Until Death Do You Part?
That certainly was a lie. Your spouse got the house, a younger you, and you got the children. Definitely not an even split there.
Six months later - Enter your friend...
Friend: You can't just sit around by yourself forever.
You: But I'm not alone. I have the children.
Friend: The children, humph. They don't keep you warm at night, do they?
You: It's not like that anymore.
Friend: Of course it's not. Really, it isn't.
Friend: I know someone. This person is recently divorced too.
Freeze Frame. Get rid of friend. You can mail the coat after you finally get over the fact that the first choice for you is someone who failed Marriage 101 too. When you are ready to date, when you have moved that big band-aid off your heart, it won't be so that a friend of a friend can dance on your scab. It will be because you're ready to share your life with someone again.
Three months have passed. Following the coldest winter in history, you remembered to send your friend the coat. Guilt over your friend's pneumonia leads you to go on the date with the divorced acquaintance. Less than twenty minutes into the date, it is revealed that this person thinks all children can benefit greatly from boarding schools. You personally get a thrill out of tucking your children in each night. Your date also has no idea why the nagging ex was so close-minded about boarding schools in general. Once the gates are open, the ex becomes the hot topic for the evening.
After that horrendous experience which cost you not only taxi fare but also two dollars for aspirin to relieve your splitting headache, you decide that research, among other things, is definitely in order before the next date with anyone. Your perfect match likes children and not merely from a distance. Should be a nonsmoker because breathing for some weird reason is very important to you and those you love. An advance college degree would represent the person's desire to be a high achiever.
How should you go about finding this one in a million person when you have an extremely limited schedule that gives you barely any free time after the kids and a fulltime job? Bars and clubs? Not too many out there for single parents. Even if there were, children require sitters, and with the divorce not too far behind you, you would feel guilty for leaving them anyway, especially if the date turned out to be a waste of time.
The practical solution - online dating. It can be done from your home; you can view biographies of your prospects in a low pressured environment. For shits and giggles, you can also allow the kids to view some of the photographs. They might actually enjoy having a say in your love life.
Online dating is also inexpensive. With children, you need every penny you can save. For what you would pay for a pair of designer jeans for your oldest daughter, you can probably get a year's membership in an online dating service. If it works out well, you soon might have someone else to buy your children's clothes.
With screening elements built into their programs, online dating companies, such as Yahoo Personals and eHarmony, will allow you to define your own standards so that you can hopefully avoid those with whom you are incompatibility.
A new outfit for a date - $70.00
Trip to the salon - $55.00
Time wasted after realizing your date put the "lose" in loser - 3 hours
Opportunity cost (a game of Clue with the children) - priceless
Your time is too precious to waste. With online dating, you can make every moment count.
Ann Bendis writes about online dating and relationships at http://www.singleattractions.com