Dating as

I’ve been flying solo since my divorce a few years ago, not long after my son Josh*, now five, was born. I was in my early 30s, single for the first time in 10 years and, after the trauma of a failed marriage, was keen to go out, have some fun and meet new people.And, of course, the only way to find guys if you’re at home every night while your child is asleep is online dating.Aside from the obvious safety issues, nobody expects child-free, single women to be happy with dates in their own living room, so why should I settle for that?I want to meet for coffees in lovely cafes, enjoy walks along the beach and go on amazing nights out that don’t end until the sun comes up.

Then there is simply my lack of free time – my son goes to stay with his dad every other weekend, so I have precisely 48 hours a fortnight to have fun. In truth, I doubt we’re even seen as a great catch and imagine lots of people think I should just settle for whoever I’m lucky enough to get.

Their negativity was surprising and quite upsetting at times. One friend suggested I should just focus on being by myself, while a particularly charming family member questioned why being a mother wasn’t ‘enough for me’.

They even implied that I should wait until my son was 16 – only another 15 years on my own then!

Even if all that happened was a no-strings fling, I was still more interested in what they were like as people – did they have ambition? Well, it turns out there is a whole other layer of disappointment that someone in my position has to deal with.

First up, there was the guy who told me he didn’t really like women with children and it annoyed him that there were so many mums on dating sites – even though I had written it clearly on my profile!

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