I have approached dating as a process to identify, qualify, and ultimately partner with a single woman. The dating part is essential, but dating is not the goal. Sex is essential, but sex, also, is not the goal. Working to identify and explore a combination of these three factors, is how I am navigating my approach to finding my next long-term relationship.
I will not settle for average and I hope you will not either. Average will get you down the road a bit, but it's not the lasting relationship you are looking for. That's one of the reasons dating can be difficult. We don't want to be alone so we might go on a lot of average dates.
I can. I am. And I am learning to be better to myself. I'm good with others. I have compassion, empathy, and support for just about any struggle my friends or family are going through. But when I look at myself and my failures, I'm often harsh and shaming.
It is time to evaluate all of the relationships in your life and set boundaries and priorities with each of them. Some people will need to be removed.
I'm almost always hopeful and joyous about this new journey. As a single dad, I have more time and more complications than when I was married. And if we can find the balance of these three traits between us, perhaps we can build "what's next" together.