Dating as a Single Mom in 2013 ??? - Pompano Beach,FL

Updated on August 26, 2013
S.T. asks from Pompano Beach, FL
13 answers

I have a few questions that might sound ridiculous to some, but the truth is I need some advice on this matter...

I am divorced with three kids (12-18 years of age). I have of course been out of the dating scene for almost 20 years. I want to date again, but am finding I am not even sure what the norm in society is anymore....

If a guy asks you out, should you expect him to pay for the date (wherever you go if its more than one place)? Do you offer to pay or not ? If you start dating a particular man, on subsequent dates should you (the woman) split the expenses or what do you recommend? If you wait till a certain point, for instance you pay after date # 3, or whatever, how do you determine this ?

Next, I wonder regarding physical intimacy, how long do you wait to become intimate with this person you are dating ? How many dates in (just want to know is there a 'norm' these days?).

Do people wait to have an exclusive monogamous relationship with someone and then get intimate....
Do people just have the physical with someone they are dating and then see if it develops into something more ? I guess I am confused at the order of things.....

I wonder if you sleep with a man too early, are the chances of not staying together greater ? Or is it actually beneficial to see if you have that chemistry ?

What are your thoughts on internet dating sites and are there some you recommend or those to avoid ?

Hope you can help me out with these things - I feel so out of it when it comes to all of this and want to have some feedback on the dating scene 2013.

Thank you for your prompt replies

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answers from Dallas on

I wouldn't go on a site, but that's just me. I met my husband in a Scottish Dancing class. Neither of us is Scottish! I was in theater and thought it would be fun. His friends were in it and they convinced him to try it. 18 years later and we're married 15 years.

Find some things that you like to do, something that isn't necessarily the "in" thing, or the dating thing, and take a class. Don't go looking for a relationship. Just go to have fun, learn, and meet nice people.

And I wouldn't go on "the norm". You do what is right for you.

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answers from Dallas on

I am married now, but I have always offered to pay, and have when they let me. I think it's important, because you are independent. You don't want the guys who want to do every single thing for a woman. Inserting independence like that, I think weeds those guys out. A good, confident man wants a woman who can take care of herself. A needy and insecure man, wants a woman who relies on them.

As far as the intimacy, I have no idea. As someone who waited to have sex until I was married, I can assure's obvious if you have chemistry. You don't have to sleep with someone to know that. In my opinion, you risk attracting the men who just want someone who will sleep with them, if you dive into that right away. There ARE men who don't want commitment, but just want sex. A lot of them. The men who just want sex aren't going to stick around a couple of weeks, if they can easily ind another woman online, in the bar, etc. (This rang true for me. There were SO many men, that stopped calling after the third date of no sex.)

I think for physical safety sake, it's best to know at least some about a person. You don't want a complete stranger at your home, or you at theirs. Honestly, I would need to know first and last I could do some searches online. I want to know I'm not allowing a convicted rapist or scammer into my life. I also think it's important for the safety of children. Single mothers are prey for men wanting to get close to young kids. (This is a fact. I worked at an advocacy center, and there or so many statistics to support that.) I would not want someone to know where I (and my children) live, until they felt trustworthy.

In ANY case, get on birth control and always have condoms. I think it's important for you decided where you stand on the intimacy issue. Not the norm. Think about all the risks and benefits and what values you hold. Go from there.

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answers from Portland on

But S.~ What are YOUR thoughts? Your values?

It doesn't matter what the norm is, y'know? Every person has their own ideas of what works for them. Me? I wouldn't give a flying fig if everyone was sleeping together as soon as they said hello, I would want to date someone for a while, see if we had something in common besides attraction (which is usually what makes people sleep with each other too soon with sad consequences), see if I felt like I had enough 'friendship' with that other person to support a serious relationship, and then see if they wanted to be monogamous and felt similarly about me. ONLY THEN would I be interested in being intimate.

And yet, for a woman who just wanted a little fun on the side and nothing too serious, they might find my plan of action way too structured and inhibited.

