I am a divorced 42-year-old woman who has three kids with hectic schedules.
I own my own home, we have a dog, and I work full-time. I have lots of hobbies including running, painting, knitting and sewing.
I have some amazing girlfriends and family who I see pretty often, and I crave alone time.
I could sit here and tell you my life is full and I am happy, and mean it with my whole being because I am, and it is.
And I could also follow it up by telling you I don’t have time to date, I don’t need a man, that I am so fulfilled, and I’m done trying to meet someone and fall in love.
And that would be a big fat lie.
There’s a stigma that surrounds being a single mom. You are supposed to focus on your kids. You are supposed to focus on yourself. You are supposed to be so damn busy, how can you possibly find the time?
I’ve said all these things to myself so many times I started to believe them.
You are supposed to wait X amount of months or years before getting into another relationship. You are allowed to have great sex with different men, yes, but wanting to fall in love? That’s not half as welcomed as, “I’m just going to have meaningless sex and work on me.”
There is a space for the meaningless sex, but for me, it was short-lived. Fun, of course, but it feels lifeless very quickly. I don’t accept lifeless; it’s not good enough for me. I want the real deal.
Part of being cracked open by ending a 15-year marriage means you get really fucking honest about who you are, what you will stand for, and what you need in your life.
And the truth is, I don’t need a man. I don’t.
But I want one.
I don’t mean a man who is just “good enough for right now” either. I’m not talking about settling.
I’m talking about the kind of man that will make me believe in love again.
I’m talking about the kind of man who will accept me for my flaws (because I have many), and will still want to make out like teenagers after they see me freak out because the Tupperware cupboard is a damn mess, and if I don’t clean it out now, I will go to a bad place.
I’m talking about a man who isn’t afraid to try this whole thing out and deal with some of my insecurities because, let’s face it, every relationship I’ve had thus far has not worked out.
I’m talking about a man who doesn’t feel they need to hide any part of themselves from me, who will call me out on my bullshit, and will allow me feed them and constantly ask if they need anything because I totally do that.
Oh, it would be so much easier to stay in this bubble I’ve been living in for the past year and just spend time with my kids, my friends, and focus on my career. It would be effortless to just sit in the bath with a face mask and my vibrator those nights when my children are with their dad. I mean, I love doing that, of course; it leaves me deliriously happy and rested, not to mention my skin looks fab.
How simple it would be to not be vulnerable and put myself out there for the rest of my life. I would be okay alone, I think. And honestly, the thought of going through heartbreak, and the risk of falling in love and not being loved back makes me want to vomit.
But I’d rather risk the heart-sick feeling. Because while I don’t feel the need to get married again, I do want to fall in love.
And as scary as that is to admit, I know I get to choose who is worthy enough to receive my love — and I can’t wait to find him.