15 Single Moms Reveal the Scariest Thing About Dating

Michele Zipp | Oct 30, 2017 Love & Sex

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The ability to date again, to feel that excitement and the rush of adrenaline that comes from a first kiss with someone, the yearning for the late-night text and fun banter that comes with it ... that's what thrills us when it comes to the prospect of a new love. But, for a parent, overriding all of that is the fear. This fear isn't just about how the person we're dating will react, but how we feel when it comes to putting ourselves out there and risking our feelings with the hope of something positive in return. 

So many people have preconceived notions that single moms are just looking to settle down again -- which is not necessarily true. But we're also not looking for someone to flutter in and out without respect. Single moms have no time, no patience, and no need for any of that. We're often blunt, we're honest, and we aren't playing games with anyone's mind. We expect the same. 

Despite this, however, it's still scary. Many of us have been hurt and have a hard time trusting another person. Some of us feel intimacy is like a foreign country we've never visited. And all of us are afraid to introduce anyone new to our kids. 

Still, dating is something we want to do. So we face the fears. Hearing what makes other single moms terrified about dating makes us realize how so many of our own feelings are shared. There's comfort in their words ... along with the ability to face and overcome these fears. 

  • Taking that first step.

    1

    "The scariest thing about dating again was not wanting to date! I was so badly hurt after the breakup of my marriage that I genuinely thought that part of my life was over. The thought of being intimate again was at first sort of physically repulsive to me. I had no desire to meet new people. This passed, of course, and I did meet someone." -- Maria

  • Knowing how.

    2

    "I was afraid that I wouldn't know how to do it! It had been so long, I thought, will I even still know how to flirt? Will I be able to access that part of myself again?" -- Colby

  • Kid introduction.

    3

    "I was so scared to introduce a guy I was dating to my kids. I was afraid to do it too soon or not soon enough. How he treated them was going to tell me a lot about whether or not I wanted to continue to date him."

    More from CafeMom18 Types of Guys Women Say They'd Never Date

  • Meeting his friends.

    4

    "I was really nervous about meeting his friends. This part scared me the most because I was very comfortable in my own group of friends, and the friends my ex and I had. Having to venture out of that comfort zone to meet someone to date was hard enough. Then having to meet all his friends gave me major anxiety. I was able to overcome it, but as it was happening, it was a daunting experience." -- Lauren

  • Letting go of hang-ups.

    5

    "My ex didn't like holding hands. When he and I first met and began dating, I often reached for his hand to hold. After months of feeling he wasn't into it and then me not reaching for his hand anymore, he opened up and told me it wasn't something he liked to do. So for the eight years we were together, we never held hands. It's actually something I really love to do, but feel conditioned to not do it. I hope to find a guy who likes to hold hands, but I'm really nervous about the moment when and if it happens." -- Diane

  • Online dating.

    6

    "The thing I fear the most about being a single mom and looking for love is online dating. It. Is. THE. WORST! Have you seen some of the photos these guys post? I can instantly tell which ones I would never get along with -- which is a good thing, but it's 99 percent of the guys on there. It's terrifying and makes me think I will never meet someone." -- Gina

  • Dealing with insecurity.

    7

    "I think the scariest thing was how insecure I was. I didn't think anyone would love me and my kids. I was so wrong. I also would have been more honest about what I was looking for. Just put it out there, you have nothing to lose." -- Laura

  • Going public.

    8

    "I don't like to consider myself someone who cares what other people think, but my divorce rattled me. When I started dating again, I was so worried about other people I knew seeing me out with a new person. I felt like people would talk -- say negative things about me or what I was doing with my time. It took me a long time to feel comfortable once my new relationship became serious to be able to feel okay with sharing it and photos on social media." -- Alli

  • Getting heartbroken again.

    9

    "I worked hard to gain confidence in myself again after getting divorced. When I thought I was ready to date again, I realized that I had a wall up -- there was no way I was going to risk getting my heart broken again. So I wasn't able to be truly myself with this wall up. Eventually, I was able to come into myself more ... and open up." -- Tara

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  • Intimacy.

    10

    "Sex! Oh my goodness, how?! I was terrified of having sex again. I was terrified of even the thought of kissing someone. I was so out of practice and after my marriage ended (really way before it ended) that part of me felt like it died. Being intimate with anyone in any way was a scary thought ... but one I got over." -- Rose

  • Being let down.

    11

    "When it came to dating again, I was so afraid of being let down by someone else. When I did start to date someone seriously, that fear didn't go away. I was scared of not understanding him, of him not understanding me. I sabotaged that relationship as a result." -- Jess

  • Being ghosted.

    12

    "Ghosting is a term I had no idea about because it just wasn't a word used when I was in the dating scene over a decade ago. But when it happened to me, I learned real quick what it was and how much it hurt. Having it happen to me was awful because I was already so fearful of dating and then the first date I go on after the ending of my marriage it happened. Why do people do this to others? Don't be a coward; just say it's not going to work out instead of hiding." -- Kelly

  • Explaining the backstory.

    13

    "I have a story. The story of how I have my kids. The story with my ex. This is a story I don't necessarily want to share with someone on a first date, but it's also a major part of who I am. Seeing the reaction of the person I'm on a date with when I share even part of it, share that I am a mom (if he doesn't know), becomes the moment I know if he's worth dating again or not. It's still just a scary moment though -- revealing such an important part of who I am and fearing the rejection because of it." -- Leah

  • Moving too fast.

    14

    "I was afraid of moving too fast. I love love and really missed having a partner. So I feared moving too fast for all the wrong reasons." -- Carrie

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  • Finding time.

    15

    "I'm not sure how to fit dating into my life. That part really scares me because I want to date someone, but how? Will he want to meet me for a coffee while on the soccer field during my kids' game? Because it feels as if that's the only time I have a minute for myself. I'm scared because I'm not sure I'll find someone willing to bend their schedule for me. Or my inability to bend my schedule much for someone else." -- Tricia 

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