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Photograph: Christopher KitaharaRachel at home with her kids

Single parent dating | Rachel’s diary

A single mother seeks a conservative Christian man to date.


Single parent Rachel, 28, Beverly, straight

A mom with two kids, Rachel recently opened herself to new dating methods—such as meet-up groups and online dating—after feeling stuck in a rut. “At some points it seemed if I didn’t marry the mailman or the cashier at Jewel, I wasn’t getting married,” she says. “Those are the only men I saw.”

December 17 I tried a speed-dating event with Chicago First Dates. One guy was interesting, but he couldn’t get past me being conservative. In the land of liberals, being conservative and pro-life is an instant turnoff. From now on, I’ll introduce myself: “Hi! I’m Rachel. I’m a mother of two, Christian, conservative, enjoy long walks by the lake.”

December 19 My on-and-off boyfriend Jim came over when my kids were home, which is usually a big no-no. My kids miss their own dad, who lives in Texas and is a workaholic. It makes them want to develop a relationship with Jim. It’s painful as a mother. But I feel like Jim could be the one, even though he’s inconsiderate. Recently my best friend died, and I barely heard from him.

December 20 Today I tried online dating on for the first time. In my profile I mentioned my kids and my love for football, cooking, cleaning and shopping. I was appalled by some of things I saw, including guys who say they want just sex. I appreciate your honesty, but no thank you.

December 23 My mother is visiting from Dallas. Free baby-sitter! I went out for drinks with Bill, one of my matches from the dating site. I had a blast: He wasn’t scared about my kids, unlike some men, who think I want them to be fathers when I barely know them.

December 25 Bill and I have been texting a lot over the last few days. Today I sent: “I hope you’re having a Merry Christmas!” I got a text back from a woman who said she is his wife of four years. I was disgusted. I didn’t respond.

December 26 Jim and I were supposed to go out. We argued because he was already an hour late when I got a text saying he’d be here in an hour. We caught a late movie. He was a gentleman, and he didn’t want only sex. Just a little PDA.

December 31 I went to a singles New Year’s Eve party, and met a nice, funny guy. He wasn’t all that attractive, but that’s never been super important to me. I would rather date a guy who smells good and dresses well than a handsome guy who stinks and has raggedy shoes.

January 4 I haven’t seen the NYE guy again yet, but we’ve been texting. Tonight, the singles group I joined on took me to Mabovi, a restaurant in Hazel Crest. I met a single dad who is a teacher for CPS. We talked a lot and exchanged numbers. I hope I get to know him better.

I do wonder sometimes that since I prefer to date black men, only date Christians, don’t want to date a man with kids…am I making my dating pool smaller and smaller? Then add in my age and things that others may not like about me, and I don’t have much to work with. When my kids grow up and they’re gone…they’re gone. It’s just me—and hopefully “him.”

Want to date Rachel? E-mail

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