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