Ask Kari: After my divorce, how can I find someone to share my life with (without having more kids)?
Dear Kari,I’m a well-traveled (50 countries), 55-year-old, heterosexual man. A year ago, I purchased a townhouse in Issaquah Highlands where I now reside alone. Six years ago, I got divorced, and my young son from that marriage spends every weekend with me. I exercise regularly and I am vegan. My problem is that since my divorce, I haven’t met anyone. It seems to me I should be somewhat of a catch. But I’m obviously wrong. I do not want to be a father to any more kids. I just want someone with whom I can share my life. Do you see any issues? What can I do?
--Lonely in the Highlands
Dear Lonely in the Highlands,
You sound like an interesting man, someone who has seen the world and had many experiences. You also have a reasonable goal of meeting someone with whom you can connect and share your life. But I am concerned with your rigid statements of who you are and what you will accept in a relationship (e.g. you are adamant that you will not serve as a father to other children, which is interesting considering your potential female partner would most likely serve as a parenting role model to your son). Start with finding someone you have chemistry with, similar interests and outlook on life. Leave the other details to be worked out later. I suggest that if you begin with pursuing a relationship with someone you are drawn to versus measuring them against your checklist, you will find more people to date. Remember, we all have our strengths that are appealing to others, but also a few not so great habits/personality traits. Highlight the positive when beginning a new relationship while also looking realistically at what you can accept long term. Be gentle on yourself and others. Sometimes kindness and friendship is what leads us to love.
Kari O’Neill, MSW, LICSW, is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and the owner and Clinical Director of Issaquah Highlands Counseling Group (IHCG), which is now Kari O’Neill Counseling.
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