Divorce, Single Parenting, Dating, Sex, & Self-Recovery

Posts tagged “dating a single mom

Urban Fit Uber Cute Couple Bias – UFUCC

OFF-lulu

A number of interesting ideas came up during my walk around the local lake this morning. I was blessed with the presence of my 11-yo daughter, who is just about full-on irritated with me at this point. “Right on schedule,” I said to her, as she rolled her eyes at me for the 15th time this morning.

The good thing about reaching the “dad is such a dork” phase with my kids is this, I don’t have to behave in perfect and rigid parenting patterns, I’m more of a crackup. And they have grabbed a wicked sense of humor from me. So I am unabashedly dorky, and I’m happy to crack myself up full-on and catch my daughter busting a smile over in her eye-rolling seat.

At one point I made a joke this morning, as she switched the radio for the 10th time to another rap/pop non-musical “tune.” I said, “Listen I’m starting to have a few problems with our relationship. I think we’re going to need to see other people.” She rolled her eyes. I went on. “I mean, I’m paying for everything, I don’t like your music that much, and we never agree on where to go eat these days, so… I think we might need to take a break.” We both cracked up

We’d had so many pseudo blowups, that the real one wasn’t even very interesting or dramatic. It was disappointing, because I had prepared a lot of goodies for the date night.

The resonance, however, with the conversation I had last night as my “friend” was blowing up at me at the “hi-how-ya-doin” moment of our date night. She started spewing a ton of “always” and “nevers” at me. And I registered that she was off her rocker, blaming with wild generalizations about the “entire relationship” and not just her disappointment. And let’s see, that morning she had been 20 minutes late for our walk meetup. And I was fifteen minutes late, due to a father-daughter issue I needed to work out, and BOOM, I’m uncaring, unsuited for a relationship, and obviously only interested in doing what I want to do. (Oh, and I actually don’t dig her choice in music, but that was never brought up.)

If I could’ve rolled my eyes at her last night I might have been better off then trying to negotiation or talk rationally about her outburst. There was no “hi” at the door, there was “I’m mad at you.” And as I tried to blow it off and make light of it, as she often reverts to, “just kidding” this time she wasn’t kidding. And there was just enough resentment and disappointment underneath the wine she’d been drinking to set her off on an unreachable tear. I left. And I’m done done. We’d had so many pseudo blowups, that the real one wasn’t even very interesting or dramatic. It was disappointing, because I had prepared a lot of goodies for the night. But it was more drama and crisis that screamed RED FLAG and GET THE HELL OUT.

I walked.

And this morning as my daughter and I continued our playful banter about all things boy-girl, all things father-daughter, all things “dad is a dork” we laughed off most of the jokes. Sure, she was irritated with me. But it wasn’t really about if I did something great or if I did something dorky. It was just her being 11 year-old and reaching that separation journey. It’s okay. She needs to find her detachment. And now I’m free to play the “dorky dad” she likes to complain about. And I’m free to crack us both up and to illicite eyerolls at any moment. This is where we are.

She was still acting out some routine with her ex-husband or something. And I’m in no mind to be a stand in for her target practice.

Just as we were finishing our hour walk an uber fit couple came down from their lakefront condo in sporty LuLuLemons (my daughter’s crush brand at the moment) and started stretching on the trail as we walked by. I have to admit the woman looked spectacular. And I’m guessing my daughter noticed the tall dark and handsome guy in the fancy workout clothes as well.

We got off on this riff about LuLuLemon clothing for guys. “It’s only for gay guys,” I said. Eyeroll.

“No dad, it’s not.”

“Any guy, inside the LuLuLemon store, and not there with his daughter or girlfriend or wife, is GAY. G. A. Y.”

“Dad that’s so wrong… You’re being, what’s the word for racist except about…”

“Sexist.”

“Yeah, you’re being so sexist.”

“Actually you’re right. I’m being sexist.”

