Single dads can meet single moms

SINGLE FILE

January 16, 1994|By SUSAN DEITZ | SUSAN DEITZ,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Q: How does a single father of three find a nice woman today? I am 30 and am having a hard time finding someone decent.

A: You may come across a good woman at random, purely by chance, but better to increase your odds of meeting her through a common interest -- and that, of course, is your children. Start revving up your involvement in their lives by joining a PTA committee, getting known as an activist parent in their play groups, their religious school. The kind of woman you want is doing things for her children, like you, not just to meet someone nice, but also to be in on her family's doings.

Consider also membership in Parents Without Partners, the grandparent of single-parent resources (call [800]-637-7974 for the address of the chapter nearest you). Go to a few meetings to get a sense of their goals, and then bring your children to a weekend program (they're noted for activities of interest to both generations). The women you'll meet there will be parents -- a prerequisite for membership -- so you'll have a lot in common.

Q: Last year I met this guy and fell head over heels in love. Everything was going great, but then he dumped me. After crying for weeks, I ran into him again, and he said he didn't realize what he had until he lost it. But shortly after we reunited, he dumped me again. Now he's calling! Do some people get a kick out of doing this?

A: Yes. Some creeps get their kicks from bouncing people's feelings on a trampoline; their own emotions fluctuate with the tides. The awful thing is that they have no idea of the grief they cause. Childish and narcissistic, they can't see beyond their own desires. It's up to people like you, who think enough of themselves not to tolerate off-again, on-again behavior, to stop the game of jumping jacks. End this sickness now, and pat yourself on the back for doing yourself a huge favor.

Q: I'd like to know how you feel about and what information you have on unmarried women who decide to have a child and raise it alone. I am especially interested in your thinking about raising a male child vs. a female child. If you can cite any groups that might be relevant, I'd appreciate it.

A: You are entertaining a potent concept, one that demands double scoops of research and time. Don't make any decision until you have explored the issue from every conceivable angle -- and even then, I urge you to wait at least another six months before taking a step ahead.

You need the time because there are so many factors to consider. You need to be secure emotionally, financially, career-wise, and to be crystal-clear about your motives.

Also give a call to Single Mothers by Choice ([212] 988-0993) for a free informational brochure, a list of back issues of their newsletter, and the phone number of their local chapters nationwide.

Without touching on moral and ethical issues -- which are yours to wrestle with, after all -- my caveat to you is to proceed slowly, conferring with not only the mothers group, but your family, your employer, your physician, your spiritual leader.

Q: My girlfriend and I live with her 11-month-old child. She wants to go on to college, but can't because she has no one to watch the baby. What can she do?

A: The local community college should be the first resource to contact. They may be able to establish a curriculum for your girlfriend based mainly on at-home study, so that child care is not a factor. In time, when she begins attending classes on a regular basis, the child will be older and a certified day-care center can be worked into the schedule. (Again, the college may be able to help by recommending one whom other students use.)

You can be the linchpin of this effort, since your availability can make higher education possible for your girlfriend. Tending your girlfriend's baby would be an opportunity to grow into a fatherly role while enabling her to grow intellectually. Sounds like a win-win situation.

*

The condom conundrum: A new, tougher condom for men has been approved by the FDA and should be on the market early this year. Made of transparent polyurethane, it is said to be more sensitive than the latex type but just as effective in protecting against AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

The main advantage is that it can be used with oil-based lubricants (mineral oil, petroleum jelly), which can weaken and cause other condoms to break. The odorless polyurethane will also be of benefit for people allergic to latex.

Warning: While tearing from those oil-based lubricants is much less likely in the polyurethane condom, it is by no means puncture-proof and must be handled as carefully as any other.

D8 The cost of this new product? About $1 to $2 apiece.

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