Two years ago I left my husband.
Much to the confusion of everyone but me, there were no "other people" involved (neither one of us were having an affair). Overlooking the actual "why" of the end (which requires its own post), it's the "when" to begin that I want to address here.
EX is the type of man, he wouldn't be ashamed to admit, who "needs" a woman in his life and he quickly found a girlfriend to fill the gap I left behind. He was calmer and happier with her which made it easier for everyone. It was a good thing.
I, on the other hand, had a different agenda and got busy finding my way back to me. Mostly this involved meeting and spending time with a bunch of amazing women who supported and inspired me. It's true that along the way I met some nice guys who helped move the journey along, but serious dating - relationships - have held no interest.
The divorce became final a few months ago and, almost immediately, well-meaning friends and family members began to ask if I was dating... or looking to meet someone .... Even my kids, who have seen their dad in two serious relationships since I left, have began asking boyfriend questions.
So I took a step back and examined where I'd gotten (really only measurable by knowing from where I'd come) and decided that, indeed, there is space for a partner. Even more than space–desire. Perfect. I'm ready. How does one start dating?
As you may expect, I began the way I'm most comfortable - online. I put an ad up (on an unnamed dating site) and began vetting responses. The first fellow (#1) and I arranged to meet for coffee. Must have been the longest 45 minutes of my life. He spoke about the demise of his 17 year marriage, his job and then - more about him. I was surprised to receive an email the next day requesting to see me again. When I said no thank you, that I thought we were in "different places," he called me a "mean hearted bitch" and a "nit without feelings."
Once recovered from the misdirected anger of #1 I gave it another try. #2 was a nice guy - a gentleman. I was attracted to him, and the date flowed along effortlessly. When I got home there was an email waiting from him saying he enjoyed himself and was looking forward to our next meeting. I followed up in the affirmative. but the second date was difficult to schedule. He disappeared. Never heard from him again.
I took down my ad. ... but left myself open to possibility. Embraced opportunities as they've come my way. And I've met some incredibly warm and promising men, but no one who is available for a relationship.
Excuse the long winded story because in the end all I really want to say is that I've figured it out and here it is in a nutshell: I'm 41 years old. Men my age either want children of their own (and I'm not birthing anymore babies) or they don't want children (and I have two.) Either way, I lose. OH! there are men who are like me: divorced with children half time. I'm open to a blended family, but I've yet to meet a prospect. At least in my state.
My theory posits that when I'm 50-and my kids are basically grown–able to fend for themselves–I will find my dating pool expanding. Men in my age bracket will be too old to want kids and/or they'll have grown ones of their own. They'll be looking for straight-on companionship and love. From me.
It's all figured out now (tongue planted firmly in cheek): I spend the next nine years concentrating on my kids and my business. Building a firm foundation and fluffy nest for my forthcoming dating days. I'm looking forward to it. But in the meantime I've got a hell of a lot of work to do.