Why love is possible

by singlemomseeking on January 14, 2010

So, LG recently called me and started out with this:

“I just wanted to call you because I’m feeling emotional.”

Me: “Is everything okay?”

Him: “Yeah, everything’s fine. I’m just sitting here at my computer, looking at all the photos I’ve taken this year. I’m blown away by how much we’ve done together, how much fun we’ve had, and how happy we are–”

Sometimes, I can’t believe it, either.

I really believe in an us, perhaps for the first time in my life. February will mark one year since we met. Don’t get me wrong: it’s not all sweet cotton candy around here. I’m not a piece of cake, and we definitely have our share of challenges.

But if you’re new on the dating scene as a single parent, I want to tell you this: Love is possible. Really.

Take that from a woman who was never very good at this pairing-off thing. Pre-child, I’d ignored red flags and often confused lust with love. When I think back to those first years of dating as a single mom, I’ll never forget how hopeless I felt sometimes.

For starters, I didn’t know even know how to meet men. Sure, I saw single guys in the grocery aisles, but I was always more focused on picking up organic almond butter. But if single parenthood does anything for your dating life, it’s this: you get stronger and smarter every day.

Because all those little things I used to overlook? (Like the men who smoked, or the ones who said they were recently “separated”?). Enough.

If you’re a single parent who has never commented here, please come out of your lurking. I’d love to hear from you.

