Dear Daisy: What Advice Would You Give To A Single Mum Looking To Find Mr Right?

Dear Daisy: What Advice Would You Give To A Single Mum Looking To Find Mr Right?


by Daisy Buchanan |
Published on

Dear Daisy is our new agony aunt column, where Daisy Buchanan answers all of your big questions, from how to be more assertive to how to move on from sexual assault. Daisy's first job in journalism in her twenties was on the problems page at Bliss Magazine. This week she talks about finding Mr Right...

Dear Daisy,

What advice would you give me as a single mum of two young kids, looking to find my Mr. Right? I want to meet someone one day who will want be for exactly who I am, but not because I need someone; because I fancy someone. Should I casually but pro-actively date a lot of people at once? Or sit back and see what comes along? I haven't been single for over a decade. What's happening for women in their mid-thirties who are newly single but with two young kids in tow? Thanks, lovely!

Julia xxx

Dear Julia,

This is a brilliant question, and one that affects many of us. I suspect it’s at the forefront of people’s minds as January looms and we start wondering ‘What do I want from 2016?’ For what it’s worth, I think ‘find someone to fancy who fancies me back’ is a much better resolution than ‘read entire Booker longlist’ or ‘Do Beyoncé cleanse’! A joyful, consensual flirt is what makes the world go round. Meeting someone hot, nice, reliable enough to relax around but intriguing enough to make you a bit fluttery-nervous when they text, is what I wish for all the single ladies who are looking. Dating should be jolly.

I’m delighted that you know exactly how you feel about this enterprise - ‘not because I need someone; because I fancy someone,’ is the dating mantra we should all get tattoos of. You know yourself well, and I suspect that as a parent, you’ve become intolerant of bullshit. I’m not a Mum, but all the Mums I know have a serene, almost spiritual sense of what’s important and what isn’t. Children being alive and fed are at one end of the scale, and parking tickets, laddered tights and ‘OMG WHY HASN’T HE MESSAGED?’ are very much at the other.

You sound like a woman who very much is in charge of her life, and with that in mind, I say get online! It is a bit daunting if you haven’t done it before, but romantically it’s where opportunity lives. If you buy groceries online, talk to your friends there, listen to music, book cinema tickets and watch Drag Race, you’re comfortable using the internet and dating sites feel surprisingly organic.

If you’ve not dated for a decade, casual is definitely the way to go. Remember that Columbus discovered America by accident, and you’re about to get into your love boat (sorry) and see if there are any islands you like the look of. If you think that you’re undertaking a life changing voyage, you’re going to spend many months feeling alone and at sea.

Personally, I believe that it’s brilliant to date more than one person at once, as long as you’re communicating clearly, not letting anyone overestimate their importance in your life and practising safer sex with the people you’re sleeping with. Dating a different person every night of the week can be exhausting, and it’s can be difficult to remember who’s who. You might get caught out with ‘Andrew = likes dogs!’ scrawled in Biro on your forearm. But seeing a few different people at a time gives you some perspective on your own expectations.

As you know, when it comes to picking a site there are hundreds and thousands of options. When I researched my dating book, Meeting Your Match, I discovered a specific dating site for amateur and professional clowns. (If I was single, I’d have been tempted. Perhaps I could have found someone to love my size 8 feet.) It makes sense to pick a sensible site and something sillier. Be as specific as you like in your profile, and don’t be afraid to talk about motherhood. In 2015, there are millions of single people who had children when they were in a long term relationship where things didn’t work out. Most smart, sensitive people understand that life happens. Having children is a huge, wonderful element of that, and it makes you who you are.

At times, dating will be difficult. There are potentially thousands of great people out there who would love to get to know you, but there might be a couple of jellyfish and vampires out there when you cast your net. Bad dates have been happening long before anyone logged into, and you might meet bores and baddies online, but equally you might meet them in your local pub. I think your strong sense of who you are and what you’re looking for will come into play here. If anyone makes you feel weird, unsettled and uncomfortable, you’re allowed to bail immediately. As a parent, I imagine you don’t have much free time and it’s far too precious to waste on attempting to fancy oddballs.

I hope that you meet someone incredible, and this time next year you’re in love with a person who makes your heart sing because they’re funny and fanciable and think you’re amazing. However, even if you’re still single, dating will have enhanced your life. You’ll know even more about what makes you happy and sad, how your mind works and who you’re drawn to. Dating makes us wise. No matter what happens, you know the big lesson already. You’re perfect as you are, and you don’t need anyone to complete the picture - hopefully you’ll meet someone who’ll enhance it.

Good luck!

Lots of love,

Daisy xxx

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