The waiting.

by mssinglemama on June 24, 2012

I talk like it’s easy to be single.

I tell you all how fantastic it can be. But, I had my moments. My moments while I was waiting and wanting to find love. I kept myself preoccupied and even believed I had found it when in fact, I had not. I loved and learned. Broke hearts and had mine broken. But now it all seems trivial and at the same time absolutely necessary. The natural order of things. A door closes and another one opens.

If you read this blog, you know the best antidote to relationship anxiety is leaving the relationship and the best antidote to wishing you had someone is to stop looking. But it’s all easier said than done. And there’s so much that needs to get done in between. For starters, you must heal and move (completely) on from your last relationship before you can start another one.

I was there for so many years. In the waiting place. But I wasn’t always waiting, no, as you may have gathered, I was a bit more aggressive than that.

During my 20′s, when I went out,  I would walk clear to the back of the bar or the club and then to the front again. I am sure onlookers thought I was looking for someone. But I wasn’t. I was looking for him. When I didn’t find him, I would return to my friends and settle in.

I was always looking during my waiting.

Instead of looking, I should have let the idea of him fade away right along with the ice in my cocktails. I know now, there is no point in searching for something that will find you when it needs to find you. After a decade of bar scanning, dozens and dozens of first dates and several failed relationships, I had convinced myself that he wasn’t anywhere near Columbus.

“I have been to every bar in this city at least a dozen times, and I haven’t met him. He’s not here. There’s no way,” my thirty-something self declared to her girlfriends. They all agreed. Columbus, if we were living in the Prohibition, was as dry as a bone. Maybe the bars are too scattered, we theorized. Maybe they are all at home playing video games. Or, maybe, they are all married.

It turns out, he wasn’t in Columbus.

Seth had moved to Texas in 2007. He didn’t come back home until June of 2011 when he and the kids moved back to start over and re-build after his divorce. We met soon after he got home in September. It didn’t take long for us to find each other.

The point?

I know how much you want to find someone, or better yet, find him. Like cookies at Christmas or champagne on New Year’s Eve. You just want it already. And you deserve him. So where is he? I can’t tell you. The magazines can’t tell you. The psychics won’t tell you. But I can tell you, he’s probably not in your life already. If he were–you’d know it. Believe me. That’s one thing I can assure you is true.

Odds are, you can’t control when you meet.

Until then, have fun. Date for fun. Love for fun. Enjoy yourself and your children. Keep the serious relationships at bay unless you absolutely know, with zero doubt, that he is it. You owe that to your children. You owe it to yourself. And you owe it to him.

—-

This post is dedicated to my girlfriends, single and spoken for, who are waiting. You know who you are. It seems all of you these days are suddenly finding yourselves lost, waiting or ready. And I wish I could speed time up for you, but I know it will all be better soon enough.

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Molly June 25, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Thanks so much for posting this. My divorce was final in April, but he left to live with the homewrecker over a year ago. Lately I’ve just been so let down by what’s out there. The straw that broke the camel’s back was watching a guy pocket his wedding ring before he approached me the other day. I’m having a hard time believing that good men exist, and that I’ll ever find one. Or that I’ll ever even be approached by a man that isn’t old enough to be my father, or is a skank.

I try to enjoy myself and do all of the things that I wished I could do when I was married, but it all seems somewhat empty.

So, thank you. I needed some reassurance.

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Elizabeth June 25, 2012 at 3:29 pm

I needed to hear this so badly. Thank you so much! My divorce was finalized in April although we’d been separated for over 18 months. Sometimes I feel like I’m wandering aimlessly but then my daughter unknowingly reminds me how wonderful my life is and that all comes in due time. Thank you for the reminder.

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Chris R June 26, 2012 at 12:42 am

What an amazing and powerful post. My divorce was finalized around Aug of last year but it was over a year that it took to do. It was just about two years since it all started when i realized I would like to think about dating. You are right however it is not easy. Getting back out there is hard and scary, just coming off a marriage you look for someone like your ex because that makes you feel safe..

Also are you ready? a day, a month, years after it is over… Honestly maybe not,everyone moves at their own pace. I believe if you have a child you will be connected to that person forever. But as bad as this sounds my ex is still alive i consider her passed on. The woman i married is not there anymore. Changed so much i can barley tell… But we as people just have to get out there and get through the uncomfortable stages of anything…

You may even find a reason for your dates to fail… I feel when you meet that special someone you will know and after marriage there still is life, love and yes always more changes… If you are in a relationship and try to fail and the other person doesn’t let you or wont let you…Thats when you know they are your soulmate…

Chris R.

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mssinglemama June 28, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Thanks, Chris. I completely relate to not recognizing your ex. People can change dramatically after having children.