“See.”

“But tell me this…” I was ready to set the punchline of the weekend.

“What…” She was pre-rolling her eyes as we were getting ready to get back in my car.

“What is the LuLuLemon logo in the shape of?”

“Hair.”

“Yes, so what non-gay guy is going to wear shorts with girls hair as a logo? Gay I tell you, gay.”

“They are not gay, dad, you’re just being your dorky self.”

“Fine. We can agree to disagree.”

“And I’m going to get you a pair of LuLuLemon shorts for your birthday.”

“Oh really… You’re going to pay $75 for a pair of shorts for me? Nice.

“Yep. And you’ll be hooked after you wear them one time.”

“I’ll be looking forward to it.”

As far as the woman who misbehaved last night. She was not 11 years-old. She was demonstrating time after time how unready she was to have any kind of adult relationship. She was still acting out some routine with her ex-husband or something. And I’m in no mind to be a stand in for her target practice.

So I walk on, right past the UFUCC. And I anticipate my new LuLuLemon shorts in November when I will officially become gay. Unless I don’t, and then I suppose I will become a LuLuLemon spokesperson.

Sincerely,

The Off Parent
@theoffparent

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image: run, yoga, fusion class, carolyn coles, creative commons usage

[Note: I don’t think I am sexist, or anti-gay, or homophobic for writing or joking about this. And I don’t really have any beef with LuLuLemon, except for the CEO’s comments, and the price of their fancy yoga gear.]


The Taste of Tail Feathers Again

cowgirlOh online dating, I (heart) you. Oh wait, this was Facebook.

I’m not sure if I have an accurate picture of myself or my desired match. I mean, most times I think I have a pretty good handle on it. And then someone comes along and resets the markers and my own understanding has to be reevaluated. But I am learning, I think. Let’s recount a recent “Oh yeah” for me that seemingly has become a near miss.

First me. Let’s see. I think I’ve set out my parameters pretty well. And the fact that she connected with me through my other 100% positive parenting blog, and through my post on what a single dad wants in his next relationship, well, let’s just say my best foot was forward on the mechanics of dating. (But I still have really had only one post-divorce experience, so far, so I realise I don’t have all that much actual information.)

And after she requested a “friend” on Facebook, citing mutual friends (25) and at least something that she must’ve seen in my public profile, we jumped into a fun banter. So she wrote a nice, “Hey we should be friends, since we’re…” And it was a wonderful jolt to wake up on Dia de los Muertos with a very attractive princess (Halloween costume) saying she’d read my single-dad post and wanted to be friends.

Of course I accepted the friend request. And then the romantic madness ensued. (Mostly driven by me, but that’s okay, writing is what I do.)

So, in this current situation… I simply wait it out, right? Any signal from me would be over-reaching? Seems to weird not to say “hello” today, but I think she needs to feel like she’s in control.

Letting the banter run wild we chatted on FB over the course of the entire day. And things, on my end, could not have gone better. The more we chatted the more we seemed to have things in common. A quick wit and quick qwerty-fingers. It was a thrill. Like a first date. Almost. From her side she said very encouraging things. And at one point asked, “Even if we hate each other once we meet, can we still be friends on Facebook, I would hate to lose this banter.”

She got it. But… She was also getting it. Somewhere along this path I was letting my heart get involved. Even knowing the romance was pure fantasy, what a thrill to find a mutual attraction of the minds that seemed to expand and continue over the course of an entire day. And even after negotiating a Saturday afternoon meetup, I was hungry for her. Uh oh.

But I have learned a bit about this before. So I did my thing. I read. Wrote. And social media-ed. And since I had my kids that night, I didn’t have too much time to dig into her profile before taking my kids to breakfast in the morning and delivering them to their mom’s house and it was off to the “coffee date,” meet up, first face-to-face encounter. I kept my calm about me. Sat by the front of the cool coffee shop and waited.

