Let’s just be real for a second…”Birth Mom” is not exactly a box that someone would eagerly check when creating their dating profile. Because being a birth mom is not a regular trait that you would find in a lot of women, it’s hard to believe that it would be high on any man’s “must-have” list when choosing a mate.
When considering the idea that adoption and being a birth mom can be an uncharted or possibly uncomfortable territory for some people, how do we navigate dating and gently drop the Birth-Mom-Bomb on the men in our lives who choose to pursue us?
In my personal dating life, being that I am so vocal and not ashamed at all about my adoption story, I have had some experience with “dropping the bomb” on some fellas. I tell them about my sweet son and how I came to decide that placing him for adoption was the best thing for him. I share with them how I am actively a part of his life and how my relationship with him and his adoptive parents is thriving. Some guys reacted beautifully; they've told me how my past is just something that has made me who I am and how brave it was that I made such a selfless choice in my unplanned pregnancy. Thankfully, this is the more common of the two reactions that I’ve gotten when telling anyone that I’m a birth mom, not just men that are interested in me. Having received encouragement has made it a lot easier to swallow when I get the not-so-warm-and-fuzzy response. While most men will react with grace, unfortunately…some men might not take it as well.
I remember when my birth mom news didn’t settle well with one guy. He said, “My mom and dad told me to never get involved with a girl who has a kid” and “I’m only 21. I’m not trying to be anyone’s dad”. Never mind the fact that I explained to him that he already has a dad (an awesome, hand-picked one, and an amazing mom to go with him!). But he didn’t understand and, needless to say, it didn’t work out. His words hurt and caused me to feel judged and unwanted and even though his reaction, and ones like his, are usually based off of possible ignorance or immaturity, most of the time, it doesn’t really take away the sting.
So how do we save ourselves from the tears? The truth is, we probably can’t. Dating is a blind leap of faith, but sharing that you’re a birth mom can set the tone for the rest of your relationship, so I believe that you should do it, no matter what the outcome might be. However, when you do it is what might take a little more consideration.
My one guiding question that I would ask girls who are thinking about dropping the Birth-Mom-Bomb on someone that they are considering giving their heart to, is this: When are you ready to find out who they really are/what they are really about? To me, how a guy reacts whenever you tell them that you are a birth mom, and fully explain to him what that means for you, will give you some insight into their character. Aside from the initial shock, and questions that they might have, if a man’s response to the most important, and quite possibly the most amazing thing about you leaves you feeling less than worthy of his affections. I feel that it is better to find out then, than to have his character revealed in a more heart-breaking way down the road.
What is interesting about my experience with Mr. I’m-not-trying-to-be-anyone’s-dad is that a few weeks after snubbing me for my status as a birth mom to the beautiful little creature that my son is, he decided to text me. He wanted to let me know that he was still interested in me and, in not so many words, he wanted to just pretend like I never dropped the bomb to begin with. But thankfully, because his character was revealed to me previously and early on in the stages of our relationship, I had the strong feeling that I should stay away.
This paves a way for me to love my status as a birth mom even more than I already do, for more obvious reasons. If I wasn’t a birth mom, and didn’t have a quality that might be a little challenging for some people to handle, and one that I didn’t feel needed to be addressed early on, I might not find out what these men are going to be like when the rubber meets the road, until the road comes around. I’m fully aware that dating, and eventually marrying a birth mom is not for everyone, and that’s okay and even understandable. As for me, however, I’m glad that through being a birth mom I get a man that is strong, understanding, and full of grace…because he has to be in order to embrace all that adoption means. I want all of my birth mom friends to have these kind of men, so I encourage them to not be afraid of dropping the Birth-Mom-Bomb, because dropping it will get you one step closer to the man that’s going to love you and accept you for the courageous and gorgeous woman that you are, no matter your past. Especially when that past has led to something incredible.
This article was written by Abby. Learn more about Abby here!