downloadI’ve dated tall guys.

And not so tall.

Smart men,

And total fucking morons.

Good ones, and…some well, not so good.

Let’s just say, over the past four years since my divorce…I’ve dated some real mishugies. Hell, I have run the gamut from turkey callers to pathological liars….and I’m still here to write about it. I’ve learned a shit-ton about what I’m looking for in a relationship; I’ve grown along the way.

But let’s be real here, it’s been a hot mess. And being single isn’t easy, or as fun as it sometimes looks.

The reality is that dating after a divorce totally bites the big one. 

The Fix-Up. When I got married at twenty-eight, I never thought another man (besides my husband) would ever see me naked. When I got divorced, I had to pay a fucking website to match me with a guy…to see me naked. Reality check: You will meet your next date on a SCREEN. What happened to getting fixed up by friends? Or meeting at a party? You think this shit is easy? Uh, no. Learning Mandarin Chinese would be easier. And I never thought I’d be meeting for coffee on a first date, discussing stuff like kid’s activities and what our exes did to “fuck up the marriage”. And no, I’m not going to meet a guy sitting at Starbucks. Please, I’ve been sitting at Starbucks for four years now. My ass is numb. It’s all about the swiping, clicking and buzzing. Oh, and sexting…You best know how to make an emoji “blowjob”.

The Interview. A little small talk, then the interview begins. He starts by rattling off a list of questions, which I brilliantly answer: Yes, I’m a Democrat. No, I don’t like to sweat. I like my own kids, sure. Wait, let me redo number 3. I answered it wrong! I clearly like kids. Who doesn’t like kids? Fuck. I can see him making an imaginary check mark in his head. (She doesn’t like other people’s children?) Dammit! Ok, now it’s my turn: What do you do? Where do you live, and what do you drive? Wait! Don’t leave….come back! What the hell! Isn’t that what all girls ask men on the first date? No bitches, it is not. Reality check: Think before you speak, you’re not the only fish in the sea. Hell, you’re not the only fish on his plate. He probably has a date after yours. #doornumbertwo   

The Date. Chivalry is not dead, but boy has shit changed. It’s 2017 and it’s about time we stop expecting guys to court us like our Dads did our Moms. Pick your jaws up off the floor, girls. Reality check: Practice what we preach: Equality. Men are no longer feeling responsible for paying every time. The first date, yes. But after that, you best be reaching for your wallet! Why should he pay all the time, what are you a damn gold-digger? Well, that’s exactly what it looks like if you keep sitting on your hands, or jumping up to pee every time the check comes. Look, divorced men have to pay alimony and child support. Lots of them are supporting two households. And trust me, men will see your offer to pick up the check as sexy, and confident. Expecting a man to pay every time is obnoxious and unattractive. (Guys, thank me later.)

The Perfect Match. Ok, here’s a shocker. Your one, your soulmate….your beshert? Guess what? He’s probably not out there. Reality check: Finding that “perfect match” is so much harder the second time around. Bubble burst? Pop! It was so much easier dating before you were married. All you had to worry about was which part of town to live in, and whose family to eat Passover dinner with… Now, post-divorce, this crap is like mushing together Japan and Jamaica. He wants to blend families, you don’t. He wants to have kids, your kitchen is closed. Your boys are off to college in a year, he has twins in nursery school and a cat. You’re allergic to cats, oh…and nursery schools. Even if you are bat-shit crazy in love, there is some external something that will fuck it up. It’s honestly torturing! You think you’ve found your next husband, and he tells you his kid schedule is Tuesday, Thursday, and every other Saturday…the exact opposite of yours. But you don’t care. You’ll try it anyway. Because you can fit a square peg in a round hole. Reality check: You can’t be with a person you don’t mush-with. Two years later you’ll be calling me,”You were right! She just didn’t want kids! I thought she would change her mind.” I promise I won’t say I told you so. (But I’ll be thinking it.)      

The Break-up. Square peg, round hole…Bang, bang…BAM! And it fits! Not really, but you spend months trying. And you will try desperately because you want something to work. Anything to work. Dating someone who isn’t exactly right, is better than not being in a relationship at all, isn’t it? Ya, no. It’s called settling, people. And we all do it. But I learned it just prolongs the inevitable, a shitty break-up. Reality check: You are scared to be alone, wait for the right person. It took a lot of failed relationships to figure it out, but I won’t date a guy that is kinda-sorta the one. I’d rather be alone. And maybe finding “the one” means waiting it out until the timing is right, like when your kids are in college and you can move to Alaska together. (Or a house in the mountains.)

Reality Nibbles. Look the reality is simple…Dating sucks balls. But when you are divorced what other choices do you have? Rhetorical. You’ve gotta keep on going. So, maybe you find someone who fits for now. I’m not being snarky, really. If you do find a guy that seems to fit (most of the important boxes are checked) why not just stay in the present? Enjoy what you have, for now, stop worrying so much about the future. Can’t we just be happy being happy? Reality check: One day at a time; live in the moment. 

Oh, and for the record, I found the best guy. I got lucky; I’m in love. I’m not gonna go on and on…but he is the hip to my hop. The jam to my jelly. The zig to my za…What? I can’t be happy, but also be honest about how bad it SUCKED before we met? Yes, I can. But I can also keep it real. Ready? Reality check: I know we may, or may not be together forever

But I’m having a kick-ass time finding out. There, now…where was I? He is the zig to my zag…the fox to my trot…the spider to my harambe. ;)

xo j

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