Now, here’s where I’m going to reveal some of my vulnerabilities. She came in and said “Hi.” We did the simple hug. And she was going to order something to drink. In that first few moments, watching her at the counter ordering coffee, I observed myself taking her all in. Jeans and comfy shoes, very nice lines, well within my happy  zone. I was struck by how easily I qualified her by her appearance. I liked the look of her right away.

And when she came to the table, and we chatted for two hours, I was no less intrigued and fascinated. Again I was trying to observe my reactions in a more objective way. She had amazing eyes of blue, something I noticed immediately in her photographs. And a wicked smile, that I kept sort of staring at, imagining, going there. (Oops.) And her shirt and the shape of her neck as it entered the simple thermal shirt. Yep, my brain said, she’s in.

And while I was trying to show my most charming side, I’m not sure I was getting the pickup or resonance I was hoping for. I am still not sure, but I could almost feel her first scan when I stood up to greet her. Again, I’m making this up, but I felt like she took me in from running shoes, to shorts, to black t-shirt and then to my smile, all in the course of 30 seconds. And maybe that was all it took, maybe she was/is playing demure. But here’s what happened next…

We headed out to the cars, saying goodbye and such. And rather than the “what’s next” vibe, I got, “Well, I’d like to hear your song, sometime.”

I think the message was clear. At some very early moment in our meeting, I did not meet some parameter of hers.

It wasn’t the BINGO I was hoping for. And I am certain I was aglow. In reviewing my own behavior and expectations, I was at the top of my form. Maybe my form didn’t meet her expectations or projections from our Facebook romance. Maybe it’s as simple as that.

All systems go, all hearts and minds engaged, and you meet and nothing. (groan)

But, playing it cool, I wanted to make sure I was not over-thinking. I didn’t really have a roadmap for what it would look like if she were 100% aflame as well. But that’s what I was hoping for. I don’t think that’s what happened.

A couple of hours later I pinged her on Facebook just checking in.

“Just let me know, and do you want to get together tomorrow sometime?”

Her response took 3 hours and it was kind of obtuse. As if she didn’t understand what I was saying. A very different voice from the engaging romantic she had cooked up in my mind during our first 24-hours as FB friends. Okay, no worries, perhaps she’s being conservative. Perhaps she doesn’t know what to expect either.

I switched gears in my response the next day. “So do you get your son today or tomorrow?”

And this response was even more off. “Tomorrow, but I’m going to rest today.”

And this time, for the sake of clarity and brevity I went direct. “So… That’s kinda “meh”. Am I getting that right?”

She seemed to misunderstand. “Meh?”

“I was trying to get a read on if you were interested in getting together again. Perhaps I’m being dense. I enjoyed your company yesterday and would like to see you again, if desire and time allows. No hurry.”

And here’s where the mystery begins and ends. “I would definitely really love to be friends and then see what goes from there.”

And I dropped the thread with an affirmation of this sentiment. But that’s not what I was looking for. The responses had become hours in return. When we were flirting the responses were fast and flighty. So…

I think the message was clear. At some very early moment in our meeting, I did not meet some parameter of hers. All that built up energy and romantic charge didn’t offset or live up to whatever she had hoped I would look like.

I went to the well on this one and asked GF #1 about it.

“So, in this current situation… I simply wait it out, right? Any signal from me would be over-reaching? Seems to weird not to say “hello” today, but I think she needs to feel like she’s in control. She initially reached out to me. If she was “meh” then she won’t. If she was “maybe” then she will. But I think I have responded to her favorable statement, and now I drop the line and let her run until she realizes she’s missing me in the same way she was missing someone before I ever showed up. Is that right? Would you feel pressured if your spark followed up too quickly?”

GF #1 said that her gut-read was cautious rather than “friend zone” but she liked the idea of letting her line run.

So that’s where I am. I’ll invite her to coffee today.

What I learned.

