Dear Dr. Romance: I'm a single mother, and I feel I'm past my pri

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Dear Dr. Romance: I'm a single mother, and I feel I'm past my pri
Dr. Romance answers the questions from a single mother.

Dear Dr. Romance:
I'm a 23 year old single mother and believe me when I say my life has been crazy and very rough. I have no relationship with the father of my child. He's pretty much abandoned our four yearl old son after his 1st birthday. He doesn't help out, and blames everything on me, so I don't even speak with him anymore.
During my pregnancy I was very lucky to find the love of my life. We were so in love and he accepted my son as his own, but he turned into a real jerk 6 months after my son was born. We tried to stick it out, but I couldn't trust him and after several attempts he used my flaws as an excuse to break my heart after all the hard work and counseling I had been through to keep us together.
I do not regret my son and I love him very much. I try my best to do everything to make him happy and keep him healthy. I also don't like to date much because I don't have much of a sitter and I don't like bringing men I don't know around my son.
I keep finding crappy men that seem great until a few months down the road you find out they're liars, cheaters, users, or all of the above.  Last year I lost my job and have headed back to finish my college degree and in the past 2 years have been working on making myself happy and not others.
Last year I met a very wonderful and sweet guy. He was slightly younger, and very immature at times. He referred to his own child as the  "bastard child" jokingly, but I didn't think it was funny.  We live about 80 miles apart.
A few months after casually dating I realized I was bitter and he may actually be a decent guy. I told him I wanted to take a break and a vow of completely celibacy for myself. He agreed and told me he supported me and still wanted to see me. I explained that seeing him could make it hard for me and that I'd appreciate if he could just give me some time to clear my mind and figure out what I really wanted, but he took this as a sort of rejection, and we got into an argument.  He really hurt my feelings and I hurt his, but we continued to talk almost daily after a week or so of silence.
After about 6 months of talking via phone/internet and I felt more of a connection, I realized I had feelings for him and wanted to start having sex again and I told him I wanted to be with him and not anyone else he was resistant and defensive, but I realized I had hurt him.I tried to help him understand I wasn't playing games and I was genuinely interested.
We were finally  able to get together after more than a year. I got pregnant on one night with him, but neither of us is interested in having more children. It was extremely stressing and emotional, but we made our decision and he helped me go through with it. This caused another rift between us, and I thought it was over, but we got back together. 
I feel that all we have is a casual relationship, with great sex which we didn't really have in the beginning. I like to think that perhaps because my feelings have grown that's why the sex is better. I don't feel a spark and there isn't much romance. He's not very affectionate and I want to  start up some affectionate foreplay, but I don't do it. I don't understand myself, or him at this point.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
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Dr. Tina Tessina

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Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D.
http://www.tinatessina.com
tina@tinatessina.com
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Location: Long Beach, CA
Credentials: LMFT, MFT, PhD
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