DISCLAIMER: This post includes complaint but not lament. It is a No Pity Zone. I’m just keeping it real and have a feeling a few in my tribe can relate. Are we clear? I love you people. Okay, now, read on…
I had this idea about life after divorce. I thought once the dust settles, the dating life would be fantastic. I thought if I could just get through this really crappy time, I just knew it would be awesome. There would be dates and trips and parties and fun! As soon as that Facebook status moved to Single, there would be no stopping me! I’d join That Online Dating Site and I’d be inundated with men wanting relationships with me! I’d better buy some cute outfits in advance because I will have places to go.
It’s not like that.
The reality is, for many of us, single life is just life. Simply put, there’s a lot of down time. A lot of time where our date is Charles Shaw (don’t judge) and we find ourselves flopped on the beige couch on a Saturday night binge-watching Sex And The City. Or worse: Wife Swap.
I know, I know. People say, “Give it time.”
“There’s someone out there for you.”
“I know this great guy you might like…”
And worst of all: “We pray every day for the right man to come along for you.” Please pray for the Ebola victims, not for this.
In my limited experience of dating at this time in my life, I can tell you this: it’s exhausting. The small talk, the telling the same stories, the having to be funny/charming/cute. The Spanx! Don’t get me started. The Spanx alone are enough to confirm one’s calling to a convent. (But may it be in Provence, please, dear Lord.)
Some people love the fun of dating. Of meeting lots of people. Of just getting out there to have fun. Turns out, my original Facebook fantasy doesn’t fit me to a T. I’m not like that. The thing I want, I think what a lot of us want, is companionship.
I like getting dressed up (read: Spanx) and going on fantastic dates. But I want to do it with Someone. Someone I know in the deepest places of his heart and mind and who knows me in the same way. Someone I’m not trying to impress. I don’t want to be on my best behavior. I want us to be comfortable enough to not be perfect or witty or clever or trying so dang hard. I want to watch a movie on the couch in drawstring pants and no mascara and make a run for French fries or another bottle of wine. I want to have conversations that matter and conversations that are ridiculous. I want to laugh with him at potty humor even though it’s not lady-like. I want to talk about the places we fall down and the ways we get back up again. I want to talk about how we can change the world and really mean it.
I know a lot of women in this space want that. So what do we do in the waiting? I don’t know. But what I do know is… who are we kidding, I got nothin’. I know nothing.
Those days that feel hopeless and lame and sad and you’re just trying to keep it together…
Then those days when you feel all SJP at her cool New York best and you’re awesome and really okay.
All those days are part of it, I guess. The “Where are you, Someone?” days and the “I’m crushing it!” days. All true.
I’m nothing if not a big hairy ball of contradictions and I’m in all of that. My thoughts swing from one extreme to the other through the course of 24 hours. And what I do know…okay, this time I really do know at least one thing… is that it’s all going to be fine. We are going to be fine. Better than fine. We may not figure it all out, but we will be wondrous in the confusion and beautiful in the trying. No matter what.
In fact, I’m pretty sure we already are.