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Jewish Journal

Single Mother or Single Woman?

by Ilana Angel

July 23, 2011 | 7:16 pm

It is Saturday afternoon and I am once again contemplating my dating life. Never a good thing.  While at Whole Foods today, a man approached me and asked if I was Ms. Angel.  When it was established that I was the Ms. Angel from The Jewish Journal, he asked if he could buy me a coffee and we could chat.  It was interesting to say the very least.

His name is Michael and he gave me permission to use his real name and say a little bit about him.  He is 41, going through a divorce, Jewish, and the father to a young son.  He has been married for 11 years, and he is getting divorced because his wife told him she was bored and wanted a more exciting life.  She is in a new relationship.

He is crushed, and not sure how to move forward.  He has tried to date, but finds himself not caring about anything.  He can’t seem to find the energy to bother dating and feels out of respect for his marriage, he should wait until his divorce is final.  I am in touch with my feelings, as a woman, but it was fascinating to hear a man’s perspective.

He read my blog this week about the man who told me he was not willing to waste his time on me if I was not willing to give him oral sex by date number two.  He shared with me that as a man, he was embarrassed for my date.  To be clear, he laughed and thought it was hilarious, but was still mortified I had such a brutal dating experience.

We chatted about dating, sex, marriage, divorce, children, and how to start over after heartbreak.  When all was said and done, I must ask the following: am I a single mother or a single woman?  I’ve never thought about it before, and it’s a valid question.  At the end of the day, I date as a single mother, which is perhaps not the way to go.

By only dating Jewish men, as a way to preserve my faith for my child, am I missing out on love with a man of another faith?  If I don’t date men with young children, so my son does not feel like he is competing for my attention, am I missing out on loving wonderful children in addition to a caring man who loves his kids and being a dad?

I always thought I was open to love, but in the end I am rather rigid in terms of what I am looking for.  I clearly date with my child in mind, which is important to me, but are they rules that ultimately don’t matter to my son?  He will be off to college in three years and I will be here alone, with what I image will be 18 cats, waiting for him to visit.

Like Michael, I can hardly be bothered to go on a date these days.  I go, but it’s more about the blog than a real search for love, and that is pathetic.  My friend Liz, who I have known for over 30 years, asked me something similar after my blowjob date.  Am I seeking out the weird ones so I can have blog fodder, with no real desire to find love?

Have I been alone for so long that I’m done? Is the rest of my life going to be as a single mother without a partner?  It’s been 3 years since I had a boyfriend, and the relationship before that one, which was 6 years, is the last time I was in love.  Dear Lord, am I destined to be alone because I have painted myself into a single mother box?

I am a nice girl.  I am a fabulous cook, a great housekeeper, a brilliant mother, a loyal friend, a success professional, and funny as hell.  I have pretty hair, beautiful eyes, adorable freckles, an appreciation for sarcasm, a tender heart, and at 45, am comfortable with my sexuality.  That is a lot of good stuff to waste by being alone.

To Michael, you are lovely.  Your heart will mend and you will trust yourself to love again.  Instead of worrying about finding love, focus on finding joy.  The love can come later, so just relax.  As for me, it’s Saturday night and I am going out with my bestie Jel.  Tomorrow, I will go online, play the dating game, and truly try to keep the faith.

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