One of the most annoying questions I get asked as a single mom is, “why are you single?” It’s a question that has a very complicated answer and can’t be summed up in a few words.
Recently, someone whom I do not know left me an anonymous message on my blog. They disagreed with something I wrote and their reply said “no wonder you’re single.” At first I laughed reading it, because it didn’t even correlate with what I had wrote. It would be like someone saying “I really didn’t like the movie you recommended” and then the other person saying “yeah well, you talk too fast.” One has nothing to do with the other. However, the comment has played in the back of my mind for over a week now. And while I could brush it off and forget about it entirely, I want to write about exactly why I choose to be single.
Not long after my daughter was born, I made her a promise. I promised her that I would only let people in her life who deserved to be there. I promised I wouldn’t introduce her to anyone who would waste my time or hers. I promised her that I wouldn’t introduce someone into her life until I was sure that they were worthy, and I promised myself that I wouldn’t introduce anyone to her until I was sure that they had all of the qualities I was looking for.
For the first six months of my daughter’s life, I didn’t date. I wasn’t ready to do it and I honestly didn’t have the time. Between having a new baby and adjusting to the sleeping schedule and constantly being exhausted, it just wasn’t in the cards for me. When she was just a little over six months old, a friend set me up for a coffee date with a guy she knew. The date was nice and we got along well but there just wasn’t a connection there. And rather than waste either of our time we parted ways on good terms and moved forward, like two mature adults.
Fast-forward to a few months later. Again, I had another date. This one was different and was more of a blind date. He was a perfect gentleman and was lovely but it became obvious to me right away that he wanted to move much more quickly than I did. He talked about having a family and buying a home and while those are lovely life goals, it just seemed like too much too soon. I wanted to take the time to get to know someone and it felt like he wanted to move at a pace that was faster than I was comfortable with.
After my daughters first birthday, I was asked on a date. I considered it but decided against it. The person was someone I knew but I just didn’t want to. I felt like that the timing for a date wasn’t right for me. I have a very busy life. I work full time and spend all non-working hours with my daughter. Besides that, I volunteer, write, take pictures and try to connect with and spend time with family and friends. Any time I spend away from my daughter is time I can never get back. So if I am going to date someone, they need to be worthy of my time. My time is valuable. I am not saying that because I am a single mom that my time is more important than anyone else’s. All I am saying is that I don’t have a lot of free time so if I plan on spending time with anyone; they need to be someone whom I want to spend time with. They need to be someone I connect with and enjoy. If I know initially that the connection isn’t there, why would I waste either of our time?
Being a single mom has really been eye-opening for me. It has forced me to re-evaluate my dating standards and has also made me realize that it’s easier to part ways instead of wasting each other’s time for a few weeks or months. If I know right away that someone isn’t the type of person I am looking for, I know it’s much better to be upfront about it. Five years ago I wasn’t brave enough to do that, and worried about hurting people. But the truth is, stringing someone along is way worse in the long run. Being a single mom opened my eyes to this as I now have a new appreciation for how valuable and precious time truly is.
So you see, I choose to be single. It may not sound like a logical choice to some people and it may not be a choice that’s right for everyone, but its right for me. I don’t need to be in a relationship to be secure with myself. I don’t need validation from a man to feel as if I am worthy of dating. I could spend time with someone for the sake of spending time with someone, but that seems so silly to me. I have no problem staying single until I find exactly what I am looking for. I know I am a great catch, which is why I will wait for the right person to come along. No wonder I’m single? That’s one way of looking at it. You could look at me and think “she’s single because she’s too picky, too this or too that.” But I prefer to look at it from a different perspective. Single isn’t a status. It’s a word that describes an individual who is patient enough to wait for the right person to come along. And I have all the patience in the world.