I haven't 'dated' since 2001, when my husband and I courted each other. My guess is that it is as was; bring enough money to pay for a date, esp. if you find yourself with some sort of fellow that you *really* do not want to 'owe' anything to and don't want to send mixed messages. (There are some Neanderthals out there still). And as Flaming Turnip pointed out, let your actions reveal your intentions. If you want a more traditional relationship, you might not offer to pay for dinner--it's really up to you.

My guess is that a guy who is really into you isn't going to be put off if you do buy dinner or don't buy dinner or decide that you want to have a few dates with them before becoming intimate. This is really about guarding your own heart, not living up to someone else's expectations. If you are on the 'same page' overall in regard to life, that's the best.

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answers from Dover on

I would say you should always be able to pay your way for an outing so you never feel dependant on the other person. If it is just a casual "meet you there" occassion, you should probably pay your own. If it's a date, the person who did the inviting should pay.

I think the subject of physical intimacy depends on the people and their morals and opinions. Many do get physical early on but others do not.

I think it is best to get to know a person better first. Meeting/dating someone is exciting and if you get caught up in that, become intimate early, it can give a false sense of closeness or emotions. It doesn't give you solid foundation for the relationship (even if that relationship would otherwise just be a friendship or even non-existant). Someone looking for a real relationship will be willing to wait for the that relationship to build.

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answers from Austin on

Pretty much what Flaming Turnip said with the addition of a comment about internet dating. A friend of mine tried it for a couple of years and this was her comment "For men - it's like a clothing store where they can try on different outfits but never commit to one because there are too many selections." I think when internet date first came about it was fairly innocent. Now it's just a place where men find women to hit it and quit it. She ended up dating a friend of a friend after three awful experiences with internet dating. She used

Everything else is totally dependent on the kind of person you are (or want to be) and the kind of person you want to date or be in a relationship with. Frankly with as many STDs running rampant, I would hold of on the intimacy until you feel you know someone well enough and even then both of you should get tested for HIV. There are home tests you can use for that now.

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answers from Williamsport on

Good question! Not easy. It seems like a time to brace your maturity and assert yourself as you really are since you don't have to play "young person" games. You could act on a physical impulse if you are attracted and not ready for a serious relationship with that person. You could wait if they seem promising and you don't want to seem like you sleep with everyone you date right away. Plus, with diseases out there etc...why rush that when you're not a horny teen? I'd wait with guys who seem legitimately special and abstain from casual stuff personally...but hey, until you're in the situation it's impossible to say.

Paying....hmm....I guess I wouldn't offer to pay. Unless I didn't like him and wanted to feel free to blow him off with a clear conscience, then I'd offer. But if I liked him, I'd want to start off on right foot. I realize it must be expensive to be a man dating around and maybe not fair he should pay for all these women, but on the other hand, I'm too old to get a 50/50 roommate who needs my financial contribution to survive. If he can't afford our dinner, or I'm not a special enough date after an evening of sharing time, then I really have no business going further with him as the mother of three young kids anyway. That's based on my past struggles though, every woman would be different. If you're LOADED and don't mind a guy who likes to be taken care of, then hey! :) In the long run I'm an equal contributor, but I want a manly man who wants to and can pay for our dinner. If he's my age or older, he should be able to. Additional activities....same thing I guess, it's not fair for him to cough up so much money, but if he can't afford a big long date, he can't afford to date a mother of know. I would graciously chip in if he asked, and weigh his general personality in the big picture, but I probably wouldn't offer. Again in the situation though, who knows...

There probably aren't any rules, it will be interesting to read your other responses!

I know several happily married couples who met on dating sites and some single friends frustrated with the selection available at any given time, but that's the luck of the draw.

