One of the worst aspects of being a single mom is the world’s insistence that I need to “hurry up and find someone.” My friends and family can’t stand the fact that I’ve been divorced nearly 2 whole years and haven’t been in a relationship yet. They try to “help” me figure out the underlying issues that are preventing me from entering a world of re-wedded bliss. Usually by insisting they know “the nicest guy” who is a perfect match for me in every way.
IT. DRIVES. ME. INSANE.
There was a short time in 2010 when dating seemed very important. About six months after my divorce was final, I desperately needed to prove to myself that I was still dateable, that guys wouldn’t run away screaming. I dabbled in the online dating world and even allowed a few friends to set me up on dates. Let’s review those exciting experiences.
The Dates (or lack thereof)
The cop: Since my ex-husband is in law enforcement, I should have known better. But I agreed to at least talk to a police officer from a nearby town, who I now refer to as Deputy Derp. His Facebook messages were full of grammar and spelling mistakes, and he ended every sentence with LOL. Not because he was making jokes, but because he seems to think that’s how sentences end. “yah i just got back from the grossry store, lol. i wuz cravin sum fryed pigs feet, lol.” Needless to say, this encounter never actually resulted in a date.
The “you intimidate me” guys: I say guys because it happened multiple times. I would meet a guy on a dating site who could actually spell, we would talk online, and after awhile I’d get the line about how I’m just too intimidating. I don’t know if that’s code for “You’re a bitch,” or “I’m just not into you,” but it really became annoying after awhile. True story: I changed my profile on one dating site, replacing “I’m a psychotherapist” with “I’m a cashier at the Dollar Store.” My inbox nearly exploded. Apparently women with careers are insanely unattractive.
The married guy: I gave up on online dating for awhile, but the day I reactivated my profile, I met a nice guy with his own professional career. After talking online for a few weeks, we met for dinner. The waitress set our drinks on the table and his phone rang. He apologized and stepped outside to take the call. When he came back, he said, “Sorry about that, it was my wife,” and rolled his eyes. Then he looked like he’d been stabbed in the pinky toe as he realized what he said. I got my purse, went to my car, and left.
The serial monogamy guy: This guy is an old friend who just wanted to hang out (supposedly). Since he was fresh out of his THIRD failed marriage, I didn’t really consider him relationship material, and I made that clear to him. We went out a few times and had fun, but then he started pushing me to “commit” to him. Sorry dude, but this wasn’t supposed to be like that.
The poem guy: A friend introduced me to her computer repair guy. We had TONS in common. Met for lunch and it wasn’t awkward at all. Until I started driving home and he texted that he missed me. Um, what? The following Monday, he texted me a horribly cheesy poem that literally made me embarrassed for him. Then the texts progressed from “Hey, what’s up?” to “Are you mad at me?” to “OMG what have I done? PLEASE tell me!” I told him to lose my number. That’s also the moment I officially gave up on trying to meet guys.
It’s Not ALL About Them.
While my dating experiences have sucked, there are also a lot of other reasons why a relationship isn’t the best idea for me right now.
1. My child comes first. I have a lot of friends who expose their kids to a new guy every five minutes. Usually, this happens because they want to see the guy and don’t have a babysitter. Well, that’s not happening here. My son is with me basically all the time, and there’s no way I’m introducing him to a string of random people.
2. I’m not desperate. Text from a friend a few weeks ago: “I know a guy. He’s really good looking but just wants someone to hook up with. Let me know if you’re interested!” Um…..no. Just no. I don’t understand why people think divorced women sit around waiting for some guy to say, “Hey, I’m bored. I know, I’ll bring my penis over there for awhile!” Ugh.
3. I’m still seething form my divorce. My 8-year marriage ended, in part, due to infidelity. I’m not ready to trust someone yet. And I’m not sure I’ll be ready for a long time.
4. I’m pretty happy on my own most of the time. There is a lot to be said for coming home to a house that looks exactly like I left it. No shaving residue in my bathroom sink. No sharing a closet. No missing money from my bank account. It’s a pretty calm life. And right now I don’t want to give that up.
But Everyone Else is Remarried!
We all have those friends who are remarried a year after they get divorced. And that’s great if it works for them. But I am SO TIRED of all the stories about how so-and-so met the best guy ever and now she’s so happy and don’t I want to be happy too?
I’m a firm believer that you have to learn to be happy on your own before you can be happy in a relationship. And I’m enjoying that too much to worry about anything else.
I may very well end up a crazy cat lady someday. Well, probably a crazy dog lady, because I don’t really like cats. While that isn’t exactly what I planned for my life, neither is the life I’m living now. That doesn’t mean there’s something horribly wrong with me. That doesn’t mean I need an intervention. Don’t email me the personal ads. (Speaking of which, have you ever SEEN the personals on Craigslist? OMG.)
What do YOU think?
For you single ladies out there (whether or not you have kids), am I smart to learn to be happy without a man? Or am I just a cynical bitch who just doesn’t realize what I’m missing?