Monday, October 25, 2010


Hi there! Welcome to my perfect single parent lifestyle. First I'd like to introduce my son Connor. He's a great kid. He's happy and well-adjusted and doing well at school. He sees his dad more than once a week, and they get on well. He loves school and often comes home with prizes for academic work and sport. He makes me very proud.

He also is very well behaved. He does his chores when asked. He still finds a lot of time to be cheeky and play. One day he'll make someone a great husband. Our house is always full of children, he is so gregarious. We live near his school so they often pop in on their way home.

Photo credit:

Come on through the doors of my chic low maintenance home. I've paid two-thirds of the mortgage off now. We have three bedrooms and two bathrooms. For a while there we had a lodger to help pay the mortgage. Now I think that extra bathroom will be great to give us some privacy.

Photo Credit Photo credit
The maintenance is all handled by the body corporate. It does have a little patch of grass out the back, and soon when the trampoline comes down. I think I'll plant out some garden beds.

My work is pretty manageable these days. I'm enjoying it. I'm on top of the preparation, and am starting to get quite a bit of funding for the research I want to do. I get to travel and most times I can take Connor with me.

My partner Dave has a teenage daughter Nessa. He lives in a city about 70km away, where his ex wife lives, so that he can see Nessa during the week. Dave's involved in town planning, but he is also a very talented amateur musician. He plays cello in the symphonia up in his home town. Connor and I often go and listen. He comes down mostly on my child free weekends and we have lovely honeymoon times. We manage to spend about 5 days a fortnight together. He is pretty good at helping out with Connor, and we have had a few skiing and fishing trips together which were great. We are even planning a trip to Bali in the spring. Nessa is going to College in my town, so I hope Dave will spend some more time with us then. Eventually we hope to move closer when the kids are grown up and hopefully travel a bit. But we both seem to like it the way it is at the moment. When he's with me I really look after him, we have lots of great meals together and cook for our friends. Dave knows he can absolutely rely on me if he needs me in times of crisis. I adore him, and love the times we spend together.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Be the man I'd like to marry??

I think in taking up with Ex23 in revenge for Neil's SA I was somehow responding to the mantra

"be the whore you wish you're husband wasn't"

These past few days there has been a lot of pain, over something there shouldn't've been. For about six weeks I have been "No touch dating" (not at my instigation) a man who I have come to like a lot. He is, as well as being all the things on my latest "check list", financially secure. Frankly I wish he wasn't really or at least that he was only as secure as I. AKA "A battler" I absolutely hate that he can use his success, and my child, to write me off as a romantic possibility.

Read the story of our last date below, and perhaps you'll see why I have a new mantra

"Be the success you would (once) have liked to marry"


By the time i arrived home I was feeling pretty uneasy. Eventually I plucked up courage to call on the pretext of thanking Him for the night. Pleasantries completed, he was about to hang up when I blurted out...

"John. Are we just friends?"

He had clearly been awaiting this call. And listened calmly as he told me the following.

  • His life is in too much of a state of flux to commit at the moment.

  • He doesn't want to rush into anything that would leave him with 'obligations'.

  • He is pretty secure in his life and could retire and doesn't want anyone or anything to jeopardize that.

  • He has found relationships with women who have kids of Connor's age rarely succeed.

  • In such relationships he has found that he has to assume second place or lower

There were some vague remarks about knights in shining armour. . And to my questions about
chemistry or if he found me attractive...his response was "I won't even go there .."

I cried after we hung up and again the next morning. But what really was the source of these tears? I genuinely liked him. I haven't lost his company, he is quite happy to be friends. Maybe I was fostering a dream? Maybe I am lonely or sexually frustrated. But the truth is in saying all that he made a judgement of me. i.e.

that I am more liability than asset and that I am not worth the risk.

My attractiveness or otherwise remained steadfastly, tactfully, unassesed leaving me paradoxically even more insecure, and needy like I had never been when I thought he liked me.

I truly, honestly, vehemently hate the place I am in right now. I work extremely hard, I have a good professional job. And yet I am a dating pariah on account of being "down at heel" in relation to single men of my own generation who have been more strategic and/or lucky in their choice of job and investments and ex-partners. No! I don't want a knight in shining armour! I don't want to be rescued! I want to make my own way in the world with a loving respectful partner at my side. When I stop spitting tacks I might puke, or cry. I'd've been better of procreating with a millionaire and taking him for everything he's got. Many women in my "posh" suburb are there purely on account of their rich husbands. I, unlike them, am a good, hardworking, solid woman of integrity.

