I must admit I was hoodwinked. I followed the celebrity fairy tales of successful second-chance relationships following a tumultuous divorce. I was fixated to the tabloids when Reese Witherspoon re-married Jim Toth. She had a second-change and had two children from her previous marriage with Ryan Philippe. Wow! It is possible. She was able to quickly find love again, re-marry and expand her brood, as she now has a third child. Demi Moore was able to snag a much younger Ashton Kutcher with much older kids. The true kicker was that Demi, Ashton, kids and ex-hubby Bruce Willis had the whole co-parenting thing down pack and were pictured vacationing together. Hmmm….. that is my ideal life. No egos, just maximizing family time for the kids sake. While the two are no longer together, each of them have moved on to other love interests. Impressive. Another success story was Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith. Jada accepted his son from his previous marriage and was able to manage an amicable relationship with Will’s ex-wife and accept his eldest son as one of her own. Jennifer Lopez, with twins also found a younger gent in which she seems happy with following her divorce from Mark Anthony.
There are all of these examples in the media of divorced couples quickly rebounding and finding their happily ever after..whether it lasted or was short-lived, these stories provided me with inspiration. I can move on from my marriage, enter the dating arena and there will be a man who will just be so intrigued with all of my goodness….relationship status, kids aside, it would not make a difference. The gent would just love me, sweep me off my feet and be accepting of my family. The term “baggage” would not cross his mind.
After all, when married and catching up with my “single” girlfriends….when we went out, it seemed my wedding ring was just a magnet for men. Prior to marriage, I always was in some kind of a relationship. So I also thought it would be easy. I never really had a problem meeting someone special. Still well below 40, I am bound to be remarried before I hit that milestone, right? Yeah, okay!
In contrast, now single….it has not been as easy as I initially thought. I do not have any problem meeting great guys. I am not huddled in my bedroom loathing why I am not meeting anyone. I am out at social events, work-related functions, exploring New York City, doing what I love. I have encounters with men. I meet smart, attractive, ambitious, independent, easygoing gentlemen. The gents I meet mutually feel the same about me. I don’t know who I am fooling! Well it is all about the appearance, right? However, one caveat, most of the men I meet are single with no attachments or their children primarily live with their kids mother.
My experiences dating now divorced is that after establishing a connection with a great guy, there is dialogue through phone conversations, texts, social media, and a handful of meaningful dates. A genuine like between the two of us begins to develop. We are compatible in every way….yet we live in two different worlds. My motherly attributes intensifies the attraction they have for me….I become a stencil for what they would want for the mother of their future children. Despite how great of time we have when together, there is this barrier between us. My lifestyle away from these gents I meet are my children. Another factor, is that my children’s father is active in their lives…so yes there is occasional Baby Daddy drama that occurs. These are my situations that the men I meet are not yet ready or willing to make part of their situation.
While my relationships with these gents I meet may not even develop to that stage where it should be a huge factor….this is a consideration that arises once the right questions are asked. Some gent’s initial excitement of meeting me wanes before we get to the first date, others are open to dating a divorcee…as the men’s short-term lenses of physical attractiveness do not factor the long-term considerations of seriously dating a divorcee at all. But when the gent with the short-term peripheral view begins to develop genuine feelings, he gets a breath of reality that our lifestyles are too different. We live in two different worlds. He begins to think the adjustment from his current fly by the seat of his pants lifestyle to seriously dating a woman with kids is too grand for him at this moment. Despite his genuine feelings….and while the relationship has not gotten too serious….he falls back gradually. He begins to search for that great woman, that motherly portrait he created from my stencil in someone else. Hopefully, he will meet someone he is just as compatible with, but may not have that “baggage”. Maybe he will meet someone just as great as me. Why not? Isn’t there an abundance of attractive, independent, loving, easy-going, single women out there who have my uniqueness? Sure he will be alright. Or maybe not.
When speaking to the divorced lady at the spa, she has been divorced for several years. She speaks to me about the struggles of dating, the energy it takes, her focus on getting her son through college and the dynamics of dating in Manhattan. My hopes slowly begin to dissipate. However, speaking to fellow divorced mothers while we stand aside at our kids extra curriculars, they speak of meeting someone. They have a spark in their eye as they discuss how they are now steady dating a great family guy for about six months. Another divorcee they tell me…a potential modern-day Brady Bunch. Hmmm…Where do you find this person, I ask. They mention the various online dating sites. How intricate the screening and selection process is on these sites. Hmmm….So in contrast of being out socially, I just need to huddle in my bed and surf the net for my potential mate? I have mix feelings of these dating sites. Maybe if my dating pattern doesn’t turn for the better, I might consider in 2014.
While my dating reality has not yet ended with a successful conclusion, or as quickly as those publicized in the celebrity tabloids. I do not regret any date. I learn more about myself each time, what I do want and do not want from a potential mate. While dating is not my number one priority in life, I am still hopeful. The time I do allocate in meeting someone special allows me to explore new life experiences, understand people better and is not wasted. Who knows, maybe eventually my reality will become a fantasy to someone else.