I am sure the dating game has changed a bit in the past two decades; especially for a woman in her 40s who has three kids. Is that acceptable for a woman like me — a mom with three teenage kids?Believe me, I’ve asked around, and was met with the same answer I got about waxing: it most certainly is.
So, I’ll accept my friend’s offer, and be friends with benefits, except ones like hope or expectation.“Maybe I should set up an online dating account to help me get over him,” I said. After a day on the site, I had three dates on the calendar. Asking a man out on a date, or accepting one, wasn’t just 90 minutes over a beer, sharing the anecdotes that would make us attractive enough to make out with each other.At first it was confidence-boosting to see that there were a lot of men who wanted to get to know me. What it really came down to was me finding someone who could take on part of my responsibilities. Taking the time to get to know someone meant pulling from time I spent working or taking care of myself. “You can’t expect to either quit having sex or find a perfect match when you’re 40 years old and have kids,” a male friend said.But there are days when I strongly feel I’ll just never get to a place where I am ready, and I wonder if maybe that’s because there’s still some left-over hurt standing in my way. Right now, I’m enjoying being alone; my focus is on my kids and my career. And not only am I afraid that feeling won’t go away, but I’m afraid that if the feelings go away, I’ll just talk myself out of putting myself out there, because I am really bad at giving myself to another person. Sometimes I think I’ll just wait this thing out, and go back to dating when my youngest goes off to college — eight years from now.When I said this to my sisters and a few close friends, they told I was being ridiculous. I mean listen, don’t get me wrong — I rather enjoy men; they are delicious and fun. It’s just that right now, I am exactly where I want to be. I like not wondering if some guy I just met will call, or what I should say if I want to have a wild time with someone, but don’t want to do the sleepover thing.When my friend suggested a babysitter who was a male, I hesitated.I finally called out of desperation, hoping he wasn’t hot. We danced around our mutual attraction for a few months, and eventually gave in. ” I started to realize how much of a recluse I’d become over the past couple years. I have two kids, an 8-year-old and the other just over a year.The youngest had been kicked out of two child-care centers on account of her screaming the entire time I was gone.They smell good, and I like it when someone I’m attracted to puts their hand on my knee while we’re in the car. Right now, I like being alone with my three kids and putting on my pajamas at 4 PM if I choose.Right now, I need to find my happily ever after with myself before I can invest in another person.