Please allow me to give you a glimpse into the dating life of a two 48-year-old humans who are the primary caregivers of their children.
When J and I met, we had about a month’s worth of dates before we knew we wanted to see each other exclusively. We also knew that our kids were going to be a big factor in our relationship equation. After we each met the other’s kids, we introduced the kids to one another, and the five of us began spending time together.
The good news is that everyone gets along pretty well. We have a lot of fun together playing games, watching movies, taking trips, and hanging out. This isn’t always the case in situations like ours, so we are grateful that everyone can co-exist and enjoy spending time together. This makes our life as a couple much easier.
Except for one little thing. Can you guess what it is?
Remember back in high school, hanging out in the living room with your boyfriend, waiting for your parents to go to bed so you could make out? That is EXACTLY what dating when you have kids is like except now you’re waiting for YOUR KIDS to go to bed so you can make out. It would be hilarious if it weren’t so painful. Ours is still a new relationship. Remember what that’s like? You can’t WAIT to get your hands on each other. (Sorry if you’re reading this, kids! We love you!)
Our older two sometimes act like they’re disgusted by our displays of affection, but I believe they’re both glad to see their parents happy. My younger son with autism asks me, “Why do you and J laugh so much?” This is partly because he hates loudness, but it’s also because he can remember a time I didn’t laugh at all. Love is joyful and healing for everyone to experience and witness, especially children.
I long for more alone time with this man I’ve been lucky enough to find, but I also recognize that our kids won’t spend this kind of time with us forever, and we’ll miss that when they’re grown and off living their own lives. J, especially, has the best perspective when it comes to the limited amount of time we have left with them under our roofs, and he reminds me of that often both in word and action. It’s one of the things I most respect and admire about him.
So even though it might feel like we don’t get enough couple time, we’re both doing important work with these three amazing children. And I think we’re setting a good example of what a mature, loving relationship looks like in the process. I’m pretty proud of us – even if we DO have to wait until midnight to make out.