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So, Are You Seeing Anyone?

04 Dec

A common question for the divorced dad is, “are you seeing anyone?”

I’ve shied away from the topic of dating for a number of reasons. Probably the biggest is the fact that quite frankly, that’s kind of personal. However it struck me recently as I’d seen other people I know who have been divorced for a couple of years; how easy it seemed for them to just jump into a new life with a new partner and move forward.

Really? How the $&%@ did you do that?

It took me thirty-one years to find my partner. Sure a lot of that was on me. But still. That’s a long time. I was very career focused and had grown accustomed to being single. But when I met my wife I was convinced I’d found my soulmate. Then for it to all blow up in my face the way that it did, I feel a little jaded and even more cynical about relationships. So the thought of integrating another person’s life into myFatGuyCupid-300x298 own again is somewhat intimidating. Perhaps I take it all too seriously, but that feels like a big deal to me. Which is why I’m always amazed when I see other divorced dads married again or in a serious relationship after a year or so of getting divorced. Frankly it blows my mind. Kind of the same way I’m always floored when I hear that a guy has had a couple of affairs. I’m like, seriously? I had a hard enough time finding ONE woman. How the hell are you finding like, nine at the same time?!

To answer the question you’re probably asking, “why yes, I’ve dated some.” And truthfully there have been women I could see myself with. Women who represent many things I didn’t have in my marriage and whose company I very much enjoy. But here’s the thing. When you’ve gotten back into a mode where you make your own meals. Manage the house on your own. Make the bed the way you like. Pick the laundry soap you like. Wear a shirt that is completely hideous and not care. Lie on the couch for no damn good reason without fear of retribution. Manage the kids day to day on your own terms when they’re with you (albeit with some basic coordination with the ex as in my case). And basically do what you want when you want. It can be a challenge to consider the prospect of going back to a system that, in our case, didn’t work.

Listen, after a divorce, getting to a point where you feel strong as an individual and completely self reliant takes a lot of effort and is remarkably empowering. The thought of giving that up again and finding ways to balance it with leaning on someone else can be a struggle for some. That’s true whether you’re a divorced man OR woman. Let’s face it. There are many aspects about being single that are kind of cool. I like being independent. I enjoy being self reliant. I enjoy my time to myself when I can manage to get it. That’s not to say it wouldn’t be awesome to have someone to share it all with and someone to connect with. I would personally love that. But I think it’s reasonable to be somewhat skiddish and over protective of your mental state after what we’ve been through as divorced parents.

So to you guys who have managed to find your way into a new relationship. I applaud you. Would love to hear how you managed to cross that threshold. For those of you who haven’t. Don’t sweat it. Enjoy the positives of calling the shots and being independent. There are many perks. I believe if and when it’s supposed to happen it’ll happen. Until then; when someone asks, “So, are you seeing anyone,” just hold your head up high and proudly say, “Nope. Are you?”

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7 Comments

Posted by on December 4, 2014 in dating, Divorce

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

7 responses to “So, Are You Seeing Anyone?

  1. John S

    December 10, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Great post. I never understood why anyone would re-marry once they got their freedom back and realized that men and women are so different that most of the times the benefits of being single out-weigh re-marrying. Why not just get a dog or two as companions and go have fun in life. The feminists movement in this country has labeled us as having “having a mid-life crisis” when in reality it is men waking up and realizing the big mistake they made by getting married. Look at how every TV show, talk show host, Hollywood movie, etc., portrays men as stupid and incompetent.

    If I didn’t have little kids, I would have pulled the trigger and divorced immediately but their innocence and happiness when they see mom and dad living in the same house with them keeps me from divorcing my wife. I have been miserable as she is abusive to the point where I go to therapy and an abused fathers shelter each week just to deal with her but if I divorce I will never re-marry or live with another woman again.

     
    • Paul

      December 24, 2014 at 4:14 pm

      John,

      I’m very concerned about your statement, ” she is abusive to the point where I go to therapy and an abused fathers shelter each week just to deal with her”. This is a problem.

      I’m currently going through a divorce after over 20 years of marriage. The emotional abuse began early on and little by little it ramped up. On the day I finally told my ex-wife that I was filing, she physically attacked me. I tell you this not for sympathy, but so that you know I’m speaking from experience. And the one thing I will tell you is that in your situation, you need an exit strategy.

      Don’t stay married “for the kids”. All they will learn is that it’s OK for men to be treated as you’re being treated and it’s OK for women to act as your wife is acting. You’re a role model, do you want your children living the same relationship you are? I have multiple children, 8-14. And I have to believe that while I was preaching, “don’t ever let your partner hit you” I didn’t have to act on it until that fateful night. Now, I’ve used this experience to teach my kids that loving yourself and loving your children is so much more important than being loved by someone who treats you badly.

      Talk to an attorney. Talk to the shelter, Get help, it’s there. Leave.

       
      • billfilipiak

        December 24, 2014 at 4:16 pm

        Paul,

        Thank you for your post and for sharing your experience. That’s what this blig is all about.

         
  2. Patrick

    December 10, 2014 at 10:50 am

    I feel pretty differently. I miss having a family around me. I have been trying to fill this void in my life by finding another woman. Unfortunately I have been trying too hard and not making the best choices. Like the 25 year old that fell for me. I knew it was a bad idea but I went with it because it felt good to be wanted again. I broke it off after she wouldn’t stop acting like a 25 year old.
    Now I feel like I need to spend some time alone and develop myself as an individual.
    But then there’s sex. I need it. I’m not a player, no now I struggle with the my physical desires messing with my head.

    You didn’t mention sex but this is a big thing for a lot of me. I would be much easier for me to be single if I didn’t have this drive.

     
    • billfilipiak

      December 10, 2014 at 11:04 am

      The hard part is finding that middle ground isn’t it? I struggle, as do the kids, with not having that family unit as the center of my life. Had a really hard time with that. I think over the past three years I’ve come to recognize that finding another woman for the sake of finding another woman as well as the need for intimacy, is a dead end every time. It’s easy to let the emptiness guide you, but I believe we’re better off if we enter into another relationship for the same reasons we did the first time around; only now with a much wiser self. Don’t take my post to mean getting into another relationship is a mistake or “not for me.” I’m just saying it’s ok to be on your own. Enjoy the pluses. Have fun. Date. Just maybe don’t be looking so hard to jump in and give up everything you have too quickly. Find a balance that works for you. After all we’re all different. But by no means do If the 25 year old was fun … you’re lucky! And yes … we all need to feel wanted and loved. So go for it.

       
      • Patrick

        December 18, 2014 at 12:12 pm

        Thanks Bill. Your reply is really helpful. I have read it a few times. “Don’t let the emptiness guide you.” Wise words.

         
  3. keith

    February 18, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    I will be in this position soon. My wife no longer wants to be married and is very up and down emotionally. We have been going thru this process for over a year and i can’t do it any longer. The kids were the main reason as well as a fear of being alone. And a jealousy of her being with someone else. All normal I guess. But I know I will eventually want to share my life again with someone. Just will need to sit with the emptiness for a little bit and know it is okay. I really appreciate this blog. I have been reading throughout this past year as part of my preparation. Thanks again

     

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