When I was pregnant, I told people I would start dating again soon after having my baby. Most gave a little knowing chuckle thinking to themselves ‘yeah right’ and ‘we’ll see’, believing that I would not feel like dating once my baby had arrived. Those who know me well didn’t doubt it would happen.
Last week, when Daisy was 5 weeks old, I updated my online dating profile to say I had a young baby, but was looking to meet someone and I started swiping to see who was out there! I was intrigued to see if my situation put everyone off, or if some men would still be interested. I was quite surprised to find quite a few people still got in touch and were cool with my circumstances. Most just seemed relieved there was no complicated relationship with an ex to content with.
Dating seems completely different to me now as the pressure is completely off. There is no urgency and there is no time limit. I can date in the hope that one day I meet a lovely partner, but it doesn’t matter when that is. There’s no time like the present to start looking though!
How soon to date after giving birth, is what I would imagine to be quite a unique dilemma. By the very nature of having a baby most people are in a partnership and would not be looking to date, although single women having a baby on their own is on the rise, so this will start to become a consideration for more people in the future.
This is how I have decided to tackle dating as a single mum:
Baby comes first
No matter what, my baby is my first priority now. I will always prioritise her over dating. I do feel like I can find time for both though, where dating will not impact my ability to care for her and be the best mum I can be. I will dip my toe into the dating arena and see how I feel about it.
Honest dating profile
I’m being really upfront about my situation, so as not to waste mine or other peoples time. I will only start chatting to people who have clarified they are comfortable with my circumstances.
No pursuing the wrong people
Now I am a mum, my priorities have changed. I am the happiest I have ever been. I’m not looking for a partner to make my life complete, I am keen for a relationship to add to my already amazing life. This means that I will not waste my time with anyone who is not right for me (which I have been known to do in the past).
Different types of dates
I will limit my dates to a shorter period of time, and they won’t be alcohol based. I’m still not drinking as I am breastfeeding. I would only go out for 90 minutes maximum and this would be at a time where it is likely that my baby will anyway be sleeping.
Even though I chose to have a baby without being in a relationship, I have a strong desire to create a family environment. I was running out of time to do this the traditional way due to biology, so have chosen to do it in a different way and now that time pressure is off it feels great. It is still my goal to create that family life, but the urgency is no longer there, so I can make much better choices.
I’m sure there will be some people who think that this is outrageous and that I should be fully focusing on being a mum, but I believe it is possible to do both without any impact on my child.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about dating as a single mother of a young baby.
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