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Chris R July 1, 2012 at 11:16 pm

I enjoy reading your blog so much! I do hope you and your son’s father get along and i hope he spends time with his son and enjoys being a dad… Your story has always given me hope…

Chris R.

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Angela June 30, 2012 at 10:21 pm

hi chris, I considered my ex passed away too, he left me on times when I needed him in exchange of an old lady who has a good job. Well, nothing is really permanent in this world. That old lady is a big dissapointment.

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Chris R July 1, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Angela,
Thanks for the comment, I’m sorry to hear that about your ex. It’s hard to think about things were better, different and now when you look at the person you so cared about you don’t see them. Some stay good friends some don’t talk at all. Everyone finds their place in the world of working with children and ex’s…

Remember
You are never alone…
Chris R

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Juile June 26, 2012 at 11:22 pm

It is so true, have fun, enjoy yourself, enjoy your kids. Not every man you meet has to be anything more than a new friend or a fun way to pass the time. Save your heart, save your family for the right one – he is out there.

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Maya June 27, 2012 at 4:58 am

We all want to believe that there’s someone out there just for us. The one we’ve all been waiting for for so long. But how do we know that he’s really the one? How can we tell ourselves that the long wait is over?

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Alexis August 20, 2012 at 4:31 pm

hey sweetly i really adore your comment so much that i dont know what to say for the first time of reading that comment of your thanks very much.am a single guy never married before and a university student in second year doing B.COM, INFARCT TO KNOW WHO REALLY CARE,IT JUST A TIME FOR YOU TO KNOW WHO MATTER DE MOST COS SOME GUYS CAN BE FAKE MERE FOR YOU TOO THINK THAT THEY CARE,KEEP ON WAITING YOU ONE DAY FIND THE TRUE GUY,I LOVE YOUR COMMENT MY DEAR,WE ALL HOPE FOR A BETTER FUN TO COME,THANKS SWEETLY YOURS FRIEND ALEXIS

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Lauren June 27, 2012 at 7:12 am

I truly believe we need to go through those times where we ‘think’ we are in love. It makes it so much clearer later on when we really do fall in love, to look back and know for sure that you never really did love them. Because what you are experiencing now when you are truly in love, is just not even comparable.

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mssinglemama June 28, 2012 at 10:01 pm

This. Is. Awesome. So true. Thank you for sharing.

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Alphan June 27, 2012 at 12:26 pm

What an inspiring read. Indeed, like you have put it that a door closes and another opens, there is a need to close a chapter and flip a new one. Taking time for healing and moving on cannot be overemphasized. It may take long. Longer than one would wish. But it’s one of the best ways to avoid making a mistake after another. Mistakes like wishing to settle scores and trying to find someone in a hurry to prove a point, seeking someone only for the purpose of consolation (many may offer comfort but they may not necessarily the right ones) or live to compare your new love with the former. The bottom line, just like you’ve stated it here is that when the time has fully come, nothing will stand on his way.

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Emily June 28, 2012 at 2:55 am

This post is really poetic. It has been repeated to me countless times to just, “stop looking!” (mostly by my own mother). It’s so hard to understand how to simply stop looking for something you want so badly. I have also heard, “the universe will give you what you need.” Well, Universe, I’ve been letting you know I’m in significant need for quite some time now, and still…nothing. I have made myself busy, too busy even. But my guy has definitely not shown up yet. At last, some solace. This post really made so much sense to me, it spoke loudly to me. I have read and re-read it many times. It is comforting. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness, and gentle reminding. Because even though you think you have done everything right, and are ready, and occupied, and emotionally willing, and healthy… I bet no one said it would be easy.

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mssinglemama June 28, 2012 at 10:00 pm

This is a lovely comment. So happy you heard me and that it helped in some way. Hang in there! Let go of wanting to control the future, it will just happen to you.

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Anna June 28, 2012 at 6:30 pm

MSM, I disagree. He COULD already be in your life. Mine was. I had been told by my mom that he would never want to be involved with someone with a child. So I figured I could have my secret crush, continue to be friends with him, and continue living my life. Except that Mom was wrong. And man was I surprised when we both got on the same page! There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to love, although I would agree that if you are actively looking, you need to stop.

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mssinglemama June 28, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Very true! Good point. I am sure relationships can evolve into something else if you can’t immediately be together, for whatever reason. Happy all is working out with him!

