Because I just might win that bet and I could really use the cash. Divorce is a jerk-off to your finances. So here I am, eights months after the divorce was final, sticking my toe in the dating pool. The whole notion of negotiating the living of life with another human being sounds exhausting, especially when limping out the failed negotiation of my marriage.
Does dating a motley assortment of dudes sound like your idea of fun? Like dating is some magical divorce tonic that will automatically improve my feelings about the shambles that is my life just now. But what if the date is amazing? Well, a great date leads to more dates which could mean a relationship and then what? If anything, I feel more broken than ever as I conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death of my marriage and each new horrible realization about myself dawns on me.
Dating immediately after divorce is anxious tiptoeing across a minefield.
Are You Dating a “Loser”?
You make decisions based on one frame of mind and then you have this epiphany about yourself and you realize the decisions you made during the previous frame of mind are all messed up. Your brain is frazzled. You are emotionally destroyed. Your outlook changes every week. This is no time to involve yourself with another person or involve their emotions in your messed up world no matter how great it feels to experience romance after several months or years of a failing marriage.
Everyone loves love and when there is a lack of love in your life or even just nobody there to hear about that a-hole in accounting who is ruining your work life, you start feeling desperate and find yourself tangled up with the first person that expresses interest in your sad ass.
I also believed I owed it to my potential dates to be as honest with myself as possible. I planned elaborate dates to fun venues. I was going out to new restaurants, watching movies outside in the park at night, and attending charity events. It was so easy to get caught up in the idea that there would always be time for date nights later. We never really considered the idea that our time was limited. We never made it a point to find a sitter so we could take time for us.
When is it time to date?
And then it was too late. But we were married for 15 years. That was just a side effect of her caring, nurturing nature. I acknowledge the guilt. I accept that I could have done things differently, and apply myself to the future.
Are You Dating a "Loser"? - Women's and Gender Studies, The Pauline Jewett Institute
Being ready to date and being ready to bring your date back to your house are two very different things. While I was ready to put myself back out there, my house remained a shrine to Leslie. Every room is filled with our family and wedding pictures. I still wear my wedding ring. Having children simplifies the problem of how to handle it.
After Losing the Love of My Life, I’m Dating for the First Time in Decades
Leslie will never stop being their mother despite her passing. Though wedding pictures might get stored away, the family pictures are reminders of their mother and her love for them and need to stay up. She was and is an important part of my life and the lives of my children. There are other things to think about — other milestones to address: Meeting the kids, meeting the parents, all of those potential wonderful terrifying moments of new relationships.
But it starts with moving forward. Those words brought me pain then, instead of the comfort I find in them now. Want to read more stories from people navigating a new normal as they encounter unexpected, life-changing, and sometimes taboo moments of grief? Check out the full series here. Jim Walter is the author of Just a Lil Blog , where he chronicles his adventures as a single dad of two daughters, one of whom has autism.
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