Q: I'm a 45-year-old single mom, and I had a baby girl on my own from a donor a few years ago. What I'm finding is, I feel guilty going out and dating and leaving my daughter with a sitter on weekend nights. Yet, I feel it is also unhealthy for me not to be out there fulfilling those needs for myself. What should I do?
A: You have nothing to feel guilty about. It is one thing if you are working 24/7 all week and leaving your child for 20 dates on the weekend, but we are talking about a couple hours on a Saturday night or a Sunday afternoon. It is not good for your daughter to be your all-encompassing source of emotional connection. It is too much responsibility for a child. You may think a child can't have too much love, but when they're your only focus, it can really become too much.
Just start out dating slowly—go to coffee with someone, even during the week. Go out to lunch with someone or just try a couple of hours in an afternoon, and work your way up an evening date.
Also, I do hear from a lot of men that they often have concerns about single moms because they are worried about having to manage the biological father or the ex—but in your case (with a donor father), you are drama-free!
I'll bet once you dip your toe in the dating pool, you will enjoy it and meet interesting people. Get back out there!
— Dr. Laura Berman
Printed from Oprah.com on Monday, December 9, 2013