Advice on dating a single parent
I'm hoping to get some advice from single parents who are dating at the moment. I have met someone that I posted about recently and we have started dating more frequently.
I'm kind of at a point where it is going really well when we see each other but I want to know if it is likely to be going somewhere. I'd like to think that coming up to date 5 it means that things are going well but I don't really hear from her between dates. I know everyone has different texting habits.
She has articulated that she has been surprised by everything she has been feeling so far and she is feeling guilty about time for her kids and also about allowing time for dating. So I'm being as understanding as I can be but I'm also scared that she might turn around and say that now she's got her head into dating mode she wants to see other people. I think she's shocked the first date she went on that she met someone nice and was expecting to be dating a bit before she 'met' someone.
So I'm also allowing time for that to sink in so she can work out if this is what she wants. I guess I've been dating on and off for a year and I've not really met anyone I have connected with until now... I feel quite vulnerable to like someone and worry they might be sceptical because it's the first person they've dated since their split and also might be scared because of the kids.
I just want some advice so I don't scare her away but I also make sure that I can ask 'where is this likely to go?'
The last time we went out she got upset when the cab got close to my street and got very clingy about the fact she didn't know when she could get someone to look after the kids to see me again. So I don't think I'm misreading 'the signs'... But maybe it's just a different type of communication because I literally will only get a message to say 'hey I can be free on Friday are you around?' But no chit chat in between even though we've seen each other a few times...
"I'm kind of at a point where it is going really well when we see each other but I want to know if it is likely to be going somewhere. "
Ohh...You want a crystal ball.
Well, mine are quite crystal (ha-ha) so... But first you're going to have to tell me- no, you're not - scratch that... just read the bit about 'not hearing from her between dates'. Well, who told you she was the wooer and you the woo-ee? Are you both quite young? Is she a traditionalist, do you think (you Tarzan, she Jane) and is leaving that right and prerogative to you, where it naturally (emphasis on Nature) belongs...helped along by having been a bit too 'pushy' in her prior relationships and having blamed that for why things didn't pan out right?
You also mention her having to juggle her time and attention. Yes, she will be... because as custodian she's basically having to be both mother AND father.
How old are her kids? Still at 'acting up at bedtime' age? And does she work? If so, could she be 'fighting' the relationship (as has had you ending up on here) because she can't seem to get the balance right otherwise?
" So I'm being as understanding as I can be but I'm also scared that she might turn around and say that now she's got her head into dating mode she wants to see other people."
Where's THIS come from? You really think that someone who recognised they were falling in love quite quickly - enough to get upset at not knowing when (as in how soon) she could next be together with you - would (assuming they were emotionally healthy) turn their back on it in order to... [wait for it]... do the work of being spread too thin and left feeling guilty over it WITHOUT THAT GIANT PERK TO COUNTER IT ALL? Are you mad? Wait - that'd be a yes ("If it's not madness it's not love" - Pedro Calderon de la Barca).
Do you realise it's YOU who's fighting it, not her (in terms of catalyst)? Ask me how - go on. ;-)
Haha! Yes I guess I do want a crystal ball. I am so out of practice with dating that I really don't know how to behave or what I am doing really. I haven't dated for 13 years and we're both around our 40's.
I also have to keep reminding myself it's early doors, but when I last dated 13 years ago my ex used to text me everyday even after date 1... But we did dive in head first and were living together in 3 months... So it's not the greatest point of reference. I did say to my friends that the next time I dated I would go slower. But I just wondered if it was normal to hardly hear from someone between dates, whether the texts initially are purely logistics of the next date.
The kids are 6 and 3... So they are pretty young. I know they will be taking up her attention and absolutely as they should. I would be worried if it was any other way.
It's come from a few bad experiences from previous dating where every time someone went quiet on me it would be because they have met someone else. So probably insecurity, but also from the outset she said she didn't want anything serious but the last time we went out she was saying things like 'this is crazy', 'I'm not emotionally equipped for this right now', 'I just don't know when I will see you'... Just in general was a bit taken aback, as have I been as I was looking for not serious too but I have been surprised at meeting someone so great so soon. However I don't have children and my LT relationship break up was nearly 2 years ago where as hers is much more recent. So we're in different 'post break up' stages. Her last relationship was also very LT.
It's bloody scary when you feel yourself falling for someone and you just don't know how it's going to all pan out. I guess I am aware that there is a yellow flag (proceed with caution - definitely not a red flag) in terms of whether she is emotionally ready for this and naturally there will be guilt around the separation from her LT partner and the impact on the children. I guess I am wanting to run before I walk and a friend told me yesterday that perhaps I need to remember to enjoy the stage of 'dating' and not want to rush through this stage.
I also can see this being great as she is an amazing woman and I don't want pesky timing to get in the way.
(Sorry for the delay.)
Er - wait - two years?
Well, whichever... The point was obviously, last time you got too hurt and then other things took precedence (job?).
