Thought Catalog
June 19, 2017

To The First Guy I’ll Date As A Single Mother

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What is the issue?
London Scout

I had wanted to first hang out with you because I had a feeling I’d get along with you and we’d have a fun time. I don’t think either of us really thought anything more than a couple of people enjoying some time with one another. There are times when I crave the benefits of a relationship, but the only desire I was being led by in the beginning was curiosity. My time and heart that goes into taking care of my son alone, doesn’t leave much time for anything else – so you should feel special. I have been content doing my own thing; looking to better myself and be happier with my life. I am nervous of having my life judged. I know it’s nowhere near perfect and I struggle a lot, but I have a lot of happiness to share. I have insecurities about you lusting after a side of me but not liking the whole picture.

I’ve mentioned it before, but one of my biggest parts of who I am, is that I’m a free spirit. I despise anyone telling me how to live my life. I love spending time analyzing myself and enjoy hearing other people’s input and advice even though it might take a minute for it to sink in because of my stubbornness. Being a free spirit also means I live in the present. I rarely plan for my future and I know being reckless and impulsive isn’t always the best decision and

I’ve been trying to be more mindful of myself in that regard. I have had lots of good and bad experiences but I try to choose the positives to linger on. It also means I love quick; when I first meet someone, I can tell whether or not I will really like them. I’m constantly dreaming about what I can do in my life and what experiences I want to have before I die.

Sometimes I feel like I put more thought into fantasy than the real world. My freedom will always be more important than whoever I’m in a relationship with. I’m afraid of commitment and the permanence relationships bring. A lot of my fears with relationships are based on my past experiences and the fact that my son is all I truly need. I fear I’ll come crashing into your life like a hurricane, change your beliefs on love and life and after that you will never be the same. I touch hearts and lives wherever I go. I desire adventure. I have a need to make a difference. I’m constantly pushing myself outside my comfort zone because that’s the only time you grow. I have no idea what I’m doing in life but I’m optimistic it will all work out. I do as I please because I’m a free spirit but I’m empathetic too. I do hold importance in other people’s feelings and take them into consideration but I won’t ever compromise myself again.

Another obstacle to face are the walls I’ve built around myself from being hurt in so many monumental ways, that have caused me to not want to even try to let anyone in. I grew up in an unhealthy environment and I know that has had lasting effects when it comes to trusting people and being guarded. Everything was kept inside and when I turned 16, I moved out from my parents’ and came across opportunities to share parts of myself with people. I wasn’t always the best judge of character and ended up realizing it’s better to keep those vulnerable and intimate parts of me to myself. If I didn’t let anyone in, I couldn’t be hurt. I worry about not being accepted, being pitied and someone wanting me to be different than who I am because they don’t have an understanding that some of these flaws help make me who I am.

Sometimes I do fear being so closed off that I will never welcome a chance  for love in my life, which is unfair to someone who may try. I could run across my “soul mate” and because of my cynicism and high walls I’ve built, I would probably never get a shot at the experience. I want to work towards not letting past experiences have an effect on my future ones but it’s easier said than done. I fear letting someone in and being hurt again so much that I am unsure if the possible reward is worth the risk.

I’m also really nervous to be physically intimate with you. I haven’t been in a physical relationship for over 3 years not that I’m expecting this to become a regular thing between us. I have only done it a few times since after my son was born. It feels a little daunting just because it’s been a long time and also because of the insecurities that start to develop when you begin analyzing similarities between all your past failed relationships and become too self-critical.

After a long period of being alone and focusing on loving myself, I have higher standards of what I want from an intimate relationship. My past has been filled with meaningless sex and using sex to feel validated and loved, that now I can’t do it unless it means something to me on a more personal level. I still have urges and after our first date and having a few beers I was really horny and wanted to fuck right then. I do want you – just not in a meaningless way. I know in the future we will have sex without being in a relationship but I know it will take time before we’re comfortable around each other in a more intimate way. I also have insecurities about sex… like I’m learning this all over again and I’m afraid I will disappoint or just be nervous and insecure the whole time. I’ve been alone for so long that the idea of sex makes me pretty nervous but fear never stops me from doing what I desire. You need to beware though, once we start, I have a lot of lost time I need to make up for with all kinds of crazy passionate sex.

Obviously the most important part of my identity is being a mom, specifically, a single mom. You will never be my first priority – you and I are both mature enough to understand and expect that but I understand how that could be a hard thing to get used to.

My life was in ruins when I became a single mom constantly fearing I wasn’t going to be able to make it month after month. I had to find strength in a time I had none. I had no time to heal. I had more important things to figure out and no time to let myself grieve and process the hurt I was feeling. The way I was hurt during this, amplified the pain I felt from all the other ways I was hurt in my past. Even though I’m perfectly capable and strong enough to stand on my own, I’m still a woman in need of affection, love and care. It’s just harder to allow people to treat me in those ways. Isn’t it ironic how the people who are always trying to make others laugh and smile are usually the ones hurting the most? I know getting to know me will take more patience, confidence and thick-skin than in previous relationships you have experienced but I have a lot to offer the right person.

I hope this hasn’t come across as I’m trying to discourage you from anything happening between us. There are positives that come with this too –  it’s important for you to know I don’t need you, I want you. Unlike a large amount of relationships, this should be freeing to know I wouldn’t be spending time with you unless I really liked you. I like you because you add important things to my life like friendship, laughter and companionship. I don’t have time to just waste with someone who doesn’t enrich my life in ways that I imagine you will.

The scariest thing for you, I could imagine is the possibility of eventually taking on more and more of a role in my child’s life. It’s unknown territory for you and me but what if you develop a relationship with my son? I know I’m thinking way into the future and it’s just a ‘what if’ – but it’s still stuff I need to consider. What happens if we don’t work out and how that would affect you and him? I’m not looking for someone to be his father but the role you might play in my son’s life is an important thing for us to consider if there’s a possibility of some type of future together. There’s the pressure of being a positive male influence in his life.

I will not be with someone who views my son as ‘baggage.’

I have to plan out dates and can’t be spontaneous. Sometimes I might have to cancel a plan or obligation because of something related with my son. I never could regret my son and I never feel like he’s holding me back and I wouldn’t be with someone who thought that way. I believe you when you say you understand him and I are part of a package, but I feel like I also need to be mindful of future scenarios.

I am happy being alone but I do have a yearning to be with the right person and believe that I could be happier with someone. Being hurt has just taught me what I won’t compromise myself on in a future relationship and I still believe I have a capacity to share love and that it would be more meaningful now that I’ve grown so much as a person and became a parent. I seem independent and tough, but deep down, I do I want to experience what it feels like to be loved unconditionally by someone else. TC mark

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