But what chance is there, really?

@wiccania (3360)
United States
September 24, 2010 6:39pm CST
So, I'm a single mom with a son who has Autism. The girls at work keep telling me to start dating. Ok, I've thought about it and I would love to start dating again. But then I think about my son's father and how things ended with him, let's just sum it up with "badly." The first (and only) guy I've dated since then broke up with me because he "couldn't deal with my son's behavior issues." Now, my son is a good kid, most of the time. Doesn't have what I'd call behavior issues more than the average kid. The issues my recent ex had were when my son would do something repetitively that he found annoying, like play back the same scene from a movie on his portable dvd player or my laptop over and over and over again. Yes, it's annoying, but it comes with the territory. Now, there's a customer where I work who comes in several times a week. Whenever he comes in, he stops to talk to me, we chat, we laugh. He's a nice guy. My co-workers are now telling me I should date this guy. He's a good looking guy, older than I am and like I said, a really nice guy. He found out recently that I'm a single mom (apparently he thought I had a boyfriend or husband) and a few days later in our chat mentioned that he loves kids and that he wants kids whether it be having his own or marrying a single mom. Sounds great, right? So I'm thinking about giving him my number and maybe moving our "relationship" beyond the cashier/customer thing to something that doesn't involve the phrase "did you find everything you were looking for?" and it hits. Really? Is there even a possibility of having a loving, long-term relationship at this stage of the game? I mean, I'm a 30-something single mom with a special needs child. In order to be home when my son needs me, I can't work a full time job. When it comes to just dating, I can't often go out before my son goes to bed (babysitting restrictions), so the date doesn't start till 9:30 - 10pm. I don't receive child support, so it's all on me. Are there really guys signing up for that? Maybe I have a poor view of the male population, but I can't imagine that there are many men out there who want to take up the lease on another man's responsibility. Thoughts?
3 people like this
11 responses
• Canada
25 Sep 10
No, no, no! Stop doubting! Go for it! It may not be happily ever after, but it sounds better than the opportunities many people have. There are people out there capable of seeing people with autism for who they really are, and loving them. This may be that guy for your child. I strongly suggest finding a babysitter who is working on a teaching or special ed. degree who needs the experience with children who have varying abilities and challenges so that you can go out earlier in the evening. I babysit for a couple of families whose children have autism and Asberger's and I love those kids almost like they were my own. Don't miss out on this! Good luck!
@wiccania (3360)
• United States
25 Sep 10
My babysitters are my mom and my sister since they're the only people my son will accept being left home with. Since we live with my parents right now, mom doesn't mind me going out sometimes after he's in bed, or occasionally earlier in the evening. But you're right, maybe I should be more open to the possibility...
• Canada
25 Sep 10
The woman I babysit for, her son is almost non-verbal. He can communicate hunger, and when he has to go to the bathroom, and tell his little sister "no" when he doesn't want to play anymore, but that's about it. So she is very careful about who she leaves him with. She asks for criminal records checks and experience with children on the autism spectrum. Her daughter is now old enough to tell her if anything "fishy" is going on, so perhaps she will relax on the criminal records checks. The fact is, you are a great mom for putting your son first, and taking care of his needs! I often wonder if I would have the resources to parent a child who struggled with learning or social/sensory difficulties (although I love babysitting all children) and I admire people like you who devote themselves to their kids. I just think you deserve to be happy.
@angelican (195)
• United States
25 Sep 10
I was a single mom raising 4 children. My next to the oldest has Torrets. That is annoying!! I was in the same boat you are in and I had decided I would not date untill all my children were full grown. Of course, I don't expect my one son to ever leave home. I was not looking for anyone but one day I met someone and we hit it off. He has 2 kids, every other weekend and mine are 4 full time. There father had passed away so they also had those emotions going through them but 5 months later we were married. Yes that was fast and every now and then he wonders what the he** he was thinking but he is wonderfull and is great with the kids. There is a lot of great guys out there and you deserve some happenes for yourself. I know I have appreciated the help my husband has gave me and I look back and wonder how I would ever do this without him. Good luck!
@wiccania (3360)
• United States
25 Sep 10
Sounds like you found a winner! Thank you for your insight, it gives me hope.
• United States
25 Sep 10
I am sure there is a man out there for you. You need to let this man have your phone number so you can talk to him during home hours. You can invite him over to sit on the porch if you don't want to invite him in your home. Or ask him to an early dinner with your son at your sons favorite place to eat. Let him take it from there. You can't make your son the reason you may not make it with a new man. Some people are not built for the care of special needs kids. That is fine let them move on. But,there is someone that is out there waiting to bring joy into both of your lives. Give the man the number already you have nothing to lose.
