Sure, some men were polite, attractive and intelligent, but for years no sparks flew in my direction and no one was ever all that funny, interesting or a better option than a hot bath, rented movie or a stack of new magazines.The boys didn’t need any more surprises from a parent.This is because children are self-referencing: they believe themselves to be the cause of everything. Barring abuse, untreated substance addiction, severe mental health issues, or other child-endangering factors, your children still need to spend time with, love, and respect both parents, even if one has been acting less than lovely or trustworthy.This means they need to be shielded from explanations like, “your dad is a lazy bum” or “your mom is crazy.” They need a fuzzy explanation, such as, “we just can’t get along, and we will both be happier in separate homes.” If they ask for more information, you can always play the “I’ll tell you more when you are older” card., author and Northwestern University journalism professor Michele Weldon explores all the nuances and metaphors of that phrase.
The following excerpt is a shortened version of Weldon’s chapter on the challenges of dating as a single, midlife parent, titled simply: Raising the boys alone without financial assistance or physical reprieve kept me occupied, if not impatient. “How often are your boys away for the whole weekend? “Never.” I noticed a perceptible shift in his demeanor. I liked being able to relinquish control, even if just in the restaurant ordering wine.There was the Italian accountant with the creaseless pants who asked early on our first date if I had my marriage annulled.He was Catholic and wanted to remarry and didn’t see the point of going much further if I didn’t conform to canon law.Finding love is part willingness and part geography: You can only be so determined to have a happily ever after; your zip code has to meet you halfway.As of 2015, about 109 million, or 45 percent, of the U. adult population are single, including the individual components of the now-defunct Brangelina.We parent with enthusiasm, we work hard at whatever our jobs are, we are tender caretakers and tough decision makers." Sound like the kind of badass, complex woman you want to ride alongside for life? While other people you date might get clingy and annoyed by your few-and-far-between texts, a single mom ain't got time for that.