Posted by Len Ramirez, Total Teen Dad | Posted in Total Teen Dad | Posted on 27-08-2010
Tags: dating, desire, privacy, relationship, single parent
This week I wanted to write about one of the dichotomies of my experience of being a single dad. I’ve been divorced for almost 15 years now, I think. When I went through the divorce, my children, and I’ve been told this is a common thing, had visions of their mom and dad getting back together. Sometimes they would try to engineer a situation so that fantasy would come to fruition.
As time went by though, they began to realize that mom and dad were leading separate lives, seeing a whole lot less of each other, and the opportunities to get us to spend time together became a whole lot less frequent.
As they got a bit older, even before they reached the teen set, I realized there was a different mindset as I began to date and attempt that thing they call a relationship. What my children desired had actually changed. While their mother had remarried and had a new baby, I was not in that place.
I spent a lot of time during the early part of the divorce, taking them to a lot of places and trying to expose them to new things. I was fortunate enough to have a good paying job that allowed me to pay child support and travel a bit with them. So, it was no real surprise to me that when I did have a woman in my life, my children expressed to me things like “When is she going to leave?” and “Why can’t you just spend time with us until we graduate and then you can find someone new for you?”
I know it may sound like a selfish thing for them to say, but really I was happy just to hear them speaking to me openly like that. Of course, it’s not realistic to believe that was a possibility, at least not for me, but that’s how they felt then.
Today, with my oldest daughter (21) engaged, my son (19) beginning to make a run at moving out on his own, and my youngest daughter (16) a junior in high school beginning to experience teen life at jet speeds, my children now desire a little something different.
Now, and dare I say finally?, they want me to spend time finding someone who is going to make me happy. It’s an odd feeling having your children sizing up potential partners. It’s been an adjustment fending off questions that apparently are not pushing the limits of privacy these days in school, but in my book, what happens with Las Dadas, stays with… well, you get the picture!
My children are respectful and haven’t crossed the line with my dates. On the contrary, they welcome them in with open arms if I seem to be happy. The date-o-meter is an odd thing as a Total Teen Dad. I guess it’s helped me in a way to understand what they are going through when they are going through the nuances of dating.
I know it’s called the Dating Game, but it’s really much more than a game, isn’t it? To some teens, it’s the kiss of death, but to others it’s a fresh breath of air. To Total Teen Dad, well, I’m quite happy right now. Thank you.