My life is very much out there, always has been. I made that decision back when I decided to share my secret that I held onto for years of being abused by my father. I decided from that moment that I would keep it real, be open, be honest and never hide. Sometimes this isn’t ideal, especially as I am out there with trying to date and find love. I feel naked, raw and vulnerable. At the same time, I also feel like I am me and I am being true to who I am.
A friend of mine last week said I should write a blog about dating and what it is like for a single parent. I thought, well maybe I could write one, or at least share a little of what I have learned and learning every single day I put myself out there. Trust me, it isn’t easy and sometimes I think I could quite happily be on my own. Warning, first post on this is going to be long. Just so you get a bit of background of what I am looking for etc.
I have had a few good dates. Not many, as I find it tough to spread myself among several different men. How do women do that? How do men do that? I would be completely confused of what I said to A, B and C – let alone D. I understand how the bachelorettte feels. Although she sure has a lot more men chasing her then I do. It is quite easy to work out who would be a friend, who you are attracted to, if you are not even attracted to them at all. And I am not talking just looks. For me, attraction is so much more than how a person looks. The most beautiful people can be so ugly inside.
So why haven’t I given up? If you follow me on instagram you would have seen a few posts where I am being supported so much from my two children to find love, that I can’t turn my back on it and live life solo. I am young still, only just hit the big 40, and I feel awesome. I don’t look 40 and I surely don’t feel it either. With the support of my two little people, and two of my closest friends, I am giving this love thing a shot.
To start with, I will let you know what I am looking for in a partner, what ages I have gone for and why. I figure this is an open forum and why not help if I can, or at least give you all a bit of a laugh. It is a bit funny at times, and I am the biggest dork, always feeling awkward, and nervous if I am attracted to someone. Probably doesn’t help with the date if I am all ‘girly,’ and giggling. Oh thank goodness I haven’t laughed and snorted at the same time on a date yet. I am becoming quite good at that with my closest friends when they make me belly laugh.
What I am looking for, and it isn’t set in stone (too much pressure to have rules) –
I first thought I wanted someone with children, thought it might be easier. Now I figure it doesn’t really matter either way. I don’t think it should be an issue or is an issue for me to have more or to not have more, or to accept someone else’s little people. There is enough love to go around. I haven’t really thought about it too much. I am 40, so time is ticking and may have that decision made for me.
They need to have a thing; their thing they do. I run, and cycle. I think it is important to have your own thing where you can get your endorphins pumping and regroup with a clear head. I think it makes a relationship really healthy to still have your own space, but come together, and sometimes enjoy these things together too.
Friends – so important they have a great group of friends, or family. They don’t need to have a lot, but enough to have their space with, or for me to hang out with too. I have awesome friends that are my family too. I have set my life up to be ok if I was alone for the rest of my life. I know I will have that tight group of true friends forever. I have dated someone without friends, and I feel too much pressure to be more for them, and go into a spin of being someone I am not. Losing yourself in a relationship isn’t cool. I feel I have become stronger in that area to not let that happen again. Putting no pressure on whatever it is, is a good way of rolling with a potential relationship.
Age – a big one for me as I have played around a bit with the age thing. They still need to be close enough to my age, have lived a little, have some life experiences, (and no marriage and children are not baggage – they show you have lived life), and have somewhat of a plan of what they would like for their life. Although sometimes I don’t even know what I am doing next week, or even tomorrow! Going with the flow is ok too, as long as you know you are looking for the same long term connection, and on the same page if you aren’t looking for long term. I have my age set at 30-45. It was from 35 and I found I was missing out on guys that prefer women that have their lives together, know what they want etc. Men can date women 10 years younger than them, so why can’t women? Although this is a good blog post for later, as I am finding the 30 year old men not for me, as I find some of the 45’s not for me.
I am on tinder, bumble and recently happn. I know the dreaded tinder. Although, it has changed a lot over time, and guys make it pretty clear if they are looking for a relationship. You can pick it fast if they haven’t declared that in their profile. Bumble is just like another Tinder, but the women make the first move if you match. Happn is new to me and freaks me out a little as it shows you the men that have crossed your path in your day. So that hot guy at the grocery store you have always checked out, might also be into you, and this apparently is an easy way to find out if he is into you and single. The silence of these online apps is very common and you are quite often talking to no one, or you even stop talking yourself. I am not into having a penpal, I can text my friends and have a penpal. There are a lot of them out there. But I am also realising life is busy, and I have done it too and realised, I haven’t answered someone for over a week, feel bad and unmatch them thinking I look like a dork! Yes, that is me panicking over nothing. You do that, you judge yourself, and you try hard not to. That is why you need those good supportive friends to put you back in your awesome box, and continue swiping. At the moment I am happy concentrating on what I have in front of my face, as anymore swiping and I am going to stop remembering what I said to them all. Lucky they have their names on their profiles, so you can’t forget their names! But happy to share some insider experience with swiping etc in a later post. I have no doubt I will swipe again soon.
There are no rules in dating for me. Even though there are so many rules listed online. I believe everyone you meet is different, and you feel differently in different dates. It is about acceptance when you fall in love, and being honest, with compromise. Why we put pressure on what you should do on date 1, through to date 4 is up to you and how you feel.
I think as you get older, you know that you are either looking for another shot at a life partner, or a bit of fun. For me, I am old school and if I wanted fun, I would go to the pub and pick up some fun. I don’t need an app to pickup. (But for some reason I need it to find love)!! There is enough pressure of knowing what you said to A, B, C and D to worry about what you should or shouldn’t be doing on a date. Just be you. I find there is no better person to be. When I meet that awesome guy that captures my heart, I have no doubt he will be amazing, because he will know every part of who I am and why I am who I am. Plus if he doesn’t google me, he will know me at the speed that is comfortable to me.
So if I am not blurting out what happened to me in the past, what my tattoos mean, then what am I talking about? I am just like everybody else, I have still lived a life that is much like your average person. I can talk about past work, where I grew up, what I do now for work, my friends, family – ( I just don’t talk about my dad at all, and if I do, I just say I don’t have one), I talk about my children if they come up in conversation and I usually bring them up as they are written on my dating profiles. I quite like a bit of banter, and happily laugh a lot if with the right person. I don’t like it to feel too serious. It is just a date, and it is about getting to know someone in a relaxed way. I am not into pressure. I will run and hide pretty fast if it is put on me. That can happen when people push further into my life before I am ready. And when I say push, I mean push, in a way that would be uncomfortable to your average person that hasn’t had a childhood like mine.
I think for now this is enough. It is information overload. Not sure if I will help anyone out there trying to date, considering dating, or that just want to come along for the ride I am on. I will keep what I learn about my dates close to my heart. This is not bachelorette, this is just a chick, (woman, single mum), trying to find love the old school way in a new school way, and sharing my personal experience along the way. Just wait until we talk about dating outfits. Shivers, there is so much to blog about.
On sunday we saw most of the bachelors from Bachelorette as I celebrated my little guys 9th birthday. It was funny to see Taj’s face and how he would have quite easily gone up to them and said, “my mum is single, you should date her!” I think the bunch of women they already had surrounding them was enough. I don’t compete for love – I say as I compete with the female A, B, C and D’s. Both my littles say I should be the next bachelorette. Not sure they accept your regular 40 year old single mum that has no idea how to play this find love game!….. it sure is fun, a little disheartening and exciting too. You got to be in it to win it.