And if you’re a single parent who’s dating again — or thinking about it — I want to hear from you, too.

~~~

And the winner of The Fashionista contest, chosen by Random.org? Congrats to Avigail!

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

aloha January 15, 2010 at 4:07 pm

Yesterday I also said farewell to a man I love . Although in my head I think it’s the right thing to do (his divorce baggage, my divorce baggage blah blah blah) – my heart aches for him and the companionship he gave me. Is that enough to build a life together? No. But I sure appreciated the fact that being with him, I got back the hope that I can love again. Still searching….

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Mike January 15, 2010 at 3:14 pm

Ah the love-lust misconnection. It took me a long time to get that. I’m not having it this time around, but that doesn’t mean I’ve mastered it yet.
.-= Mike´s last blog ..The Uphill Ride =-.

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Jolene January 15, 2010 at 2:00 pm

What an uplifting post, so beautiful. I am not a single parent, but I am divorced and single, and I think what you say here totally applies to both. I love it – and it gives me hope that I will find someone…hopefully sooner rather than later 😉

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Swati Bharteey January 15, 2010 at 9:30 am

Hi – I ama single divorced mom and I agree with you…love is possible. after my divorce, I picked “safe” choices – men who were nice but I knew I would never fall for (obviously this wasn;t conscious but I can see it now). And finally, 6 years later, I could with my heart again and I knew I was ready. It is possible, I promise.
.-= Swati Bharteey´s last blog ..Parents, 4 Steps to Easier Mornings with Your Child =-.

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Surprisingly Single January 14, 2010 at 10:03 pm

It is so great to see woman not settling and waiting for the love they deserve! It encourages others to keep on knocking down those doors.

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molly January 14, 2010 at 9:20 pm

I just reread this book I used to love when I was kid, “Lamont the Lonely Monster”. Lamont knocks on the doors of all of these houses in his town looking for a friend. “Will you be my friend?” he asks. But people are scared of him and repeatedly turn him away. Finally, he knocks on the door of another lonely monster just like him who needs a friend, and they go off hand in hand, happily ever after. For me as a lonely single lady, the moral of the story is that you have to knock on a lot of doors before you meet your match. It takes courage, it takes faith, but it’s what you gotta do. And the payoff is worth it.

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dancingmom January 14, 2010 at 8:48 pm

I think I found better, healthier love after being a single mom. I found a man who loves me and my child as his own. I found a man who was an amazing father and partner and think that being a mom filtered out the “bad” guys I might have dated before. Pre-child I dated men that weren’t always good for me but were “fun challenges.” I didn’t have time for that after a child and ended up dating a man I had been friends with for over eight years. Now we are married with a 1 year old daughter and I have never been happier or more in love in my life. My daughters have never been happier either. When I split up with my daughters father I never thought I could find a true partner in life and was just focused on being a mom. I am happier than I thought was possible.

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Liz January 14, 2010 at 8:13 pm

This is my first time commenting, and I’m a little nervous! I love your blog, Rachel. I’ve been divorced for about 2 years. My son is almost 4, and I’m doing the internet dating thing, but finding depressing and tough. The dates are infrequent and generally awful. I sort of feel like I’m dating for the first time because I married the first man I dated seriously (and then he turned out to be abusive and horrible). I just find meeting people, men, to be hard, if not impossible. But I have not lost hope!

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singlemomseeking January 14, 2010 at 8:23 pm

@Liz and @SWPF 29: I’m so honored to hear from you two! Please stay in touch, ok?

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Amber January 14, 2010 at 7:36 pm

Wow! I just started reading your blog and you have no idea how much I needed to read this post. I am just starting the divorce process, but I have been separated for some time and have been done for longer. I am not ready to date, but I am starting to feel the need to have another person in my life. I got married at 21 and have no clue how to date or even met men. Thank you so much for the hope!

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Lovebabz January 14, 2010 at 6:51 pm

I AM IN LOVE! Totally surprised at how soon love came calling! I knew that I would love again. It is hard to see the horizon when you are looking down. But one day I looked up and there he came. A heart big enough for me and my 4 kids. I am grateful. Learning to push past fear and insecurity to allow true love to root and grow me.
Love waits on welcome…not on time (a Course in miracles)
.-= Lovebabz´s last blog ..READY OR NOT LOVE COMES CALLING =-.

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singlemomseeking January 14, 2010 at 8:34 pm

@Lovebabz: Yeah!! He surely has a BIG heart. Thanks for sharing this: “Love waits on welcome…not on time” (a Course in Miracles)

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Lance January 14, 2010 at 4:42 pm

I think love is possible. It’s just a pain in the rear to find it!