But then I hear the first tiny voice... Did I see him as a way out? in some way? given my earlier post I knew perfectly well that it would not be easy to invite a man into my chaotic lifestyle, so why would this outcome surprise me? The last two comments I think were encompassed in point 3 of Neil's exit report. If you have a child it makes it harder to look after a man, and men like to be No1. Those last two points hurt because they are true. It is incidentally also true of married men, but they have obligations to their children.

In the earlier post I think it is paradoxically that it was connor's behaviour, my gritty self reliance and my assets rather than lack thereof that I saw as a barrier.

Then I hear the second little voice. Maybe he's just not that into you. If he really found you as mesmerising and "right" as you find him he would overcome those things.

Yes, and that is a topic for my next post. I have suddenly got a whole bunch of inspiration. Look forward to my writings on

  • Another offer to wait
  • Arbeit macht frei
  • The price of this child
  • Perfect single (parent) lifestyle

Then and now

I have, stuck into my old diary on the date 31/08/1984, the following list of features of MY IDEAL MAN which I annotated as being "not in any particular order". I was 18 this was more than half a life away... this is presumably the order in which I thought of them

  1. brains
  2. long legs
  3. blue eyes
  4. straight nose
  5. clear skin, clean body
  6. fit
  7. sings in tune
  8. reasonably fashionable
  9. modest
  10. nice smile and teeth
  11. christian
  12. not materialistic or right wing
  13. not a male chauvanist
  14. loyal
  15. only speaks when he has something to say
  16. not overweight but not weedy
  17. not bad breath
  18. sexy & romantic but not condescending

And here is a list I put together more recently

  1. Tendency to be faithful/loyal/respectful
  2. Tendency to be collaborative/power sharing/consultative
  3. Tendency to be honest/upfront and not manipulative
  4. Employed
  5. Genuine love of women not objectification
  6. Fit
  7. Appreciation of the arts/literature
  8. Creative
  9. Similar sense of humour to mine
  10. Social conscience
  11. Practical/good at fixing things
  12. Taller than me
I guess the things that the two lists have in common are fitnesss (maybe I take some of those things about bad breath and washing as a given these days - I guess it was teenagers I was dealing with then!!!) There is something around respect for women in general, and something around loyalty to me in particular.

Apart from that a lot about image has been replaced with personal qualities. I guess at 18 expecting someone to be "employed" or have a career was unreasonable. Maybe "brainy" was a proxy for that although "not materialistic" came to bite me in the form of Simon.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Surprise Surprise! I got the chance to read the Saturday paper - rare indeed. Simon has Connor for a few days to give me a break.

I'm not sure why I am still dwelling on this infidelity nonsense, but I am and the paper gave me a shot in the arm. In an article called "Our Cheatin Hearts" Infidelity was explored from a number of angles. Perhaps more interesting are the 44 comments on the online version which seem broadly polarised between "It is just so wrong, and can you believe how hurtful it is" and "we are not designed to be monogamous - get over it" with a significant proportion espousing a sort of planned polyamory.

The article refers to a book by Kate Figes called Couples: The Truth

Figes notes that even though some relationships don't survive the blast of an affair, others emerge out the other side, with "a deeper intimacy". She suggests our "sanctimonious" stance on fidelity belies an insecurity about our relationships. With people today able to have sex, kids and a material life without marriage, "all the old reasons for [it] don't exist any more". With nothing else left, fidelity is held up as the prime symbol of marriage, to try to assure its survival in a world of raunchy temptation and easy divorce.

I tend to agree with that. I think what's important is love, trust and respect. However, how you implement them is totally up to you. Marriage, open relationships, whatever - as long as there is love, trust, and respect. Monogamous faithful marriage doesn't suit every couple, and more particularly it is the dynamic between them that is critical . A woman who is happily married may not have been so if she had picked a different partner. Perhaps if there were less pressure to "grow up, get married, settle down" then marriages would be more likely to occur only when both participants were in that zone.

One interesting comment to me was from a woman who had been cheated on by her husband and his (single) work colleague. She called the woman a parasitic home-wrecker and accused her of actively pursuing her husband, whereupon she was brought into line by another commentator who said

I can empathise but I think you're wrongly apportioning the blame. Your husband was the one in a committed relationship. Assuming that his lover was not, your husband committed moral wrongs that are much, much more despicable.

Which in some way provided me an answer to a comment put by one of our own who had put into question why a single woman will have an affair with a married man, but cease when she herself is in a committed relationship. The answer had been obvious to me, but the reason for it more obscure. I suppose it is just that violating your own committed relationship is harder to justify than violating someone elses.