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Dating While Pregnant

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I'm just over five months pregnant and, as they say, single as a dollar bill. The father of my unborn son is no longer in our life, and it's very possible he may never be. Although this was a man I had interacted with casually for years, we were never seriously involved. So when I told him he was going to be a father after the birth control failed, his response was not completely unexpected: "You're on your own," he said, simply. And that was that.

Though his decision to leave has certainly been difficult for me to digest, I don't view it as tragic. His potential financial obligations aside, I'd much rather my son be guided through life by a man who has every intention of sticking around rather than running at the first sign of responsibility. Fortunately I know four such men—my father and three brothers—all great guys who can't wait to meet him.

In the meantime, since I still have free time on my hands and am very much interested in being married, I am dating.

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Not that I'm putting a whole lot of energy into it. There are other things that are much higher on my priority list right now, like researching day care options, baby CPR classes and graduate school programs. But if I am approached to go out by someone I find attractive—which has happened to me several times recently, quite possibly due to "the glow" and the fact that I am not yet showing—I don't say no. I also still communicate with men on an online dating site I am subscribed to, one of whom I am supposed to go out with when I return from my babymoon to Brazil in the next couple of weeks.

My plan is to do what I've always done: remain open to the possibilities of love, whether it shows up now or later.

Some might find my desire to date odd, like I'm rushing from one romantic situation to get to the next, but that's not what's happening here. I'm not desperate for companionship—I've got plenty of support from friends and family—and there aren't any breakup wounds I need to heal. The start-and-stop relationship with my child's father aside, I am pretty clear about what I'm looking for in a life partner, and even clearer now that there's a child involved. This means not rushing into anything. It also means not actively hitting happy hour spots in an effort to find "him." My plan is to do what I've always done: remain open to the possibilities of love, whether it shows up now or later.

Right now, while I still have some time before my son arrives and requires all of my attention, it's just nice to go out for the occasional Friday night dinner-and-a-movie date. That's what William and I have planned post-Brazil. I met the 32-year-old graduate school student and IT technician online a couple of weeks ago and told him 10 minutes into our first conversation that I was expecting. (In all fairness I do list that I am a parent on my profile, but there isn't a box to indicate that your child is still in gestation!) He was surprised and inquisitive but not at all squeamish. The single father of a 10-year-old son, himself, he appeared to get it immediately—that sometimes things just don't work out, and you move on.

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William will actually be the second guy I'll go out with since finding out I was pregnant. The first was a gentleman I already knew and had dated previously. He took the baby news similarly well, which has helped to boost my confidence about the whole preggo and dating thing.

But as a male friend recently pointed out, I do have to be mindful of a couple of things. Namely, that some guys have a sexual fetish for pregnant women (what with the significantly lowered "risk" of pregnancy if you're already carrying). But since I'm not even remotely interested in that sort of intimacy right now, a guy who pushes any sort of sexual agenda will be pretty easy to read. Next!

So while I say I am dating, what I am really in the market for is a good guy to become my friend. Eventually and effortlessly he'd graduate to something more. Besides, my baby and I aren't in any rush. We aren't going anywhere.

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