Although five years (!) have passed since I met Chris, I remember the month of February as if it were a framed photo on my wall, my eyes resisting loneliness. I’ll admit it: Valentine’s Day brings out the mushiness in me. Even as I planned another ice cream date with my daughter on February 14, the two of us, year after year.
I’m a romantic, so every February, I’ve vowed to stay open to love. Sure enough, a couple of weeks before Valentine’s Day five years ago, there I was, and sitting at another coffee shop, waiting with expectation and hope. Maybe this time, I’d get get love-struck over a latte? It was another disappointing date. Then a few days later, when I least expected it, I met Chris.
So, when a 28-year-old single mom named Betsy (pictured below), emailed me about dating again, I knew you had to meet her.
Six years ago, Betsy was in a new relationship when she got pregnant. Her boyfriend was not elated about the news and he was struggling with chemical dependency. When their daughter was four months old, he overdosed and died. Betsy has no contact with his family.
After a long period of feeling alone and bitter, Betsy decided it was time to get on her feet and move forward. Today, she is living with her parents in Florida, working full-time, and going back to school (oh yeah!).
“One of the things I always wanted to do was finish my education,” she says about being a communications major. “I know that I can do it, but I’d be lying if I said there weren’t times that I break down and cry. It is overwhelming and hard. Sometimes I wish there were just someone there to give me a hug.”
Today, her daughter is thriving in kindergarten. “She enjoys running, playing her ukulele, and loves animals.”
And Betsy recently decided to start dating again. “It’s terrifying,” she says. “I feel like I have to tell my whole life story to these guys, to explain why I’m 28 years old and still in college. I’m working on my filter.” (I had no filter for years, so I really get that.)
“I know I’m a strong woman,” Betsy says. (You are!) “My father said that I’m the strongest person he knows. No matter what happens I know if I keep putting one foot in front of the other. I am finally coming into my own. I have a stronger sense of self than I’ve ever had before in my life. I want a partner.”
She recently had a coffee date with a guy she met online. “I vomited my life story to him, explaining that I was a single mom and that my daughter’s father had died. Obviously, I need to work on my filter. At the same time, I think, I’m going to be honest. In my heart I know, if I can’t be honest up front with someone, then maybe he isn’t the one for me. I have no time for games.”
They recently had a second date. Betsy says: “I’ll keep you posted…”
Please do. xo
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