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Ask Lynn-There’s no one to date here


One midlife woman fears her youngest daughter may be scaring off potential suitors. Lynn offers some wise advice on how to broaden her search for The One.

By Lynn Harris

i Lynn,
I am a young, attractive woman of 50 who feels pretty darn good about myself. I live in a bedroom community in New Hampshire. I have two older children and my youngest is almost nine; this may be the problem.

I have been online and have dated some but the minute I share that I have a nine-year-old, I don’t really hear back from the men that I’m corresponding
There must be men out there who like kids.
with. I understand that most men my age have older children and have moved on from the kid thing. I still feel that there must be men out there who like kids or have never had children and would like to experience them without the baby/toddler phase or miss having children around the house now.

I would like to think that I don’t have to wait another nine years until my youngest is grown and gone to start over again. I’m starting to feel that I need to move or something to meet someone as everyone around here is either married or in a relationship with women my age who don’t have younger kids. Do you have any suggestions?
– Searching in New Hampshire

Dear Searching,
You’re right: there must be men out there who’d make an ideal match for you and your nine-year-old. The question, as you know, is: in a how-many-mile radius from Bedroom Community, New Hampshire?

Right now, though, I don’t think you’re at the point where you have to pack up and move. (Or where you have to just wait, alone, for nine more years.) You’re just at a point where you need to be
Keep your eyes peeled at your kid’s school, too.
extra creative, extra proactive.

First, expand your search (if you haven’t already). Include Boston. As you know, more and more people who work there live in or move to New Hampshire. If they’ll do it for a yard, why wouldn’t they do it for love?

Also, dig deeper nearby. Dating a fellow single parent may not, extra-kid-wise, be your first choice, but I’d stay open to it. Can you find — or start! — a group for single parents? (They’re there, and they’re in the same pickle you are.) Check meetup.com; put up an ad at the supermarket or other local hangout (depending on your hobbies). Even if your soul mate isn’t among the founding members, this might help you feel less isolated. That, in turn, sets your psyche up for sparks to fly with, say, your new friend’s best friend.

Keep your eyes peeled at your kid’s school, too. (Parent conference night, the school play...) I totally believe you that the pickings are slim. But we also miss things that are right under our noses, especially when we assume they’re not going to be there in the first place.

If all else fails, sure, you could consider moving. It’s not high drama; it’s not a defeat. It’s practical, and it’s (again) proactive. And it’s an important investment in not feeling stalled and stuck. Uprooting your kid is a consideration, to be sure, but so is making sure his mom is happy.


Lynn Harris (www.lynnharris.net) is co-creator, with Chris Kalb (www.chriskalb.com), of the award-winning website BreakupGirl.net — you can visit BG's blog to discuss this letter! A longtime journalist, Lynn has written about dating, gender, and culture high and low for Glamour, Marie Claire, The New York Times, Salon.com, Nerve.com, and many others. She is currently the communications strategist for Breakthrough, a transnational organization that creates pop culture to promote human rights. Submit your own dating questions for Ask Lynn via bg@breakupgirl.net. Your question may be answered in a future column.
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