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answers from Boston on

If I were to become single (I have been married for 25 years) I would not date but join a club for an interest I enjoy. I would find a biking club in summer, a hiking club club in fall, an urban or mall walking club, perhaps learn tai chi, find a local library book club, take a cooking class, etc. Something I enjoy and could share with others who enjoy the same. Then if you meet someone you know you have one interest in common, if not, then at least you enjoy the club. Someone else brought up safety, and that is an important consideration and I would not feel safe inviting someone to my home until I really knew them and that might mean many months or a year, because if you watch "Snapped" on tv at all it seems there are a lot of sociopathic con artists out there and I would rather sleep alone and enjoy friendship activities than trust too soon and lose my life savings or my life. Buying a good vibrator might help as well......

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answers from St. Louis on

First an only rule, never make any assumptions.

Sorry but you will have to think it though on your own.

I am an independent woman, I can take care of myself and I offered to pay. Sometimes they didn't take me up on it but whatever, I still offered. If you want a guy to take care of you, don't offer. The ones that want dependent women will gladly pay, the ones that don't will not ask you out again, no worries.

I used to be on the eHarmony message boards, when they had them. Of that data pool there was no difference in whether a relationship lasted or not based on how soon you slept with someone. People will tell you I am wrong but using the posts as data points, 100% lasting had nothing to do with timing of sleeping together. If anything getting it over quickly ended a dead end relationship quickly but those relationships would have ended anyway.

Oh, my point about that data, do what you feel is right. Don't let stupid advice sway you on what timing is correct. Your personal timing is what is correct.

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answers from Anchorage on

As for who pays, I would always offer to pay for at least my part, and if he usually picks up the tab then do it "your treat" every so often.

As for sex, well it all depends on the person/people involved. Sex on the first date can lead to marriage, or it can lead to a one night stand, you just can never really know. Just be safe and have fun and do whatever feels right to you!

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answers from Seattle on

This is a rather odd first question for a parenting site. Perhaps you should ask a dating site these questions?

However, since you asked, you seem very uncomfortable with the intimate / physical side of a new relationship. Personally, I would not become intimate with anyone unless there were truly some deep, mutual feelings for each other. And that will undoubtedly take some time. I suggest you not be so focused on the physical part of your relationship until you build trust and respect first. Yes, attraction is important, but if you are this concerned about how soon is appropriate to become intimate, you'll end up with a man who only wants you for sex, and that is not what I would want in a long term relationship.

Now, if you just want sex and nothing serious, be honest about that aspect and proceed with lots of caution and protection.

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answers from Victoria on

It depends entirely on you. For me before I was married I wanted the man to take the lead. I want the man to be the main provider. If this is not your feelings and your thinking then you should perhaps pay. Or if you want to pay for your half and he pay for his half when the date is set up tell him that your going dutch. As far as being intimate you have to be very careful about STD's not just AIDS but genital herpes and others that arent life threatening but kinda want to avoid passing around. I recommend being in a committed monogamous relationship for 3 months before getting intimate. But that was my thinking before I was married (a second time) now my personal feelings about it are different. I feel like you should wait till your married. Its a religious thing for me and a personal realization of how to avoid fake people wanting mainly one thing but if this is not your views you need to figure out what they are and set that up before dating. Sorry about your divorce I know its hard. I tried eharmony back in 2003 but it was WEIRD I liked some of the guys on there but it moves incredibly slow once I did actually communicate outside eharmony with a guy he had used his highschool picture and looked completely different (looks arent everything but he appeared to have not taken a bath in awhile) another continued to ask me to take a picture of myself and send it to him right away so he could make sure I wasnt lying about my looks (understandable considering the other guy did that but dont assume I am lying ) another "connection" suddenly decided he found someone else and the only other one I was interested in took along time to respond. I was on it a month and decided it wasnt for me. But I tried it. I had better luck in the real world and met too guys that summer but married one ! You might have to figure out your limits and expectations of dating by trial. I would not try to date for 2013 but for you. How ever old fashioned, religious, free spirit, fast, or slow you want to take it. Its all up to you and how you want your life to be. Dont think about what others are doing or what they are thinking of you do this for your life. Best of luck

