The dating world in itself, even if it is fun, is quite challenging. Getting into it is all about putting forward your best self, making yourself look and sound attractive.
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But at the same time, dating is also about vulnerability. After all, sometimes you have to expose yourself to scrutiny and judgment before you can find someone who can accept you as you are. This can involve hanging out, doing things together, long conversations and, perhaps, even fights. These are things that can make you even more vulnerable than when you began! It seems that dating is something that requires slowly peeling protective layers off of yourself, both literally and figuratively. And pregnancy can make that peeling off a bit less comfortable than usual.
This may make dating daunting for the pregnant mom who wants to go out on dates.
It is, after all, fun to go out, flirt and get to know people. One of the reasons why some men would rather not date women who are pregnant is that there is always the possibility of that ex, the baby daddy, getting in the way of the relationship. This is partially because many still perceive pregnancy as a sort-of territorial mark, although this is hardly accurate. After all, it may be an accidental pregnancy from a non-committed relationship.
The relationship may have taken a natural end during the pregnancy. Some excess baggage is understandable. As a general rule, the expecting mom should always tell, but when she tells is up to her. Some choose to wait. Others tell potential dates straight off the bat about their situation. Honesty is always best in a relationship, after all. If it lasts any longer than a few months, the other person is going to find out anyway. Usually, they meet someone while doing a hobby or at an event and things just hit off.
The online, app-based dating scene can also make things easier in this regard. Pregnancy is often a time for planning and preparation.
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Those who have tried dating while pregnant often find that this mentality carries over to their dates as well! While some did still experience that giddy, romantic flurry, others say that they actually took more time to get to know their dates. This is because a mom-to-be now has something to protect: This can add a bit more depth to during-pregnancy dates.
In fact, some moms even ended up getting into a long-term relationship with someone they met during their pregnancy. Like any relationship, it may take some time to develop. In the meantime, do things together, talk to each other, laugh together. Just enjoy each other's company without any pressure of responsibility. Those who are pregnant want to screen out the jerks early on. After all, the last thing anyone mom wants is to regularly see someone who could pose a harm to her child.
An early warning sign is when the date tends to be jealous and controlling, even in the first few dates. But things can get pretty bad in the long term. Especially of concern are men who use the pregnancy to make the woman do what they want. Yet another thing that dating moms-to-be have to deal with is judgment, whether from peers, potential dates or random strangers. There will be cases where a negative remark might be accurate and worth thinking over.
After all, sometimes judgment can be constructive. But the vast majority of hateful and judgy comments are likely to be inaccurate and more descriptive of a stereotype rather than the truth. There are, after all, quite a few negative stereotypes about single moms, in general. But more so when the single mom is pregnant and is still interested in dating! Some choose to ignore hateful comments, while others confront them.
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The manner of dealing with them depends per person. So chin up and let the haters hate. Sure, it may be fun to hang out with certain people. Even when mom has already screened out all the jerks, come clean regarding the pregnancy and gotten to know someone well, pregnancy seems to wire her to thinking for the really long term. I still find the same sort of fuckboi types attractive, of course—you know the ones: That type of guy is no longer into pursuing me. Thanks to my ever-expanding bump, I can completely avoid the type of partnership that would most likely have ended in a lot of wasted time—and wasted tears.
By making the choice to power ahead with what I know is right for me, I have created an accidental filter that blocks the non-serious and non-committal. Yes, being pregnant on my own cuts down the population of people interested in dating me, but is that such a bad thing?
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Once I noticed the shift I wanted to test this whole theory out on a more measurable scale, so I settled upon a research strategy. I made three online dating accounts on three platforms—Bumble, Tinder and Hinge—because, science. For a hot minute I thought about swiping right on everyone I came across to gather data on a wide sample of the population, but in the end I decided it would be more effective to follow my usual swiping tendencies and study how different the experience actually was while pregnant.
I had tons of matches on all three platforms and, just like always, some were terrible at conversation, ghosted for no reason or seemed great but avoided plans to actually meet. Plus I already had a couple safe, respectful, trustworthy hookup guys in my back pocket for those particularly horny pregnant woman moments. It was more than my delicate pregnant ego could take. I ended up meeting a guy I liked a lot—our first date was at a cool craft brewery at the very start of summer: A couple months later at my ultrasound, I realized that I had unknowingly conceived the day before our first date.
Then he went to travel around Greece for a month, and shortly after I got a positive pregnancy test. I reasoned it was wrong to tell him I was pregnant by a sperm donor via text message, so I avoided the subject in the lengthy conversations we had while he was away.
R returned from Greece almost exactly a month into my pregnancy and I was next-level nervous to see him. We immediately became exclusive, he bought the pregnancy book I was reading and shared his notes without being too imposing on me and my plans, and our dates continued to be as cute as always, just with a few fewer cocktails on my end. Everything was going great, until his friends got involved.