Since being single I’ve felt a strong resistance to dating anyone with young children (young as in, still living at home). It’s not that I don’t like children (I do like them, very much), or it’s not that I have any prejudice about dating a parent per se, but my reticence seems to stem from a desire to maintain an identity for myself that’s separate from my role as a mother.* Perhaps it doesn’t make much sense as I try to articulate it here, and perhaps it sounds especially odd given that I’m a parent and anyone that I date has to accept that part of my life…But what I seem to crave now is to be defined by my own merits and not to be put into a situation again where I will be defined or restrained by a caregiving role.
Navigating romance and relationships in the middle-stage of life is tricky business and I certainly have my fair share of baggage from the past to make it more complicated. So I’m figuring all of this stuff out as I go along–proceeding with caution and listening as closely as I can to my various inclinations in the process. These matters aren’t entirely logical and there are few models to follow, so it feels like I have to depend on my own intuition as I move forward.
I’m curious if any of you have made similar decisions about dating and relationships? Do you have ‘rules’ that you follow (e.g. no kids) as you evaluate potential matches?
*FWIW, I’ve also not been interested in dating anyone LDS or formerly-LDS for the same reason. I’ve put my natal religion completely behind me now and I don’t want it to play any part in my future relationships.