Five months after leaving my husband and before the divorce was even final I started dating again.
And now one year later I’m embarking on my first relationship post-divorce. Yes, it’s been one year of dating. I know that’s probably not what you want to hear, but minus a few bumps and bruises along the way it has been quite an adventure and what a prize at the end!
The most important lesson I can pass on to other dating single mamas is:
- You will inevitably kiss a few frogs before you find your prince. But to really appreciate your prince you have to have kissed those frogs. You’re not going to find him right away. Until then…try to just relax and have fun.
When I left my husband I moved in with my mother…to my hometown – a small bustling university town in the middle of nowhere. As far as men were concerned the pickings were slim. They were either university professors (always married), college students or small town professionals. From now on I would be a completely open-minded dater. And date I did.
My first single mom fling was with a friend. We would spend two or three nights a week together… watching movies, talking, playing with baby Benjamin and just enjoying each other’s company. But he was much older than me…11 years older. And he really wasn’t my type. A biker. A biker who lived in the woods, completely alone wtih his seven dogs. I knew there was no chance this could ever turn into a serious relationship. But I had to get back out there and why not with a friend? He was also just what the doctor ordered – a tough, strong man who hated jerks like my ex-husband. That was sexy.
One night we were sitting on the couch and started cuddling. I could tell he wanted to kiss me and I kept dodging his lean-ins. Then I thought to myself, “I have to do this, I have to kiss this man, I have to move on.” And so I did. It was amazing. Such a release to just be with someone else and to realize that I still knew how to kiss. We dated for about a month and a half. In the end it just fizzled out, as all rebounds do. The fireworks were gone and we both moved on. This particular man, is a prince, just not my prince.
Let the dating begin…
With my first single mama fling over with I was ready to jump back in the saddle and go out on real “dates”…or so I thought. I was pushing it before I was really ready. I just wanted it to end. I wanted to find him…so desperately. Too desperately. If I saw a man who was even slightly attractive I’d look for a ring – it seemed like they all had one. Why was everyone married but me? Why was I alone? What on earth had I done to deserve this?
I’m sure the men could sense my desperation. They could probably smell it from a mile away. And when the town is only six miles wide that’s a problem.
Beam me up, Scottie!
After too many bad dates and heartaches I decided I’d outgrown the small town men. I had recently been rejected again over e-mail… so I sent an e-mail of my own – to a headhunter. Miraculously – he had an opening for me and three weeks later I was back in the city where single, young happy men were everywhere.
Unfortunately the city men were just as messed up as the small town guys. One had a major porn addiction and couldn’t even – you know – with me. I met the other one through a friend and then spotted him on Match.com – and active while we were dating and sleeping together.
My friends didn’t seem to think this was a big deal – “did you ask him if you were exclusive?”
“No!” I belted, “Was I supposed to?”
“Hell yes. This is the city – remember? No one is exclusive until you talk about it. And you can’t call him so often.”
The rules. All of these rules. That was one nice thing about the small town the rules didn’t seem so tough. You either liked each other or you didn’t – or you were just extremely messed up in the head. But games like this were beyond me.
I was hurt. I was tired of it. Two little mini-relationships were enough and then I resolved to just be single forever…well, not forever, but I realized that being single really wasn’t that bad. I was happy. I was content. And that’s when I met Kris.
He calls me all of the time. He answers when I call. Okay, these are the basics but when you’re dating they become variables. He actually watches Benjamin so I can go out with the girls or go shopping. He makes me laugh – A LOT. He is so attentive to my moods and respectful of my work load and life load. He asks about Benjamin. He cares about us both. And he’s young… oh, and sexy. God is he sexy. I’ll have to commit an entire entry to this young guy thing because I completely recommend it.
The bottom line – while you’re a dating single mom – be patient, have fun, and then enjoy your prince…he’s on his way. Don’t worry. Just get rid of the frogs when one plops on your door step – don’t waste your time. As soon as it gets annoying or stressful toss him out with the dirty bath water.
Kris and I dated for 6-months and thoroughly enjoyed each other the entire time. He will always be a really good friend of mine. So now I’m dating again… looking again for that elusive prince and trying to remind myself that one may exist.
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