@wiccania (3360)
• United States
25 Sep 10
You're right, I really should just give him my phone number and take a chance.
@maezee (33460)
• United States
25 Sep 10
I don't have a lot of experience with this kind of situation, so you can disregard it if you like. But there HAS to be someone out there who appreciates your situation and you as a person. I think that there's no way you can isolate yourself from men for the rest of your life, just because you fear they won't accept you and your family. If they aren't mature enough to handle it, drop them and move on! You have to find time in your life to be open to love. Sometimes the flirting between "cashier" and "customer" (I have been in the EXACT same position with an older guy) can be all talk and no action. But it could always progress into something more, you never know! Just be open to it! And once you find a half-decent guy who appreciates you and loves you and your son - you'll be happy you did!
@wiccania (3360)
• United States
25 Sep 10
Thank you for your response. You're right, the flirting thing is sometimes nothing at all. But I've noticed that this guy is opening up about himself to me lately, too. Even came close to crying right there in front of me one day when he was talking about his dog (who is old and having some serious health issues). Maybe I should just give him my phone number and see what happens...
@cher913 (25890)
• Canada
24 Sep 10
dont sell this guy too short, he may turn out to be a winner. what about a dating site?
@wiccania (3360)
• United States
25 Sep 10
That's true, he could be a winner. He seems like a really nice guy, and he makes me laugh. I hate dating sites. I've had nothing but bad luck at dating sites.
@kkropat (29)
• Canada
24 Sep 10
My oldest son has Asperger's and some time ago I was in the same predicament as you. I got pregnant with him as a senior in high school, his father left when he was 3 and moved to Arizona. Currently, he is in jail in New Mexico. Since then, I found it hard to manage any sort of social life between working and caring for him. Many times I'd have to leave work because he had an outburst on the babysitter or at school. I dated 4 men, since his father, before I found the keeper. He accepts my son as his own and we even have 2 more boys together. Oddly enough, we met through Yahoo! Personals.The best advice I can give you is take it slow. Spend some time talking on a one to one basis, outside of the work environment. Get a feel for what his intentions are and where his heart lies before you make a move. If this doesn't work out, you can always try attending Autism support groups and possibly meet a single father whom understand everything you are going through.
@wiccania (3360)
• United States
25 Sep 10
Thank you for your insight. It's nice to know that there actually are some guys out there who won't have a problem with it.
@Foxxee (3653)
• United States
17 Oct 10
So, you have a son who has Autism. That shouldn't stop you from dating. How willl you ever know if this guy can handle your son or not unless you try? I would go for it. If it doesn't work out, just remember you were better off without that person anyway. Yes it is a hard job raising a child with a disability & yes sometimes people run for the hills when they hear the word "Autism" or any disorder at that, but there are also lots of men out there that would love the challenge & would be a wonderful person to you & your son, but this you will never know if you don't take the first steps. Good luck & don't think so negative, I'm sure you will find that someone who will accept you both. If not, well, then maybe this is just the life path your suppose to take.. Good luck again.
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
1 Oct 10
There are a lot of frogs out there, but there are a few princes too. You will never know unless you give the guy a chance. So let him know about your son, and see what his reaction is.
@Devilova (5396)
• Indonesia
27 Sep 10
When love come to someone, they won't care about what, who or however the one that they love. Did He know about your son?? You only told that you are a single mom, and He look like still attracted with you. If that feel are torturing you, better to tell the truth about your son. Before the love come to you, while He can't accept your conditions. End the torment by doing a torment, whether for you or for Him. Sometime slowly can be good,but not always.When we talk about heart and feeling. But it's only my opinion, all is upto you. All the best
@bird123 (10518)
• United States
25 Sep 10
Instead of thinking about all the reasons it won't work, try thinking of the reasons it will. True love comes packaged for what is really needed for both. Even your son could have things to teach your new man. Perhaps a good male influence would help you and your son grow. So much of the view you simply can not see. Stop living in a box full of excuses.Change can be a good thing. Life is about learning and growing. Can you really do that without interaction and change??????
@LaurenInLA (2272)
• United States
25 Sep 10
I think that any man who is really a man is falling in love with you for who you are. If his thought is that he cares about you but doesn't want to accept your son as part of the package then I think that you have to realize that he really doesn't love you at all. Someone who loves you will do anything in this world to be with you. That is unconditional love and that is the kind of love that we all deserve. I had never been married when I met my husband of 38 years. Marrying him came with the responsibility of committing my resources to a child from a former marriage and I loved him enough to marry him child, ex-wife drama and all. Go for it.