Last year, I decided I might like to meet someone. After five years of being single, I thought it might be nice to not be quite so single any more. My first attempt at that didn’t go so well, and a friend suggested I join a dating site. I resisted, because… well, I met Twunty on a dating site and look how that turned out. But on the other hand, I don’t exactly leave the house a lot; where else was I likely to meet a man?
So I joined a dating site, and I met a lot of weirdos. I even chatted to some of them. But I didn’t want to meet any of them… until this one.
We met for coffee; we got on. Much better than expected. In his profile pictures (and on his Facebook profile, which I had of course stalked), he seemed very serious – but when I met him he smiled and that was that.
Once we’d been out a few times, I realised that I was in a bit of a predicament: I am a single parent. I wasn’t sure about this guy, but I knew that if S didn’t like him, it didn’t matter how I felt about him. On the other hand, I also didn’t want to introduce my child to every random bloke I met on a dating site. In the end, rather than have some grand meeting where there was a lot of pressure and anticipation, things went a little differently.
We arranged to go and see a play, and decided that we would meet at my house and walk into town… and then I realised that we had arranged to meet before S’s bedtime. So he came in while I got my coat and shoes on, and he met S. She showed him her newly painted toenails. Since then, they have become best buddies.
So it’s official: I like him; S likes him.
He makes an effort. He does what he says he’ll do. He’s patient and kind and caring and when he’s here, he’s here. He doesn’t try to change me or manipulate me; he doesn’t question my parenting. When I tell him he can’t say certain things to S (I’m funny about things like using the word “naughty”) he says “ok” and takes it on board. He spends hours sitting on my living room floor, playing Frustration and colouring in pictures with S. Last weekend we went to a birthday party and while he was entertaining three children on a bouncy castle my sister leaned over to me and said you’ve found a good one there! On the way home, he drove us to the cemetery to visit my dad’s grave.
I’ve never done this before. I’ve met men before; I’ve had relationships before. But not when there’s a five year old involved. He doesn’t have children, but he’s made firm friends with S. And we’re figuring it out as we go. It’s terrifying… but it’s also great fun. I am happy.