“It’s not you it’s me”

“I slept with someone else”

“I think we should break up…”

Lines we’ve all heard, or delivered at some point I imagine. Unless you’re one of those really lucky people who met the love of their life in primary school and are still blissfully happy to this day. Ps – I don’t like you. However there is one thing I’ve discovered to be harder then bog standard dating, and that’s dating as a single parent. 

Dating as a single parent..that’s a chapter that isn’t in ANY parenting manuals, and I should know – I’ve looked. 

Admittedly 2016 has been quiet on the dating front, in that I’ve not been left in a bar with a £200 tab and an aubergine that is. However more than once I have sat in our regular coffee shop with my not so regular friend and pondered whether or not I am refusing to settle or just plain old afraid to settle. 

As 2016 draws to a close and my relationship status, as is becoming the norm, reads “Single” I am coming round to the idea that maybe I’m a bit of both. 

I like to compartmentalise my life (it helps my inner control freak feel more in control) and dating does not fall out with that. On a daily basis I am a working parent, I am mum and dad to #3, I read parenting books in the hope I better understand #1’s attitude, I drink during the week and feel guilty for shouting. I am in constant overload. When I don’t have the girls it’s nice to not be the person who hasn’t brushed their hair that day or the one with spaghetti sauce on her trousers. It’s nice to go out and have a conversation about something other than my children’s sleeping (or lack of) patterns. There’s also the fear that whoever does come along will somehow change who we are as a family. We’ve been as we are for so long that we’re a pretty solid unit, we know how to get by day to day and who needs to be where and we all fit just nicely in my bed for a cuddle and someone coming in would disrupt that dynamic in a way I’m not sure I’m ready for. 

There’s also the (almost microscopic) compartment with in my head that still believes in love at first sight. The sort of love where you ‘just know’ that this person is the right person. 

I refuse to believe that anyones sights are set too high, and I refuse to believe we are searching for perfection because I am more than aware that perfection doesn’t exist and nor should it. It’s just, well, I refuse to settle….it seems the microscopic romantic within just isn’t satisfied as of yet. 

Afraid to settle, or refusing to settle? Well I’ll happily admit that right now I’m both. Although it would be nice if the man to satisfy my eternal romanticism comes along and just so happens to never want to cohabit. 

Here’s to 2017 and more dating adventures…just hopefully with no aubergines.