Secure single parent dating
Secure single parent dating
, author and Northwestern University journalism professor Michele Weldon explores all the nuances and metaphors of that phrase.She flees an abusive relationship only to have her ex essentially abandon her three sons when he moved overseas, providing no financial support and rarely communicating.
The following excerpt is a shortened version of Weldon’s chapter on the challenges of dating as a single, midlife parent, titled simply: Raising the boys alone without financial assistance or physical reprieve kept me occupied, if not impatient. “How often are your boys away for the whole weekend? “Never.” I noticed a perceptible shift in his demeanor. I liked being able to relinquish control, even if just in the restaurant ordering wine.
There was the Italian accountant with the creaseless pants who asked early on our first date if I had my marriage annulled.
He was Catholic and wanted to remarry and didn’t see the point of going much further if I didn’t conform to canon law.
Sure, some men were polite, attractive and intelligent, but for years no sparks flew in my direction and no one was ever all that funny, interesting or a better option than a hot bath, rented movie or a stack of new magazines.
The boys didn’t need any more surprises from a parent.
I was predictable; I didn’t bring home any threats to their homeland security. It was easier to go to bed early, wake up early and get on with my day.
I also had hundreds of papers to grade, articles to file for magazines and newspapers, books to research and write. “He was so boring,” I told Dana, my former college roommate, on the phone after a nice date with a nice man who was nice looking.
I had to give speeches and go to conferences and meetings. “I think he went through his entire day minute by minute in chronological order.” “Oh, honey,” Dana said. You just forgot.” There were men I met in airports, on airplanes or in shared cabs when I traveled for work. Not that I am all that flirty, but I answer them, even if I know the question about where are the sundried tomatoes is just a ruse.
A man on a plane sitting in the row behind me and the boys — on our one and only trip to Disney World, because honest to God who in her right mind would go back — asked for my card and if I wanted to go out for a drink once back in Chicago. Still, meeting someone who was worth taking a risk on was nearly impossible.
The idea of being close emotionally or physically with someone — anyone — was far too unsettling.
I said no, thank you, to any offers but took the compliment they extended and that was all I needed for a while.
I guess I could have taken a chance on one of them and fallen in love.