Well, you can have HALF a crystal ball (your own) but anything beyond that is impossible. It's like househunting: it's not until you're moved in and living there day-to-day that you start to notice the odd crack in the plaster and other (hopefully minor) defects that can be easily 'pimped'. So this time you've got to keep a little part of your mind constantly anywhere between on-call and actively vigilant, sat from on high, looking down on it all objectively and clinically (think Spock), rather than ALL of you floating off with the Honeymoon fairies (think Kirk)...fun though that is..., in terms of noticing behaviour and actions, what they might mean, how and where else they could express and impact, ignoring stuff that can't really change anything, noticing your faux pas and being at the ready to apologise and sort them out before they can detriment anything, etc. (PS: a diamond gentleman always apologises and takes the blame because the whole premise is (still) that he's the boss and the buck always does stop at the boss...remember that one, it's a sign of manly strength as then leaves it up to her to argue the toss (initiate=respond).)
Oh, and - like you're already doing - always, ALWAYS compare the current to the exes AT THAT PRECISE POINT OF THE PROCEEDINGS ONLY. Anything else is an unfair and unrealistic comparison that can result in erroneous readings and conclusions.
Your ex used to text you every day because she was, for example, post-traumatised, high maintenance, insecure, not enough to fill her day/night...that sort of thing (and obviously naturally a bit too much of a control freak). But in those 13 (er, 2) years your mind has been background working out everything that went wrong or didn't go to plan and all the reasons and mis-moves why, meaning, this one is an automatic upgrade. Hopefully, not just ONE upgrade up but a whole number in one fell swoop. Accordingly, this one's behaving LIKE A LADY and not instantly throwing all her other priorities out of the window or chasing after you like she has no trust in your own ability to steer and woo...which *is* still the man's prerogative (because Feminism, etc. can't re-wire us in so short a period; it takes EONS)... until such time as the woman is 'caught' (although when I say 'until such time', I mean only, because that's when she can start to give as much as she gets, as in, start to *join in* with being more proactive and initative-taking rather than just responsive to whatever you do/say...wooing is a life-long job if you want the relationship to keep on growing and improving).
So don't fall back into the bad habits that Little Miss Desperado lulled you into. See Newbie as a pan of milk on the hob and you the chef. You have complete control over keeping the heat consistent at whatever degree C and whether and when you turn it up, watching all the while with your hand ready on the control knob to make sure she doesn't 'flash boil' and create a mess. Right now, however, what you've been doing is standing there watching the pan and wondering why it isn't getting hotter and starting to reach a simmer, when you haven't even put the pan over the hob, just by the side of it (tepid-to-warm only). That's not 'slower', it's not even getting properly started, meaning, you're overreacting, going from one extreme (too fast) to the other (too slow). After all, if your texts merely ask after her and chat and entertain then you're not taking up her still precious time yet ARE, still, bit by bit warming her up (phonecalls are faster for obvious audial reasons). And then at the point where you can tell she's in the mood for an actual live chat you can suggest moving the convo to the phone 'for 10 mins' (- 'Slowly, slowly, catchee monkey').
Little Miss Desperado obviously thought she were the pan of milk *and* the chef.
Anyway, yes it's normal when they're ready and healthy and have a full life already, meaning, the more you 'heat them' the more they start to bit-by-bit chuck things out or put things on ice in order to make more and more room for you. As it should be, that *is* the definition of wooing to catch then wooing to keep.
The key, though, is to be *consistent* because trust is actually just another word for the ability to predict how someone would feel and react in whatever situation at whatever time in whatever environment. So if you say you'll call at X time then DO (or text and warn of a delay). Just behave like a dependable gentleman...Not TOO consistent and dependable, though, because you need to preserve the natural excitement via a soupcon of 'I wonder whethers'. (Do that too much and you're into abusive territory...This is about finding the right balance and then adjusting it to suit who you are and who she is and who you are as a unit.) So a good tack is to be consistent...consistent...consistent...then - WHOOPS!...but quickly followed up by reassurance (think peaks and troughs of a rollercoaster, that's basically the pattern of play you're looking to emulate, albeit stretched out more over time/in slo-mo, if you want the woman to fall increasingly for you despite her own conscious ideas).
"It's bloody scary when you feel yourself falling for someone and you just don't know how it's going to all pan out."
LOL, Tell me about it! That's why it's to vital to be the capable/impressive mover-shaker YET ALSO the vigilant hawk, watching and listening all the time for indications in her how she reacts as to whether the heat needs turning up or down a bit and whether the milk needs a quick stir to stop a skin from forming.
You can also fail to text/email/ring for 2-3 days but meanwhile send a small and cute Interflora bouquet. If the method of communication varies then that's a very safe way of keeping her on her toes and wondering....scary rollercoaster yet with big, chunky over-shoulder harness so that you do know deep-down that you're perfectly safe and can concentrate more fully on enjoying the ride sensation itself.
So, in summary, it's this (LOL): she's a saucepan of full cream milk ON *your* hob, strapped into a scary, high-feature rollercoaster, but strapped in snugly via an over-shoulder harness.....up, left, up, right, up, down at the rate of knotts, up again just as fast or faster...repeat, repeat, repeat, SUDDEN LOOP-THE-LOOP!, and repeat process but always going steadily higher. Got it? :-D