Ask Stavroula: Dating Advice for a Divorced Mom

Dear Stavroula,

I am 30 years old, divorced, have a five-year-old daughter. I’ve been dating a 32-year-old man for nine months. I have no complaints about him other than the fact that every time we talk about the future, asking whether he takes our relationship seriously with the prospect of having a family, he avoids answering me clearly. Although he tells me that he is in love with me, when I ask him when we will live together, he replies that it is too early and everything will be done when the time comes. Recently, my daughter had a birthday and I invited him to the party along with some relatives and friends, because I wanted him to get to know them and my daughter. While he had told me he would come, at the last minute he informed me that he had to work and could not come. Let me also note that I have only met his best friend but not one of his brothers (he has three older brothers). I’m afraid that he doesn’t see me as seriously as I see him. My dream is to eventually start a family. It wasn’t my fault I got divorced. And finally, am I wasting my time with him?

Georgia

 

Dear Georgia,

Every person who starts a new relationship takes some time to decide if he has found the person of his dreams, the one with whom he wants to share joys and sorrows, or start a family. The timing is not the same for everyone. And there is the fact that each of us has different expectations in a relationship. Another wants a family right away, another doesn’t, and a third person may want no children at all. It is very likely that your partner will need a longer time than the nine months you have been together to decide whether to join your lives together. Remember that you have a child and any mature man would not want to make a bigger commitment without being sure that he can handle this situation. This may be confirmed by the fact that he did not come to your child’s birthday or that he has not introduced you to his circle.

Therefore, the best way to find out exactly what your partner wants is to have an honest conversation with him, in which you will express to him the emotions caused by his behavior and ask him what he thinks, what his priorities are, and what his dreams are. You will understand a great deal from the outcome of this discussion, and perhaps receive answers for your questions about the future.

From your message I feel that the most important thing for you is to remarry and rebuild a family for you and your child. And this is probably what you want regardless of the person you are with. Otherwise, you would not be wondering if you are wasting your time with him, whether you will feel valuable in the moments you share with the one you love, and how you will achieve the mood where you let your relationship evolve without worrying too much about the future.

But the intensity with which you experience the desire to rebuild what you have lost could lead you to another wrong choice. I would advise you, therefore, to focus on the person you are with before making any decision. Is this man really your dream companion? Do you have similar principles and values and do you view life the same way? Has your relationship been tested with the difficulties of daily life before you decide that it is sustainable in the future? Do you have any common interests and ways to share your free time together so you can enjoy these moments? And most importantly, how is this man with children? Do you see elements in his character that confirm that he is the right person to live with your child?

One last thing. Although your divorce may not have been your fault, in any relationship that does not work out, both parties have some measure of responsibility. Exploring and understanding your own mistakes or omissions, even the criteria with which you chose your former partner, would be very helpful. Remember that you are no longer just making decisions for yourself – your decisions have a major impact on your child’s life.