  1. I am a powerful romantic and do enjoy the flight of romance that can happen via online connections.
  2. I have pretty distinct evaluation criteria that can only be decided in-person.
  3. Too much pre-roll romance wastes a lot of energy if there’s not a match.
  4. My disappointment at feeling the match and not having it reciprocated, is still hard.
  5. Less fantasy, less striving, more walking and playing music.
  6. Move along.

Update: After finishing a nice long walk I had a few additional observations on my most recent fishing expedition. I got some jazz from the connection, generated two poems from it, and got to feel my heart get all big again. Nice. I also got a bit of a hangover when the resonance did not match what I was hoping for. And now… I’m waiting for her FB response? Um, no. That’s the miss. While I did offer coffee today, my guess is her response will be lukewarm. And unless I press the date, it probably won’t happen. Sad, but true. A waste of energy? Not really. A new learning? In theory, but we’ll see the next time a princess shows up at my door. Moving forward, onward, and upward. You’ve got to turn over a lot of rocks to find the diamond, I guess. And of the three YES-vibes I got upon meeting a first date, this was the furthest I’d gone down the projection path, with all the mutual banter between us. Perhaps I should’ve focused more on my work that day, or the song that was trying to be born. Either way, I’m not unhappy with the results, just disappointed at yet one more grab and miss. But at least the promise of a YES is still out there.

Poem upon getting her hello on FB: arriving at any time (I shared this one with her,” a poem is a poem, you know.”)
Poem upon sensing the miss or possible caution: let’s pretend nothing sparked (I did not share this one, directly)

Sincerely,

The Off Parent
@theoffparent

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image: a random capture off the web


Blended Family Mating Call; Or How Do You Find a Sane Single Mom?

trying to date a single momI’m in this dating thing to win. Part-time of course, the other 38% of my time I’m a single dad.

I didn’t really start this blog with the intention of turning it into a romance, dating, and love poem blog. Things have kind of evolved that way. I’m not sure it’s perfect, but it does capture the whole of me, the OFF parent, both when I’m “off” (without kids) and when I’m “on” (single-dad). But it’s not really an opening line, “I write a fairly successful divorce blog.” Um, no. I don’t think I tell them that for a long time.

But it’s one of the things I do. I write to get this transition down on paper. Some forensics: what the fk happened to the relationship I thought was going to be my respite and resting place forever? And some aspirational: love poetry trying to give voice to the romantic in my soul that is still stretching towards ecstasy. The lover in me that refuses to give up one item on my wish list just to get rid of loneliness. Nope. I’ll wait.

There was an immediate chemistry between us, as the party progressed we kept finding ourselves paired up and chatting. She was married. But she was also a bit flirty, a bit open, and very sexy.

I’ll seek. I’ll sing. I’ll write poems. And I’ll improve my roll, as it were, with the dates I do go on. But most of all, I’ll stay true to the things I am learning about my true desire and my true nature. And EVEN WHEN THINGS FEEL GREAT, as they did with “almost mythical” GF #1, I won’t stop until the final equation, the final circuit is complete.

I demand a stellar partner. And I will remain alone until we find each other.

Meanwhile, on planet Earth, the process of dating, re-dating, re-framing my OKCupid profile, continues. And while I took most of the summer off to work on myself, to ramp my musical performance engine back up, and to give my dating ambition a rest… I’m hungry.

Two years ago: Enter single mom of two young kids. Much younger than mine. Am I ready to be in a relationship with someone who has a three-year-old? (Um, wait… I’m getting ahead of myself.)

This single mom was not single when we met at a friend’s birthday party. There was an immediate chemistry between us, as the party progressed we kept finding ourselves paired up and chatting. She was married. But she was also a bit flirty, a bit open, and very sexy. I kept my intentions pure and when the evening ended I made the, “we should connect on Facebook” play. And she eventually came around to it after a few asks. Again… She was married.

