Thursday, December 31, 2009
I mentioned in my first post of the day about an episode of Dr. Phil, Race to the Altar, that I was watching last night. It featured a woman named Sharon, and she is who I am mostly going to focus on in this post.
I'd like to open a discussion about this episode, along with the "biological clock ticking" stigma that seems to surround women when they hit 30 years old. If you've stumbled on my blog just because of the title, or if you're a regular reader, please jump in on the conversation!
I'm 32 and I'm a single mom. I've been single most of my time since becoming a mom. I've dated, and I've had boyfriends, but to me, it's a little different if you're dating or in a relationship and not married. It's also different if you have children and are not with their father, because mostly you are still a single mother.
I would love to get married again. As humans, most of our common goals in life is to find that person that you want to spend the rest of your life with. Some search for years before finding "the one", some settle just because they think they won't find anyone better, and some still settle because their "clock is ticking" and they are desperate to have someone, anyone to spend their life with.
I don't know the main guest on the show I mentioned above, Sharon. I will probably never meet her. But I saw a few similarities between myself and her. The difference is that the things she was saying at 48, I thought and felt the same way at a MUCH younger age. Sharon acknowledges that her fiance' has flaws, one of them being that he is an alcoholic. When Dr. Phil asked Sharon if he was abusive to her, she pled the fifth. When asked if she had been cheated on by him, the response was that it was none of Dr. Phil's business. Sharon also stated that they were going to counseling to work on the things that are wrong in their relationship prior to getting married. Sharon interrupted everyone on the show, from the guests to the host, and was saying that it was different for everyone there because they were not 48 years of age.
First of all, as we age we get wiser. I've been with men who were complete idiots (hence the reason that I'm a single mom all of these years later), but I've learned along the way. Like, I won't tolerate anyone putting their hands on me. I won't deal with someone who cheats on me. The person I'm dating must have a job. Little things like that - they are non-negotiable.
Now, I've stumbled even in my older & "wiser" age and have accepted and tolerated at least two of the three I mentioned above. (Not abuse because I have experienced that too many times before.) But I have stayed with someone who has cheated on me, and I have bent my "rule" to allow a man in my life that didn't have a job "yet".
But now that I'm 32 and my children are older, it's important to not only find a life partner for myself, but also someone who is a good role model and father figure to my children. I also know that if you need counseling even before you are married, then you definitely don't need to be married!
I'm definitely not searching for someone to be a father for my children - they have their own fathers - but every child needs a positive male role model in their lives. Even though I'm technically a statistic (being a single mother), and I hate those, studies have shown that children have better lives and relationships when they are in a two-parent household.
There were also some men on this episode of the show - and they shared what women do on dates that scare them off. Main thing seeming too desperate to get married because of their biological clock. Another man, a lawyer, who was 47 years old, said that women who have been single a long time get stuck in their ways and have too many "deal-breakers" on their list when looking for a potential mate.
Although I'm not actively dating, I do hope to be sometime soon. The deal-breakers for me are:
1. No abusive tendencies
2. Must have a job
3. Can't live with his parents
4. Must be a Christian
5. No drinking or drugs
Those are absolute deal-breakers for me - non-negotiable.
Now, I do admit that I'm quite picky. I guess I should be more flexible in these because I'm really cutting out men who could be a great partner. Here's a list of things that I AM willing to compromise on:
1. I'm a tall girl at 5'8" and I always have dated men taller than me. I might have to reevaluate that one.
2. I'm partial to black men - I don't know why - there is no exact reason for this but it's just what I like. I think I should be open to other races.
3. Men with children. Yes, I admit, even though I have children, it's hard for me to date a man who has children because there's always some type of "baby mama drama", but I guess as long as he spends time with his children and provides for them, then there should be no problem. Now, I won't compromise on this one: I will NOT date a man with a bunch of children or a bunch of different children's mothers.
That's pretty much it. I've been with abusive men and alcoholics as well as men who had numerous children, so I cannot put myself (or my children) in those situations. Ever.
As for being stuck in my ways, I do feel like I am stuck in my ways. I've lived alone for a long time. My children and I have our quirks, schedules, and in general, life habits and I'm used to it this way. I have found in the past that I'm very independent and stubborn and since I've always been the breadwinner for my family, I feel like that may come in the way of a relationship sometimes.
Since it's a new year, and I'm all about change and evolution of oneself, I will be reevaluating myself and how I am in a relationship, and I will be changing or adjusting what I think can be or needs to be.
Now, I'm opening the floor for your thoughts.