt mean it to, but you sounded quite flip about his child - "He has a kid who he has EOW" ...

Anyway, yes you're getting ahead of yourself just chill out and enjoy it - and the only problem with men with money is when they lead with money - as he did with the £200 meal splashed on a virtual stranger.... Hopefully he can come up with more imaginative, less showy stuff for future dates because I think that's a good trait to have.

Date him and enjoy it and if it's right it will just flow naturally wont it smile

HeddaGarbled Tue 28-Mar-17 00:12:54

It's early days - don't build castles out of nothing. He's rich, he's attractive, he's paying you attention, of course you're bowled over.

Don't run away, do enjoy every minute but don't start looking at wedding dresses!

Harree Tue 28-Mar-17 00:37:34

Same happened to me, & my attitude to it was, I'm enjoying this while it lasts… Next month we celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary! Good luck & have fun!

drowningindaffodils Tue 28-Mar-17 13:58:04

Les do you mean I sound flippant?
Trying to keep this nutshell size so didn't give much detail there....but he has & he seems pretty committed to his child which is refreshing.
Harree that's a great story!
I think I've just lost a lot of confidence in myself & I don't understand what he sees in me esp so early on....

Notcoldbutbaltic Tue 28-Mar-17 14:19:55

Agree, take it slow and just enjoy.

I'm in a similar situation with dc and only 2 nights to myself a month. Dp and I have been dating over a year now. We might not see as much of each other as some couples but it works for us - both busy lives and I need time to myself also to destress. We keep in contact a lot via messaging instead.

Our 'dates' are more hanging around takeaway coffee in hand at the park or watching Harry Potter with dc than candlelit dinners and romantic weekends away. She has made it clear that she knew at the start what my life entailed and is happy with it.

I hate the fact I have less money to spend than her but while she may take me out to dinner, I spend time cooking nice meals for us. She appreciates that as she detests cooking smile

drowningindaffodils Tue 28-Mar-17 14:49:10

Notcold that was good to read.
Sounds like you & your partner have got a good balance.
I just can't believe that anyone would take me as I am. I genuinely have almost no free time & any free time I do have is for cleaning, shopping & trying to make my daughter's life as good as can be. Also as much cardio exercise as my life allows which is never enough.
I don't want to be squeezing someone in when I stressed & tired but equally can't carry on like this with little support & me time 😳

AstrantiaMallow Tue 28-Mar-17 21:47:56

Totally see where you're coming from. I've been non-dating and now dating a really lovely man for a while now. I wasn't looking for anything at all at the time and was terrified when I realised that actually I really liked him. All that on the back of an abusive marriage/horrible divorce.

We also have different lives (him widower with grown-up DC) and me with young DCs, little disposable income and free time for me, bit of an age gap too. His life is busy but seems calm and sorted when mine is running around trying to keep it all together and still struggling an abusive ex who never sees the DCs and pays no maintenance.

We meet twice a week, on my afternoon off - he adjusted his week so we could do that fairly early on, when it was just a friendship - and one evening at the w/e. No overnights for the same reasons as yours. It's been a slow moving relationship but he makes me feel treasured. It's the first time in my life I feel valued for me and not for something else. Lots of little things he says and does. I'm sure he knows how frazzled I am whenever we meet on a Friday night but he doesn't say anything really, apart from giving me a break by cooking or letting me put my feet up. When we go out he mostly pays which made me feel uneasy initially as my ex was flashy and expensive but a grade A bastard. It took me a while to realise that he likes me for me, and that our differences work. There were times that I just thought I should ditch it all before it all went wrong. I'm glad I haven't. I still feel terrified sometimes, mostly because kids now know him, and well, I fucked up once by choosing their crappy abusive father, so I don't really want to do that again, but generally I feel a lot calmer about 'us'. Counselling's been good for that too. Safe place to thrash things out. I think taking it slow and being honest and communicating calmly about stuff have all helped.

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