Two months ago: A random LIKE on one of her Facebook pictures elicited a “Hey, what are you doing?” And in a matter of days I learn she’s divorced, and might like to grab a cup of coffee or drink sometime.

BINGO! The light goes on in my head. Sexy. CHECK. Chemistry. CHECK. Intelligent and engaging conversation. CHECK. And now she’s not married any more. And then this happens, over and over and over:

“Hey, how’s it going?”

Me, “Great. How’s your afternoon going?”

“Crazy busy.”

Me, “How about  a cup of coffee later?”

“Can’t, sitter just called in sick.”

Over and over and over.

I understand a couple of things from this ongoing (we still have not met face-to-face in the two months we’ve been pinging back and forth on Facebook) reconnect and lack of connection.

  1. Early stages of divorce are filled with all kinds of crazy emotions, crazy scheduling nightmares, asshole ex-parents, and all the other stuff that goes along with resetting and formulating every detail of your parenting life.
  2. Full-time working mom’s have a lot of responsibility. And their children come first.
  3. This particular mom might not have it all together yet.
  4. For some reason, even after two years, we are still drawn to each other.

Now, I’m also concerned about my own reactions to this woman’s advances and CONTINUAL disappointing outcomes.

  1. I’m still engaged even after she’s left me waiting for the text or call that would coordinate our “walk” or “glass of wine” or “going out after work.” Why am I still even listening to her?
  2. She shows up as a bit of a party girl on FB. (Maybe everyone does.) And she’s trying to reestablish her “liveliness” and “fun” via pictures.
  3. I’m SO flexible and accommodating that I’m going to get trampled by her lack of follow-through or any consideration of what she’s agreed to.

Here’s the most recent example, from last weekend.

Saturday morning, 10:30 am: She asks, “Hey what are you doing today?”

“About to go for a walk. What great weather. How about you?”

“Dropping off some tickets to a friend.”

I get it, single mom’s are busy. Newly divorced people have got their schedules and priorities on their kids. AND I’m a sucker for a pretty lady and will cuckold myself repeatedly if I think it might be fun.

We chat for a bit and she calls on the phone. It is great to hear her voice again. We fall into a familiar cadence, just like we did at the party. It’s a little bit exhilarating. She’s going to call me back in about 30 minutes and we’re going to meet for a walk around the lake.

She doesn’t call. I’m ready to walk and I pause to wait for her call.

Not wanting to be the aggressor, or be too pushy, I give her an hour and a half before I text her phone.

“Did you get roped in?”

“You know me so well,” comes her quick reply. Then nothing again for hours. I refrain from begging.

By late afternoon I finally text her again. “What’s up?”

“Spent too much time with my friend, and ran some errands, what’s up with you?”

Maybe I misinterpreted her initial text and our phone call that included plans. Maybe I should point it out and be done with her. But I don’t. I let it roll on by.

A few hours later she asks if I’m going to watch the football game. I engage without enthusiasm. I’m heading to a friend’s house for a game night. She closes with, “I’m having a some friends over here, we’re watching the game. A little girl time.”

Done. I’m done.

We exchange a few texts the next day and again I pawn myself and ask for coffee.

“Can’t. Taking kids to park.”

I get it, single mom’s are busy. Newly divorced people have got their schedules and priorities on their kids. AND I’m a sucker for a pretty lady and will cuckold myself repeatedly if I think it might be fun.

Okay, that’s a bit harsh on myself, I’m not overly obsessed with this woman. She’s still showing up like a pretty butterfly. But I’m not sure what she’s after. Maybe I’m a “potential” that’s nice for her to have in her pocket. And maybe she’s the same for me.

For now, we do the dance, I’ll continue to answer any openings with an offer and perhaps in another two months we’ll meet up. But I’m not counting on it. She’s like a siren, calling me to shore. I’m not sure she’s really a resting place for my weary and romantic head, but it beats having no muses for amusement.

Sincerely,

The Off Parent

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