dating a single parent

A Moment of Silence, Followed By… (checking-in on holiday depression)

Oh, right, the holidays are coming right up. We’ve all got to be extra good to ourselves and careful not to slip into nostalgic reveries that lead us towards depression. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. Mental health first, everything else after.

So, last night I experienced a disturbance in the force. I’m certain the high of my weekend trip to NYC with my kids is partially to blame. So much fun, so much togetherness, and then back here to home base, with an unhousebroken puppy and a touch of loneliness. Let’s take a look at my touchstones of health and do a check-in.

  • Physical health: pretty good, 10-lbs overweight but not stressing it, eating better, playing tennis, having my 50-ish colonoscopy soon.
  • Spiritual health: was so connected with my kids, I need to continue to seek out connections in other places, church, tennis, meditation, al-anon.
  • Mental health: aware and processing, I can recognize the sad feelings as just feelings, I can take action to keep from isolating, and I can reach out to others for connection and support.
  • Financial health: in process. I have some amazing new opportunities ahead for the “single-parenting empire.” And, a few sustaining marketing clients. No immediate crisis.

So my quick run around the horn of healthiness seems to be in order. Awareness is the first step. By letting myself feel the moment of terror and sadness this morning, I am able to process the information my system is giving me.

  • Kid connections are critical
  • Stay focused on good health practices (good food, good sleep, good exercise, good social interactions)
  • A relationship would be ideal
  • Still plenty of work to do on myself

So, I can reserve some energy for my own health in the coming weeks as Thanksgiving and my birthday arrive. And I can put out a few more beacons in the online dating world. My exploration in NYC was interesting. There are definitely a lot more women on Bumble in New York. And they are interested. I did not have any “coffee dates” but it was fun to imagine them.

Back here on earth, I did have an extended exchange with a woman on Bumble last night. With two major red flags that I missed when swiping right on her pretty smile. 1. Conservative. We covered this in our conversation, but I’m not sure I’m ready to be around someone who even imagines Ted Cruz should still be in office.

and 2.

Bumble drinking question

This one caused me to go back and look at my profile. Um, no. Actually, I do know where a good French 75 is available in town and it wrecked my last serious relationship. So, I’m thinking this one is a pass.

In my more evolved approach to dating, I’m not going to entertain marginal connections. If there’s a big red flag, I’m going to see it, identify what it triggers in me, and then I’m going to go in a different direction. I learned in my most recent relationship that I have a low tolerance for unresolved emotional issues. Not that conservativism is an immediate a deal killer, combining the drinking and conservativism… Well, why set myself up for such obstacles?

Patience is not my nature, but it’s probably my path forward. Jumping into a relationship that has big red flags is most definitely a path toward drama and disconnections.

I will attempt to keep current with my ongoing check-in as the holidays approach.

* The title is from the opening of an al-anon meeting: “A moment of silence followed by The Serenity Prayer”

God, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change
The courage to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.


John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
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