Dating can be just for fun with no intention of seeking a lifelong partner, or it can be for the purpose of just that.
Dating is often notoriously frustrating or difficult.
Dating as a single parent of two kids can be even more difficult.
If you had asked me 10 years ago, I never thought I would be in the position of being a single parent, back in the dating pool. I have dated off and on during the last 6 years. There are periods of time when I was content not dating at all, not interested. Other times I would be upset with the whole process and actively boycotted the whole idea. And yet other times, I would date several people in a row. There is no clear set of instructions.
There are a lot of pressures surrounding dating. Pressure from friends, family, society, and from myself. Even in my mid-30s, I wonder, “What would my friends think of this person? What would my parents say? What will they object to? Am I going to be put under heavy criticism and scrutiny?” And I think that’s natural to think about. With dating, not only are you often trying to match yourself with another individual first and foremost, but in a long-term partner, you are also seeing how they fit with the rest of your life…with your peers, family, lifestyle.
There are conflicting messages too. For example, you’ll hear things like this:
“Choosing the person you marry is probably one the most important decisions of your life.”
“You just need to stop being so picky. Nobody is perfect.”
I want to commiserate with any single person who has ever heard this. They are both valid points, but the balance is so tricky.
The hardest part of dating, as I’ve struggled to make choices that were right for me, is hearing the comments, judgmental statements, and feeling negative vibes from others.
Here are some things I want the people to keep in mind:
- You do not have all the information: this is on purpose, as I generally try keep my personal aspects of my life as personal as I can, in order to decrease the flow of criticism and protect myself. People can’t critique what they don’t know.
- People make mistakes: People are not only GOING to make mistakes, but they are allowed to make mistakes. That’s how we learn.
- Sometimes what is perceived as a mistake, is not.
- Put yourself in my shoes (or whoever’s shoes): would you want other people judging you?
- Most people need love and acceptance a lot more than they need advice. — Bob Goff
The important thing is…(and I’m telling this to myself as well) make the choices that are right for YOU. People will criticize you no matter what you choose, so you might as well make your decisions for you and not base them off what you *think* you should be doing because of something someone else said.