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“What do you do for fun?”

The answer is supposed to be things like hiking, running, going to the gym, biking, traveling, crossfit. Something that lets them know you’re super awesome and love health and adventure and aren’t boring at all. 

Yeah…the answer looks a little different when you’re a mom, especially a single one who has their child 95% of the time. The real answer, not the condensed, vague answer I give on dating apps, is much less appealing to an outsider. 

For fun, I like to read…although I start books and have a hard time finding the time to finish them. I think I have about 3 started at the moment. But my daughter and I read out loud together (we’re reading Nancy Drew at the moment) and I love those times because my mom and I did the same thing.


I like to go to concerts…but this has to be planned in advance so I can make sure I have a babysitter. I have to hope they don’t go too late, because I’m tired. If I have to pick my kid up after, we’re going to be exhausted the next day. Even if I happen to have an overnight babysitter and I don’t have to pick her up until the next day – I’m still tired. Things are different than when I was 21 and could drink as much as I wanted at a show without a care in the world about responsibilities. 

I like to go to movies…but I haven’t seen most adult movies that have come out over the past few years. I have seen probably every kid movie, however. I don’t love them all, but I love the time with my daughter. I know it’s only a matter of time before she’s too cool to go to a movie with me.

I do go to the gym…but this isn’t fun and I would hardly call it a hobby. My daughter goes with me and walks on the treadmill while I try to do what I can before someone comes along and she has to get off the treadmill.

I like to go for walks…but these are typically with my daughter when we are playing Pok√©mon Go.

I like to travel…but if I do manage to go on a trip without my kid, it typically results in at least one anxiety attack. Also, I just don’t have the money to travel often like all you single people. Kids aren’t cheap.

What do I like to do on the weekends? Well, I have 2 jobs. My only day off is Saturday. So I like to sleep in as much as my kid will let me, and then we’ll try to get out and do something fun – like a play date or hanging out with my sisters or shopping (so exciting).

Now, I don’t say any of this because I’m unhappy – quite the opposite. My life and fun revolve around my daughter and I like it that way because I think she’s awesome. But the real answer can be a real turn off before someone even gets to know me, because honestly it doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for things a date could join me in doing.

So please, stop asking single moms what they do for fun. You probably won’t find the answer as exciting as snow boarding, but not being an adventure-seeking triathlete doesn’t mean I don’t bring a lot to the table.

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Expectations vs. Reality

Dating apps are quite literally like window shopping for a significant other. Only imagine that whatever you’re shopping for asks to see what’s under your clothes and gets mad when you do not oblige.

This is part of a little thing I like to call “unrealistic expectations” – along with things like expecting a response within 5 minutes, expecting you to want to meet them immediately, etc. Now, I know women also do this to men. But I have never tried to date a woman on a dating app so I can’t speak to that. I can, however, give a few examples of expectations that just don’t match up with reality that I’ve experienced lately.


Expectation: A compliment for a compliment.

Reality: No.

First of all, let me just tell you that this dude’s name on here was Love Bone. LOVE. BONE. Charming. But second of all – if you’re giving someone a compliment, it should be genuine and not because you’re expecting one back. It never even occurred to me that it was expected to give a compliment back as soon as I get one. That seems like a weird and very insincere practice. I’ll compliment you if I feel like it, and I don’t, because your name is Love Bone.


Expectation: Talk about sex first thing all day every day all the time.

Reality: Also no.

This text exchange looks like I’m being sassy right off the bat, and I am – but it’s because this same guy had messaged me 3 times before from different accounts asking if I like younger guys. (Also, yes I realize I spelled “truth” wrong, but whatever.) Maybe I set myself up for failure by even responding to the truth or dare question, but answering “truth” isn’t my consent to talk about anything sexual. Also in my profile where I say I’m not here for hookups – that should maybe give you some pause before you send something like this. Move along, cactus.


Expectation: Send pics on demand.

Reality: How bout NO. (Said in my best Dr. Evil voice. Yeah, I still reference Austin Powers movies – come at me, bro.)

