“Society” seems to have a lot of opinions about how people “should” live. For instance we grow up in a world that gives us the impression that somehow we’re not whole until we have a romantic partner. I realize there are lots of things like this out there. For instance a woman or married couple that chooses not to have children are often told they don’t know what love is unless they have children or somehow they just need some time so they can change their minds. In my situation it seems to be all about dating now that I’m a single mom. That somehow a romantic partner will solve all problems and ease all worries and somehow we will all be better and more complete with someone by our side. My own son told me just a couple months after seperating from his father that I need to get remarried so we have 4 people in our family again. I think he specifically felt a little outnumbered girls to boys and wants another boy around. But how is it that even at 5, a child somehow thinks you have to be married as an adult. I’ve been apart from my ex for a little over 6 months now. I really thought after 11 years of marriage people would give me at least a year before “encouraging” me to date. Here’s the thing. While I know I’m emotionally raw from my divorce and a lot of people think I’m foolish or shortsighted for saying this, I can very honestly say I don’t want to date. I want to be a whole person within myself. Independent from a relationship. Recovering from an emotional loss like divorce is NOT dependent on finding someone to fill the “void” left by my newly found singleness. Finding someone to replace your ex-spouse is not how you “win”.
I don’t want to date because I don’t want to be in a position where I filter who I am to try to impress someone so they’ll somehow fall for me. Here is what I want as a newly single person. I want to be surrounded by love. No, this is not contradictory. By love I mean the love of family and friends. Spending time, making memories, finding new hobbies, and doing this with people I care about is how I want to be surrounded by love. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not completely opposed to ever seeing someone again romantically. I do hope one day I can figure out what romantic love really is. But I am not somehow less than because I haven’t gotten “back on the horse”. I want to spend time with my kids and people who care about me, not with someone who doesn’t know me and I have to hide the flawed parts of myself. I love being an open book. I love meeting people and making friends and hearing about different experiences people have in their lives. I love when people open up to me about some of their own struggles because they see me and feel safe and not judged because I am am so willing to be open and listen.
If there is a guy out there for me somewhere that God has in His plan to be part of my life until the end, I’m fine with that. The way I see it though, society has placed opinions in our minds of what dating is and how a woman is supposed to act and I don’t fit those molds. If God has a guy for me, he’ll need to like me for the good, bad, and ugly. He will need to see me for who I am and appreciate the challenges I’ve been through, which means I need to be able to be open about my past and not hide it in fear that he may think I’m not over it or crazy. This guy will need to have patience for many reasons. He would also need to be my friend. I will not be signing up for dating websites or going to speed dating events in hopes to find my “prince charming”. As a matter of fact, I really don’t want a charming guy at all. If God has a man in store for me, he will put the man in my life as a friend. I don’t know how long it will take me to let my guard down to let someone into my life since my wounds are still healing. The way I see it is based on my list of characteristics I want in a man and my “never again” list, it’s possible my criteria is too high and this guy doesn’t exist. At this point, I’m OK with that. So if you’re my friend or family, know that I understand you want me happy. The best way to help me with that, instead of promoting finding a relationship, just spend time making memories with me and talking. That is the kind of love I want in my life. I am fine being single.