As single parents, I believe, that my kids and my connection to them are more important (just for this short period of time) than my happiness or my new relationship.
Dating a single parent can be a lot like struggling with a toddler. They punch you in the eye, spill juice in your bed, and say, "I love you SOOO much."
I believe we cannot heal from our divorce/relationship trauma without getting back into the ring and giving it another go. Only IN RELATIONSHIP can we learn how to be healthy in a relationship.
Don't give up. Just because all of your previous relationships have failed, does not mean that the next date might be The One.
Some of my depression is sadness at the massive amounts of my kid's lives I'm missing. That's real and that's going to make me sad. I don't have to dwell on it, but when it comes up I feel it, acknowledge it and thank my heart for feeling so strongly.
The first time my current sweetheart crossed my path I was in no mood or frame of mind for anything beyond my own sad story. When we crossed paths the second time, she was well prepared with my trigger words and actions. And I was broadcasting on all channels my desire for a partner to step up and be enveloped in my madness.
I'm not all that good at dating yet. I mean, I don't really know how to BE. I try to be "myself" of course, but I'm too involved, too hyper, too talkative. I don't listen as well as I should. But the part of the problem, that I'm just beginning to understand, is my habit of projecting any "potential" relationship off into some imaginary future. What I mean is, I sometimes have a problem staying present.
When you think about the person you might like to be spending your Saturday afternoon and Saturday night with, where do you imagine you might be on any given Saturday afternoon? And then it's your opportunity/responsibility to get yourself there. She/he might already be there.