Blog entry by Ivan Susanov
Women single parents have it easier, right?
I am divorced with one beautiful two-year-old girl. You've offered lots of help for women with children who are dating again, what about men who are single parents? It sure seems easier for a woman to date with or without children. Women my age don't seem to want to be tied down with children, but I don't want to sacrifice having my daughter around just to be able to have fun at a moment's notice. -- Tim H., 24, Clinton Township, Mich.
I don't think it's easier for single parents, either men or women, to date per se, I think what most determines how difficult it is to find a date, is having the time and energy to work at meeting people. If you're the custodial parent, you have less free time to meet available people. You aren't as able to join groups, clubs, classes, or go out with friends -- all places where you might meet someone.
You are a young father and I understand your point that women your age don't want to be tied down with a child. However, many single moms around your age are looking for a companion or future partner. I'd suggest you start looking to date single moms who already have a child who is about your child's age.
Too far out?
I think I've found someone who interests me and I am interested in starting a relationship. He lives about 100 miles from me. I have teenage daughters who would not relocate for anything. How do I handle this situation in case it appears? Also, he wants someone within 50 miles of his home. How do I handle this distance between our homes? -- Renee B., 45, Haleyville, Ala.
I wouldn't throw out what might be a wonderful relationship on the count of 50 miles! You need to remember that no relationship is a waste of time, every interaction we have can be a learning experience. We learn about ourselves, we see our good and bad patterns of relationship come to life, and we expand on our list of what we want from a long-term committed relationship.
Your girls are teenagers, so it may not be too long before you could make a decision to relocate, if the relationship moved in that direction. Go with your intuition here. If you feel you've found a match on many other levels, talk to him about the distance issue and see what happens. He may have reservations too -- but with a little creative problem solving, it may not be a big hurdle to overcome. On the other hand, if you feel after meeting with him a few times that the situation/distance is unbearable, be true to your feelings.
Lonely for a lady friend
I am a divorced dad with three kids in school. It seems I can't find a lady my age who is interested in just being friends. The ladies think the kids will take too much of my time and attention away from them. I am lonely for just a lady friend. -- Richard, 48, Lancaster, N. H.
There are women out there who would love to spend time with you, who might be raising their children as a single parent and who feel lonely. The problem is you stated is finding them.
I'd start by joining groups within your community where you might meet like-minded women. Since you're raising three school-age children, that might mean that while you sit watching your daughter's dance class, you converse with the mothers who are also watching. See if any would make a good friend. It may mean attending a local bookstore event on a topic you're interested in and starting a conversation. If you can find a single-parents group through a church or a local YMCA, at least you'd know that the women you were noticing were also single.
Now, if it were just friendship you wanted, start with married mothers and fathers of your kids'. Look at the activities you already do with your kids, and invite one of your kid's friends parents to go along. Be clear that you are trying to expand your circle of friends who are also raising their kids. As far as being friends, many women, especially those who have recently gone through a divorce, are also looking for companionship. Don't lose hope! Set your goal to make more female friends, expand your single parent community contacts and have courage to approach mothers and invite them on fun family outings.