You're going to have to be active in participating, in saying hello in real-time, and not using "online dating is so bad" as an excuse. I know I do it. But let's get out there together, okay?
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."
In the nine and a half years since the divorce, I have seen my daughter approximately 8 days to every 22 days that my ex-wife gets to see her. This arrangement seems to support the idea that the mom is the primary caregiver in the family, or that moms deserve the majority of the children's time.
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.
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.
If you are not overtly focused on finding your next long-term relationship, by all means, play around in the online dating pool. Learn some skills. Kiss some frogs. But when you get serious about finding a partner, well, set your intentions and your standards a lot higher.
What I really want is to find a partner who is able to express love and joy easily. And then, over time, I want to continuously fall in love with her, every day. I want to celebrate our victories. I want to soothe the difficulties. And I want to feel loved, above all else,
Divorce is not something you just "get over." And with kids, you never really get over it. I am learning to continuously forgive and forge ahead with my own life as a single dad.