With a young son and a history of hard relationships, this single mom didn’t think she wanted to date again but then matched with her future husband.
By Courtney Runn, Headshot by Laura Alexandra Photo
From ghosting and sexist comments to conversations that never go beyond the screen, dating apps aren’t for the faint of heart. Adding kids to the mix can introduce a whole new set of obstacles. In our new series Swiping as a Single Mom, we’re talking to single women living in Austin about the highs and lows of using dating apps as moms.
Currently the director of community experience at Bumble, Cecily Gold Moore fell in love with her company’s dating app as a user. With a young son and a history of bad relationships, she wasn’t eager to try out the new dating-app trend. Before her job at Bumble, she was a teacher and didn’t have time for spontaneous dates between her own job and commitments with her son.
“Single moms are put in a weird predicament because your single friends probably don’t have kids,” she says. “Your friends that have kids are probably not single, so it puts you in a weird position of not really having people who can connect you with other people or set you up on dates because they’re all maybe in different stages of life than you are.”
But using a dating app turned out to be the perfect fix since single moms “homebound past bedtime…can see what’s out there in the convenience of your home.”
After matching in January 2016, Moore and her boyfriend were engaged three years later and got married in October. The couple is now expecting a baby girl in June, and 10-year-old Henry can’t wait to be a big brother. Here’s her story of match to marriage.
The mom: Cecily Gold Moore
The app: Bumble
The dating bio: “Native Austinite. Momma. Musician. And up for most anything fun.”
The mindset: “At the time, I had been single for over a year and I was in this state of mind in this season of my life where I was 1,000 percent content with being single for the rest of my life. I was like, ‘I’m good. It’s me and my son and I’m going to do this. I’m an independent woman.’ I had had terrible relationships in the past and we just don’t need that and I’m fine with it. I really wasn’t planning on dating at all. And then, at the time, a good friend and his wife were constantly asking me when I was going to start dating again and I pushed them off every single time they said that and laughed it off. And then he was like, ‘There’s this new app, Bumble, and all my friends are on it and the women have to make the first move and start the conversation, so you’re really in control. It’s cooler than all the other dating apps right now. You should just try it.’ … So, I did and that’s why and how I got on to begin with.”
The strategy: “As a single mom, I was like, ‘Do I put that I’m a mom on my profile? Or do I leave it off and tell people later and they just get to know me first?’ For a little bit, I didn’t include that I was a mom on my profile and then I had this weird, moral heartache about it because being a mom is so much of who I am. So, I [thought I] should probably just put it out there and that will actually attract the right kind of people, right, the kind of people who know up front? When I put that I was a mom on my profile is when I matched with my husband.”
The match: “I did match with other guys before him. I had a couple of conversations but nothing I felt connected to. Brendan was actually my first Bumble date, and what stood out about his profile is…first of all, he had enough pictures. It wasn’t just like one photo or crappy photos. He had good-quality photos. He looked really cute and they were of a variety of different things. He had one surfing, he had one of him that looked a little professional and then he had several of him and his goldendoodle, [and] a dog is always going to attract me to your profile. And then his bio was short and sweet. It was just, ‘My best friend is my goldendoodle named Riggins.’ I was like, ‘OK, that’s adorable.’ ”
The first date: “We talked for about two weeks before we actually went out on a date. And as a single mom, you’re so, so busy all the time. You’re working, you’re taking care of your kids, you have kid activities you have to go to. And I know he had asked me out earlier on during that two-week stint but I already had prior commitments that I had, standing commitments with my son every week. I was like, ‘Sorry I have a Friday-night move date ritual with my son.’ And he was so understanding about that and didn’t seem bothered by it at all. Finally, two weeks later, we found a time that worked for both of us and went out on a date. … He’s a wing-it type of guy and it always seems to work for him. So, we get there and they were completely booked because they had a rehearsal dinner there, so an entire wedding party. There were no seats at the bar. There was literally nowhere to sit. We couldn’t go in, so we ended up just taking a tour of the East Side of Austin, walking around to different places to see if we could find somewhere. [We] tried to go to Bufalina, but the line wrapped around the corner, and ended up going to Weather Up and eating a cheese plate for dinner. So, it worked out.”
The introduction: “I [asked] him if it was weird that [he hadn’t] met my son yet. He was like, ‘It is a little weird because he’s such an important part of you, but I can tell that the qualities that you have that attract me to you are probably the same qualities that make you a really good mom.’ It made me feel really good and it made me feel more confident about opening up that part of my life to him and I told my son about him. I told [my son] I was really excited for him to meet [Brendan] but also not putting too much pressure on the situation. ‘We’re going to the park. He’s going to bring his dog. We’re going to play.’ It ended up going really well. They had a good time. Afterward, Brendan texted me he’s such a sweet, goofy kid, just like his mom. And now they’re super, super close and he’s been the best dad.”
The proposal: “We had just bought a house together and he was building a mantel for our fireplace, and he had reclaimed this wood from a house that was several hundred years old and he had been working on this beautiful mantel for weeks. It was almost Christmastime and he was like, ‘Oh, my God, I’ve got to finish this. We have to put the stockings up. There’s a lot of pressure.’ Little did I know he was finishing it so he could propose to me in front of it. I had no idea. The summer before, he had asked…my son’s permission, and I was so surprised Henry didn’t say anything. … He told Henry, ‘We’re going to take a family picture in front of the mantel because I just put it up,’ and we put the Christmas tree up. So, he told Henry to go get the camera and put it on a tripod and then whispers in his ear to put it on video instead of on the camera mode. [We] ended up getting a whole video of the three of us that he proposed to me with Henry, and it was so sweet. The video is hilarious.”
The wedding: “We wrote our vows to each other and then Brendan also wrote vows to Henry. It was really sweet and I don’t think there was a dry eye in the whole ceremony. Brendan had a best man, but Henry was also the best boy.”
The advice: “One of the biggest mental struggles single moms can have that I had myself is that we feel like we’re not worthy of love. We feel like we have all this baggage that makes you unlovable that nobody else is going to want to take on and you see other…stories of people who have found success…but like, how many people actually do? It can put you in a state of mind that is just kind of hopeless. But my advice would be that you absolutely are worthy of love. And if you spend the time focusing on being the best version of yourself for you and for your kids and not for anybody else, then when you’re searching for somebody, you’ll find the person that’s the cherry on top rather than the person that’s going to complete you. When you do that, you open yourself up to the opportunity to meeting that person and them fitting in to your family’s life rather than you having to change anything to fit in to somebody else’s life.”