No, I’m Not Dating – And That’s Okay

I’ve been single for over two years now.

Surprisingly I get asked often if I’m dating. But it’s never an innocuous “Are you dating?” It’s always followed by “yet”.

“Are you dating yet?” As if there is some time limit on my single life. Is my expiration date showing?

Listen, it’s 2020. Can we please address THIS social standard? Or just throw the whole thing out altogether?

Come on all you New Girl fans. Say it with me. “I’m single, and I’m sufficient.”

There are lots of reasons why a single woman in her 30s would want to remain single. And there are a lot of reasons why I personally want to live my life unencumbered by a romantic relationship.

First of all, I was in a committed relationship for nearly half of my life at the time of my separation. And relationships are hard, especially relationships that end in separation and divorce. After spending my entire adult life with someone else, it was extremely liberating to be on my own.

Why would I rush into corrupting that by entering the dating game?

No, I'm Not Dating - And That's Okay

Secondly and most importantly, I only get my kids half of the time. When I’m with my kids, I’m with my kids. And with a tween on my hands, there is only so much more time I have with him. Soon, he’ll be way too cool for his mom. His personal life will get in the way of our time together. I have to be with him now, fully present while he still wants to spend time with me. I can’t afford the distraction of a blossoming relationship getting in between my kids and me.

You could argue that I could keep both separate. I could date when I’m away from my kids and be with my kids when they’re with me. Well, that’s easier said than done. Relationships are hard for a reason, because they take work. They take consistency, time, attention. That would be time and attention I’d normally be giving to my kids. I’d essentially have to choose one over the other.

Third, dating in your 30’s is awkward.

Especially for someone like me who’s been out of the game since I was 18, works from home, and is an introvert at heart. The odds are really stacked against me.

I don’t meet new people often. I live in a small town and don’t really get out much. You’d think dating apps like Bumble and Hinge would be picture-perfect for someone in my situation. My actual situation is the entire reason dating sites and apps were created.

Admittedly, I dabbled in the dating app game fresh off my separation. I’ve used a few different platforms, made a number of connections, but inevitably delete my accounts and apps altogether. They just don’t work for me. It’s just not how I want to establish connections when it comes to finding a potential suitor.

Let’s not even begin to talk about the risks involved in cyber-dating. Catfishing is a real thing, plus there is a certain amount of danger involved in establishing those kinds of anonymous connections. Not to mention involving a strange person in the lives of my children seems completely unnecessary at this point.

Now, this doesn’t mean I’m some crotchety spinster who’s renounced love altogether. I still very much believe I’ll find happiness in the company of a constant companion sometime down the line. It’s just not in the cards for me right now. Maybe not next year either, or the year after.

And that’s okay.

My identity isn’t defined by my significant other, or lack thereof. As my life is now, I believe myself to be a better person on my own.

I’m certain I’m a better mother in my current situation, and that’s of the utmost importance.

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Jess is a born and raised Iowan who has lived in Vinton for the past 10 years. She has two children, 10-year-old Landon and 4-year-old Fynnlee. Jess attended Kirkwood and UNI and now operates an in-home daycare. She considers herself an independent author and has self-published a few eBooks. She enjoys attending Landon’s sporting events, spending time with her family, as well as writing and reading in her free time.

2 COMMENTS

  1. This hits home with me! I haven’t dated and I don’t feel lead to dating again. Maybe in the future but right now – it’s me and the kid gang I created! I’m perfectly happy. Don’t get me wrong I have my days when stuff needs fixed that I don’t want to deal with or financially being the only income but it always works out. I don’t advertise I’m single by making posts on social media announcing it, it’s just a fact of a part of my life! My kids are so great about keeping me busy and keeping my heart full! They are enough and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything! Thank you for this article!

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