After my marriage ended, I briefly attempted dating. I was a single mother in my 40’s with four children, one with a disability. I wasn’t expecting men to line up at my door, but I did hope for a few viable suitors. I anticipated dating would be a bit challenging, but it turned out to be far more complicated than my memories of dating prior to marriage and children.
I had no experience with online dating, and neither did anyone else I knew, but I decided to give it a try. It was hard to keep track of all of the “winks” and emails. After a few dates, I felt like a therapist. My dates wanted to talk about their ex-wives’ lack of appreciation and unrealistic expectations. They seemed to be asking for validation I could not provide. I could barely grasp my own situation at the time. I surmised that a freshly divorced man was not a good date, and that I, a freshly divorced woman, was ill equipped to deal with their emotional needs. I threw in the towel on dating.
Well meaning friends encouraged me not to give up. I fortified my case with mantras such as, “I have a broken picker”, “I am a loser magnet” and “I end up with the wrong men.” I had a negative internal monologue going with regard to my past relationships, and the volume increased as my marriage collapsed. I took inventory of my romances, and told myself I made bad choices. For whatever reason, I created a story that I stuck with for many years, and I went on my merry way.
Fortunately, over time and with a lot of work, I developed a fresh, healthy, positive perspective, and realized that what I had been telling myself simply was not true. I do not have a broken picker; I do not attract losers; and I did not fall in love with the wrong men. Yes, I have had my share of heartbreak and disappointment upon the unraveling of intimate relationships, but it was not a mistake for me to love these men. The truth is, I have been in love with wonderful men: intelligent, funny, handsome, kind, sexy, spiritual, ambitious, creative, and talented men who greatly enriched my life. I am grateful to recognize and celebrate the love I have experienced, and I truly hope there is another great love in store for me.