When you’re a mother and dating things can get tricky.
It’s why more than ever I have been utilizing a little theory I crafted back in my single and childless days to make sure I remain in control of my dating life. There have been bumps in the road, an errant bad boy or two and a few tears, but for the most part since becoming a single mother I have done very well by sticking to the idea that dating is like shopping or as I like to call it “man shopping.”
It’s a simple theory really. If women can view dating like they do shopping they would have much happier and fulfilling experiences out in that big bad pond.
Imagine you are shopping for a pair of shoes. What do you do? You mingle, you mix and then you slip on a pair testing it for comfort and, of course, how it makes you feel.
You ask yourself a few questions. One of the most important is how does the shoe make you feel sexy, professional, hip, athletic or absolutely magnificent?
Only you know the answer because they’re your shoes.
If you listen to your friends you may wind up at home a few hours later staring at a shoe you just don’t love. If you listen to your heart you may end up biting off way more than you can chew and spending too much. But if you listen to your mind you are patient, responsible, thorough.
If the shoe doesn’t quite fit on your feet or with your budget you set the pair back down, no matter how irresistable and say, “I can wait. I’ll find a better pair at another store or on another day.”
So why is it that with men we relinquish control and often wait for them to ask us out or wait for them to choose us?
Why? When the man we choose, as every single mom knows, is one of the most important decisions a woman can make in her life. Is he a true partner, supportive, loving, and how does he make you feel?
If we dated men as if they were loafers or high heels – bear with me here – we’d probably be quicker to toss the jerks back onto the clearance rack. I think of a sweet girl in the back of a bar or a coffee shop. She is glancing around, fumbling with her shirt and looking up often to see if a man is coming her way.
What if she stood up and walked around that bar or that coffee shop and pretended like she was shopping for a pair of shoes? She would mix, she would mingle and she would perhaps try on her favorite man to see if he fits. If not she would move on.
She would be in control. Not of a man – I’m not talking about controlling men. I’m talking about controlling your own dating destiny. When I last talked to the tiger I told him we’d have to stop seeing each other because I was going to give the Bear a shot.
“I really like him and I think there’s some major potential,” I said.
The tiger awesome about it and wished me the best but then said, “I give it like a month and a half.”
“Oh, I don’t know. That’s your style right? You go through the men so quickly.”
“No, I don’t go through them quickly, I eliminate them quickly.”
It sounds harsh but it’s true. I eliminate them quickly because I am man shopping. Only keeping them around if the shoe fits but as soon as there’s a blister I toss it off and move on.
There’s something about having been married once that keeps me from staying in a relationship or dating scenario that doesn’t feel right. Eliminate the pairs that don’t fit. And there is nothing wrong with that – in my eyes – it’s just practical.
C’mon. You know which ones I’m talking about. Don’t you?