Some Single Mothers by Choice say that they are too tired to date, or that their children complete them. I even have a few SMC friends who profess they have no interest in dating. Personally, I have never felt this way. From the day I decided to become a SMC, I knew that because of my ticking biological clock I was simply resorting to plan B: baby first, relationship second. After years of dating dozens of Mr. Wrongs, I realized that I wanted to be a mom, and that I needed to get on with it—on my own.
But as soon as my precious daughter, Jayda, was born (with the help of an anonymous sperm donor), I knew it was only a matter of time before I got back out there and started looking for Mr. Right again; the only difference this time was that he would have to be right for both of us.
My first relationship started as naturally as a new mother’s could: I met the man in the children’s room of our public library. He was with his two young sons, and I was with Jayda. We started chatting about our kids and parenthood, and he admitted he was going through a divorce and was having a hard time “getting back out there.” I gave him my number—and we dated for about eight months—until he, too, like most of the men in my past, said that he could not commit to me, and broke my heart. After that, I returned to online dating and embraced any other option I could find for meeting someone great. As was the case before I became a mom, I had a great talent for attracting men, and dating…but not much of a knack for finding an appealing man who would commit.
Did I try too hard? Not hard enough? Did I perpetually pick the wrong “type” of guy? Who knows. One thing I did know…at this point, after having a child on my own, and raising her (to be a strong, independent, smart person, I might add), I was not going to “settle” for just any man simply to be with someone. But I did want to be with someone.
And so I plunged ahead with online dating. I’m 5’2”, but I am usually attracted to tall men. At least on paper, when I am focusing on stats, a short guy would not be my typical match. But one day, I went against type and corresponded online with a man who was not tall . A phone conversation led to a first date…which led to a second…and a third. And while it was not love at first sight, it was definitely a like. A “like” I had never experienced before: with a man who was kind, funny, and devoted to his kids, easy to talk to…and most of all, not scared of anything I ever said to him—or asked of him. I soon learned he was not scared to get to know my daughter, or to come to family gatherings, or even to respond to my daughter’s phone call only 6 months into our relationship when she was panicking because I had passed out at an amusement park near his house (Turned out I had appendicitis). And as more time went by, he was not scared to hear that I loved him—or to say it back to me.
Soon it will be two years since our noteworthy first date. And while this man is not my 10-year-old Jayda’s long-wished-for-dad, he is really there for us when we need him. He is the best man I have ever known, and I trust him unconditionally.
Throughout my dating life I have gotten so used to men disappearing when things get tough, that his staying power still amazes me sometimes. But I try to remind myself that I deserve him just as he deserves me. It makes me happy when I make him happy.
As long as we are together, I know that everything up until now has happened for a reason. All of my choices—both good and bad—have finally led me to Mr. Right. And even though my life did not go exactly as I had planned it to, in the end, everything has turned out exactly right.