** I wrote most of this in December, but got distracted and didn’t finish it until now **
One word, but a big topic. It’s tied up in pleasantries and conversation, intimacy and chemistry, compatibility and subtleties.
I’m not panting. I’m not chomping at the bit. I’m not too horny to think straight.
Some months ago, I discussed how the 4th Quarter of 2011 was a turning point and how life had changed for me now. Well, as I just said, some months have passed. They haven’t been quiet months. There have been lots of different things on my mind. There have been lots of odd adventures and there have been troubled teens that needed attention. It’s been a challenge and a roller-coaster ride. Some of these tales won’t end up in future posts…
I’m single. Not in the technical sense. I’m separated and divorce is still in the future. But I’m at the point where I can date anyone I want. I’m free to pursue and to be pursued.
Months ago, I assumed that I would reach this point and pondered who would be suitable for me. I already wrote about the particular things that appeal to me.
There are also practical considerations for me because I’m not a young, post-college guy with no commitments. I’m a dad, I have full custody of three children who are in different stages of the local school system, I have a house, and so on. In short, I have roots, and a woman doesn’t just have to be compatible with me, she has to ‘fit’ my family configuration, and vice versa.
At first, I considered three likely outcomes. Then a local friend of mine came up with another outcome that I’d never considered but matched the profile of some of her own friends, bringing a fourth option (bear in mind that I am only considering scenarios that lead to long-term relationships not short-term dating):
- I might meet a woman in my age range with kids of a similar age to mine, or even older. In this scenario, we’d both be done with schools and kids at a similar time. Depending on the exact ages of the kids, we might not even share a house until the kids were all in college.
- I might meet a woman younger than me and/or with kids quite a few years younger than mine. In this scenario, to some extent, I’d be ‘starting over’ and helping to bring up more kids. It would be a classic Brady Bunch scenario because her kids would definitely live with mine. It’s not a scary outcome.
- I might meet a woman quite a few years younger than me, with no kids. She might want kids, but this would be difficult. (*Making* kids is not difficult 🙂 It would be difficult because the kind of commitment necessary to have another baby doesn’t happen overnight and the wait for certainty would make me an older father — and she might then be too old to have kids herself.)
- I might meet a woman in my age range with no kids because she’d been too focused on a career and/or the wrong guy and just left it too late. But she still loves kids and is fine with being a surrogate mom to someone else’s kids. As I said, I never considered this as I don’t know anyone in this category, but I’m told it might be more common than I think.
I have ignored other kinds of scenarios. A 20-something with no kids yet — what could we have in common?? Someone with no interest in kids — I don’t plan to give mine away so that wouldn’t work.
Breaking it down in this way helps me understand how it might work in the real world. After all, I can pretend it’s all simple and romantic but it’s not. If I ignore these harsh realities, I could try to make a doomed relationship work. Sorry, but I’m not that guy. For me, and for anyone in a similar situation to me — male or female — finding a way to build a new and different family means not just a relationship between the couple, but relationships from each set of kids to the ‘other’ adult. Not trivial to accomplish.
Over the course of 2011, I have met — not just virtually but physically — a number of fellow bloggers (without exception, you’re all wonderful). I have met local women for coffee, and there’s a future post to tell the tale of the day I was having coffee with date #2 when date #1 showed up at the same coffee shop — oops! As you may recall, I have been set up by one of my daughters. Meeting someone new is not complicated.
Figuring out who is ‘interesting’ and who ‘fits’ *is* complicated. Also, it’s very strange and completely unfair but *she* has to like *me* too. If you can imagine.
To be continued…