We are only a matter of days away from the beginning of new school year. A new school year means lots of changes for everyone. The kids have new grades, teachers and classes to adjust to, as well as get used to getting up in the morning to go to school again. Parents have to adjust to the school routine of getting the kids ready and making sure they get to school.
It also means a major change in my dating life.
Starting next week, my son will be home from his Summer visit to his mother’s and he will be going back to school. That means a monumental shift in my dating game. My availability goes from “any time” to “rarely”. You see, I don’t have a big support network of family and/or friends who can watch my son while I go out on dates or to just have grown-up time. And with his mother living 8+ hours away, I don’t have every other weekend available like most divorced parents. My son sees his mother on average about once per month, sometimes longer. Her visits are scheduled around his long breaks from school (anything 4+ days long).
This creates some major obstacles in the dating game.
No longer can I go out any night of the week, or spend the night somewhere. Having girls over or spend the night is also out. I want to make sure a woman has serious potential before I introduce her into my children’s daily life. So this seriously limits my window of opportunity to about one or two chances per month, maybe more depending on the month.
This has already been a serious obstacle with girls I dated before my son left for the Summer. Most girls say they understand and don’t have a problem with it. Many will even say they think there is something extremely attractive about a guy who has custody of his kids and devotes so much of himself to them. But the truth soon rears its ugly head.
If I am dating a girl and we cross that certain threshold, whether it’s a certain amount of time together or physical intimacy, I do not talk to, flirt with, or entertain other women in any way. I’m talking about potential female dates, not true female friends. I am not interested in looking around once I have established myself with someone, and regardless of how much I say it or even try to demonstrate it, that usually doesn’t seem to be enough. So far, only one woman has been willing to play the waiting game for me, and that was Abigail (you will read more about her later). Things ended with her not because of my limited availability, but because it was too early in my return to dating for me to be comfortable with the boyfriend/girlfriend labels and other intimate attachments. But she wanted them and I wasn’t willing to give them to her. But (again) we will cover that later.
I had a lot more hopes for what would happen this Summer once I was free to focus all of my free time on dating and women. But alas, the Summer is nearing an end and still do not have what most would consider a real girlfriend. Justine is on the verge of that status, but since we talked about the change in my schedule once school starts, things have a been a little different with her. So I am not sure what that exactly means yet. But she is also very leery about meeting and involving the children too soon, which is something we would have to consider doing to see each other as much as we would like to.
Like I said, I don’t have a large support network her to provide me with opportunities to go out. Sure, my son will occasional have a sleepover at a friend’s house, but those are usually determined within a 48-24 hour time frame. And I am not the most comfortable about hiring a strange babysitter to watch him just so I can go out. I get pangs of guilt and selfishness when I think about doing that.
What do you think? Are my expectations too high? Or should I make more efforts to be available?
Honestly, sometimes I really think I should just drop the whole dating game all together and spend my time and money on places like Adult FriendFinder, Ashley Madison, or even something like Eros and the strip clubs. That way, I’m spending my money on attachment-free fun and not having to hassle with the constraints the dating game places on me. Otherwise it takes months worth of work just to get my basic urges met, when I already know my relationship needs will most likely not be met due to the limitations of my schedule. And no, I’m not going out to the bars looking for random bar skanks to hook up with, because the quality is not as good and it’s usually a futile effort anyway. So let’s just stick with something a little more proven. My free time is rare, and I don’t want to frivolously waste it.
Let me know what you think. And thanks for listening.