I try to stay away from “sad” posts. I want to be known as the single mom who has her stuff together. Today, may not be one of those posts.
A friend of mine asked me recently to write about my dating experiences as a single mom in her (now) 40’s. We had dinner one day and I can’t remember ever laughing so hard at myself before. The tears of laughter that was shed that day prompted me to write this. Keep an open mind while reading this and don’t be afraid to laugh at my expense.
So as I sit at my desk and polish off a box of Crunch and Munch, a container of raspberries, 4 cherry tomatoes, beef jerky and un-sweet tea, I am evaluating my life and exactly how I have gotten here…..Not here, as in “on this earth” but here, as in this cozy little Cubicle.
I have recently come to the realization that I am ready to date. I just threw up in my mouth a little…could be from the excessive amount of food I have eaten in the past 2 hours…but nevertheless, the thought of being in an actual relationship gives me mixed emotions of excitement, nervousness and indigestion.
I have dated in the past three years, unsuccessfully.
There was the Doctor who brought me a bottle of his very own wine and proposed to me on the FIRST date. He ended up talking to me like a baby…I am not kidding…he literally used a baby voice and said things like I WUV YOU and he sent me pictures of flowers and wrote me poetry. He lasted a week.
Then there was the guy who had to move in with his parents a month after we started talking because he lost his job due to him getting drunk at the office Christmas party. Once he finally got his life together, he left me for a women he met in his apartment complex.
A friend fixed me up on a blind date. I met him at his house and our plans were to go out to dinner. I pulled in his driveway and he met me at the door with his 3 year old son. (He forgot to tell me that he was bringing him along.) No worries!! I adore kids. But wait, he also forgot to tell me that we were going to his son’s Karate demonstration at the preschool where his parents and ex wife were also going to be there. It gets better, he then asks me if his parents can go to dinner with us….that way they will pay for dinner!!! His parents declined. Before I bolted out the door, he made one last request….”Would you like to lay in bed with me and my son and watch TV until he falls asleep?” Um No, Goodbye. I never saw him again.
The man I recently dated slept all the time and barely spoke.
There have been a few first dates that never turned into second dates.
There is even one that I would consider “the one that got away”.
Through it all, I learned a little more about myself. What I want and don’t want. What I am missing and what I don’t want to ever experience again. Dating in your late 30’s and now 40’s isn’t as easy as you would think. I could have married the first man I spoke about, who knows it may have been a nice life. I could have gotten discouraged when my dates became disasters. I could easily dwell on the one that got away.
I was messaging back and forth with my best friend today and I told him my fears about being alone. It was prompted by another friends Mother who recently passed away…she had been a divorced single mom for as long as I can remember and as I was thinking about her this morning the thought crossed my mind that she must have felt so alone as she was exiting this earth. I have to admit, it made me very sad. As one of my biggest fears is being buried alone when I die.
It took me almost three years to finally get over the shock of my husband leaving me for another woman and his confession to five affairs while we were married. The one question I ask myself is “why did he marry me”? there was no obligation, there was no pressure. One day he just got on his knee and promised to love me forever. Forever lasted almost a year before he had his first affair, 13 years later he tells me that he doesn’t love me anymore. Just like that, it was all over.
It has taken me three years to say this…
I don’t know what real love feels like. The kind of loves that makes you feel safe, cared for, comfortable and not afraid. The kind of love that you know that you are the “only one”. That you don’t have to fight or defend yourself. You don’t have to prove your worth. The kind of love that makes you walk with confidence instead of cowering in a corner for fear you are going to be hit or made fun of.
Ladies, there is nothing dramatic about an abusive relationship!! I don’t think he realizes what he did to me that day and the weeks after that. He stole my self esteem. He made me feel like I was unworthy….now I know who is unworthy.
So, thank you men that I have dated…thank you for the proposals, the wine, the dinners, and even a few good laughs. You have given me the confidence to face my fears and start dating again. Although, unsuccessful to say the least, I haven’t quite given up on finding “Prince Charming”!
**A letter to the man that may be actively searching for ME!**
Dear Mr. Charming:
Dating has been quite a learning experience for me. Marriage EVEN MORE! But it is time to get serious as my last birthday was a reminder that I am not getting any younger!
I am going to make things easy for you as I have officially made a list of things you must have or be to qualify for a chance at my heart.
- You must love Jesus
- You must love children
- You must love to laugh
- Don’t be boring!!
- Taking long drives is a necessity
- I want you to love sunrises and sunsets to the point of being unbelievably dramatic when seeing one!!
- Love me when I am having a bad day
- Love me when I am having a good day
- Just love me everyday will be sufficient
- Compliment me
- Hug me….you know the kind of hug when my face is buried in your chest and I can’t breath, yet I don’t want to leave your arms for fear I may never feel that way again.
- Make me smile
- Make me laugh
- Play with my hair
- Kiss my forehead
- Talk to me!!
- Must have ridiculously amazing parents!!!!
Now Mr. Charming, in return I shall promise to:
- First and foremost, Love Jesus!!
- Love my kids (and yours if you have some)
- ……the rest, let’s just see what happens
**FYI…the above lists are meant for kicks and giggle except the “Must love Jesus!!”**
There you go. A rare glimpse into my life….the single (not mom) life.
There you go Lori, I wrote it!! Now everyone laugh and cry if you must. But remember, there are far more better days ahead than what I am leaving behind!!