Single Mom Chronicles: Dating Advice... from Teenagers
“Mom, you’re not going to wear THAT, are you?”, my youngest daughter asked while making a face. “Yeah mom, honestly, you look like you are going to the grocery store or something,” chimed in her older sister. “You guys, it’s just a date. I am not going to make a big deal out of it,” I said, turning from side to side in the mirror. Reaching over my head, my youngest grabbed a black dress that looked more disco date than dinner date. “Here mom, wear this,” she said, thrusting it in my face. “No way you guys, it’s too much. I don’t want to look like I’m desperate.” There was a long pause as both daughters looked at each other. “Sit down, mom,” they said in unison. Oh boy, I thought, why did it feel like I was about to get dating advice from my teenagers?
“Mom, you may have been good at this a reeeally long time ago (great, now I am a dinosaur), but this is like, 2015,” explained my youngest daughter patiently. “Yep mom, she’s right. Things have changed out there. You have to get up to speed,” added my other one. I am not sure why, but suddenly I had a sinking feeling that maybe I should just cancel the date and crawl into bed with a cup of tea (or wine) and do a Netflix marathon. “Mom, you got this,” said my youngest. “We just have to make you look cuter and you have to get some confidence.” “You are totally hot, you know that right?” my older one said convincingly. “I mean ALL my guy friends think you are…” “Whoa people, too much information,” I said, holding up my hands.
Pulling the dress over my head and struggling to wedge my body into it, I whined, “What if things don’t work out? What if he’s weird or I’m just not attracted to him?” “Then text us and we will get you out of it,” they both said, nodding in agreement. “Ugh, this is just too stressful,” I said, plopping down on the bed exasperated. “I just don’t know if I am ready to start dating yet.” There was another long pause as they looked at each other. “I hate to tell you this mom, but you aren’t getting any younger, you NEED to get back out there while you still look good for your age.” (“For your age,” the three words a woman never wants to hear in a sentence.)
Almost in tears now, I start to take off the dress in defeat. “NO mom, you are not chickening out. You’re going!” they both yelled at me. Five minutes later, I was reluctantly heading toward the front door, already regretting that I let them talk me into going through with this. My dress felt way too tight, I was nauseous and I was sweating profusely. “This is going to end badly,” I thought, as I shot my daughters the bravest smile I could manage as I backed out of the driveway. “Mom,” I heard one of them yell. Looking up at the front porch, they were both motioning for me to text them. I waved a confirmation and then off I headed to my first date in almost 17 years.
I didn’t even make it a block before my phone started beeping. At the stoplight I looked down and saw that both of them had messaged saying to text them when I got there. I let out a little laugh amused at how the roles had changed, but also grateful that I had two good excuses if this thing turned into a huge disaster. “Ok, be positive,” I told myself trying to be enthusiastic. “Even if it doesn’t work out, at least you are getting back on the horse.” This was pretty much the conversation that I had with myself for the next few minutes as I made my way through traffic to the restaurant. I pulled into the parking lot looking miserably at all of the cars. “Great, public humiliation,” I said sarcastically, then laughed knowing how both daughters would have scolded me. Speaking of which, I looked down to see endless text messages asking “Are you there yet?”. I just had to laugh because this really was role reversal!
Five minutes later, after I had talked myself into going through with this like 50 times, I strode as confidently into the restaurant as I could. I felt like a wild horse that was ready to bolt at the first opportunity. “Hi,” was the familiar deep voice that I had come to know via some scattered phone calls. Turning around, I found myself standing face to face with a really nice looking guy. I could feel the sweat running down my legs as my purse vibrated incessantly. I think I replied, well I hope I did. It was kind of a blur. I might have just nodded. I know that I at least smiled as I followed him to our table.
My phone kept vibrating, and apparently so did his because he kept glancing at it. Finally, with my best impish smile, I asked, “Do you mind if I text my kids back? They are worried about me,” “Only if I can text mine too,” he said returning my laugh. After we both furiously texted that we were alive and yes, they are cute and no, you don’t have to bail me out just yet, we put down our phones in unison and both cracked up. It seems his teenagers were also giving him dating advice and we spent the better part of the evening laughing about the absurdity of it all. While he didn’t turn out to be Mr. Right, neither one of us ever needed our kids to bail us out.
Single parents: Ever had to get dating advice from your kids? Tell us all about it in the comments!
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