The Next Guy Who Dates This Single Mama

My mother bemoans the fact that I’m single. She just wants me to find a good guy, one who will love my kids and me wholly and unconditionally, so I can be happy. And I firmly believe she and my sisters would do it all for me, if they could. They would pool the available men, interview, investigate, and interrogate until they found me an acceptable suitor. And I LOVE them for that.

The truth is, though, I am happy. I’m head-over-heels in love with two people. And they both call me Mama. They drive me crazy at times arguing over who gets to brush their teeth first and who gets to turn the lights on and off, but they are my purpose in this life. I’ve also found success in my professional life and hobbies–more than I had ever aspired to prior to my divorce, if we’re being honest.


While I’m happy, I’d be lying if I said the loneliness doesn’t creep up on me every-so-often, especially during those weekends the kids are away. I come home and think, “This is great. It’s quiet. I can nap and clean and rest up before they come back.” That lasted for about two hours this evening before I joined my father for dinner and then headed to the gym (which should indicate that I was desperately trying to keep myself busy). It is in these quiet moments, when there is a lull in my hectic schedule and a void in my calendar, that I think to myself, “Man, it’d really be nice to have a boyfriend.” And I’m not talking about going on fancy dates in little black dresses (although that can be fun), I’m thinking carry out and a movie at home.

So, Linz, if you’re getting lonely, why aren’t you doing anything about it? I’m so glad you (and nearly every. single. one. of my friends) ask! There are a few reasons that I’m not actively pursuing a relationship (online or elsewhere).

I’m an introvert by nature. I don’t even like being around the people I love some days, nonetheless meeting new people and trying to create chemistry out of thin air.

I’m tired. I’m a single mom, and I just don’t have the time or the energy to go on several dates a month, especially if they aren’t going to lead anywhere.

And this brings me to my main point: I’m tired of dating the same guy.

I don’t mean that I break up with and then start dating the same guy over and over (burn me once, I’m pretty much done). I mean I keep dating the same kind of guy — this guy who is charming and affectionate and flattering. He’s also unavailable. Maybe he’s still caught up on his ex or maybe he’s been screwed up by divorce himself or maybe he’s just immature and refuses to commit. Regardless of the reason and regardless of the fact that he might genuinely have real feelings for me, the relationship never gets off the ground.

And I’m done with that.

I’m 30, and that’s just too old to be playing high school games. I’m not going to agonize over whether he’s going to call. I’m tired of sending all my friends screenshots trying to decode what he means by this text or that emoji. Over it.

So I’ve decided a few things about “the next guy.”

Instead of telling me he likes my eyes, the next guy is going to appreciate my mind.

Instead of complimenting my smile, the next guy is going to applaud my parenting.

Instead of labeling me “intimidating,” the next guy is going to support and celebrate my personal and professional successes.

Instead of telling me how good my butt looks in that skirt, the next guy is going to appreciate my sarcastic sense of humor.

Instead of agreeing with me on everything in an attempt to woo me, the next guy will disagree with me because he has thoughts of his own. And because I’m not always right.

You’re never going to find all that; you’re setting the bar too high, you say. Eh, maybe you’re right. Maybe I’ll never meet this guy. And you know what, if that’s the case, then I’ll be just fine. My life is not lacking in love and laughter, and I’d rather spend a few moments alone than in bad company. I will not make myself less so the man I date can be more.

And the next guy will respect that.

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