We have all read numerous articles about the single mum looking for love who will put their kids before any man who dares to steal her heart. We all know this to be true. What no one ever talks about is that period of time where life as you know it, has changed. The person whom you thought you would be with forever is either around but not in the way you want or nowhere to be seen. Soon, enough time has passed where you think to yourself, “I need to see what’s out there for ME!” Your children have assimilated to it being just you and them and then you take that step. Yes, THE step that you have been thinking about for a while. You enter the realms of online dating!
So you took the step and that’s as far as you get. As a single Muslim mama you have a plethora of apps, which you quickly discover that they present you with a myriad of questions about your physical appearance, faith, hobbies, interests, how many hairs you have on your left toe etc. Ok, maybe not the last one but you get the idea. You begin to fill out these long forms in the hope that you will find your perfect match. Whether it be Minder, Muzmatch or you have decided to brave Tinder, you talk to several men … maybe even several dozen.
You imagined intellectual conversation and being wined and dined. The reality is, you’re fielding several men at any one time and when you do finally meet one for a non-committal coffee (because no one does dinner any more until they are sure they haven’t been catfished and have labelled their relationship), you discover that they were better through a screen than in person. You eventually meet someone with potential; however, as a single mum, you enter what I like to call the’ Double Cream’ paradox.
Let me explain… you meet someone you have a connection with but you are not yet sure that this is the person you see a long term future with. In essence, without meaning to, you end up concealing your relationship from your children as you only want to introduce them to a person whom you are sure will be a permanent fixture in your family’s life. You end up living two separate lives: one with your new partner and one with your children.
Sometimes, just sometimes, this goes so well that you feel like you don’t want to come to a decision about progressing your relationship. This is not because you have bad intentions or don’t feel ready. It’s simply because you are enjoying the moment where your partner and your children experience a separate version of you …. Double Cream.