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answers from Miami on

Wow, what is wrong with asking a question about dating on a parenting site? Are single parents not allowed to date or rebuild their lives? There is nothing "odd" about that. It's a relationship question, whether it pertains to a boyfriend, husband, sister, or in-law...Sorry, that comment just irked me. Anyhow, on to your questions:

Typically, the man should pay on a date. Call it old school, chivalry, whatever, but in these times when women are also working, you may want to offer to split the bill, or pull out your card. Chances are, 98% of the time the man will tell you to put it away and will pay the bill himself. This shows you're considerate and fair, rather than high maintenance and expecting that it's his "duty" to do so under every circumstance. If you're buying something for yourself though (a necklace at the museum gift shop, an ice cream cone even though he didn't eat any of it because he doesn't like ice cream), then be prepared to pay, as most men won't do so unless it's something you shared, like a meal, or a movie outing. Most guys have told me that if they're engaged or married, then at that time they have a "I pay this time, you pay next time" rule, but not during courtship when they are trying to make a good impression on the lady.

As to physical intimacy, this is something very personal and no one can advise you on that, you just have to do what you think is right and appropriate for YOU. Yes, there are many people who had what they thought was a one night stand and ended up engaged and married for over 10 years, but there are also those who had sex on the first date and the guy stopped calling. The same applies to people who have dated a month or 2 and then had sex, because if the chemistry is not there or there is a lot of friction, regardless of the timing of intimacy, the relationship WILL end. Also, poor sexual chemistry can ruin a relationship as well. If the other person is a cold fish in bed or cannot perform, this can cause strain on a relationship, or if one of you is sexually active while the other is celibate or not very interested in sex, the same can happen. You have to decide how important sex, as well as good sex, is to you. If a relationship is meant to be, I don't think a particular timing decision regarding intimacy will change that.

I try not to use internet dating sites due to bad experiences, plus I know plenty of men who scour those sites for fresh meat. I have signed up to and have found groups of people that do things I like, and while doing those things, I have met some nice people. You can definitely build up a relationship from this point if you have good chemistry and you both have similar interests. What better way to find someone who likes what you like than meeting them in that setting? Most of these people are looking to make friends who like what they like, they are not really there to pick up their next booty call or get married, like on a dating site, so things are less forced, more natural, there is no pressure, and things can progress at a leisurely rate because it's not a dating site where you're one on one, it's a group of people and if you like a few of the guys and gals, you can then go have a drink and get to know each other more and get phone numbers to stay in touch so the decision to go out with this small group or one of the people of the small group is entirely up to you.

Good luck whatever you decide to do, and I do advise you wait to introduce any potential boyfriend to your kids. I am not sure what the appropriate timing is on that, but personally, I'd wait 6 months or even longer to do so, as people can enter and exit your life constantly and you don't want to send the wrong message to your kids, or give them the impression you are unstable. I know some women who introduce men to kids within a week or 2 of dating and I think it's a bad move, considering that the guy isn't even a boyfriend at that point and by the end of the year, the kids have met 8 or 9 men.



answers from Orlando on

I, too, are new to the dating world after being w/my STBXH for 10 years. A LOT has changed.
I did & had a GREAT time!! I met a bunch of really nice men. Only one that I had a convection with. That didn't work out in the end. But it was great for helping to build up my self-confidence. I had a great time, plus, I went on some fun dates. You just have to be careful. Meet the men somewhere & don't give out too much personal information.
As far as paying goes, I like for the man to pay, especially on the first date. Just do what feels right.
As far as sex goes, yes, sleeping w/a man right away most likely will end the relationship. I have friends who subscribe to the belief that making them wait 2-3 months is the way to go. I also have a girlfriend who has a 30-day panty rule. Meaning, she won't sleep w/a guy for 30 days. Its all up to you. j
Just know, sleeping w/a man too soon, probably won't last. Certainly, there are times where it can last. And don't feel guilty if you just want to get laid. But, be safe. Use a condom & don't go home w/some random.
You've been in a marriage for 20 years, go out & have some fun!! You deserve it!!

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