Steps up to the podium. Taps the mic. Clears throat.
On behalf of divorced women everywhere, let me clear up a few rumors, myths, and outright lies for you today.
To the fake Facebook account of a nameless, desperate, lonely man (who may or may not live in his basement with his parents), we do not want to private message with you, hook up with you, or see a picture of your genitalia.
To the trolls scouring the Facebook groups for divorced women, photography, crafts or parenting, we did not join the group so you could grace us with your presence, impress us with your “intelligence,” or sweep us off our virtual feet.
To our still married and possibly former female friends or even the random women we meet, we’re not a threat to you and yours. We didn’t want the one we had. Why do you think we want yours—who, in many ways, at least to our freshly divorced, possibly still jaded eyes, seems remarkably like the one we just rid ourselves of?
The myth of the divorced woman, freshly released from the virtuousness of her till-death-do-us-part vows, slinking around, prowling for sex, eager and available for any man to fulfill her every sexual desire is wrong, wrong, wrong.
Divorce doesn’t make us sluts. (And down with slut-shaming, by the way!)
Divorce doesn’t make us easy.
Divorce doesn’t make us desperate for any legally consenting penis that looks our way.
You want to know what the post-divorce woman is on the prowl for, what we want with a passion that can’t be denied? Listen up, and I’ll tell you.
We want to believe we haven’t damaged our children forever by splitting with their father.
We want proof that we’ll survive this newly single life on our own, even though we haven’t lived on our own in years.
We want to know that our income and (possible) child support payments will actually take care of our family, keep food in the fridge, and help us buy shoes for little feet that never stop growing.
We’re waiting to see if the dog will wash itself, the dishes will put themselves away, or if the seven dwarfs are available to clean the house, because God knows, we don’t have time.
We want to believe one day we’ll want sex again and that someone will want sex with us. We also expect that person to respect us as a human being.
We want to believe that love still exists, even though our marriage didn’t last.
We pray that our friends are the true and good kind who can be there for us when we lose our minds a little in the post-divorce fog and haze. Someone please pull us down from the top of that table on two-for-one margarita night, and take the mic away if we start crying during karaoke.
But what we don’t want are strange, faceless men who proposition dozens of women at a time, betting that someone is desperate enough—or just on the prowl, apparently—so they can get lucky in a one-handed kind of way through an online chat.
We don’t need the assumption that we’re so lonely and desperate after our divorce that we’ll fall on the first tab B that fits into our slot A. And, to the woman who honestly thinks we can seduce her husband away simply because we’re newly single, if you really believe your husband will fall for our “wiles,” you have more to worry about than us.
Let’s be honest for a moment. Many of us are more worried that babies, age and too many years away from the gym will blind the first man who sees us naked.
We’re terrified we don’t even know how to date anymore.
We’re not sure what a Tinder is or if we’ve got the patience to set up a million online profiles. Hell, plenty of us would rather have a good night’s sleep than “prowl” for anything.
What divorced women want is the time to heal, recover from the death of a relationship we believed would last a lifetime, and figure out who we are in this new world. Sex and the fun that comes with that aren’t at the top of the list—not at first. When sex is on our radar again, the leering, slavering internet trolls and creepy guys in bars need not apply.
To anyone who believes the myth that divorce creates oversexed vixens ready to steal an honest husband or accept the first guy to send us a dick pic, get over yourselves. What we really want to know is if we can buy wine in bulk. (The answer to that one is yes you can.)
This post originally appeared on Divorced Moms.