As any single person who has put themselves out in the dating world knows: dating is TOUGH! Dating as a single parent can be even tougher, both for the parent and for the person dating them.
After you’ve been in a serious relationship or two, you start to make a list of things that are important to you, things you want and things you need from your next partner, things you can tolerate in someone’s personality and things you can’t. We do this to try to avoid future heartbreak and to make it easier to spot “the one,” but sometimes I wonder if we’re not setting ourselves up for failure.
Having created accounts on various dating sites, I’ve answered numerous questions about what I’m looking for, what my mandatory requirements are and what I really don’t care about. I’m starting to think my Mr. Right isn’t out there because I’ve set such strict restrictions for myself.
|Guys who like girls||I need a straight man|
|Ages 28-40||Maturity is more important than the actual number|
|Near me||I’ve had two relationships where we lived 50+ miles away from each other; the distance was very hard on us|
|Who are single||I’m not going to play second-fiddle or the part of the mistress|
|For long-term dating||Dating sites don’t have “For marriage” as an option because CREEPY|
Seems simple enough. But then we start to dig a little deeper.
A Little More Detail
|Body type: About average, Athletic and toned, or slender||I consider myself to be “about average” because when people describe themselves as “a few extra pounds” they tend to mean 20-40 pounds while the people reading their profile think it to mean 5-10 pounds. And I think I have the “average” body-type of an average 30-year-old woman who’s birthed two children.|
|Drink: Social drinker, Moderately||I’m honestly not sure I could be with someone long-term who is a recovering alcoholic or doesn’t drink EVER. That’s just me, and at least I know that about myself.|
|Want kids: Probably not, No I don’t want kids, Not sure, No but it’s OK if my partner has kids||I’ve said it before and it’s still 95% true: I don’t want more kids. It all boils down to math and wanting to enjoy life as an adult after Em is grown. Selfish, maybe, but it’s what I want. I am also uncertain about dating a single dad; I did it once and it was nearly impossible to get time alone due to our schedules with our kids.|
|Faith: Agnostic, Christian/Protestant, Christian/Other, Spiritual but not religious||While I have my ups and downs with my own faith, I still identify myself as a Protestant Christian and I think I’d have trouble living the rest of my life with someone who holds severely contrasting beliefs|
Okay, so that narrowed things down a bit more. Still not too restrictive, but a clear definition of what I’m looking for on the surface.
But, really, there’s more to compatibility between two people, isn’t there? While it’s good to have differences of opinion to help avoid boredom, there are some things I just KNOW I need. Things that will help maintain harmony in the relationship and other things that are the foundation of who I am – and what I need to see in my partner, too. I’ve learned from my past relationships what qualities I am looking for and what I absolutely cannot tolerate. These are some answers I need to get from a potential match before I invest outside-of-the-internet time in them.
The Nitty Gritty
|Do you have time for a committed relationship in your life at this point?||Yes, absolutely.|
|Do you feel that having sex with someone you have known less than one year would be too soon?||No|
|Do you ever use the word “gay” as an insult or pejorative?||No|
|Are you a virgin?||No|
|Do you consider astrology to be a legitimate science?||No|
|Do overweight people annoy you?||No|
|Are you currently employed?||Yes, I have a full-time job|
|Do you feel there are any circumstances in which a person is obligated to have sex with you?||No|
|Do you think homosexuality is a sin?||No|
|Gay marriage — should it be legal?||Yes|
|Do you feel guilty or bad after having sex?||No|
|What is the next in this series? 1, 4, 10, 19, 31, __||46|
|Do you keep a budget?||Yes|
|Do humans and modern primates share a common evolutionary ancestor?||Yes|
|Do you believe contraception is morally wrong?||No|
The answers to these questions indicate intelligence, life experience, maturity, stance on human rights, and attitude toward their partner and toward the world around them. There are HUNDREDS more questions more and less serious than these, more and less (ahem) intimate than these and more and less trivial than these; I know, I’ve answered 1658 of them. 1658 questions that I’ve answered for two purposes: to figure out where I stand on certain issues (like travel desires, personal sexual preferences, dietary lifestyles, etc.) and to hopefully find a match who complements me.
I know other single moms who found their partner after only a few years of single parenthood, others who met their partner after their kids were grown, and still others that never again entered into a long-term relationship. I know myself: I do not feel complete without a partner. I don’t want to be without a romantic relationship for the rest of my life
But here’s what I’m wondering: am I asking too much? Am I being too picky in what I want from my future partner? People are always telling each other not to settle – but what if I stick to these parameters and never meet the guy that fits in them? So far, I’ve yet to be matched with someone who meets ALL of these criteria. Am I setting myself up for failure, or do I just need to stick to my guns and wait however long it takes for me to find him?