Single parent dating, I just can’t be bothered.

When I ditched the dating apps at the beginning of the year, I told myself that I would have three months off and then I would re-open some of my accounts, potentially explore some different apps and start swiping again.  Oh, the delights of dating like a millennial!

Now that these three months are up, I am just not sure I can be bothered.   Online dating apps are so bloody boring, conversations can be so tedious, meeting these guys in person can be so disappointing that I just can’t summon up the enthusiasm. 

I did have a couple of interesting dates, and an on-off theatre and drinking partner for a bit of last year.  Neither of these rendez-vous really led to anything, they were never going to, but if it weren’t for these two guys I would have signed up for celibacy by now.   Anyone know of a celibacy cult?  I am staunchly secular, so no religious suggestions please.

I am really quite good at being single.  I enjoy my own company.  I enjoy my evenings when Cygnet is in bed and I can sit with a glass of wine, my blog, a book, my podcasts or Holby City on catch up (my guilty pleasure).

Being single means I can have my dinner with Cygnet at about 6:30pm.  We both have a bath.  I lie  with him until he falls asleep, then I sit down on the sofa in my pyjamas by about 8:30pm.  I can’t imagine being able to do that with a partner.

Being single means that my sheets just don’t get dirty.  Sharing a bed with a man means you have to change your sheets weekly because they start to smell.  Sorry guys! Being single means that I can change them fortnightly or even every three weeks.  It’s brilliant!

And then there’s the fact that relationships can be really tough sometimes.  Although you may love your partner and can’t imagine life without them, sometimes you might not like them very much.  Relationships can be hard work.  You really have to put time and effort into them.  Being single, I don’t need to do that. 

single parent dating

Then we come to Cygnet, the centre of my universe.  Cygnet really likes monopolising my attention on the days that we are together.  Today, for example, we had breakfast together. We got dressed.  He played with his cars in my room whilst I put my make-up on.  We got the train and then the underground (his favourite) to London Transport Museum. 

We spent a couple of hours climbing on real buses and trains and we had some lunch before getting the train home.  We then played football near the garages (I await the complaints from the spinsters downstairs) and planted some broad beans and sweet peas that we are now growing on the kitchen window sill.  We came in and I cooked some wiggly worm pasta (which ordinary people call spaghetti bolognese) for our tea.  I short, we spent the whole day together, just the two of us.  He loves the one-on-one attention and I love it too.

Cygnet is only two and a half and I can see that he really enjoys spending time with me.  It is really flattering.  I always want to spend time with him. I yearn to spend more time with him. In fact, I often ponder calling in sick at work so that we can spend more time together.  I have pulled a sickie on a couple of occasions. 

I know that things would be very different if I introduced a new partner into the equation.

Cygnet’s father has just introduced another new girlfriend.  The first time this happened, I found the prospect of a step-mother entering the co-parenting relationship really tough, but I don’t think that Cygnet really registered.  He had only just turned one. 

This time around I am fine with it, we’ve been here before, but Cygnet has definitely registered.  Cygnet has registered that there is a woman in Daddy’s bed.  Daddy will no longer take Cygnet into his bed when he wakes in the night.  Cygnet has been demoted, and although he cannot vocalise it, he knows it. 

Don’t get me wrong, Cygnet still likes going to his Daddy’s house (he’s allowed to take a lollipop to bed, what two year old would not like that?), but his enthusiasm has been diluted.  When Cygnet returns from his time with his Daddy I get “I love you Mummy” and big hugs and kisses over and over.  It feels very special. 

I do know that by the time Cygnet reaches six or so, his Daddy will be more important to him than his Mummy.  I know that by the time he is ten he will just want to spend time on his video games or with his friends.  I suspect by the time Cygnet is a teenager, he will be embarrassed to be seen with either of his parents. 

I know that it is a long way off, but I am dreading the time when I need Cygnet more than Cygnet needs me.  I know that having a partner would ease this transition.  The last thing I would ever want to be is a needy single mother who puts emotional pressure on her son. 

I suspect I am worrying prematurely.

I am still pondering the to date or not to date dilemma. Being single certainly isn’t something that I aspire to be forever, but getting coupled again really doesn’t seem like the easy option.    

And the dating apps themselves?  Well, maybe I just need to look at things differently;  they are tedious, they are mundane, they can give you repetitive strain injury from all of the swiping (usually left), but they do at least provide some good stories and anecdotes that I can blog about.

You guys, I am doing this for you.  I hope that you appreciate it!

PS.  A Feminist’s take on a decade of dating, “I want you for my sex toy“, To the men of Tinder, this is why I didn’t reply

Brilliant blog posts on

Accidental Hipster Mum


  1. April 20, 2017 / 5:33 pm

    Aw. Your day out with Cygnet sounds lovely! I know exactly what you mean about the changing dynamic when you introduce a new partner though. Whether we like it or not there is going to a division of our time which affects our relationship with the kids. It’s a real dilemma. I do tend to let myself get caught up in thinking that I’m lonely but actually, when the kids are with their dad I really do mostly just love it and appreciate every second! Time to read! In broad daylight! Miraculous! I’ve still got my toe half-heartedly in the water though…
    Sam recently posted…The Truth about… #99My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      April 20, 2017 / 9:05 pm

      Thank you Sam. Sometimes we all need some time to ourselves, and I get the impression you don’t get much time to yourself at all. Take care.
      Pen x

  2. April 22, 2017 / 7:34 am

    It’s been many years since I’ve had the delights of the dating app but I remember the first thrill of the winks and after a couple of months realising that most men on there are dull dull dull, and/or players. What will be will be and enjoying the time with cygnet is precious, you’re a fab mum.
    Mainy recently posted…Is social media and technology affecting your family?My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      April 23, 2017 / 8:26 pm

      Thank you for such a lovely comment Mainy. Pen x

  3. April 22, 2017 / 7:52 am

    You have to be in the right place with your life for a relationship to work, it takes a lot of time and effort. I was worried when I got with my new partner about the effect on the children but he is a better dad than I ever hoped for and now we have a son too but he thinks of all 3 as his children equally. #blogstravaganza
    Musings of a tired mummy…zzz… recently posted…Five things I’m looking forward to next week (Friday 21st April)My Profile

    • thesingleswan
      April 23, 2017 / 8:24 pm

      Ah, that is lovely. I am really glad you found such a wonderful man. Pen x

  4. April 23, 2017 / 12:04 pm

    You’re so right about men smelling, I have to change our sheets every 5-7 days – usually 5! It’s so annoying! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx

    • thesingleswan
      April 23, 2017 / 8:19 pm

      Brilliant! And well done for changing the sheets so often. pen x

  5. April 23, 2017 / 8:39 pm

    I totally get this! I’m not single, but me and the kids Dad did spend some time apart when Amelia was 9-18 months old (long story, we’re cool now!) during that time, I loved being ‘single’, and there are days now that I just wish he would bugger off (in a very loving way, obvs!!) and leave me with my babies. Sometimes it’s like having another kid vying for your attention, and I am often heard yelling “right ALL of you – that includes YOU (him!) – stop talking to me at once! One at a time, under 5’s first. Go!” A friend of mine does this ” I want to date I don’t want to date” dance often too. Her girls are 5 and 7 now, and I think part of her feels like she ‘should’ now because they are older, but a bigger part of her just likes her own space. You have to be ready, and when the time/person is right, you will know. xxx
    Aleena recently posted…Sometimes My Kids Are Bastards, And That’s Ok!My Profile

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