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Susan July 2, 2012 at 10:30 am

Anna,
My new love was a three year secret crush turned lover. He and I were in unhappy relationships but still found time to hang around eachother just as friends. He did all my handy work and I would pay him in cheesecakes. I became single and he was still hangin on to his girlfriend just because he didn’t want to hurt her. I made the first move one night after we had been playing cards and flirting all night. . . I knew I wanted him and I realized that night after dating many different men, I would have to take the matter into my own hands. He was grateful. We have been hot ever since. I told him to keep his girlfriend if he wanted and I would still be kind of single too but no, he broke up with her. One kiss and everything changed, I knew it would. We knew we both had the feeling, but our timing had to be right. I knew when it was right for me and I went for it. It turned out he was afraid to make the first move for fear I would have said no and our “friendship” would then be ruined. Chicken, is what I say. We, as women sometimes have to give them a cue to move it along.

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Stac July 2, 2012 at 11:49 am

oops….replied to wrong post.

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Stac July 2, 2012 at 11:49 am

I’m with you there. I met mine in 5th Grade…just didn’t realize it until I was a 28 year old single mom to a 6 year old. Getting married in 6 weeks! Just took 20 years to get there :)

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Nataschia June 28, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Thanks for the encouragement. I agree that single moms should stop looking with desperation or feel that they need to have a man in their lives to be a family, but I do think single moms (when ready) should put themselves out there, meet new people and date. You and Seth were both on a dating website. Obviously, if you weren’t looking at all and just waiting for the universe to put your soulmate on your doorstep, you would never have met.

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mssinglemama June 28, 2012 at 9:59 pm

This is a really, really good point. We were looking. What’s funny is my dating profile specifically said I was looking for someone to strictly have fun with, nothing serious. We were both “looking for someone to date” but not a serious relationship, if that makes sense.

I know myself and I know how my own heart traveled to get here and I had reached a plateau of acceptance and peace with just being single.

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Abby June 29, 2012 at 12:06 am

I have really enjoyed following this discussion. I like to think of it as being active to control what we can and accepting the things we can’t. I can’t control if I am single of not. I can control if I go out and have a good time, and meet people. I am firm believer if we make our lives the best they can be, we will have the best life and that’s different for different people. I can so relate with the feeling of acceptance. Being single can really be fun!
Thank you again for sharing your inspiring stories.

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Sara June 29, 2012 at 12:07 am

I can’t even begin to explain how much this post spoke to me. You hit the nail right on the head and laid out exactly what I needed to hear! I’m that person, I bounce from guy to guy waiting for the one that is going to fall in love with me. Spelling it out and facing it for what it is really makes me look pathetic. I called today and set up an appointment with a therapist. It’s time for me to fall in love with me and to stop looking. What I’ve been doing has been out of total desperation….and why? I can’t think of a single reason I should feel so desperate! I have an amazing life, I’m supporting myself and my two kids, I’ve got this…hell I was more lonely while I was married! So now I’m on this crazy journey to find who I am, what I love about me, what I find “fun” in doing and what I want. Any tips? How did you find yourself while juggling all of the demands of being a single mama?

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Stacia June 29, 2012 at 11:16 am

What’s that I see at the end of the tunnel? LIGHT??? :)

Love the way things have worked out for you!!

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Jamie June 29, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Another great post!

Your writing has really helped me get through some tough stuff over the last couple months.

Thank you so much.

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April July 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Thank you for your amazing words…I’ve been a single mother since my daughter was born 8 1/2 years ago. I thought her dad was it for me but I was 17 and young…we both were just kids. I was the one who matured and unfortunately he didn’t. We broke up when our daughter was 4 but I always considered myself a single mother. We couldn’t count on him. But still to this day its hard for me to let go of my first love. I have tried…he’s always in my head. I think about him constantly…it doesn’t help when I see him all the time…but I know deep down the man God has chosen for me is not him. Your blog and especially this post gives me hope.

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Charlotte July 1, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Seriously, you have no idea how on time this post is for me! My boyfriend and I broke up a few weeks ago after almost 2 years of dating. That was my first relationship after my divorce and I just knew we were going to get married and have cute babies but it just didn’t work out that way. Ever since my divorce 4 years ago I have been looking for my knight in shining armor and people have always told me to just wait for love to find me. Being both impulsive and impatient, that was not the advice I wanted to hear. But I finally get it now! Looking for love is exhausting and somewhat disappointing when you don’t find what you’re looking for. Instead, I’m going to use my single time to enjoy life, my kids and do the things I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. At some point while I’m living my life for me, Mr. Right might just possibly show up to sweep me off my feet :)

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Lindsay | Solo Mama Life July 2, 2012 at 7:17 am

Hi there,

I just stumbled upon your blog and I’m so glad I did! I am a newly pregnant single mama by choice and I am looking forward to following your blog and (hopefully) becoming a part of the online community it seems you’ve created here!

Sometimes I have thoughts like “I wish I had a partner who was excited as me about this pregnancy.” Those thoughts usually quickly disappear, but I have a feeling this is just the beginning of thoughts like that.

