"Shoot me if you see me falling for another one again, will you?"
How many times have you said something along those lines to your confidante after Yet Another Failed Relationship?
I lost count of how many times I've said it myself. There tends to be a mutual agreement - which tends to smell of lemons - between myself and another close friend that if we notice that the other is falling for it again, we'll do whatever it takes to stop them whilst there is still time.
"Lemons?" you're probably wondering.
Yep. Big bitter ones.
Sorry, bad joke, I know. It is what I'm good at.
Anyway. Back to the topic at hand.
After my last relationship fell through, I've had a lot of people show concern and being supportive, and for that I'm thankful. I happen to be at a stage in life where everyone and their sister seems to be sprouting kidlets - so needless to say, quite a few friends of mine could relate to what I was going through, what worries I may have had, what difficulties I was, am or will be facing, and so on and so forth.
A dear friend of mine who is like a sister to me, and is nowadays a Single Mum, called me to say her 11 year old son - whom I've known since he was 2 years of age - wished to speak to me. This boy told me "Don't worry. It is for the best. It will be better for Creature to grow up with just you rather than have to go through parental arguments and clashes. That is all I remember from when I was younger - my parents fighting all the time, and it wasn't nice."
Being told these words by a child made me tear up even more, because I recognised the truth behind them. As tough as it may be, if the relationship isn't working, it will do more harm than good to stick together "for the kid[s]".
All the Single Parents I've spoken to so far have all said the same thing - you will always have lingering feelings for the Absent Parent, purely because they allowed you to have your child. The temptation to give in and attempt a 2nd, 3rd, 4th or even 20th shot at making things work with the Ex will be there for a very long time - however as with all relationships, keep in mind that there was a very good reason for it to have ended. Don't allow nostalgia to get to you - it tends to make you remember only the good times and forget the bad times. Both kinds of experiences are equally important.
Nowadays, I know that if I were to attempt a relationship again, it will be much more difficult. I'm no longer single. My official title is not Single Mother. See? The title itself says it all. I'm double, not single. I come as a package deal, not a standalone product. I have to evaluate the Potential Datee well before I go for it, and bring Creature first and foremost.
The one reason I will not say "Never again!" this time is because I believe Creature has a right to have a Father Figure present in his/her life. A Father is not merely a Sperm Donor - it is someone who sticks around through thick and thin - who is there to support you through the good times and the bad. Not being biologically related means jack shit.
So maybe, who knows, eventually it'll happen. It is a matter of never saying never.
In the meanwhile, I'll leave you with a link to an article I've come across which entails advice for men [or women] who may wish to get involved with a Single Mother. I found myself mentally nodding at everything listed in this article, thus my sharing it with you lot.