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Bruce Sallan January 14, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Wow, I’ve written all about being a single parent dating again and put a bunch of “tips” out there from my 200+ dates. The result was I finally found love and marriage. Hmmm, good name for a song (thank you Frank for that classic). Bottom line is if you want it, you have to put in the effort and not be discouraged. Just like a difficult project at work, it may takes many hours of effort yet too many people just hope “it will happen” or, worse, hope for a movie-like “cute meet.” That happens, but not often. Be patient, be persistent, know your non-negotiables, and good luck is what I say! Check out my “Internet Dating 101” column, on my web-site, if interested and BEST OF LUCK. Don’t give up and don’t be impatient. AND, only meet for a coffee the first date – the only tip I’m offering now…lol. And, Happy New Year – please let it be better than ’09!

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singlemomseeking January 14, 2010 at 1:31 pm

Oh, @Bruce, I sure learned that the HARD way, too! So true re: “only meet for a coffee the first date – the only tip I’m offering now…”

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Kat January 14, 2010 at 1:03 pm

I’ve been reading your blog for a while & I really appreciate your honesty and openess. So here’s my official “delurking” comment. 🙂

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singlemomseeking January 14, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Yeah to delurking @Kat! I’m off to check out your blog now!

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SWPF 29 January 14, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Just started reading your blog AND LOVE IT!! I’m a single mom of 2 boys- 3 1/2 & 5 years old. I’ve been single for 3 years. I finally decided I wanted to re-enter the dating scene about 3 months ago. I’ve decided not to take it too seriosuly, and forget seeking for love. I’ve missed out on enough lust over the past few years, and I’m trying to make up for it. I know I’ll find love eventually, and your post is reassuring. But why put so much pressure on the whole issue, being by myself is kind of fun. 🙂

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Ms.V January 14, 2010 at 10:39 am

I would love to date. Where to meet a man my age? I’m 50! No on the eharmony/match whatever thing…just not my style or desire…but where?

that’s what you should do…have a contest for MSV! LOL

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Priscilla San Remo January 15, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Ms. V,

I’m 48 and met a great guy on Match almost a year ago. We are still together today and having a great time. I had almost given up on dating when he emailed me. It turned out we lived in the same neighborhood, had kids the same age (who went to high school together), and got divorced the same year. After dating so many liars, losers, and just plain emotionally unavailable men, I thought I’d never meet anybody.

If dating sites aren’t your thing, do whatever you need to do to attract the person you want: make a list and put it under a crystal; hold a ceremony with your other single friends; meditate; join a club…

You can do it! Just put your wish out there and never entertain the idea that it won’t happen for you!

Positivity gets a bum rap in this day and age, but it worked for me. Good luck from a sister who says 50 is the new 35!

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singlemomseeking January 16, 2010 at 10:25 am

@Priscilla, what an incredibly inspirational comment. Thank you SO much!!

Wendy Cooper January 14, 2010 at 10:21 am

Kinda funny my last blog post is about a man.

I too am about to give up online dating.

Where do you find the time to meet up for a ‘date’.

I don’t want my son around a man until I know they are at least a good friend. I don’t really have any support in the way of built in babysitters and Kaius’ dad isn’t local. My living situation isn’t one where I could have a babysitter come look after him and it’s too cold outside to have the babysitter take him to the park for a couple hours. Or… are all of these excuses. The only real time I have to myself is when Kaius is sleeping – they only kind of date at that hour is a booty call… no thanks!

I know love is possible – I had it and blew it and regret it.

I keep saying the only way it will happen is if someone comes and sweeps me of my feet. I’m so cautious and guarded, it’s the only way it would happen.

But I’m open to whatever and despite the tone of this comment… I’m a friendly, smiley, fun kinda gal!

Thank you for this post and the comments – I love your site! 🙂

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Mary January 14, 2010 at 9:42 am

Another first time poster, and since you asked, here I am. Not only that, but recent divorcee (6 mos final) whose just getting back into the dating pool. Weird, strange waters to navigate after 14 yrs and 2 kids. Love? Pretty sure not even looking for that so much right now, just figuring out what’s even out there and trying to have a little fun with it.

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singlemomseeking January 14, 2010 at 10:25 am

@Mary, thanks so much for commenting. I had made the mistake of jumping into dating too soon… instead of focusing on myself first. Have fun doing what you love to do!

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Danielle January 14, 2010 at 9:30 am

Thanks for this. I wonder often if it is possible for me.
.-= Danielle´s last blog ..*Notice* Wine and hair color don’t mix and cost me too much money! =-.

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Susan January 14, 2010 at 8:57 am

Rachel, I am so happy to read about you and LG — still going strong after all of these months! I’ll just echo what Rachel wrote: love IS possible…but as your other readers have indicated and I, too, lived, sometimes it’s tricky and annoying and depressing and humorous and just plain takes time. If I could give advice to anyone is to remember to focus on yourself — and put yourself out there. I am convinced now, in many areas of my life, that if you leap the net will (eventually) appear.

We’re off to enjoy our postponed honeymoon in 2 days to Hawaii. Who would’ve thought even 18 months ago?! 🙂