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Leslie July 2, 2012 at 10:46 am

I was just thinking along these lines this very morning. I have been divorced for a year and dated a lot, but I am beginning to feel a little discouraged. I know I should just enjoy this time, I know I haven’t met him yet, I know I just need to be patient and there is a plan and it will all come together. It is still frustrating that I have a whole pile of “maybes” – this one likes me but just isn’t right, this one doesn’t treat me the way I deserve to be treated, this one lives too far away. I know none is the right fit. I even made a list – A is not the one, B is not the one, C is not the one. My ex is definitely not the one, LOL!

It’s good to hear it from someone else, though – it will happen when it happens. And, I like to remind myself, I finally am in a good spot to sit and wait!

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Laurel July 5, 2012 at 10:22 am

Thank you for your post. I found your blog while attempting to do an assignment for my speech class. I have been seperated for 6 years now. We are not divorced yet. When we first seperated, I dated quite a bit. But I realized that I need the closure of the divorce before I get serious about some one. There really is no point getting involved until then, right? It’s been a struggle. I am confident though, that when I am ready, we will find each other.

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Rachael July 6, 2012 at 12:03 am

As always, you posted exactly what I needed to HEAR!! I’ve been dating another single parent for about 6 weeks, after 2 1/2 years of carefully and casually dating just to make sure I was ready, just the other day I started feeling that anxiety. I’d promised myself before that when I felt that unsure feeling, that old anxiety of not knowing what was going on, wondering if it was worth the stress to hang around and find out, wondering if it was me or him or both or neither, that I would take a step back and make a choice and not allow myself to linger there. Which is exactly what I was doing when I decided to catch up on your posts! It reminded me that I had momentarily forgotten to stop LOOKING and just LIVE. So I turned off my phone to keep from waiting for his texts and did an EXTRA long story time with my boys! Thanks again!

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Tee July 8, 2012 at 5:38 pm

You do need to heal and move on. Great advice. I love your blog! It’s one of my favs.

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Layla A. July 8, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Love this blog post because it hits home and you articulated it perfectly! I even wrote this on a piece of paper and put it on my refrigerator, “I know now, there is no point in searching for something that will find you when it needs to find you.” I have to ask, you both met on OkCupid.com, right? I always feel when I’m on dating sites, that “I’m searching” and do you think that’s letting something find you if you’re online looking? I go back and forth on whether to even be on these sites looking for Mr. Right. I feel like my time could be better spent doing other things, but it is hard being a single mom to meet someone. I don’t get out much unless it’s with my son. Just curious on your thoughts on the online dating thing. Not sure I have time for it and hoping I can still meet my Mr. Right at the grocery store in the produce aisle. :-)

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mssinglemama July 8, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Great question Layla… so it’s important to keep an active dating life, in my opinion, even if it’s just for fun between serious relationships. Just because you are online dating doesn’t mean you are desperately seeking a husband, right? This is something you know in your heart … if you are looking and looking or just at peace and dating. Make sense?

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Layla July 9, 2012 at 11:16 am

I agree on trying to have fun and date. The problem for me right now is that I happened to fall for an unavailable man, he lives 600 miles away and is currently going through a divorce. We had a mutual friend set us up on a date and I went on the date for fun not thinking anything would come of it. I was in the date for fun mode! BUT, I felt like I had met Mr. Right. He was so much of what I had been wanting to find in a man, but I know (having been through a divorce) that he needs a lot of time before anything could work. So, after a few more dates, I made the decision to just be friends with him. Now heartbroken because I really fell for this man, I got back online to get my mind off of him, but it almost makes it worse. I’ll take your advice and just try to have fun, not worry about finding Mr. Right and try to get over the Mr. Right that isn’t right, right now. Ha! Having a little humor doesn’t hurt either. Trying to keep life simple. Thanks for all your insight.

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katy July 16, 2012 at 9:21 am

I just went out on a date (if you want to call it that), and I found myself wanting to like him (which i did), but I ended up feeling like I had this huge wall that all of sudden came up, and surrounded me. Part of me wanted to break this down, but alot of me felt like I was holding back myself, and not letting this great man see who I was really. In the end, all I could feel was a mutual friendship with him. most guys that I have been with, I have never felt like this before. So my question is, has anyone felt like this before?

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anton August 6, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I really love this one..Looking for partners? Why don’t you try this site? http://1mate.org/

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serge September 20, 2012 at 7:11 am

Descent point of encouragement, very funny, it reminded me of myself before when I was looking for a fun relationship. I highly recommend this blog, also if your looking for a glamour, come and Match your friends at http://www.newdateproject.com.
Thanks

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