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Dating while pregnant: Is it possible?

Based out of Dallas, Texas, Mary McCoy is a writer and social worker for disenfranchised women and children. She's a single mom, lover of Texas barbecue, and a die-hard fan of yoga

Hitting the dating scene with a baby on board

Pregnancy doesn't feel particularly sexy, but is it ever possible to make a romantic connection during those long nine months?

Mother Shannon Dimmock certainly thought it was worth a try. "I decided to give dating a go while I was pregnant because I'd just split up with my daughter's father, and thought to myself, 'Why should he have all the fun?'" Dimmock now admits that it wasn't her most mature decision, but she's still grateful for what she learned when her love life was complicated — and uncomplicated — by her pregnancy.

Though we don't spend much time talking about pregnant dating, it's more common than most people think. For the first time in American history, nearly half of all babies are born to unwed mothers. Sure, some of these moms are in committed relationships, but many are not. With all of these pregnancies detached from a long-term or marital relationship, it just makes sense that pregnant women might want to stay in the dating scene.

And for Dimmock, dating while pregnant had several substantial benefits that she found illuminating. "I was able to find out motives quite quickly," she said. "First date sex was off the menu, so the men I dated had to get to know me." She felt empowered by the dynamic, and better able to spot guys who had the wrong motives. "It was also much easier to see through people, and the dates were based around conversation a lot more than normal, because no alcohol was involved." And even though women can find it challenging to feel sexy while pregnant, it was a non-issue for the men Dimmock dated. "None of them seemed to have a problem with my body, and one of the guys even said my pregnancy was sexy."

It wasn't all roses, though. Dimmock found that a lot of the guys she dated seemed a little too interested in a ready-made family. "Some guys seemed to think I was a little desperate," she said. "It seemed like they just wanted a desperate person to take advantage of, and that wasn't something I was interested in."

When her daughter was born, Dimmock was quickly immersed in diaper changes and feedings, and decided to exit the dating scene for a while. "It's completely off the cards for now," she said, "But the experience taught me what to look out for and how to spot the good ones."

So, dating while pregnant is completely possible. If you're like Dimmock, you may not find "The One," but you might get some valuable practice in spotting the good guys.

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