I have had a handful of people reach out and ask me about my experience dating after my separation from the kids' dad, and I thought what better time to talk about it than Valentine's day? So here we go, with out hurting anyone's pride and dignity (besides my own) I will give you the good, the bad, and the funny.
I'll start by saying that I never felt like I had to date, I wasn't in a rush to find a boyfriend or partner or whatever people are calling it these days. I never really felt pressure to find someone who didn't mind that I have three young children, because I didn't really plan on ever introducing anyone to them.. until I met the man who now lives with us and does dishes, ties shoes, helps with homework, kisses boo boos, and a thousand other things that made the kids and I all fall madly in love with him. Dustin, honey, you might want to skip this blog post.
So, first came the guy who I met at a concert (you know, like the old fashioned way) who got a DUI and spent the entire day of our date drying out in a drunk tank and then still wanted to pick me up and go on a date. BLOCKED.
Then came the guy who I met through friends and dated for a couple of months. I thought we were casually dating and having a nice time until he got crazy wasted and had a melt down over the fact that I hadn't wanted him to meet the kids. NOPE.
Oh and lets not forget the guy who I realized lived with his entire family when I walked into his dad sitting at the kitchen table reading the morning paper. I will never not laugh at this.
After a while I had a friend talk me into signing up for Tinder, and I was fairly hesitant about it. Mostly because I met the kids' dad online years ago and well, that didn't really turn out so great. However, I decided not to blame the entire internet for that experience, downloaded the app, had all my girlfriends help me choose my photos, came up with the perfect bio one liner, and got to swiping.
If you are a parent, and you have tinder (or any dating app really) on your phone, and you are up all night with the stomach flu, and you let your kid play with your phone when you are exhausted, just know that that kid is going to get into your app and just start swiping every which way. Learn from my mistakes and just don't let this happen, things can get real awkward around town.
With that cautionary tale out of the way, let me share some advice that a guy friend gave to me as I embarked on my journey. Women can be, and should be, very selective about who they swipe on because dudes just be swiping right on everybody. This theory was proven true through my own, and a few girlfriends' experiences. One more thing that I kept in mind is that all you need to be on a dating app is a smart phone, and thats it. So I just expected to meet some weirdos, assholes, and straight up characters.
I went on one date with a man who only talked about how to splice grape varieties to create new flavors of grapes, which was interesting and now I have random facts to share whenever conversations turn to food or agriculture. Plus, now I know how cotton candy grapes were created. I went out with a handsome vegetarian that got very offended by a hamburger joke (oops), the only thing I learned here was that I'm not always as funny as I think I am.
Then I went out with an absolute maniac who danced at the dinner table looking like a flamingo with arms. This guy really did alarm me a bit! On our first date he ordered exactly as I ordered, which doesn't sound that odd, except that I have a diet that is practically prescribed by a doctor. The biggest warning sign should have been that he was watching Fox News, but it got worse (enter cry face emoji here). He talked about meeting my kids and he had gone so far back in my Instagram that he was able to describe the kids' dad to me! At this time I had stopped blogging for quite a while and had stopped posting much of my personal life on the gram so it felt very invasive. Obviously today I could not say either of those things and I am back to airing my life out in hopes of giving you guys a laugh!
This pretty much sums up my experience in dating over the 2 years (and some change) that I was single, because the next date I went on turned into another date, and then came camping, a trip to Mexico, more dates, meeting the kids, trips to Disneyland, helping with homework, and moving in.
All in all, and I can only speak to my own experience, I don't mind dating! I think its fun, and funny, and generally the only person who was concerned with the fact that I have 3 kids was me! Yeah it was harder to schedule actual dates around them, but since I have shared custody it wasn't that hard. I actually found that having an excuse to not be able to go out at a whim made it easier to find out who wanted to actually put effort in to find a time to make it work. It definitely helped me notice if someone was going to need more attention than I was willing to give them, because being a busy mom makes it annoying when someone is blowing up your phone demanding attention!
Even with the dates that didn't go great or the ones that got weird I never felt awful or despondent about it. More than anything I feel that I got funny stories to giggle at and experiences to share. If I didn't have such a strong ability to be able to laugh at myself I'd probably feel differently. And so while I don't imagine that I'll be dating online or otherwise again, I will leave you with a picture that I would totally use for a Tinder profile.
"Professional Eugoogoolizer at the Derek Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can’t Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too."