Rules of Engagement

By Rachel

I’ve written a lot about dating and relationships on here. Dating now is so different than it was in my early 20’s as I approach 30. Even

What if it were this easy?

more challenging, is approaching it with care as I am now shopping for two.

I’ve met many women who simply don’t care how many men they bring in and out of their children’s lives. They give no fucks how many men their kids meet or consider how this affects their children’s perception of relationships and father figures. If that is how you wish to date, I’m not one to judge, but that lifestyle seems reckless to me.

My son had one guy walk out on him, I’m not in the business of having that happen to him again now that he is old enough to remember it. Break my heart all you want, I don’t care. Break my son’s heart though and I will wish nothing but the worst for you.

I’ve had one relationship since leaving my son’s dad (who then bowed out of his duties completely) that lasted about a year. After I felt comfortable that the relationship had  great potential, my son began to spend more and more time with my boyfriend and I. In the end, he left without so much as an explanation. My son doesn’t remember him and has never asked about him. But I did allow them to get close and I won’t soon make that mistake again now that he is at an age where he will remember.

In plain English, it is a bitch trying to juggle a child and a relationship on top of the rest of your life (work, school, etc.). Babysitters are necessary a LOT, especially when you are attempting to get to know a person and see if this is even someone that you  wish  to continue seeing. Life balance at that point is shaky.

I work all week so on weekends  it now becomes a battle of spending time with my son, dating, and still seeing my friends. While some moms go out every weekend and leave their kids with sitters, that’s never been my style. I’ve spent two years of my son’s four working and going to school and begin my master’s program in the fall. I just want to get this done before he hits elementary school so that I can finally sit back and enjoy everything that comes with him being of school age, yet making a better living so that I can give him everything he needs and wants.

There are some rules I have set for dating. They are for my son’s benefit. It seems like a lot and some may seem extreme to some guys, but if that is the case, then you aren’t the right guy for me anyway!

Meeting my son will come when we have been dating for awhile and I feel I may be ready to declare it a full out relationship. This may take a few months of the “getting to know you” process. I’m not running into any fires here. Remember my blog about how people are so freaking fake and just trying to impress you for the first few months? Yeah. We need to get past that first.

Of course, if I already know the guy (we were friends first) then obviously this is an exception. But if we were to start seeing each other in a romantic capacity, I would scale back interaction until we have a better idea of where the relationship is going.

Showing affection for the first few months of my allowing you to meet and spend some limited time with my son would be a huge no-no!   At this point, to the world you may be my boyfriend, but to him, you are mommy’s good friend. My son’s not stupid.

It basically takes a lot of patience and understanding. You have to understand my position and how everything affects my son. What would you do if it were your child?

Guys can use kids to attract women, but with women it seems the opposite. And I wouldn’t use the fact that my son is completely adorable and awesome as a way to nab a guy anyway.

Dating a single mom is difficult and it comes with a lot of baggage, but what relationship doesn’t? Every relationship has stress, a relationship with a parent just carries different types of stress.

If anything, you know what you are getting with me: Someone who is a dedicated parent, doesn’t have time for petty games, and is looking for someone to share my time with (not waste time with).

Oh the joys of dating and parenting!

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