“I co-parent my son with my mother”: testimony from Olivia, a 42-year-old single lesbian

Olivia is a resident of Ile-de-France, in her forties, lesbian and mother of a child. Single “peacefully” for two years, she goes out a lot and thinks even more about the impact of her relationships on her parenting and on her child.

Being a mom makes me think a lot about how my relationships impact my parenting », Testifies Olivia, a 42-year-old single lesbian, who co-parents her child with her own mother. She says to miss the joys and difficulties of her single life, which has lasted for 2 years now, while she has always been in a relationship or relationship since the beginning of her adult life.

  • Name: Olivia.
  • Age: 42 years old.
  • Place of living (type of city, countryside or region): Parisian suburbs.
  • Sexual and/or romantic orientation: queer/lesbian.

How long have you been single?

For two years.

How would you describe your single life?

I would describe it as peaceful. I have an intense social life. I go out often. I meet people. On an emotional level I would say that initially I felt lost and very sad for many months. Once that stabilized, I was able to realize the space that freed me up to think only about myself, my family, my personal goals. I have less to worry about another person and work to keep the relationship alive.

Does being single impact your friendship or family life?

It freed up a lot of my time. My family organization has changed. I won’t say I spend more time on it, just that I’m more mentally available to take care of my family. I feel less embarrassed and judged. Likewise, on a friendly level, my friendly relationships have not changed, but I dedicate more time to them, I am less in my corner. I open up more.

What is your relationship history? Has your relationship with being a couple or being single changed today?

As far as I can remember, I have been in a relationship or relationship for almost my entire adult life. This is the first time in my life that I have gone through such a long period of celibacy. It can be explained by several factors. I’m older, I have more experience, my criteria are more precise and these are aspects that I appreciate. And then, I don’t commit to a relationship just like that.

Being a mom makes me think a lot about how my relationships impact my parenting and my child. I cannot imagine a relationship with a person who does not take care of this dimension of my identity, regardless of whether or not this person has the desire to start a family. However, as soon as we form a couple, we generally create an entity that can be closer to a family. I think we lack the vocabulary to describe what a couple or a family really is.

And the notion of relationship is rather reductive because very often it only takes two people into consideration. This means that we focus only on that, forgetting (voluntarily or not) that there are a multitude of couples and families who can come together everywhere. And I won’t talk about the place of children in love life, because that’s a topic in itself.

Do you think being single has an impact on your daily morale?

I do not think so. In any case I don’t feel like I suffer from it. Rather, it is my relationship with others that impacts my morale. Deceptions. On the new codes, immediacy, lack of curiosity, kindness, open-mindedness, ghosting…

Do you think being single allows you to do things you couldn’t do as a couple?

NO. I don’t feel limited, whatever my status.

Conversely, do you think being single stops you from doing things you could do if you were in a relationship?

Neither. Anyway: I do what I want.


Does the geographic location where you live impact your relationship with romantic relationships?

Certainly. In any case this was never told to me clearly and honestly, but I am convinced that it is so. So, the organization of my family life is considered special, because I co-parent my son with my mother. While if I lived in a shared apartment I would give others the impression of freedom, of living at my own pace.

Honestly, I prefer to co-parent with a person I trust, who is reliable, who will be my support for my child and above all not be an isolated mother to satisfy the imagination people have about single mothers/single parents : people who suffer and who have no social life and who are not given the chance to be happy and fulfilled…

There are all these beliefs that it would be charitable to have a relationship with a person who is already related… As if it were a good deed. In fact, we see in ourselves more the fact that we are parents and less the fact that we are also full-fledged people with full-fledged wants, desires and needs. This is also a rather interesting topic…

Are you actively looking for a romantic relationship?

No, for the reasons already mentioned above… Now I am very careful who I open my privacy and family to.. And I have to work on my relationship of trust, which current times are putting to the test.

Do you feel any pressure to “actively” look for a romantic partner?

I find that underneath the text there is this constant pressure to have a relationship or to identify a person with whom we would have an emotional, romantic and sexual connection. In all the content we can access, reference is made to the couple, to the fact of being with a person. I think I want to subscribe to it, believe it, but now not at any cost.

Does being single in love impact your sex life? Are you actively looking to meet one or more sexual partners (one-off or regular)?

No, not at the moment.

Do you feel some form of injunction to have a relationship?

Clearly. From everywhere, from professional, social and friendly environments. Questions that are asked about because we are single, because our previous relationship ended and because we are not currently with anyone. As if that meant we would have a problem. While dating is a story of timing and desire… as far as I’m concerned.

Do you think being single has an impact on your finances?

I am a spendthrift regardless of my status. The nice thing since I’m single is that the shopping is up to me alone!

What are your plans for the future? Does being single impact your desires and projections?

The only impact being single has on my desires and projections is the fact that I don’t have to tell anyone. Above all, it freed me from this need for support and encouragement that may have been present in my previous relationships and that I couldn’t find.

Do you have a story about being single to share?

In the last few months I have met people who have questioned how I identified myself… But I tell myself that what matters most is what I feel deep inside and the fact that I always remain the same.

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Listen to Apéro des Daronnes, Madmoizelle’s show that aims to break down taboos on parenting.

Source: Madmoizelle

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