Dating Mr. Wrong

img_2839It’s hard to find the right man when you keep dating all the wrong ones. But choosing Mr. Wrong was my specialty. In fact, if I can claim any expertise in the dating realm, it’s in how to consistently choose men who are completely unsuitable.

You’d think that a single, suburban soccer mom would be out on the dating websites looking for a single, suburban soccer dad, somebody like me, with parenting responsibilities, a garage full of camping gear, and at least a passing familiarity with Sponge Bob Square Pants.

But you’d be wrong.

This suburban soccer mom almost exclusively dated men without children; men whose garages were filled with sports cars and motorcycles, who spent their weekends golfing or sailing, and who were planning vacations decidedly more exotic than a week tenting at Rathtrevor Beach.

In retrospect, it seems painfully obvious that my strategy was misguided — okay, maybe delusional is a better word. But at the time, I honestly didn’t see it. Over and over, I’d find myself drawn to the adventurers, the playboys, the ones who promised fun, fun, fun! The single dads? I didn’t even consider them. Too boring.

I’ve been thinking about this over the last couple of weeks, when we’ve had everyone here for Christmas and hosted one family event after another. I’m so glad I finally came to my senses, stopped running away from the single dads, and found myself a man who is fun and adventurous, but who also values family as much as I do. As we cooked together, spent time with the kids, and kicked back and relaxed when the kids were away, I kept thinking, “Yep. This is exactly who I was waiting for.”

The Harley-riding, para-gliding, world-traveling playboys? Definitely alluring. But in the end, not what I really wanted.

I sort of wish I’d figured that out that after five dates, and not after fifty.