Bianca Knows Best ... and Helps a Needy Mom

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Dear Bianca,

I married and had my daughter at a young age - 19 - so I never really had the experience of dating. However, I got a divorce last year after 10 years of marriage. Now I'm 30 and back on the singles market.

At first, I was thrilled to be dating. I'd go out with different guys every weekend, and I really felt like I was sowing my wild oats. But that's gotten old, and I'm ready to settle down with a nice step-dad for my daughter.

The past few relationships I've been in haven't lasted more than three months max. The last guy broke up with me in a freaking e-mail, even though we'd talked about buying a house together the week before. He suddenly became too stressed out for a relationship. It wasn't me, he said. It was him. Whatever.

Anyway, I feel like I'm at dead end and I'm getting a little desperate. I find myself falling for every guy I date, envisioning him as "the one." I know the key to finding Mr. Right is patience, but I'm running out. How can I convince myself to slow down?

- Sick of the Single Life

Dear Sick,

Your desire to settle down may very well be pushing away potential mates. You're right - patience is key. Long-term relationships often kick off when you're not really looking for one.

However, it's not going to be easy for you to simply turn off your needs. You're tired of raising your daughter alone, and you'd love to find some help as soon as possible. But you're going to have to do a little soul-searching to become comfortable being alone before you can find Mr. Right.

Force yourself to take a little time off from dating. Devote a month or two to being a single mother rather than a MILF. Participate in activities with your kid. Try to enjoy just being a mom.

It's very possible that while you're busy doing the mom thing, some nice dude will take notice. Maybe he'll ask you out. The best men tend to come along when you're not looking.

But even if that doesn't happen, taking time off from dating will help you appreciate what you have. You don't need a man to make you happy. You just think you do. When you finally do get back out there, maybe you'll be willing to take more time with relationships. Don't rush things. A needy date is a bad date.

Got a problem? E-mail Bianca at bphillips@memphisflyer.com.

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