Let’s not get to know each other…

by singlemomseeking on June 12, 2008

I don’t know if anyone here read the recent Modern Love College Essay Runner-Up about, “Why Spoil Great Sex by Dating?” (thanks for sending this one, Dr. Leah!).

Joel Walkowski, a senior at the University of Southern California, writes that:

“We might dally in the land of easy sex and stilted text-message flirtation, but deep down we crave the warm embrace of all-consuming love.”

“Out of fear, we shrink ourselves,” he says. “There have been many times I should have cried but stifled the tears. Instances where I should have said, ‘I love you’ but made a joke instead.”

As a single parent, especially, falling in love can be so scary. What if you get hurt? What if you fall so deeply that you can’t remember your way home?

Although Joel is a college senior — not a single parent — his words really resonated with me: “But I do occasionally wonder: If we can’t get past ourselves and learn to sacrifice to be with another, then what is in store?...An era of loneliness filled with commercial wants and mate selection based on the shallowest of criteria?”

Dad’s House writes about loneliness and single parents today, saying that while booty calls meet, uh, certain needs, “infusing unconditional love into an intimate relationship – for me, that’s the missing link.”

I also love this older post by divorced mom Kat Wilder, who writes about how much it hurts to fall in love — and then walk away from it.

Have you ever longed to feel close to someone — to feel that rush of pleasure that comes with touching — that you got lost? I have.

I’ve also thought that sex would lead to happiness and fulfillment. Have you?

Photo by antiform.

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Lost and vulnerable | Single Mom Seeking...
November 10, 2008 at 3:16 pm

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

T June 12, 2008 at 7:33 am

Yes, AMEN, been there.

I had a friend with benefits and thought it would provide some satisfaction. We enjoyed each other as people, had great sex, no strings! But then I did feel that I longed for more. I began having expectations which, of course, lead to disappointment. We got into a huge disagreement/misunderstanding and didn’t speak for nearly a month. Our friendship thankfully survived but we’ve stopped the sex.

I also walked away from love when my soldier needed pre-deployment space. It was tough for me but I understood that he had to prepare mentally for war. I was broken down … just as I had been after the split from the ex. We’ve since reconnected and are trying to reestablish a relationship (all while he’s at war). Its quite terrifying to me. I want that love but I’m so scared to give me up again.

I read a book not too long ago that said instead of “falling” in love, which sounds much like waiting to hit bottom at some point, we should actually “rise up” in love, joining together as two whole people. I like that. That is my goal now.

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singlemomseeking June 12, 2008 at 8:41 am

Wow, T, that’s something I’ll carry around: Let’s “rise up” in love… instead of falling.

Thanks for that one!

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Rickiesmom June 12, 2008 at 12:20 pm

I had a friends with benefits for 4 years. I tried to tell myself that I could just have sex and be satisfied. It didn’t happen the way I wanted. For the past 7 years, I have been single. I think it’s because I didn’t want to make the same mistakes that my mother and father did after their divorce (decisions that brought a lot of negative events into my life as a child). I remember a friend telling me after I had Rickie that I will either date anyone that comes along or I will become so picky that I will turn down everyone. In a way it has become true. My preferences in a man have changed drastically since the birth of my daughter (coincidentally, my self esteem has improved drastically as well). How can a single mother protect her daughter and also take a chance in dating?

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Kim June 12, 2008 at 1:49 pm

Rachel,

This is an issue that I struggle with. I have longed for that intimate connection so badly that it has sent me to depression and tears! It is soo difficult being a single mom and giving your all to your child and then there is no one there at the end of the day to connect with and spend some adult time.
The friends with benefits doesn’t work for me.. because ultimately.. I begin to have expectations and they are not met and I fall into depression.

Now, I am soo afraid of falling in love and getting attached and having my heart broken. Yet, this is exactly what I long for….
Someone to share the covers with after I put my daughter to bed… someone to get a foot rub that could lead to something else, something orgasmic maybe…

Today my sex drive is in high gear.. but I have learnt to ignore it…at least temporarily!

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singlemomseeking June 12, 2008 at 1:53 pm

Rickie’s Mom: That’s exactly why I started this blog, to figure how how to be a loving, smart mama bear… and also take a chance with love. I’m taking the journey with you.

