Dating in and of itself is an awkward, and somewhat bizarre activity. You meet someone at a bar, online, at the grocery, whatever and...you make a "date". A date is defined by the free online dictionary as :
a. An engagement to go out socially with another person, often out of romantic interest.
b. One's companion on such an outing.
My definition of date? An awkward outing with someone you barely know.
Getting back into the dating scene after 17 years of marriage (2 husbands) is overwhelming and completely humbling. I mean really, it's hard enough to date when you're 22, single and hot. 38, overweight, divorced twice and a kid? Absurd.
Here's just a few rules I came up with for the over 40, with kids, newly single woman...
Sleep with whomever you want, just don't let your kids know. Don't get all freaked out. You're single now. Every date does not have to be "the one". Sometimes, a woman just wants a lil somethin' somethin'. We have needs. Use protection, be smart and have some fun. Do NOT, however, become the chick people are talkin' about in the bathroom at the bar. This? Is all bad. It sucks when you hit the next PTA meeting and Barbie and Babs are over in the corner acting you're the sleazy chick.
"Practice" date. I did this. A lot. I met a buncha nice people on websites. Yes, the online dating thing can be totally creepy but you can weed through the creepers fairly quickly if you're smart. (I could write for hours on the whole online dating dealio, that will be a whole other post) I knew these men wouldn't be "that guy" but some were nice and guess what? I wasn't sitting home on Friday & Saturday nights. The guys who sucked taught me all about what I DIDN'T want so that was awesome too. I was meeting people and learning how to communicate with opposite sex without having sex. I don't regret any of these dates cause I was learning. Learning is key. This shit is tough. So a few wasted hours here and there? Totally worth it.
Don't eat sushi on the first date. It's just weird. Trust me, I experienced it. It's that whole "share" the sushi thing and all that. Plus, that whole raw fish & chopsticks thing can really be awkward. Really.
Make sure you ALWAYS answer your phone when your kid calls. Even if you're just getting ready to get hot & heavy. This avoids embarrassing early drop offs. It happened to me. Trust me, I know. You don't want to have to explain who "so&so" is when your kid gets unexpectedly dropped off two hours early. All because you didn't answer the phone. ALWAYS answer the phone. Trust me. I know stuff.
Don't shit where you eat. Sorry to be so blunt about this one, but do NOT engage in dating with a co-worker, a friend of friend who see on a regular basis, the waiter at your favorite restaurant or the local cop who directs traffic at your kid's school. All of these are a no-no. It seems great at the time but when you can't go back to your favorite restaurant cause' the waiter you went out with had Mommy issues? It blows. It's also all bad when your kid asks "why can't we go to Auntie so&so's house anymore"? You really can't answer with "Well, honey, I banged her brother and shit is awkward". So, just don't.
Make time to date. I know this is tough. It was easier for me cause' my kid went to her Dad's house every other weekend. I could plan ahead. Lots of you don't have this option. But, seriously, if you can find a friend, family member, co-worker to watch your precious punkins for at least an hour here and there, you get out of the house. You get to meet people. It's coffee. Or lunch. It doesn't have to be a production. Just do it. It makes you feel better. I'll be real, sometimes it makes you feel like a giant turd, but for the most part, it is way good for the self-esteem. I know stuff.
Never look your best on the first "meet". Seriously. I'm not saying to go out with your hair undone, cut-offs and dirty flip-flops or anything. You know? Don't dress like you're going to be on the People of WalMart website. I'm just saying, look good. Not great. Cause' let us be honest here for a minute. We don't look all good & cute & stuff MOST of the time. So look good. Not great. Also, if the guy is some kinda yuck? You haven't wasted your time get all purtied up. And, if he isn't some kinda yuck? You have the chance to knock him on his ass with all your hotness on a 2nd date. Or 3rd. See? I know stuff. Really.
Be comfortable on your dates. There is no need to break out the leopard print spandex and create a hole in the ozone with your hairspray. Especially at our age. Don't try to be someone you aren't. (unless of course you're go for the whole role-playing thing) Do not wear your brand-new linen pant suit. Scratching your nether region and wrinkly pants? Huge turnoff. I've heard. Dressing like your 21 again? Doesn't help with dating. It will get you many offers that you probably aren't interested in if ya' know what I mean? Not to mention, if your kids happen to see you looking like a damn fool? Remember that naked bathtub picture you snapped when they were 5? You'll never be able to use it. Your kids? Will have the upper hand. And that just can't happen. So, don't. Look like an old (or young) ho.
Your kids are #1 in the dating scenario. If your kids have issue with you dating? Hide it from them. Who said parenting was easy. In the long run, happy Mommy = happy kids. That being said, if your kiddos don't approve of who your dating when & if they finally meet them? Run. Your kids are smarter than you think