Setting Myself Up

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.

The Basics

Guys who like girlsI need a straight man
Ages 28-40Maturity is more important than the actual number
Near meI’ve had two relationships where we lived 50+ miles away from each other; the distance was very hard on us
Who are singleI’m not going to play second-fiddle or the part of the mistress
For long-term datingDating 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 slenderI 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, ModeratelyI’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 kidsI’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 religiousWhile 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?

One thought on “Setting Myself Up

  1. Barbara Nash

    Hi you! Not sure your reading these notes but I thought I’d put it out there again…

    I found my husband when I stopped looking for a man. I want to believe it was a vide I put out there.

    I have a dear friend who was one some dating site. Had lots of challenging first dates, nothing worth a second really. Was going to do ONE MORE DATE with a new one and sure enough, there was a second date and now one and half years later, they are getting married tomorrow. I’m not sure that they are soul-mates but since they are both older with their own baggage, I think they sincerely have a love for each other and will be happy for the rest of their lives.

    I just thought you’d like to see there are good people out there to be had. I wonder why these douches that you keep hearing from are actually on these sites, maybe just looking for a hook-up and hoping for more or being ok if not. They just sound like losers.

    Good luck with your search. You’ll know when someone is good enough for your time. I think of you often and love reading your stuff!!!


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