In Search of the Real Thing

Dear Dating Coach,

I am a 30 year old, divorced (3 years) mother of 3 young children. I am attractive and often mistaken for being in my early 20's. I really miss having a special someone in my life and would love to be married again someday. My ex husband is living with a woman now, and they seem to be in love and happy together.

I meet young men easily, but they seem to be mostly interested in having a sexual relationship, especially when they find out that I have 3 children. I am educated, independent and mature and have a lot to offer, and I am not interested in that kind of relationship.

I have tried meeting men at school, my job, and at bars. But these have not worked for me. Do you have any suggestions as to good places to meet the kind of high quality men I seek? --Youthful and Alone

Dear Youthful and Alone--

You have a lot on your plate for someone so young- and yes, thirty is young. I don't know the age group of the men you are seeking and meeting, but I suspect that they may be in their twenties to early thirties. If so, a woman with 3 children is a lot to take on for someone who is still figuring out who they are and what they want to be when they grow up. I think part of the problem is your perspective about age, and your assumption that men in this age group are as mature and ready as you are to be married with kids. The average age for first time marriage is now late twenties for men, and many guys are waiting until they are in their thirties. You may be thinking that I am suggesting you seek only older guys, but I am not. What I am saying is that you need to work on having realistic expectations for your relationship goals, or you could be setting yourself up for disappointment and for forming a belief that you will never find that right man.

Once you have adjusted your expectations, begin to invest in some thought and research regarding where in your community you could come into contact with young, educated, family oriented guys. Certainly bars and clubs do not offer a high probability of meeting your Mr. Right. However, your local Y or sports club, church, temple, groups like Parents Without Partners or any activities and attractions that are unique to your community are all good places to start. Again, you need to be realistic with your time and other resources, as you have a job and three children. Therefore, places that are family-centric and that welcome single parents or families with kids are ideal. This way, you can spend time with your children and be in an environment that brings you into contact with guys who share a similar interest and/or enjoy spending time in a family environment.

Expand your horizons, think outside the box, ask friends to introduce you to available guys and keep your eyes and mind open to the possibilities. Most of all, be realistic and live your life as fully as possible while you wait for that right guy to happen along.

(from January 2008)

Want to read other columns on this subject?

"Never Been Kissed"
List of more
"Help With Dating"

"Am I Wasting My Time With a FWB Relationship?"


Toni Coleman, LCSW
Phone: 703-847-1768


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