Pray for your lover's health and happiness, then let go and let them pursue it however it best suits them in the moment. If you are supportive and standing by, you will also be included in their journey.
The rest is negotiation, navigation, and nurture. We've both got work ahead of us. We are always in a state of becoming. But today, I have my lifetime cheerleader beside me. And I'm always ready joyfully embrace her in all of her flaws and misdirections. We've all got them.
Stay focused in the present moment, but do allow yourself to dream and project into the future with your partner. Opening those doors of dreaming together has been a gateway of power for us.
There are plenty of single parents who use their kids to get out of almost every obligation. Even obligations to themselves, for say... exercise, dating, taking responsibility for their own actions. And I have been the dad who apologized for checking his phone when a text dinged while on a date.
And I can still recall twice in my life, the thrill of that moment when I realized my heart was spinning out of control and there was nothing I'd rather do than be with this other beautiful person. Whew! Only twice? Dang, that's inspiration enough.
Parenting is a life journey that I've committed myself to. My partner should have the same orientation. And tennis, being my favorite sport, is a passion that if shared, can unlock a lot of positive feelings and shared time together.
So what are the alternatives to online dating? If I'm not going to browse and click my way into a new relationship, what's it going to take?
Get right with yourself before moving on to partner with another person. You'll be much more attractive to other healthy people, and better equipped to see and avoid negative relationships.