I found myself back on the dating circuit a couple of years ago, rather suddenly and along with the pre-requisite ‘OMG what do I do?’ nerves I had an additional concern; I am also a single parent. Typically, with the optimism of a head cheer leader on prom night, I was certain I’d find everything I was looking for, the trouble was I wanted a lot!
‘I am not looking for a potential step father, role model or live in Jeremy Kyle to commentate on the foreboding, difficult teenage years and my lack of patience. I am simply going to take measured steps to ensure I meet a nice man who treats me like a queen and expect to have lots of non committal fun along the way punctuated with expensive gifts, weekends away (baby sitter permitting) and accessible arm candy for upcoming social events.
However, I am looking for a man who will understand that some weekends I really want to wear my cookie pants, not wash my hair and watch CITV all day. A man who can understand where I’m coming from when I say that Horrid Henry would get a good smack around the chops if he lived in my house! A man who doesn’t ask questions when accepting the amazing cardboard robot made from Veet and Kotex boxes that my darling angel spent all day making especially for ‘Mummy’s New Friend’
Once said perfect man had been captured and forced to fall helplessly in love with me, the next hurdle I was to stumble over concerned my daughter and how to go about introducing my perfect man into her world. Is there a set period of time before I’m allowed to make such a gesture, and if so how long? What happens if they don’t get on? What if she says he is rubbish compared to her daddy who is obviously like Superman in her estimations, and runs out of the house screaming ‘til death do us part’?
It has been said many times that dating is like a mine field, and even with the internet adding to the ever increasing methods of finding true love, its still as daunting as ever. Add in the extra worry of finding a perfect mate for you and to fit your child’s future can make it seem almost impossible. I found that the only way to tick both boxes was to find my inner child and that perfect man, which unsurprisingly wasn’t too difficult. Our first play-date involved the park, ice-creams and shoulder carries to chase greedy seagulls half way across the park. (Sadly it was my daughter on his shoulders, not sure my erm……. toned, athletic frame would have sat quite so delicately).
I suppose it would be fitting that I learned a lesson from play dating. Not to take things too seriously and just go with the flow. Kids are so honest and open that sometimes they actually help to break the ice a little, make you both laugh and sometimes silently tear your hair out when they point out a stray chin hair or tell dates all about mummy’s embarrassing obsession with Trevor Eve.