A day in the life of a divorced woman is a blend of empowerment and complete helplessness. The other day I felt like a complete bad ass when I fixed my garage door, cleaned my entire house, mowed the lawn, cleaned the pool, did all the laundry, organized my son’s room (that’s more like a miracle) and even made a delicious dinner (which is also a miracle). That was a good day. Then there are days when I feel completely overwhelmed and helpless like the times when my dishwasher flooded my kitchen, my pool looked like a swamp, my washing machine broke, my radiator blew in my car and I didn’t have enough money to pay the mortgage. These are the times when it sucks to be divorced. These are the times when I wave the white flag and say to hell with this “female empowerment” shit…I need a man. I know, I know, I’m ashamed to even say it, but I have to admit, I do miss having that companionship and someone to share the workload. It’s exhausting at times, but liberating at others. I’m proud that I’ve had the courage to stand on my own two feet and I’ve raised three pretty amazing human beings in the process.
One thing that I’ve noticed is that “divorce” is a dirty little word that no one really wants to talk about. I’m shocked that there are so few books or articles that tell you the honest truth about going through divorce. I guess that’s why I’m doing all this. I want to tell the real truth about divorce. I want people to know that they’re not alone and they’re not crazy when you go through the highs and lows all in the same week.
To be honest, I haven’t really decided whether I love it or hate it. I love having my freedom and finally finding out who I am as a person versus the label of ‘wife and mother’ I had adopted for all these years. For the first three years I loved being single, it wasn’t until recently that I felt like I wanted to be in a relationship, but now I realize it is not going to be as easy as I anticipated to find a decent man.
Dating is the part I kind of hate. I just went on a date with a guy I met when I was out with my girlfriends. He seemed really nice, intelligent, but a little too young. Too young for me is 35, which I know isn’t a huge age difference, but I realized that I want and need a strong man, because I’m a strong woman and a young buck just doesn’t do it for me. Admittedly, I want a modified alpha male that isn’t an arrogant prick that spoils me and lets me do whatever I want. That shouldn’t be too hard to find. Right?
This guy I went out with was NOT an alpha male. In fact, he was more like a cute little puppy that would follow me around and annoy me after a while. That wasn’t the only thing that bothered me about this guy…oh, there’s more. When he called to ask me out, he invited me to dinner and asked me where I wanted to go. Now, I know I’m being a little petty, but I can’t stand when a guy doesn’t plan the first date and asked me to pick the place (something an alpha male would never do). I threw out a couple of suggestions for an inexpensive restaurant like I always do, because I feel guilty when they’re paying the bill, but this guy insisted on taking me to a nicer restaurant. Nothing too fancy, but I was impressed that he wanted to take me to a nicer place despite the fact that I knew this guy doesn’t make a lot of money (another turn off…I know it’s superficial but as I said before, “I don’t want no scrub”).
We had dinner out on the patio and there was a beautiful sunset that evening and all I could think about is how perfectly romantic this would be if I was with the right person. I’m sorry, I just wasn’t feeling it. We had a nice conversation and he was a really nice guy, but just like all of my recent dates, there was something missing. No spark. No connection. No attraction even. The worst part was when the bill came. It was only a $57 bill because I always try to be considerate and order the cheapest thing on the menu. I see him struggling to read the bill and asked if everything was okay. I quickly saw his discomfort and reached for my wallet. He insisted on paying, but said it was too dark for him to see the amount. I hate to be mean, but he wore these awful colored contacts that made his eyes look a murky gray color and I couldn’t help thinking that if he took off the stupid contacts he could read the bill! He reached for his wallet and he fiddled with his money that was folded up in squares, which was also kind of strange. I offered again to pay half the bill but he insisted that he pay.
He fiddled with his money some more and put $60 in the bill fold. My eyes widened and I offered a third time, knowing that I would be mortified leaving a $3 tip. He got up to use the restroom and left the check for the waiter. When the waiter came by to collect it, he said, “All set?” I cringed and said, “I think so, but we can add to the tip when you bring back the change”. He looked at me with confusion, but then saw the amount that was in there and said, “I’ll just leave it until he comes back” and smiled.
I was so embarrassed! I quickly searched through my purse praying I had some cash on me somewhere. Sadly, I didn’t. I should have just put my credit card in there, but I didn’t want to show this guy up. When he came back, I hinted that the waiter came by, but I wasn’t sure if there was enough. Before he responded, the waiter came back and asked to take the check again and my date says, “yep, it’s all set!” I wanted to crawl under the table. I wanted to look at him and say, “WTF? A $3 tip? REALLY? You cheap mother f***er!!” Instead, I just thanked him for dinner and scurried out of the restaurant with my head held in shame, hoping that I didn’t see the poor waiter on our way out.
I would rather have paid the entire bill than have this dude cheat the waiter out of a decent tip. I promised I would never step foot in there again without bringing the poor guy some money to make up for my cheap date. I’m sorry, but that sort of thing really bothers me. It just shows me that a) you’re cheap b) you’re broke c) you have no class OR d) you’re stupid. Either way, you won’t be getting a second date. A while back I made a list of personality flaws that are deal breakers in my book:
#2 Weak or passive
#4 Ignorance (especially closed minded bigots)
#5 Cheapness or financially irresponsible
The list could go on and on, but these are my top 5. We all have our likes and dislikes and I think it’s important to identify what those are and stick to our guns when it comes to dating people that have attributes you just can’t overlook. Listen, it’s hard out there. Love doesn’t come easy sometimes, but I have realized that it takes three things to make it in the world of dating; Patience, strength, and clarity. Patience to wait for the right person that you are meant to be with. Strength to not give up and jump into a relationship simply because you don’t like being lonely. Clarity to know exactly what you desire in a partner and never settling for anything less.
People don’t realize the power of our beliefs. If you believe you that you can have all of the things you need and desire in a partner, you can and will manifest them in your life. That is true of everything. Your thoughts and beliefs design your life. If you feel bad about yourself and you think you don’t deserve any better than the last asshole you were with, then that is exactly what you will get. If you have grown and learned what your true desires are and you believe they are obtainable—they will be. This is true of your beliefs about being divorced as well. If you think it is miserable and awful, then it will be. If you believe that it was the best thing that happened to you and see it as a life lesson and a chance to find true happiness, then that belief will shape your experience. I have no doubt and no fear when it comes to finding my perfect match. It may happen at the most random time or place, like the grocery store or Home Depot. My faith tells me that God will place him in my life when I am truly ready and not a minute before that. I just have to believe it. It will be worth the wait, that I am sure of… I promise.