Dating as a single mother with chronic illness, I never think ‘I wish I had a man to help me’ – ABC News
From a young age, I was taught I needed to find a man to marry in order to not end up alone in the world.
As a woman, I wasn’t capable of looking after myself – at least that was the message from my Cypriot-Australian culture — I needed a husband to help me do that.
There was no mention of love or sexual or emotional compatibility and connection.
The checklist consisted of other credentials: Did he come from a good family? Did he have a good job? Money? Was he a family man?
When I got married at 22 my relationship ticked all those boxes.
It was great until it all started to feel terribly wrong. And then, 10 years later, I got divorced.
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Dating after divorce
After we split, I explored different casual relationships as a single mother.
These relationships were mostly rooted in sexual chemistry.
It made sense, considering I was never taught anything about sex or sexual compatibility other than it was a sin outside marriage.
It was as if my body was paving a way forward.
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With family ties still strained and stressful complications with co-parenting, after seven years of casual dating, I once again fell into another safe and comfortable relationship.
It ticked all the boxes but left me feeling frustrated and like a dead fish.
I think single mothers, particularly those who suffer from chronic illness, as I do, are vulnerable to gravitating to such relationships out of fear they will not be OK on their own.
But in …….