So, I was reading an article on a website I rarely find myself on about why some women might be reluctant to date single dads.
Honestly it’s something that’s been on my mind a lot lately. The thought is quite intimidating. Shortly after my divorce, in fact, I used to get mini-panic attacks at the very thought. The fact that my ex was still living with me and was with six other guys just in the two months it took our divorce to be final didn’t help much, either. Now I can breathe normal at the thought of dating again, but I find myself reluctant. Sure, single parents date quite often nowadays, but I don’t know if it’s for me. Last time I tried my hand at the dating scene, it was college, I had no children, was full of energy and romantic ideas, and had a lot more disposable income (well, the percent of my income that was disposable was a lot higher, anyways….) Things are vastly different then. For one thing, the dating pool is HUGE. You’re practically swimming in single women at that time in your life. Now, it’s more like a trickle. Most of your options were married before and those that made it through to this stage without having been married usually had a good reason for it (“Why, hello there, Amy Farrah Fowler look-a-like…”) Most attractive women I see around me have nice sparkly things on their left hand.
Then there is the time issue. Last time I was single I had a great deal more freedom and availability. Want to go to dinner at the last minute? Sure, no problems there! Now I have a little one to deal with and it’s wait, let me see if I can find a babysitter. No, nevermind, I just spent that money on diapers; I can’t afford one and my nearest family member is X number of hours away. How’s your next Friday? Doesn’t leave a lot of time together, and I’m someone who likes to spend a lot of time with whoever I’m in a relationship with….
Then there’s the issue of having her be around my son. I refuse to bring a string of would-be mother figures into his life only to have them leave again.
Then there’s the other issue of if I can even accept someone’s love again. It’s just not that I got divorced, it’s that I got divorced after a two-and-a-half year abusive marriage after my wife repeatedly cheated on me and lied about it. After something like that, a person tends to seriously doubt their appeal to the opposite gender, and worry about winding up in the same type of relationship again. Since this was my first relationship ever, too, it makes me wonder if I even could get into a normal relationship again.
Then there’s the fact that I can’t just find a good woman, I have to find a good woman who also would be a good mother, which would probably narrow down my search even more.
Honestly, all in all, at this point I’m seriously reconsidering going back to dating ever in the near future. It’s too much to deal with, and I worry too much about how it will affect my son.
After getting through a divorce you inevitably reach a point when you wonder if anyone will ever love you again. Be able to love you again. The ringing of what you perceive to be your greatest romantic failure is still filling your ears. Most people assure you that you will find love again, “You’ll see”… But that ringing deafens you to even the warmest of reassurances. You wonder how if I gave everything I had to someone and it wasn’t enough to keep them, then what I have might not be enough to keep anyone. It’s not one of those casual relationships or minor flings where the person “just didn’t know what they had.” In a marriage, especially when it is failing, you give everything in you, and it’s still not enough to keep them. You wonder if anything in you is enough to keep anyone else.
It’s what I wonder.
Especially in my case. My ex-wife was my first everything. First relationship, first girlfiend, first woman who actually loved me. No other woman had, and the first woman who did ending up being seriously damaged. That makes it worse.
The only woman I’ve ever been able to get turns out to have serious issues. It makes me seriously doubt if there will ever be a “normal” woman who will love me.
And then there’s the disbelief. Right now if some woman told me they loved me I think I’d recoil in disbelief, unable to accept it as possible. Part of me panics at the thought of it.
I’m generally one to point out that it is completely possible to live a fulfilling, satisfied life as a single person, but it’s a little unsettling after a divorce to think maybe that’s your only choice.
I’m still impressed by the frequent bouts of depression that plague me from time to time following my divorce. It’s been almost nine months since the divorce was final, and two months of going through the divorce prior to then. But, despite that length of time, I still deal with a lot of emotional fallout from that. Now, my situation is a bit different because I let my ex live with me for seven months after the divorce was finalized, which caused a great deal of emotional stagnation. So, I’ve only really been separate from her for two months now. Needless to say, this has created a lot of undiscovered country for me and everyone I talk to. Most of the time, even if you have to still deal with your ex because of shared children (which we also have), you are physically and geographically separate from your ex even before the divorce is final. So, while dealing with the normal emotional issues of a divorce, you also have that separation to facilitate that. But, for me, it’s all muddled up.
Part of me is fairly far along in the recovery process, but other parts are still in early stages of the emotional roller coaster of divorce recovery. It’s like I walking back and forth on the path of life picking up parts of me that shattered and were windblown all up and down it.
I was doing some thin sections recently, and in the process I realized the particular brand of glass microscope slides I bought are of poor quality and thus extremely fragile. Almost all of them shattered and required me to glue the shards back together. Some of the pieces were easy to put back together, but some pieces were lost and I had to carve new pieces out of other pieces of glass to make the necessary repairs. Sometimes the glue job was good and pieces fell off again, leading me to re-glue them and modify how I glued it.
Right now, I feel like the glass slides. Parts of me were easy to pick up and glue back on, others are completely lost and I have to create new ones. Sometimes when I feel a piece is glued back on well and taken care of, it will fall back off again and I’ll have to redo it.