Just so much to say about this one. You don’t need another pic of me besides the 5 I have on my profile if you haven’t even tried to get to know me. Also – I really don’t have a lot of selfies saved, that wasn’t a lie. The ones I have saved are probably on my profile. The other big, obvious point here – do you REALLY think if I was a catfish, I’d choose to impersonate a single mom who loves to eat? Are you out of your goddamn mind? I mean, I’m not a bad catch, but I would choose to be someone way more interesting like a 5’11 bikini model who is also a super smart scientist. Come on man. Common sense.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Nicole, you’re way too sassy and hard on these guys. No wonder you’re single.” To that I say – maybe I am. Maybe I am a lot to handle. But I have just enough hopeless romantic in me to believe that whoever my soulmate is, he can handle it, and even thinks I am funny when I am insulting. It’s just too bad that he is currently lost in a jungle somewhere and unable to find me.

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Two basic rules for messaging me on a dating app.

Rule #1: Read my profile. I spent time on it, and there’s some good stuff in there. Also useful info in there – like the fact that I’m a mom, and the fact that I love Ben Stiller.
Rule #2: Don’t message me if you’ve talked to or dated one of my sisters. They are usually in one of my dating app pics so it shouldn’t be hard to follow this rule.

These seem simple enough. I’m not a demanding girl. I don’t have height requirements, or anything like that. But men even seem to have trouble with just these two things, which I would think are common courtesy/common sense. For example, I got a message from this dude. For the sake of anonymity, we will call him HP. The message just said “hi”, but his picture looked familiar so I went to his profile. My sister dated HP a few years ago. I met him I believe more than once. And this dude messaged me. I rolled my eyes about that, and then I rolled my eyes even harder when I saw this part of his profile:


Well, kiddo, guess what. I DO have a kid. Which you should know number one from meeting me, and number two FROM MY PROFILE. So because he turned out to be an even bigger d-bag than I already thought, I decided to message him back.

Thanks for that condescending remark, HP! I’m sure I’ll find SOMEONE. I blocked him before he could respond to my last message. If he said something mean about my sister I would have to show up at his job and say some really mean things and like I’ve already said – I want you to think of me as a proper lady. I don’t want to have to point out all the douchey stuff he said and did when my sister didn’t want to date him anymore (“I almost loved you”).

Believe it or not, this is not the first time someone has messaged me that has talked to or dated a sister. I don’t know if it’s that they’re too lazy to look at all my pics (which they shouldn’t be – I pick them because they’re good pics, dammit) or if it’s that they think maybe I won’t care? Surprisingly enough, I do care. My sisters are beautiful, smart, wonderful women – and if they found something wrong with you, I probably hate you because I’m the most critical of the 3. This may be one of my flaws, but you probably deserve it. Also, you are probably a disgusting man if you think we’d be okay with sharing men. What would your mother think?? Give me her number, I’ll call her and tell her. I’ll tell your grandma, too. DISHONOR ON YOUR FAMILY.

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Let me sum it up for you.

Dating as a single mom sucks.

Well, dating in general sucks. But it’s worse as a single mom. Let me show you in a single picture just how much it sucks:

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I won’t post my strongly worded response, because I don’t want you to think of me as anything less than a proper lady, but this is the reality. Unibrowed children making rude comments on the internet.

“Why do online dating then? You’re setting yourself up for things like this.” Well, let me tell you, whoever you are. Because what else am I supposed to do? On top of working two jobs, I also have my kid almost all of the time. My free time is limited to a couple of hours on a couple of week days, except for probably once a month when my daughter stays a weekend with her grandparents. Not that I am complaining about this – I love having my daughter that often. Well, apart from those times when she won’t get off me and won’t eat her food and DEAR GOD IF I HAVE TO LISTEN TO ONE MORE MINECRAFT STORY…..but those are not frequent times, thankfully. This really doesn’t leave me with a whole lot of time for activities where I would meet single men, unless my kid ends up with a hot teacher one year (fingers crossed, honestly). I always said I would never do online dating, but here I am. I currently have two dating apps downloaded on my phone. I’ve been on them on and off for probably almost a year now and clearly haven’t had any success. Some people seem to really have success on these – I know a couple who met on one and just recently got married and are expecting a baby. I think that’s why I keep trying them. I’m holding out hope that I too can somehow sift through the worst humans on Earth and find a decent one. And while I don’t need a man in my life (my dad and stepdad do all the man stuff for me), life does get lonely sometimes. I am extremely allergic to cats so being a cat lady just isn’t an option for me. So here we are.

Will I find a husband on a dating app? Maybe. Will I post all the ridiculous things I encounter in the mean time? Absolutely.