2156. Dating in Mid-life — Part A1: Put Children Aside for Now

Being too conscientious as single mother is your greatest obstacle to successful dating in mid-life. Your biggest badge of honor is complete dedication and sacrifice to your children, and you moms with one child have it in spades. If you can’t ease up on that single-minded, self-induced, and no longer essential pressure in your life, you’ll never be able to add and successfully merge a new man into your family. If you don’t deserve your own life relative to your children, how can you ever be worthy of a man or deserve your own life with a new husband?

The prospect of family conflict is daunting. No question of that. But resolution is simple. You have to decide. Not who’s the most important in your life, husband or children? But how do you merge their interests into an integral family and harmonized home? If you think you can, you can. If you think you can’t, you’re right.

You know your children and how to handle them. You’ve spent years learning just what they need, want, and can take without breaking. If you can’t convince them that you deserve the attention and affection that they’ve gotten from you for so many years, or if your guilt won’t let you ease up the pressures you put on yourself, then you have no business even considering entering the dating arena.

Sorry, but I was trained in mid-life to be up front, blunt, and candid when high pressure subjects come up. My hard-nose attitude reflected above is based on one irrevocable principle that floats unshakably in the male mind. Husbands will not play second fiddle to children, even their own and much less someone else’s. And they won’t play second fiddle to their wives except for those husbands full of devotion for their own.

It doesn’t mean that women with kids can’t have a new husband. It means that she must use her greatest relationship expertise every day to keep both kids and new date/boyfriend/fiancé/husband convinced that they rank as first priority in her heart. Mothers do it carefully and endlessly with kids. Why not throw someone else in the mix if she can be rewarded by someone other than herself?

I’ve always admired Her Majesty Grace’s success with our three boys. When alone with each, she referred to them as her oldest and most precious, her middlest and most precious, and her youngest and most precious. It worked beautifully for her. They were in mid-life before they learned they were loved more equally than they thought. It added to their regard for each other, because each saw how their mom more highly regarded his brothers.

Hold off the family uproar until you discover if you really want to date. If you really want to face what I shall describe in this series. Not discouragements but encouragements, although you may not see things exactly as I do.

I can’t do it now, but I shall put together an article on how to help handle children better. In the meantime, I think you should forget the impact of your entering the dating arena will have on them. Do what you think is best for yourself while considering how you want to possibly change your life. They will not be forever in the nest, and everything else shall pass as you think and perhaps manage your way into a new way of life.

I admire your courage if you enter the dating scene. I admire your character if you do it in spite of what your children wish. I admire your readership if you argue back with me. I admire your spunk if you learn to make men uncomfortable and thus earn their respect.

As for masculine discomfort, up front, blunt, and candid can pay off with manly respect. For example, I love this motto when you’re approached uninvited and unwanted: No ring, no booty. Still interested?

For tomorrow: 2157—You Gotta’ Know the Territory



Filed under courtship, The mind

7 responses to “2156. Dating in Mid-life — Part A1: Put Children Aside for Now

  1. Kristen

    This couldn’t come at a more appropriate time for me! I am a divorced mom of three children ages 15, 12 and 9. I have dating a man with two children ages 17 and 11 for a year and a half despite two of my children’s wishes that I do not. I have listened to their feelings, but have still insisted that I have my own life to lead. I have dated him when they visit their dad. Following this blog along the way has helped me to keep my virtual virginity and have standards regarding church going and other things such as opening the car door for me.

    Unfortunately, I think this relationship has pretty much ended as of this weekend. I was upfront with him about subjects that are not new and have been talked to death for the past year and a half: church going, premarital intimacy, and marriage timelines. I said that I needed a man who was going in the same life direction as myself, in other words, attend church with me. I also needed someone who intended to marry me within a few years (not many years like he has indicated) if factors were favorable. That man would be an involved stepfather, not just my room mate.

    He basically said that he feels like he’s not good enough, and feels like he will never be good enough for me (I will always demand more). He cannot be my hero or savior. He doesn’t forsee us marrying soon because my two daughters do not like me dating him (or anyone), and because of hangups from seeing relatives blending families unsuccessfully. He has said he will let me go to find a man going in the same direction. I know that men leave when they feel they cannot make the woman happy. Heartbreak aside, I am staying strong because I know what kind of life I expect me and my children to live.

