Friday, December 16, 2011

I Choose . . .

On top of moving, worrying about Granny, parenting two wily boys, grad school, traveling for work and work in general . . . did I leave something out?

I dated someone this fall.

That doesn't exactly fall within my theme of "day trips and adventures with smallish boys," because my boys weren't involved. But it's worth mentioning for two reasons: 1) I alluded to it in a previous post and 2) dating is always complicated and confusing, but especially so when you have kids.

In my case, I have first to find the rare man willing to tolerate me. Then that unique individual has to also love my boys. This leads to all sorts of hard to navigate issues.

Not the least of which, the big question all single, dating parents face: when do you introduce someone you're dating to your children? Certainly not right away. I know some who say never, but I think it depends. If things are going well, do you really want to get attached before you learn whether this person is compatible with your kids? What if he hates kids? What if your kids hate him (and call him a revolting slob like Gabe once did)? After a few weeks, if you're not willing to introduce him to your kids (or he's not willing to meet them), should that be telling you something?

So many factors. So many questions. I have very few answers.

Only twice in my six years of post-divorce dating have I introduced my (for lack of a better word) boyfriend to my boys.  The first time it went really well.  The guy adored them and for me, it was a point of infatuation.  I discovered nothing is sexier than a man who adores your kids. Alas, that alone does not hold a relationship together (there's more to that story, but I'm saving it for the book of dating disasters I'll write someday).

The second time went okay, but the guy also had a kid. Which in itself, was not a problem, until I saw the way he parented. Or rather didn't parent.

In the instance of full disclosure, I suppose there was a third time.  I dated a man whose kids I met casually before we started dating.  Regardless, with or without kids, it didn't work out.

That last sentence seems to be the theme of my dating experiences. 

Now, a few weeks off a break-up, I'm relieved my kids were never involved.  I'm also inclined to make broad dramatic statements about hiding under a rock and never dating again. But I'll refrain from that last part. I will, however, be on dating sabbatical.

A friend suggested my new motto be "choose booze over boys." I contemplated the idea, but decided to drown my sorrows in a new iPhone instead. It seemed healthier and I suspect in the end, cheaper.

At least with the iPhone, I won't have to pay for rehab.

I have really handsome fellows on my wallpaper.

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