When you were settling down, committing to a mortgage, having kids and all that predictable and sensible stuff, you would never have envisaged dating again.
Yet, for those whose carefully laid life plans have gone somewhat off track, that is exactly where we find ourselves — unceremoniously dumped back into the dating game. And boy have the rules changed.
So if it’s Ding Dong Round Two for you, here are some home truths to prepare you for the exciting, if slightly excruciating, journey ahead.
1. It’s totally different from before.
With the Internet at centre stage of the dating world, you’re going to find that things are soooo different. From seeking, to meeting, to dumping (or being dumped), online dating etiquette is entirely different to the one of your youth. And it takes some learning. This new-fangled courting game allows you to almost have sex with a guy before you meet for coffee. Yes, sexting is a whole new ritual created while you were knee-deep in nappies. And why agonise over finishing a relationship? Tap out a one-liner, hit send and move on. Like I said… it’s different now.
Of course, dating styles may have evolved, but we are still the same people. And yes, we are older and wiser. We may have the benefit of hindsight. But I have to tell you, when it comes to men, old habits die hard. I have seen many a sensible mum transformed to tittering teenager when Mr He’s-A-Hottie hits the scene. Then, when there’s the possibility of our sex life getting a second wind, who cares about bulk cooking for the freezer when your undies drawer needs a complete overhaul?
3. It’s complicated.
The carefree days are gone. Juggling another ball will make life harder. And online dating is an all-consuming pastime — all that right-swiping, dissecting profiles, hours of texting. Then there’s the self-doubting, the double guessing, the game playing — all these before you even meet. And when it finally gets physical, there’s bodily hair taming, post-baby tummy issues and a multitude of beauty procedures that have been on the backburner for years. And god, what’s acceptable to say and do on a date nowadays?
4. But it’s also fairly straight-forward.
Yet, in some ways, it has to be said that the second time around, most women have a good idea of what they’re after in a man. And the bar is set high. We’ve done marriage, we’ve done kids. Now we’re after fun, company and support. And if he doesn’t tick all these boxes, then he just won’t do. Internet dating makes it all the easier. Check his religious and political views, see what books he likes and what he does in his spare time. No more tedious, time-consuming dates, only to discover he has a hankering for bestiality and votes for the Monster Raving Looney Party.
5. It’s a 3-way thing (or a 4-way thing, or more…).
When dating as a single mum, it’s no longer all about the happy couple. The considerations of our children must come first. Then add to the equation, the considerations of HIS children. And your ex. And his ex. Yep, this is a team event and the stakes are high for everyone.
There are heaps of successful blended families and I take my hat off to them. It would take effort, dedication and, yes … love, to make this work. It just goes to show that ‘happily ever after’ comes in many different forms.
Which online dating site to use?
eHarmony is an online dating website designed specifically to match single men and women with each other for long-term relationships. I like that they can match you by age and your area. They have a dedicated area for seniors. The way they match couples is all science-based and are so successful they have patented the technology. Around 11,000 members have married through meeting on eHarmony.
This is recommended for anyone looking for marriage and children.
So, are you ready to brave kissing some frogs on the mission to find yours?
Guest Article from Lucy Good, the Author and Inspiration behind the primary source for Single Parents, Beanstalk Mums.