Thanks for welcoming Garcelle Beauvais!
Mom to three sons — Oliver, 21, and 4½-year-old twins Jax and Jaid — Beauvais supports the Step Up Women’s Network and is also active with March of Dimes, Children Uniting Nations and Yéle Haiti Foundation.
She can be found on Twitter @GarcelleB.
In her latest blog, the actress writes about her experiences attempting to date as a single mom.
|Jaid, me, Jax – summer fun! – Courtesy Garcelle Beauvais|
I was so touched by the wonderful feedback that many of you gave me on my last blog. I really appreciate your kind words, and I’m thrilled that sharing my experiences has helped those of you out there who are dealing with a similar situation.
I really believe it’s important to make choices that are best for our individual circumstances, no matter what anyone else may think. So be true to your heart — because no one knows your situation the way you do.
After becoming single again, I thought I should try to get back into the dating game. And I’m not gonna lie — I didn’t like it. There were several reasons.
While I’m so grateful for the career and opportunities I’ve had, being in the public eye is tough because there is no mystery about who I am. After splitting from my ex, I went on a lunch date. I found it odd that this man just talked about himself. Then he said, “I know you’ve been going through a hard time.”
Clearly, he had Googled my name. And yes, that gave him a chance to see pictures of me and to know what roles I’ve played. I’m sure he also read some gossip about me. And while whatever is online doesn’t begin to tell you the story of who I am — or who anyone is for that matter — he acted like he knew everything there was to know about me. It was weird.
On another date, I had dinner with a nice enough man. But the next thing I knew, he called me and asked for my passport number so he could send a driver and surprise me with an international trip. Who does that?! I was blown away. We only went to one dinner! He was persistent, too! But I told him I couldn’t do that. I’m a mother — I can’t just disappear for weeks at a time with a stranger.
As a public person, I can’t Internet date, either. Friends can set me up or I can meet people at events, but cyberspace mingling is out of the question. Some of my friends suggested that I go out with younger men — you know, give the whole cougar thing a try. And I did go out with a few young guys just to see what it would be like, but it didn’t feel right for me.
Then I went out with someone way more famous than me. Of course, I won’t say who it is. We went on exactly one date, but you’d never know that if you saw the tabloids. The press treated it like we were practically registering for china! That can cause problems, too, because it could stop other people from asking me out if they think I’m taken.
But these experiences actually helped me out, because I realized that I really wasn’t prepared to get involved with anyone. I sure as heck wasn’t ready to be intimate with someone, because I felt like I would cry through the whole thing. And that is definitely not sexy. Ha! So about a year ago, I decided to take myself off of the market, at least for the time being.
Once I made this choice, I felt an immense sense of relief. I felt no pressure to fill the void of a romantic relationship with somebody new. I just wanted to work on myself and be the best mom I could be.
|Jax and Jaid – Courtesy Garcelle Beauvais|
By taking that anxiety out of my life, it helped me feel completely relaxed, which has gotten me to a place of being open to meeting someone. While I’m not rushing to get back into another relationship, my heart is now much more open to it.
But I do have some rules. When you come with children, it weeds out men who don’t want to deal with kids, which is fine by me. That goes in the plus column of being a single or divorced parent. My sons are my world. They come first.
Honestly, I don’t want to introduce my kids to anybody, unless it is someone I have dated for a while and we have become serious about each other. I’ve seen many high-profile celebrities with young children go from one person to another, and I question that.
As a parent, I think you need time to reflect. I feel you also need to make sure that your kids are doing well because it’s not just about you. After a breakup, they’re going through a loss as well. I don’t want my kids to think that people are disposable, and if a marriage doesn’t work out, bringing in new romantic partner right away may give off that impression.
Time is needed for healing. And you have to ask yourself if it will hurt the kids to bring someone else into their lives too soon. For me, that answer is yes.
To make this transition better for all of us, I’ve decided that — as I ease back into the dating scene — I will only do so during the times when Jax and Jaid aren’t with me. If I knew someone would be around for a while, and we dated for at least a good six months, then I would consider introducing him to my boys. But I would do it slowly and carefully.
I recently attended a wedding where I sat at a table with a wonderful couple. They are so in love. After chatting with them for a while, the woman told me that she was a single parent with two children when she met her now-husband.
They dated for 10 years, and he was never allowed to sleep at her house because she didn’t feel it was right for the kids. I was so impressed with her for taking such a strong stance on this. And I love that he respected her and the kids so much that he agreed to it! To me, that’s the gold medal of love.
Do I get lonely? Yes. Do I want to eventually snuggle with someone who weighs more than 35 lbs? Absolutely! But I want to attract an emotionally healthy person, and I now know you have to be what you want to attract. And I’m getting closer to being that kind of person every day.
The blessing of taking this time for myself has been that I’ve finally discovered my true self. And now that I have, I feel more confident about what I have to offer as a mother, friend, and future romantic partner.
|Pool time with Jaid and Jax – Courtesy Garcelle Beauvais|
Please share your stories about dating as a single mom in the comments, or send me a Tweet.
Thanks for coming on this journey with me,
– Garcelle Beauvais
P.S. Next blog will be fun — I’ll tell you about my favorite things.