Love and the Unwed Mom

Today while listening to Pandora Radio Dean Martin's song entitled 'You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You' came on. I have been thinking about my romantic future lately. Listening to this song reminded me of what it is like to be in love and feel secure with someone else. It has been a very long time since I have felt what Dean so beautifully sings about.

When you have a baby out of wedlock (like I did) there is no certainty with a significant other. There are no legal or financial ties to you and the other parent of your child. Because you had a baby together, you may find yourself pouring effort into a relationship the other person has no interest in lifting a finger to make work. What then? Do you continue running yourself ragged to cater to this other person because you had a baby together or do you set yourself free? It seems like the obvious answer is to choose being alone, but there is no guarantee that being alone will bring happiness. It does at the very least mean you won't be forcibly miserable at the hands of another person.

My parents had a very volatile divorce and I constantly worry about recreating the experience for my daughter. Her father and I have a tenuous relationship at best, but I try to keep it together so she can have two parents. I ask myself repeatedly whether it is better to be raised by two biological parents who fight all the time or by one parent doing it solo who creates a more positive environment. I tend to think the later is better, but I haven't been decisive enough about it. What if I'm wrong? I'm making decisions for two lives now and I don't want to make mistakes that negatively impact the person Merle grows up to be.

I selfishly wonder about a future for myself too. Should I abandon all hope of finding love and marriage because I had a baby out of wedlock? Merle's father and I will never have that kind of relationship. It would also be difficult to find someone who not only loves me, but loves my daughter as their own. The probability of finding a man like that is nearly zero and the love and acceptance of Merle is not something that can be compromised on.

The only option remaining is being on my own indefinitely. I don't mind it so much, because it means I get to focus a lifetime of attention on Merle, but sometimes I dream of how nice it would be to be feel loved in a romantic way again. As Dean Martin sings, "You may be king, you may possess the world and it's gold but gold won't bring you happiness when you're growing old."

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