A little help here.

I have a few questions and I’m not sure if there are answers. At least any easy answers.

As you know, I am a divorced woman with kids.  I have been divorced/separated since 2009 and I am told often that I “will not have a problem finding a great guy” or the more disturbing “why hasn’t someone already scooped you up?” I sense that last one is always intended with sweetness but hmmm.  I have been told I am attractive and, as I have aged and gotten comfortable with my body, I would now say I agree. Actually, I think I’m hotter now than I ever have been.  Take that Youth Obsessed American Culture!  However, being good looking does not mean I’m going to be attracted to and/or want to bone every guy I see.  I am very very picky about the men with whom I choose to spend my time. But I am not going to settle.  No way.  My kids and I are too important to “Me”.

There are many people with whom I am acquainted. Over the past couple years, I have asked my social network – more than once mind you but no I’m not desperate – “is there anyone out there who knows a man who is emotionally and literally available who might be interested in dating someone like me?”  Surprisingly, for the size of my social network, I only received a few responses.  Most of them said something along the lines of “I don’t know anyone who is good enough for you”. I start to wonder if that isn’t code for something else.  Is it just that all the eligible men would not be interested in me as they would be too busy drooling over pretty young things without kids to be interested in me?  The ex-husband did.  The few men I have dated were men I met online or randomly on my own. Where is the help all of my “friends”??  ;)

Compare to this: There is a guy that I dated recently who is a nice man; handsome, friendly, romantic, adventurous,… but we just couldn’t communicate well with each other. Well, it wasn’t two weeks that this guy was on the market and he has five dates. FIVE! His friends have partnered with him to set him up with five different women. A mom with two girls, a 30-something businesswoman who lives in two different cities, a pretty young thing who is new to the area, a girlfriend of his best friends’ wife, and an old girlfriend from high school (I noted 4 of the 5 were women without kids).  What the f*ck is that?!?  (Not to mention WTF?  He told this detailed information to me in what amounts to a manipulative move to get me to act.  Was it to get me to take him back?)  Maybe this is what The Beatles meant when they sang they “Get By With A Little Help From [Their] Friends”.

So my questions are these: Is this saying something about me? Is this saying something about him? Is it saying something about our society? Is this confirming somehow that if you’re a woman over 31 the pool of men it’s just so diminished? Or is it simply a numbers game?

What do you think?

UPDATE:  Alyssa wrote a follow up to this blog.  It’s called, “He Says, “It’s a Jungle Out There”

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12 thoughts on “A little help here.

  1. I think there is a problem in our society around this issue. It has also occurred to me try dating much older so that I AM (or you are) the younger woman!!!! (not sure if there is any real tooth to it, but a thought)

    BTW, My husband and I will be separated soon-ish, I have a young child, and I will be in your shoes soon enough. Yikes! I will be needing all the help, support, friendship, and pointers I can get.

  2. It’s not you. It’s that dating and being single is really hard for women our age.

    I was single for a long, long time – from the time I called off an engagement at 29 until I had my first date with my now-husband, a day before my 41st birthday. EVERYONE told me during that time what a catch I was, how it was inconceivable I hadn’t found anyone, etc. etc. But that didn’t change the reality of the situation. I had some short-term relationships in between, but none that lasted more than 2 months, and only a couple lasted that long. I had lots of first dates but few second dates (sometimes my choice, sometimes theirs). I did lots of online dating. I didn’t rely on friends to set me up because I found most people just set me up with someone else they knew who was single, not necessarily anyone I would be interested in. (Every set up I went on was a disaster.) I was convinced it was a numbers game, and that if I just followed the right steps and went on enough dates I would find the right guy. But you know what? In the end, it just came down to luck. I randomly met my husband because his friend was hitting on my cousin. He and I started talking, hit it off, and that was it. If I’d met him online I never would have gone out with him because he was older than my cut-off age. And here I am, married to the love of my life with 5 month old twin boys.

    In hindsight, I wish I wouldn’t have dated so much. Dating is grueling. I spent so much time worrying about meeting someone, and then when I met them, worrying about what they thought of me if I liked them, worrying about how I looked and what was expected and all that baggage that comes with dating and relationships. My self-worth took a beating as I started only seeing my worth as a potential date. It may be different with kids. You may have enough other stuff in your life that the dating scene won’t take as much out of you. I hope so. But if it starts to get you down, just stop dating for a while. I promise you will feel so much better about yourself and your life. When I met my husband I had just taken down my online profiles because I just couldn’t take dating anymore.

    As for the guy you dated having 5 dates in a week – it’s not the quantity, it’s the quality. I’m sure you could have 5 dates in a week to if you put your mind to it, but you probably have higher standards for your dates than he does.

    I did just read an interesting article about the lack of good men – it’s at the link below:
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/11/all-the-single-ladies/8654/

    The article is focused more on marriage than dating but I think many of the points are relevant to dating as well.

    • Thank you for your response. It’s nice to know it’s not me. I think one helpful aspect of this blog o’ divorced moms is that we can normalize the stuff we experience and not feel so alone. As for your experience after going offline, I have noticed there is an element of luck in it all; I have found dates when I was not looking for them.

      I read that article the other day and wrote a blog about it: http://datingmommies.wordpress.com/2011/10/12/how-does-this-work-for-single-moms-with-kids/ :)

      Thanks for writing. Please pass our little blog along to your friends (male and female).

  3. Ugh. UGH. I’m trying to figure out how to respond to this, but it’s striking a little too close to home right now. For me, it’s triggering this “you’re too…..” response. After a lifetime of being too smart, too wild, too direct, too…. too…… I sometimes wonder if the only way to find a partner is to be “less…..”

    But I don’t want to be less, and I don’t want a partner who wants to me to be less than I am.

    I have asked guy friends and have gotten fairly direct answers that involve being “scary” and being “the kind of girl you want to settle down with, but not just have fun with.” I don’t even know what that last one means. I’m too “something,” to defile, even if that’s what I want? I’m too “something” to be stupid and silly and reckless with, even if that’s what I want?

    I was getting ready to write up a post about a guy friend of mine – recently divorced – who was complaining about “the women out there,” and not realizing that he was complaining because he’s dating women 20 years younger than him. All the things he was bitching about are the things that women are age don’t do anymore…. I think they may assume that the problems with their marriage were connected to the age of their wives, not their wives, or themselves, or the underlying relationship.

    Yes, I am, by far, the hottest I’ve ever been. The kinkiest, funnest, craziest… But also the sanest. All the thrills of a girl in her 20s (with a body to match) and the sanity of someone who knows what matters. But….. yah. Right there with ya honey. xoxox

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  8. oh! I never updated this – That guy with the 5 dates… he told me that absolutely in an attempt to spark some jealousy in me. *smh*

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