As featured on Yummymummysworld.com
An inquisitive six-year-old recently asked me, “Mummy, how come you know so many men but you haven’t married any of them?”
That’s a very good question and it got me thinking about the hurdles and complexities we face trying to find love for a second time.
Whether you’re divorced, or widowed like me, dating all over again is a very overwhelming task indeed, throw some children and emotional baggage into the mix and I can see why a prospective suitor might run a mile.
The first time you agree to spend the rest of your life with someone it’s all shiny and new, let’s face it you have absolutely no idea what you are letting yourself in for; we all secretly harbour visions of marital bliss and impeccably well-behaved children, we never for a moment think we will become that miserable couple.
It’s only once you’ve bitten the bullet and said, “I do” that reality hits you like a screaming baby at three in the morning. I’m not for one second saying I would change a thing – I loved being a wife and still adore being a mother – but finding someone I want to do it all over again with is proving elusive.
Second time around, your eyes are wide open; you are consciously making a choice to enter into a life-long commitment with all the knowledge of what you want from a relationship, and an understanding of how much hard work is involved. This is why I believe as we get older we become much more picky; with age comes wisdom.
In my twenties my main priority was whether I fancied him or not, in my thirties it’s become an endless checklist of ridiculous requirements. Will he be a good role-model for my son? Will he subject me to weekend sporting events? Does he like sushi? Can he blend in at the school gates? What will my family think about him?
A friend recently offered to set me up on a date with an Aussie but before meeting the poor chap I found myself panicking about making epic journeys to the other side of the world to meet his family; in my twenties I would have relished this prospect. Since when did a person’s nationality become a deal-breaker?
The other obstacle blocking the path to happiness is independence; since my husband died I have been both a mother and father to my child, for five years I have only ever had myself to answer to. I have nobody to oppose or challenge me. Heaven you might say! In reality, we all need a little guidance and constructive criticism to keep us on track, although, I must admit not having to watch football is a definite bonus.
Sometimes the prospect of starting a new relationship feels as terrifying as climbing Everest, you put all that hard work in and you don’t even know if you will reach the summit. But I have not given up hope.
I may be accused of being too fussy, but I know that when I do meet the right person there will be no doubts or worries, and even if he lives in Timbuktu, it won’t discourage me.
Yes, my expectations are higher than they used to be, but I see this as a positive. I am prepared to wait for my second Mr Right and then the next chapter of my life will begin.
Failing that my son has kindly volunteered his services, “Mummy I’m going to make you a love potion that you can throw on a man you like when he’s not looking.”
I think he might be on to something.