Ms. Single Mama Asks: Did I Lose My Mr. Good Enough?
I’m a dating single mom. It’s hard. Very hard. The dating part. The single mom part, not so bad. You get used to it. You adapt and pretty soon, you can’t imagine life any other way.
But the dating part – it can be a drag.I am not in urgent need of a man to “save me.” It would be welcome, but it does me no good to pine for someone to sweep in and make my life easier. It took one year for me to come to peace with this. One year to suck it up and get over the fact that I’m on my own.This weekend I was pondering my break up with Kris. And then I read Lori Gottlieb’s now famed “Marry Him!” article. I’d read it before, but this time instead of boiling over with rage I could see some of her points.
If you missed it, she’s a single mom (thanks to a sperm donor) and has never been married. She’s also in her mid-30’s and believes that single women and single moms need to start settling for Mr. Good Enough instead of waiting around for Mr. Perfect. And, according to Gottlieb, if any woman tells you she doesn’t want a man she’s lying to you and to herself.Okay. That’s the part that makes my blood boil. First of all, she may be a single mom, but she’s never been married to a guy who turns into a jerk. And yes, Lori, there are nice Mr. Good Enough’s who can turn into monsters too. It’s this idea – that to be happy as a single mom, I should be married – that infuriates me. It reinforces the stereotype that just because I’m single and with child – that I must be miserable and desperate for a husband.
But here are some of Gottlieb’s points I agree with: Men are not perfect. We can’t expect them to be perfect, flawless beings who adore and fawn over us like Queens. I get that.The pickings are slim. As we age, the selection of good guys left does diminish. After 35, the men big on commitment and starting a family have been snapped up. Do their wives appreciate them? That’s a different story all together.
Single moms have new priorities. When you’re a dating single mom your standards are different. You’re now looking for the perfect partner – not the perfect man. Which is why, when we do find one, we treat him like gold and appreciate him despite his flaws.So, thanks to Lori’s article, all weekend I was freaking out thinking … “Oh my god, what if I lost my Mr. Good Enough?” So much so that I broke down and called Kris – “was it me? Did I drive you away? Was I a horrible girlfriend?” “No,” he said sweetly, “no, not at all, why would you think that? We are just at such different places right now.”And then it dawned on me. I didn’t lose my Mr. Good Enough…we lost each other – because neither one of us was ready to take the plunge, dive off of that cliff and just commit. Which means, that Lori Gottlieb can husband shop all she wants, but this single mom is not ready for one again.But, if I do meet someone who wants to grab my hand and pull me off of that cliff – I might reconsider. In otherwords, I may be a single mom but I still need the sparks and there’s no way I’m settling.
What do you think about settling? Do you feel like you’re desperate to find someone new – or a new husband?