I’ve been dating.
I was coffee dating, here and there, off and on, carving out a small pocket of time, when I could. It wasn’t much. Yet I told myself I would give it a go again, say yes again, say yes to everything (within reason). And so I have.
But coffee dating – this time?
And of course, life has a way of intervening. Kids need attention. Even teenagers preparing for college require a firm hand.
And then there’s money. Money to be made no matter what, money to be channeled into essentials, money not available for sites and services, for dolling up and dining out.
Single mother? Older mother?
Adult social life?
It gets set aside.
But sometimes there are surprises.
A romance, sort of.
A relationship, sort of.
Sometimes it’s a matter of patience. A matter of putting yourself out there. A matter of luck.
Time and Timing
Some say that timing is everything. I’m more inclined to say that time is everything – or at the very least – a critical factor. I am surprised at how much energy it takes to go out, and I had forgotten how much time it takes to actively participate in a relationship – especially when you are in the early stages and truly getting to know someone. And wanting that person to know you – without guile or guise.
But nothing is simple. Especially when you’re busy, you’re stressed, you’re still raising your children. When you’re juggling, which is usual in any mother’s life, and more so for the single or solo mother.
In this process I have reoriented and re-prioritized, stumbled more than once or twice, and remained determined to establish a different type of relationship from the marriage that I once lived.
A relationship in which communication flows, in which games hold no place, in which physical presence is a necessity; one in which my priorities are on a par with his – and in some instances, more urgently tended to.
But it’s complicated.
At times, I know I’m not easy to love.
And then there are logistics and issues that cannot be conquered by a smile, by a conversation, or even by the gentlest touch of a hand or the most passionate evening. There are conflicting emotions. Clashing priorities. There are tough moments. Very different lives.
- He’s on vacation; I’m not.
- He has regular employment; I don’t.
- His children are grown; mine aren’t.
Time is the perpetual problem. Worries become an obstacle. But values in common, chemistry-a-plenty, a little maturity, a great deal of appreciation – these ease the rough patches.
As for the rest?
There’s the beauty of a good man.
There’s feeling alive.
There’s taking each day.