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Dating advice as a carer

(9 Posts)
mrbloodyconfused Sun 24-Jan-16 18:44:28

Hiya, I'm a bloke who has been lurking here for a while. I would really appreciate some advice around dating. My marriage ended around ten years ago, since then I've had one longish relationship that lasted three years.

Here's the thing - I'm a full time carer and live with my disabled son. He's brilliant in every sense, my absolute world, and the two of us rub along just fine. I can't help thinking something is missing from my life though - as much as I adore him, life can be lonely at times, and I'd love someone to share it with.

The relationship I had after my marriage ended didn't work because they struggled to come to terms with how much of my time was dedicated to him, and despite my initial sadness, I get that. My son is now a teenager, I can't predict the future but equally I can't see his care needs changing when he becomes an adult, and neither would I want them to. He's very much the focus of my life.

So, I've tried to step into the world of online dating. What a fucking terrifying world that's turned out to be! The question is, at what point do I mention my somewhat different home life? I don't want it on my profile like some kind of hero boast "oh what a wonderful, caring man", with no thought to the day to day implications. But at the same time I don't want to lead anyone on as I recognise it isn't for everyone. The one woman I had been messaging recently ended up replying that "it wasn't really what she was in to", hence my asking here when to broach the subject!

Does anyone here have a similar situation? Do I place a big notice on my profile, or do I wait until I've chatted for a bit or even after meeting - would you feel peed off if you didn't know the truth from the start?

Ta v much in advance...

Catpants123 Sun 24-Jan-16 18:57:14

I am not going to be of much help I'm afraid as I am a full-time carer for my dc and I have given up on dating and relationships altogether.

I found it difficult to juggle everything and also people do not really understand the commitments I have and the restrictions on my time. I need someone to 100% fit in with me and it's not fair on someone genuinely looking for a relationship.

I have tried different approaches eg be honest and tell people early on or be vague and just say things are a bit tricky at the moment or even not say anything at all. I have learnt I am not comfortable sharing my dc's story with any tom, dick or Harry so have put things on hold until/if one day things are easier and I have more support, time or space.

In a way it is easier to try a relationship with someone you already know and who has an idea about your situation but is willing to give it a go anyway.

mrbloodyconfused Sun 24-Jan-16 19:04:51

Thanks catplants - you've hit the nail in the head I think, I really don't want to share my situation with all and sundry if it isn't going to go anywhere, but equally I don't want to be seen to be leading someone on. I don't want something casual, and maybe you're right, it's just coming to terms with the fact that something more serious isn't viable with my home life.

goddessofsmallthings Sun 24-Jan-16 19:09:15

I'm not convinced that online dating is the right way for you to meet a romantic interest, but I'll address my reservations here later.

In the meantime, if you are the sole carer for your ds how much time are you are able to devote to dating? One or two evenings a week? Part of a weekend which enables you to stay overnight elsewhere?

Do you get respite once or twice a year that enables you to go on holiday or otherwise recuperate from being a carer for a week?

Is your ds profoundly disabled or would he be able to function in supported housing or similar when he becomes an adult? Not I hasten to add, that I am suggesting you give any consideration to this option now or anytime in the future unless you become unable to care for him.

mrbloodyconfused Sun 24-Jan-16 19:25:18

Thanks goddess - he spends every other weekend with his mum so there is some time available, and there could be the odd evening in the week too with support. He may be able to cope with sheltered housing when he's older, I'm just not sure what the future holds and it's more that I don't want to lead someone on if that isn't the case IYSWIM. I think it's maybe more that the weekend I don't have him I feel quite lonely, maybe I need to try and find some interests outside of him without worrying about relationships for the time being.

Catpants123 Sun 24-Jan-16 20:00:52

Every other weekend isn't bad especially if you meet someone who has children who go to their father
In a similar arrangement. Perhaps if you meet someone just be up front about the time you have free.

Zebedee190 Sun 24-Jan-16 20:43:22

You have every other weekend and maybe an evening in the week to yourself? That's plenty of time to spend with someone to start with especially if they have kids with the contact time that matches yours...

However I do understand about not wanting to lead someone on, though it's really difficult to know when to tell someone, but I've got two DCs with SNs and I've tried not mentioning for a while ( doesn't work!) and mentioning it upfront. What I've found is if the person wants to get to know me and is worth getting to know they usually don't bat an eyelid ( I've had two short term relationships from OLD). OLD can be harsh at the best worst of times so you kind of have to develop a thick skin anyway if you delve into it.

Developing interests outside of your son and finding groups around that interest sounds a really good idea, as you're going to meet people who you know are going to be interested in the same things as you, and interested probably in you as a person.

SoleBizzz Sun 24-Jan-16 20:49:01

I am a full time Mother and Carer for my teenage DS . I find men do not want to know.

MisForMumNotMaid Sun 24-Jan-16 21:00:42

I met my current DH through online dating. I'm a carer to a disabled DS and also have a younger DS. DH and I also have a DD now. It is possible. DS1 will be part of our lives, probably with some dependancy till we are unable to care.

I feel you're running before you walk thinking about this detail in your profile.

You're a bit lonely, you want a few nice meals out and a bit of company. Some dates will be a meal out, a night at the cinema etc. Some may lead to a bit more, some may be just a brief coffee.

Its all getting out and meeting interesting people. Its not a waste to have a pleasant meal with someone just because you don't intend to spend the rest of your lives together.

If its meant to be the more intimate details of your life can unravel as you feel comfortable.

Regarding getting out are you getting a carers support package from your council? I've just managed to get 2 hours a week PA time so DS1 can do out of the house independance building activities. Its good for him and for me to get time with DS2.

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