    I am looking forward to future posts on this topic, so….thank you, Guy!! I do appreciate any input if I a.m missing something, or need to understand anything from a man’s perspective.

    Your Highness Kristen,

    Welcome aboard. It’s a great day when another pretty woman joins us on this cruise to WhatWomenNeverHear.

    Congratulations. You escaped a poor candidate after a good job of screening, testing, and holding your character solidly in place. You made him uncomfortable and his full character emerged. He lacks the confidence to tackle new challenges, which means he reduces his chances to admire himself, which means you would have to compensate. He has little or no true interest in expanding his responsibility, which means you would have had to step into his vacated CEO shoes had you ever married. He doesn’t want to lead a blended family, which means he thinks he can’t. IOW, you proved him disqualified before you went too far yourself. Well done.


    • Vashti

      I am so grateful for this blog!…My son is 17, although the past few years he has not been against me dating, he just doesn’t want to have to “meet” any of them!…lol. I commend Kristen above for sticking to her guns. I have a few friends who put up with men like that, and in the end, after wasting years of their lives with them, compromising, they broke up. She dodged a bullet! Hope I will too by reading and following the advice of your wonderful blog, as I enter the dating waters in middle age.

      Your Highness Vashti,

      Welcome aboard. It’s a great day when another pretty woman joins us on this cruise to WhatWomenNeverHear.

      I invite you to try this tactic with your son. Ask for his advice on the character, just the character, of your dates. How should you go about discovering what they are really like? How would he determine how reliable each is as a person? How does he determine they are serious about life? Dependable? Truthful? Pleasant? Agreeably oriented to dealing with people? Intensely offensive? Stubborn? Tightwad? Funny? Sincere? Too self-centered? Selfish?

      How would he analyze each guy? Not from his viewpoint as your son, but from the viewpoint of having to deal with someone regularly. Would each be a help or hindrance? In your son’s opinion, would each make a good business partner? Would he go into business with them?

      Advise him that your dates are not the enemy, just candidates for friendship.

      Let me know if you try it and the results.


      • Kristen

        To Guy,
        Your words of wisdom are a gift to me. I already filled my ex’s CEO shoes in my past marriage, so I needed to hear this. It is so, so hard when you are emotionally involved to hold out for what you believe is God’s best for you. I am reminded on your posts on the path to victory, and I will be rereading those. Thank you!

        To Vashti,
        Thank you for those real life examples. I am encouraged that I am going in the right direction. I will try Guy’s suggestions with my kids. Teenagers need a chance to express themselves and be validated. God bless you!

      • Cinnamon

        I LOVE this list of questions for Vashti’s son. I also think this list could be tweaked and applied to younger sons.

        What a wonderful opportunity for a mother to get her boys to think about the traits that make up a man of character, and to show respect for their opinions.

      • Vashti

        Great idea Guy! I would have never thought of that! but then that is why we are all here on your blog, soaking in the advice we need but won’t hear out in the world. Thanks! I’ll let you know how it goes….

  2. Emma

    No ring, no booty! or “I am not providing wifi privileges without the wife status”.

    • Cinnamon

      No ring, no booty. Still interested?

      Sir Guy,

      How does saying this out loud (as opposed to saying it indirectly to him, with actions, and waiting for him to figure it out) fit in with your strategy of not coming out and telling a man “no sex until marriage” directly? The two approaches seem to be contradictory.

      I agree with saying it in your own mind, frequently, but based on your previous advice (such as in post 935, and in others), I don’t think I would recommend that she verbalize it so explicitly. I would appreciate your thoughts on this.

      Your Highness Cinnamon,

      I thought it clear but…. I propose using in when a woman is approached uninvited and unwanted such as happened to Tooconfused in the supermarket parking lot. Her encounter was the origin of the idea.

      Just thinking it when surprised doesn’t cut it. The purpose is to reshape his self-confidence as discomfort and put him on defense.


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