I heard this phrase “outcome independence” in reference to men and dating. This is one of the few times I won’t attribute the writer because at his core, he is a misogynist and I don’t make a habit of driving traffic to chauvinistic websites. To his credit, he is one of the milder offenders.
As a single mother, I think he has a stunningly good idea. His use of “outcome independence” reflects his ideals supporting open-relationships, which I disagree, however the term refers to a particular mindset. If single women, particularly single mothers, devote their time, energy and resources to one person without any type of ACTION-oriented commitment, chances are this arrangement will go badly for the time-strapped single mom. To be “outcome independent” is to carry a mindset of “whatever be will be” to any perceived commitment- it provides accountability towards ACTION rather than WORDS.
So what does that exactly mean? Living your life with a focused mission of happiness and getting rid of baggage that is a time waster or is inefficient. Some scenarios will illustrate:
- Single mom of two, Betty, has been talking online to a few guys. One she happens to like asks for her number. She obliges and he proceeds to text her plans for a date. They both agree to a location for Friday night. Betty has a birthday party to attend, but assures her prospective date that they can meet for drinks after. He agrees, promising to text her the time. Friday morning rolls around and her Prince #1 hasn’t texted her. Should she text him a reminder? Start conversation by asking about his day? Maybe he forgot because he isn’t a great scheduler?
Nope. To be outcome independent, Betty should go ahead with her original plans as if she never made date plans in the first place. She is letting the natural ebb and flow of dating take place. If he never follows up, chances are he had no intention of meeting her and is now an official TIME SUCK of her precious energy. She only commits energy to action, not promises.
- Recently divorced and working mom, Candace, met a man while grocery shopping. They exchange numbers and he promised to call. After three days, Prince #2 does call after work. They have one of the most engaging and interesting conversations she has ever had with the opposite sex. She feels that her faith in men is on its way to restoration! For the next week, Prince #2 calls to talk every day and they make plans to meet for coffee one weekend when her ex-husband has the kids. The fateful day arrives and as Candace is getting ready, she gets a phone call from Prince #2. His tire is flat and has to reschedule. Bummer! They make plans for lunch that following week. As the week drags on, they continue to talk like before, however Candace notices Prince #2 is exceedingly busy and can’t meet for lunch as promised, but asks for her to get a babysitter instead for a date night. Should Candace take initiative and get the babysitter? Her neighbor loves babysitting her kids and often does so in a pinch!
Absolutely NOT. As engaging as Prince #2 seems, he fails to realize or acknowledge that Candace is a very busy individual too. She is practically jumping hoops to see him. His first cancellation may have been genuine, however his failures to meet for lunch are telling. Prince #2 likes the “girlfriend experience” of talking to Candace in an intimate way, but when rubber meets the road, he isn’t committing energy to getting to know her as his glib pronouncements may indicate. To maintain “outcome independence,” Candace shrugs, stops participating in their two hour chat sessions and gets on a dating service post-haste!
- Single mom of three, Katie, is not that interested in dating. She is tired most of the time and her ex isn’t the most dependable person. After over a year of celibacy, Katie is finally persuaded by her friends to meet a single father for a blind date. She meets him and they have an initial spark. He mentions on the end of the date that he would like to see her the following weekend. She agrees and calls her mom to babysit the kids overnight. Her mom obliges because she can’t remember the last time her daughter went out on a date! Prince #3 meets her at a comedy club and they have a great time! She spends the night at his house. Before she leaves to go home, he begs to see her again when the kids are at her ex’s house. She agrees. The week goes by. She’s sure he’ll call. He doesn’t. At the end of the weekend, Prince #3 finally calls and acts like nothing is amiss. Should Katie demand what happened? After all, she cleared her schedule for the weekend!
At this point, you’re probably saying NO! If Katie was truly outcome independent, she would have called her girlfriends and planned a night out. If and when Prince #3 called, he would have to work himself into her busy schedule. Katie would have remained free to enjoy her weekend to the fullest and if Prince #3 was lucky, he’d have the opportunity to see her.
I write this post is after reading other sad stories of single mothers and dating- they are stood up, pushed to the back-burner, or jump through hoops to get a date. This should NOT be happening. Once you let go of dating expectations, that’s when a man worthy of dating will come around and respect your independence, autonomy, time, energy and limited resources.
Stay independent ladies!