Sunday, March 22, 2015

Single in a Double's Game

“I can’t even find someone for a platonic relationship, much less the kind where someone wants to see me naked.” – Gilbert Gottfried

This single parenting is hard sometimes. I do the cooking, the cleaning, the driving, have all “the talks”, and hold down a full-time job. I am both mother and father to my kids. But, I have the greatest bond with my children. They can (and do) talk to me about anything. They know I will never lie to them, and in their entire lives, I am proud to say I have never broken a promise to either of them. They know – for sure – they can count on me.

I miss that.

I miss having someone I can count on, someone I can go to for anything that I need, or anything I need to talk about. I miss being able to count on someone “for sure”.

I’m very aware – now more than ever, as my children are growing older and hyper alert to their surroundings – that I am a living, breathing model of relationships for my children. So I worry about “the wrong guy”. To make sure I don’t bring home the wrong guy, I simply haven’t dated. At all. And my kids are fine with that, of course. They like having me all to themselves. But the other side of them growing older is that they need me less. I can see in 5 years when Violet leaves for college how quiet it will be. In nine years, Emma will leave, and I will be left with the dogs and…what else, exactly? It sounds as though I am worrying far in advance, but I am not. I simply know how quickly these past nine years have passed.

The strong solidity of a man’s chest beneath my cheek as he wraps me in a great hug is a lost sensation. The happiness of walking with my hand in his, of his arm stealing about my waist or of his hand touching my hair: these light, delicate moments of love are taken for granted by so many people, but have been lost to me. I miss laughing with someone, date nights, and all the little touches that make a relationship special.

Why is it so difficult to meet someone?

Probably because I go to work, pick the kids up from school, and come home. Lather, rinse, repeat. I am patient, though, and as my mother always told me, “better no man than the wrong man.” But then I wonder, because as parents we always second-guess ourselves and think we are going to screw our kids up with our decisions, am I truly showing my kids a healthy life? I am, right? I am showing my girls what it is to be a strong, independent woman capable of supporting herself and her children. But I am not showing them what a healthy romantic relationship looks like because I don’t have one. Will they be able learn what that is on their own? I wish I had a partner to talk to about this, but – ironically – if I had one, I wouldn’t need to talk to him about it.

Maybe, somehow, I’ll meet someone. Maybe – magically – the one eligible male English teacher out there will come work in my English department so we can meet. Or perhaps one of my few friends will realize she has the perfect friend I simply must meet. And I do hope for my Hollywood-style meet-cute in the local Wal-Mart: attractive stranger and I both reach for the last gallon of skim milk, hands touch, sparks ensue, romantic music swells in the background. It hasn’t happened yet, but I’m still very excited about the possibility. 

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