Dating while raising a great grandchild

Woman raising great granddaughter wonders why men won't date her

Sandy, 65, a widow of four years, would like to meet a man. But her unusual situation is making the task difficult.

Sandy said, "I have been on a number of dating sites. I have adopted my eight-year-old great granddaughter. Most men don't want to be involved with me because I am raising a child. I know there are a lot of grandparents raising grandchildren; why are men afraid to get involved with me?

"My late husband adored my great grandchild and all I have asked for is friendship or dating. What is the problem? I have been honest in my profiles. I am sure there are others in the same boat as myself."

I commended her for raising her eight-year-old great granddaughter, but asked why she was the one raising the child.

Sandy said, "I don't need to be commended. She is the light of my life. My granddaughter had her at 16 and didn't bond with her. The biological father didn't want her either.

"My daughter didn't step up because she is selfish and has a live-in boyfriend who doesn't want to raise a child. She has a career and that and her boyfriend come first. The state of Utah (where Sandy and her family live) will not let people adopt who are living together. However, if I die, they will take her."

Dating when children are involved is such an important topic that it is an entire chapter in my recently updated Finding Love After 50 EBook.

For women age 65-plus, finding suitable men to date is challenging by the numbers alone. The ratio of single women to available single men at that age is approximately three-to-one. Single men are scarce.

And even more scarce would be finding a man willing to date a 65-year-old woman raising a great grandchild. Most people that age have already raised their kids and don't want the stress of having small children around. Compounding the problem, "The 8-year-old has had emotional problems, which we are working on," Sandy shared.

I mean no disrespect but what does Sandy have to offer a man to make him want to be with her and the girl? Friendship and dating are not enough. And how could Sandy go out on a date? Who would baby sit?

Sandy said, "If there is a good man who can find it in his heart to get to know us he will be rewarded. She is a loving little girl but needs a male influence in her life."

The great granddaughter will be with Sandy most likely until Sandy is 80. Most men do not want to be saddled with the responsibility of someone else's child for what would likely be the rest of their life.

People in their 60s and 70s realize that their time clocks are ticking. They want to be free to pursue activities they enjoy before it's too late, such as traveling or driving an RV across the country. Those activities would be nearly impossible to do with an eight-year-old who needs to be in school.

All children need to be a parent's top priority, but most people in a relationship want to be the top priority.

Thank goodness there are people like Sandy who unselfishly raise a child who could otherwise become a ward of the state. It is unfortunate that Sandy's kin don't take responsibility for the child they brought into this world.

Can Sandy find a man to accept her situation? It is impossible, but unlikely. Perhaps she should focus her search on finding a man who is in a similar situation. And while using the Internet, she needs to protect that little girl from pedophiles.

I think dating will continue to take a back seat for Sandy.

© 2010, Tom Blake

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Tom Blake is an expert on dating after 50. He has appeared twice on the "Today Show" and has written more than 500 columns on dating and relationships. His "Single Again" column appears in The Orange County Register in southern California, is read worldwide and is often featured on msn.com. He is a professional speaker. He spoke at the national AARP convention in San Diego in 2002, and in Chicago. His book, Middle Aged and Dating Again, is a humorous account of his first year of dating after his third divorce. His second book is Finding Love After 50: How to begin, where to go, what to do. His latest book is titled How 50 Couples Found Love after 50. To ask a question or receive Tom's free weekly column on middle-age dating and relationships by e-mail, click on www.findingloveafter50.com or E-Mail.

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