It’s not unique that I’m back out dating. Statistically at least. May the odds be ever in YOUR favor, but for me they were not. I guess I get to blame my parents for this? I mean that’s what they are there for, right? Just kidding…. Kinda.
What does feel odd is the age. The stage of life I’m in. I’m 33 with two kids. Most people my age-ish are just now getting married or having their first kid. I have a few friends with kid number 2.
So, looking at my dating pool, I would consider dating guys 28 – 40. Of these guys, I’m finding that a lot have never been married. Some of the guys are single dads, but of those I would say most only have one kid.
These never been married, or single dads, well, they live a much different life than me the majority of the time. These guys are working, they have a good job, and/or they are building a career. They work long hours. And if a father, usually don’t have their kid(s) full time.
These single (no kids most of the time) guys either live at home, or with a roommate, or maybe they’ve bought a house and are living alone. They are bored when they get home. So they meet up with friends and go out. Going out means drinking. And they’ve likely been doing this for the last 10 years or so, so they have a tolerance built up. One that I can’t always gauge. But, yes. I am counting the number of drinks you have. I am paying attention. I’m secretly wondering if you have had too much, if you should be driving.
I’m not judging. I’m not mad about it. If I was single and had no kids, I’d be going out with my friends too. My point is that, at some point, this lifestyle of going out and drinking and having a fun time shifts into family life. If that’s what you want. If that’s what you are looking for. If that’s something that appeals to a person.
Here I am with a family. I live the lifestyle of a busy mom the majority of the time. I look forward to the times that I get to go out and not have to worry about curfews. It took a long time to get there, to that mentality, but I do now. For a brief moment I get to pretend that I am that early 30’s girl on the town and live it up.
The question is, how will I be able to judge single guy/dad in the times that were are out and about and having fun for that family man I would expect down the line eventually?
I’m looking for someone to have fun with now, but what if at some point I start looking for serious? I want a guy that will go out, and who can have a few drinks and not get sloppy, but I also want a guy who knows how to reign it in and limit the drinking, especially when kids are around. Especially in everyday life. Because it’s hard work raising a family, and getting shit done at home. And it’s especially hard if one adult is a drunk mess expecting the other to clean up after them.
I thought I knew. I thought I could tell. I thought that all guys go through drunk land, on the way to family land. I thought that there was this innate sense of responsibility to the tiny humans created that would cause a guy to give up their partying ways. And that didn’t work out like I expected. A lot of things didn’t go as planned in my relationship when I got pregnant and had kids. I don’t want to repeat mistakes, and I don’t want to project fears onto new guys. I don’t want to make assumptions.
These are things I need to know how to find out before something gets serious, because I have kids involved. I’m not going to be able to allow someone into my life in a very significant way if I don’t know how that is going to play out. It’s not a blast to move in with someone and then find out there are major deal breakers. That’s not fun for anyone, but it could be devastating to a kid. Especially a kid who has already lived through the divorce of their parents. I’m very protective of my kids, and I will do anything to keep them safe and secure, and that also means being careful of who I let into the inner circle with them.
How does that work? We all have our deal breakers. And most of them are basic things you learn about early such as smoking, political views, religion, different sense of humor, or bad manners. But there are a lot of deal breakers that you don’t see right away, like lying, or emotionally unavailable, or abusive. Those are things that take a bit more time to snuff out.
At what point is it acceptable to bring up deal breakers, that are obviously meant for long term status? Such as parenting style? At what point do I get to question if the heavy drinking is a boredom issue, or a coping issue? Do I just let it play out? Should I try to know up front? Is that ok because of my age, or because I have kids? Can I rush some parts of the relationship or the seriousness level while taking my sweet time with others? Do I get to make up the timeline of when certain milestones should or could occur?
For now, I’m just going to keep the observation deck open.