I remember this specific night out clear as day [Editor's note: This was pre-pandemic]. A couple of friends asked me to tag along with them and their husbands for pizza and beer. I'm a single mom and my little one was with her dad that weekend, so instead of sitting home drinking wine and watching Netflix, I decided a night out would be fun.
Well, I was wrong.
As soon as I sat down at the table, I quickly became the entertainment for the night, the conversation turning to me and my singledom. Every guy in the bar became prey to my friends.
All I heard was, "What about him? He's hot!" or "I've seen him around and know he's single." I continued to reiterate how I was doing just fine being single and how I actually wanted to stay that way for now, but that didn't stop their comments.
They insisted I needed to find someone to date and they were on a mission. I couldn't eat my pizza quickly enough before I called it an early night and was back home in my PJs, wine in hand, watching Netflix like I originally planned.
Because here's the thing—I'm single and I'm okay with it. Seriously. Here's why:
1. I'm trying to figure it all out.
I was married, and now I'm not, and that's a pretty big thing to adjust to. Ending something that important is a big deal. Some people find comfort in jumping from one relationship to the next (which is fine because you have to do what works for you), but I'm finding comfort in being alone and figuring out what's next for me.
Have you ever gotten out of a relationship feeling like you lost a bit of yourself? That's how I feel. I'm in my late 30s and I'm truly not sure what I'm interested in anymore. I want to find my hobbies, I want to adjust to a new schedule of doing the whole mom thing on my own, I want to focus on myself. I want to figure it out or try to figure it out as much as possible.
2. I deserve to be picky.
I tried dating after the divorce was final, and it was a complete disaster. I was pressured into making the relationship more serious than I wanted it to be with one guy, and I stayed with another guy (who was controlling) way longer than I should have.
I know that maybe I just had bad experiences with those specific men, but if I couldn't make a marriage work with the man I was married to, the one who I thought I would be with forever, the person I decided to start a family with—then I'm going to be picky about who I choose to let into my life.
3. I want to be alone.
Seriously. I want to be alone and I'm okay with that. I'm a single mom with a full-time job and a part-time weekend job (when my daughter is with her dad). I have a neverending to-do list of things to replace or clean around the house. I don't have time for anyone or anything else.
I want to have time for myself. Some nights I enjoy going out with friends, but some nights I want to stay in and read a book. Sure, being alone does get lonely sometimes, but right now I am prioritizing learning to love myself and my time alone.
4. I want to focus my time on other things.
My daughter is my number one priority. Always. I don't get to spend as much time with her as I would love to because I work full-time and now every other weekend she goes to her dad's house. I want to soak up every second I have with her—every giggle, every storytime before bed, every bath time, every meal together—everything.
I also want to run a half marathon one day. I want to hike more, eventually. I want to plant a garden, paint the banister in the hallway, start a blog. There are so many things I've been saying I'm going to do and I want to start marking them off my list. I need to focus my priorities on things I want to do, and dating just isn't one of them.
So, please, let me be single.
It isn't that I haven't tried dating. I have and it wasn't for me. When I'm ready to date again, I will know, but right now I'm dating myself and trying to learn who I am as a single mom. My daughter deserves the best possible version of me and I'm going to find her before I bring anyone else into my life.