"Our similarities bring us to a common ground; our differences allow us to be fascinated by each other." - Tom Robbins
A more accurate title might have been Sleeping With Money: Don't Date Single Parents, but obviously soccer mom is a better descriptive to get clicks on this post. After all, you're reading it. I rest my case.
Anyway, Amanda was loosely classified as a soccer mom. Technically speaking, she'd have to be a married housewife. She wasn't. She was separated from her husband. But she was a mom and until our fling, I had never dated a mother before. Never again.
Much like Aundi's revelation over at Queercents about the cost of dating a straight woman, there's a price you'll pay dating a single parent. First, you'll never be her priority. Her child or children come first. End of story.
Sidebar: Don't believe me? Then read this edition of the Modern Love series in The New York Times called Me, My Daughter and Them. Or if you prefer, catch the queer version edited weekly by The Gay Recluse. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...
Second, single parents are tapped for time. Of course, Amanda was able to find time to date me with actions imitating the advice listed here: (e.g. schedule a 'date' on a Saturday afternoon, go out for a latte, meet at the gym, etc.). Actually, that's where we first met. At the gym. She worked there. Groan all you like, but yes, I bagged my beautiful, bi-curious trainer. And then I tried to date her. Seriously. What was I thinking?
But the kid always got in the way. Not in spending time together. No, the together time was fine since her young daughter tagged along on many of our outings. And we had a lot of family fun as most of these activities were focused on the four-year-old: days at the beach, Disneyland, Sunday road trips, dinners, G movies, and ice cream... all bankrolled by moi!
So when I say the daughter got in the way, well, she got in the way of our "alone" time. And after the first couple of times alone, it was hard for Amanda to make time for me... of the alone variety. Get the picture. But she always was willing to spend time as a "family" and seemed to appreciate that I paid for everything.
After six months I finally said, "It feels like we're dating, it looks like we're dating, but we're really not dating." If a woman tells you her kid is everything, then what does that make you? I had just become her best friend with a fat wallet and all too willing to open it.
Maybe this post has more to do with me and my co-dependency and thinking back then that I could buy someone's love. If I do all these nice things for her then she'll love me. If I buy her this, then she'll love me. Or at a minimum, sleep with me. I learned that wasn't so with the mommy set.
It was just the kick in the pants that I needed to move on and date single, available lesbians which of course, led to other money lessons from The Year of Nina. Play ball!
Nina blogs about money over at Queercents.