.-= Susan´s last blog ..Taking a bow =-.

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singlemomseeking January 14, 2010 at 9:03 am

Susan: I get the chills reading your comment. So thrilled for you!! Have a GREAT time in Hawaii!

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Michele January 14, 2010 at 8:20 am

Yes, it’s possible. But I’ll be damned if it isn’t tricky to navigate. It’s been me an my kids for the last ten years. I added a boyfriend six years ago. Now we’re talking about getting married. I should be overjoyed, right? So, why aren’t I? I’m overwhelmed with trying to figure out how this guy will fit into the fold without displacing the kids (19 & 15) or making them feel uncomfortable. I’d just as soon keep dating and maintaining our seperate residences.

Ugh.
.-= Michele´s last blog ..Whitner’s Barbecue =-.

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Cat January 14, 2010 at 8:15 am

I guess I’m the opposite of Allison- I’m thinking about getting into online dating. I’d like to go out and have fun every now and again with someone who’s not one of my siblings (who are awesome, but I need to widen my circle).

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Heather January 14, 2010 at 8:09 am

This is my first time to comment…. kinda scared… I know that love is possible, I know that there is someone out there for me that will love me and love my son the way we deserve to be, but dang when is it gonna happen?? I have been seeing someone off and on for almost 3 years. He knows how I feel about him, we have such a great time together and yet something keeps holding him back…. I have asked several times what it is and he always avoids the issue. I have broken things off several times, but he always comes back and acts like nothing is wrong. I am getting to the point where I am wondering…. Is something really better than nothing?? How do I get him to open up? If he doesn’t open up… how do I let go and I mean let go for good and stop being afraid that I will never find anyone???

I sound pretty pathetic huh?? Thanks for listening, and thanks so much for your book and blog!! All of your stories are so inspiring!! Keep up the good work!!

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singlemomseeking January 14, 2010 at 8:58 am

@Heather: thank you so much for commenting! I really understand. Please no that “something is NOT better than nothing.” I believed that for a long time. You deserve to be loved with deep openness.

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Jack's Mama January 14, 2010 at 7:54 am

I’d like to start dating again this year once I’m more happy and confident with myself. Like many others I’m just not sure where to start.

Like Allison .. only dating has not worked out for me so I want to try something new.
.-= Jack’s Mama´s last blog ..20 Years =-.

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Kelli January 14, 2010 at 7:29 am

I am so happy that you are in love Rachel. It is true, its not always pink hearts and cotton candy clouds. my daughter & I just (about 2-3wks ago) moved in w.my boyfriend of 1.5 yrs so we just took a huge step. So I know personally love is possible after being a single parent. 🙂
.-= Kelli´s last blog .."Being Mom is a Hard Thing to Do" =-.

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debra January 14, 2010 at 7:29 am

This week has been full of ‘love is possible’ moments for me. Tomorrow, I’ll meet the newborn son of a man I dated a year ago, who has since become a dear friend. In the span of a year, an ex girlfriend recontacted him, they decided to get married, and have just had their first child at the ages of 41 and 43. Both had accepted that love, marriage and parenthood was just not in the cards for them. There is a beautiful marriage full of love, and a gorgeous, healthy baby boy here today proving that Love Is Possible. Going to tattoo that on my palm so I won’t forget!!

Congrats to Nicki, very brave.

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T January 14, 2010 at 7:25 am

I agree with you Rachel! Of course, all my recent blog posts tend to point to that anyway… LOL!

Love is indeed possible.

I am happy for you.
.-= T´s last blog ..Athletic goals, building strength and losing that winter weight =-.

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Allison January 14, 2010 at 5:10 am

Funny that you wrote this just as I’m giving up on online dating again. I’m not feeling hopeless, but that’s not the avenue for me. Not sure where to go from here, so I will simply be where I am.
.-= Allison´s last blog ..Help me, I’m shrinking! =-.

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singlemomseeking January 14, 2010 at 9:02 am

@Allison, please keep us in the loop! In the meantime, ask your friends if they’ll set you up? Just a thought….

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MommaSunshine January 14, 2010 at 4:48 am

Before I met CBG I felt pretty cynical about falling in love again. He helped me believe…to the point that even if things don’t work out with him, I know that love IS out there, and that I am very much worthy of it.
.-= MommaSunshine´s last blog ..Who I Am =-.

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Nicki January 14, 2010 at 4:48 am

I just said goodbye to my dream of a future with the man I love last night. He’s been in and out more times than I can count. (And I thought fickle was a girl trait…) So, I’m licking my wounds and working on becoming the somebody I want to be before I start looking for the somebody I want to share my life with. Sounds really enlightened, but I’m probably just scared and feeling a little hopeless right now.

*sigh* This too shall pass. Right?
.-= Nicki´s last blog ..It’s about time… =-.

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singlemomseeking January 14, 2010 at 9:01 am

It shall pass, @Nicki, and in the meantime, please surround yourself with loving friends. Take extra special care of YOU, ok?

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