not gonna happen

There’s Absolutely Nothing Wrong With You If You Haven’t Found Love After Divorce

Don’t settle.

inflatable flamingo
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I thought falling in love and finding a partner after my divorce would be so much easier. I had visions of locking eyes with some hunky man in the produce department at the grocery store or I thought maybe a friend would set me up. I definitely had high hopes for online dating.

I thought I was ready to invite someone into my world, help each other, maybe even share a home.

It’s not for lack of trying, but I haven’t found love like I so naively thought was just around the corner. Not even close. I’ve had a few relationships, and I’ve been dating for seven years. That’s a long time to keep putting myself out there, hoping to find my person. Sometimes I’m just disillusioned and not motivated. Then, I have spells where I’m on the prowl and close to having a T-shirt made that says I’m single and walking around Home Depot till I find someone.

It happened for my ex; he found someone and it was very fast and easy. And because we remained friends and took co-parenting seriously, he came to me right away. He told me that he was falling in love and I was happy for him. It somehow made it okay for me to move on from our relationship, and also it gave me hope. If he could find a great partner after our split, so could I.

But that was years ago now. I’ve watched several friends go through a divorce too. Some before me, some after, and they fell in love again. A lot of them have gotten married.

Then, there’s me. When is it my turn? This isn’t because I’m looking for perfection or have unattainable standards. I’ve met great men who weren’t in the same place as me. I’ve met men who I thought were great, but then revealed their true selves and we parted ways.

Chemistry is a really tricky thing at this stage in life. I need attraction, someone who shares the same values, lifestyle, and knows they will never come first because I have kids.

There are so many moving parts to dating again after divorce. There’s no way you’re dating someone who hasn’t done the work to heal from a divorce if you’ve done the work yourself. I will not be dragged to a bad place. I’m not here to be your therapist and help you heal. You gotta be in a place where you are ready to move on and grow.

I refuse to settle. But I refuse to believe that there aren’t any good men out there. Because if that’s the story I’m going to tell myself, that’s all I’ll find.

I’ve had moments over the years where I’ve wondered if there’s something wrong with me, or if I’m putting too much pressure on myself, or if I’m not trying hard enough. I’ve wondered if having another relationship isn’t in the cards for me, and maybe I need to accept that.

But you know what? It feels a lot better to believe it’s going to happen when the time is right. Whether it’s with a man who looks at me while squeezing peaches in the grocery store, or a friend sets me up, or I meet them online. I will not sit around and wonder if there’s something wrong with me because I’ve been single for the better part of a decade.

And when I meet him, and we’re in alignment and ready to explore a relationship with each other, not only will I be so glad that I didn’t settle, I’ll be happier that I didn’t waste too much time wondering what was wrong with me.

There’s so much contentment that comes with doing life on my own, and I’m not giving that up for anyone.

Neither should you.

Diana Park is a writer who finds solitude in a good book, the ocean, and eating fast food with her kids.