I won’t lie to you. Dating after being married for 20 years sucks. I’m used to coming home to my significant other and children being there with a busy, challenging atmosphere that includes 8 kids. Well, technically there’s 6 minors and 2 young adults, but it’s the pits, I won’t lie.
I’m dating a very nice man that treats my children and I very well, however, I’m not used to a “girlfriend-boyfriend” situation in which my kids are gone with my ex-husband during the week, and my significant other comes over a few times weekly so we can see each other, but then leaves. It’s weird.
I always live in the constant fear of being reduced to a doormat in such cases and sometimes feel tempted to leave everyone and run off to a far, secluded place by the countryside or in the mountains for some peace and quiet, which have become pretty much extinct for quite sometime now and I feel like the proverbial cheese or lettuce between two slices of bread for whom both sides fight over in order to take the larger piece. This makes me feel that I should not have consulted the stupid okcupid dating app in the first place, which is the cause of my current situation.
Thank goodness I have a great therapist to give me suggestions for helping me through this time. They are working and I am adjusting, but of course it’s not as fast as I’d like. The following paragraphs outline some of these strategies.
Don’t Have Expectations
My therapist has warned me against having expectations with my new relationship. Mostly because what I had in my marriage cannot be duplicated in another relationship. Her suggestion is to stay focused in the moment and enjoy what my new guy has to offer. Which I have to say is a lot. It’s just a matter of getting myself acclimated to a new relationship and the new normals of it.
Reveal Who You Are
At 50, dating is much different than it was prior to my marriage at 28. My likes, dislikes, preferences, sexual drive, and goals are all different. My therapist has suggested that I’m forthcoming with myself, who I am, and what I would like to have in a relationship with someone. I find it is important at this age to be forthcoming about who I am and what I’m about, because at 50, I really don’t have the patience for any games. So far, I feel good about the fruit of implementing this strategy.
Make Sure the Kids are Considered
It’s imperative to discuss your concerns about what you’d like for your kids in a new relationship. Your new significant other needs to know what you have in mind and that you value who he is as a new “parental” type of adult in their lives.
I’m really lucky to have found someone that has a lot of interest in my multiple children. As someone who never had any of his own kids he’s more than happy to be involved in doing things with my kids, which for me is a great plus. I really needed to find someone that was happy to spend some time with my group. He’s been to school functions and lots of events at home. My therapists suggested talking about the kids right off the bat. She was more than right.