Luckily, I only had to date about 9 months (after my first marriage) before I met Danny.
But before that, I was dating like crazy in New York, hoping to meet someone wonderful. I am such a fan of marriage and knew by then what a blessing marriage is... it is one of the best ways to learn how to become a better person. Even though my first marriage didn't work out, it STILL helped me to become a better person! That's how awesome it is. So I just couldn't wait to become a part of that beautiful process again. But to get to marriage, I had to meet people & DATE.
I must say, I about died the first time I showed my face among single people at a party in NYC. After living the married life for 7 years, I hardly knew any single people. And here I was divorced and infertile and completely a fish out of water. But I forced myself to get brave. And I tried to get myself all hot to drive into Manhattan. (The whole time, while primping and driving, I kept thinking to myself - "Whaaat on EARTH am I doing??? This is NUTS!!!!") It was the strangest feeling ever to be out late & SINGLE (with no wedding ring!) on a Saturday night in NYC instead of sitting in my cozy apt. & watching Netflix like an old married woman, or meeting up with other married couples to play games and order take-out while their children slept in the back room. I really, really wanted to just be that happy married woman, snuggled at home.
Instead, I found myself heading towards a tiny apartment in Manhattan, with wild music and dancing that could cave in the floor, neighbors threatening to call the cops, and gobs of cute men and women busting out of the 500 sq. ft. apt. onto a huge deck. (Yes, Mormons know how to party - even w/o alcohol. :)
And, even crazier, I was cornered the whole night by MEN! Ohhhh.myyy. "Are you new to the city?" "Why haven't I seen you before??" (Mind you, the Mormon community is very tight in New York...especially among single people.) My answers were vague. I was hoping to just observe the scene that night under the radar. "I've lived here a bit, " I'd say. (More like 10+ years). "I live in Brooklyn, so that's probably why we haven't met yet." (Haha. More like - - - you don't know me because I've been hanging out with married people, paying a mortgage, running a business, going to potlucks, preparing to inject infertility drugs in my butt, flossing my teeth, eating my vegetables, and definitely not showing up to parties that start at 11 pm!) But with a few guys, the questions were so direct and so I just went for it and told them that I recently got divorced. Yes, I survived saying that word!! Phew! And it wasn't so bad at all. And actually, the few guys I told were extremely nice about it.
Overall, it turns out, the evening was exhilarating!! I quickly began to realize that being single wasn't going to be as scary as I thought...and that I would be just fine. And that I could have a lot of fun being single, if I chose to.
And so I stood tall. And I let all my strength & wisdom I had gained from infertility and marriage give me confidence as a woman as I faced that intimidating scene.
I let all my fears wash away (trust me, they were there. But I just deliberately gave them no room to contaminate me.) You see, even then, I had my future kids in mind. There is no stronger motivation than that! I didn't want to be a fearful woman / mother. And I knew by then that it was possible to have peace IN ALL MOMENTS. So... I let my happiness and peace just exude from me. And it dominated any ounce of shame or worry that I may have felt in fleeting moments. And considering that 6 guys asked for my number that night & another tracked my number down on his own, I'd say that embracing that moment was working for me. :) To be honest, I don't think many of the guys quite knew what to think of me. [I am convinced that had I shown up to that party two years earlier, when I hadn't yet learned how to dismiss my fears, those guys wouldn't have been nearly as interested. I didn't even look the same then because I didn't have the confidence that real happiness brings.]
Being single became a great way to practice what I believe in. I am so glad that I decided to embrace it and make it the best it could be. I was better for it. And because of those deliberate choices, my overall plan worked: I was happy, even in a situation that I didn't desire. And THAT put me in the perfect state of life to meet a wonderful man who also knew how to live this way!! :)
Anybody have some thoughts or stories about what it was like to date for the first time after a divorce or break-up? Was it just me or can it be a major confidence boost?
AND, GOOD LUCK TO ANYONE OUT THERE FACING THIS RIGHT NOW!!! You can do it! Stand tall & just exude everything that you believe in. You'll be irresistable. And more importantly, you'll be happy, no matter what.
Love you all. I really do.
P.S. I have thought a lot about what tips I can share about dating after a divorce (& just dating in general). I will post a great list soon... can't wait to share it with you.
(Photos above by the very talented, Joshua Brown. He just happened to be at one of those parties.)