Kim: I hear you. Goodness, I know there are non-human gadgets to help with a high sex drive!

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Lauren June 12, 2008 at 3:00 pm

What a great essay! It’s definitely spot-on about how things are in college these days (Joel and I are the same age).

I definitely have that longing to be in love and not just hook up, but with a majority of people my age sticking to the no-strings-attached sex, I feel like I’ll never meet someone who is looking for something deeper.

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Legal Editor Mom June 12, 2008 at 6:22 pm

It’s very, very difficult for most people to have no-strings-attached ex, especially women! We kid ourselves and say we can handle it, then we end up wanting more and are hurt and disappointed when it doesn’t happen. Knowing this, and seeing many a girlfriend get hurt by it, I’ve always put sex secondary. I’m not a one night stand kind of girl and I have to have a connection with someone and date for quite a while before I will consider sleeping with him. Sure it’s tempting, but by holding out, I’m protecting my heart, and I’m in a much better place if the relationship doesn’t work out.

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Legal Editor Mom June 12, 2008 at 6:23 pm

That was supposed to be no-strings-attached sex, not ex. Sorry…

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Ms. Single Mama June 12, 2008 at 7:30 pm

Falling in love is THE scariest of all, isn’t it?

But I think if you fall in love, or rise up in love, with the right person it can be spectacular and earth shattering.

The big question, for me, is how to fall for the right ones. How can you tell the good from the bad when lust gets in the way?

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Cathouse Teri June 13, 2008 at 3:16 am

I have never thought sex would lead to any kind of happiness. It’s always just been sex for me. It certain CAN be more, but it can also be just sex. So I take it for what it is and then if it becomes more then that’s cool, too.

I know. I’m all messed up.

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Legal Editor Mom June 13, 2008 at 4:16 am

Cathouse Teri,
You’re actually smart! It’s so much easier that way. If you can have a friend with benefits and not get emotionally attached, I think you’re safe and satisfied at the same time! This is exactly the kind of relationship I’m in now. The sex is good but he’s simply not my soulmate. So if the relationship ended tomorrow, I’d miss the sex. But him? Not so much. It sounds cold, but I’ve been totally honest with him about my wants versus my needs, and he knows exactly how I feel. So for now, it works for both of us. ;-)

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BlueBella June 13, 2008 at 7:21 am

Sometimes we just need that physical connection with someone – especially as a single parent without the novelty of a spouse in the house every night – to satisfy that very basic human need. I’ve explored that through friends with benefits and it served it’s time and place, but even though I was not the one to develop a need for additional expectations, he did and it always led me to feeling guilty for not treating him the way he wanted outside of our randevous.
Of course, now that I’m pregnant (no less when I actually tried to have a relationship with someone – which didn’t work out!) I’m holding out for love. I’ve toyed with the idea of rekindling with my friend with benefits but it just seems so empty . . . as empty as the other side of my bed. I don’t want just someone. I want “the One”. I deserve him. I’ve paid my dues tenfold. And it could be a long wait, but I have an idea it will definitely be worth it.

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GregPeckFan June 16, 2008 at 9:27 am

I ran into this article a few months ago, on this topic, and I love it. It’s a bit of scientific geekery about *why* precisely it’s so terrifying to fall in love, authored by Martha Beck.

I think the obvious answer to this one for me is, it’s ONE thing to drag myself through the complicated and treacherous LOVE field. It’s another with two small innocent children holding my hands.

Then again – I want my kids to also experience all of life. Life is about loving, and jumping in, and getting your feet wet, and getting messy and cleaning back up and doing it again. It’s the hurt and the amazing thrills, and all the stuff in between.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/LIVING/personal/10/12/o.overs.leap/index.html

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Karsi June 19, 2008 at 2:21 pm

I have found that with the rejection of being divorced from an adulterer came being too picky. But is it really too picky or just not settling. My daughter is a college senior and my son is 14. I have been single for a long, long time and no matter how lonley or horny, I can’t seem to “just settle” anymore. Hanging with friends always is the best choice then going on a ho hum date in this southern state of no single, jewish worthy men!!!!

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