Dating After Divorce Terrified Me but I Did It Anyway - & It Was Worth It

Love & Learn 24

When I threw on that puffy white dress and marched myself down the aisle to say my "I do's" to my husband, I meant every word. Including the "'til death do us part" bit. I'd gloat a little every time someone we knew was having marital problems, because we were destined to MAKE IT.

I just knew it.

Until I didn't.

"Irreconcilable differences," the court called it. I called it "we just didn't work any more." Too many things had happened, too many things had made a tiny crack into a gaping chasm and we couldn't even claim to be in the same book, let alone on the same page anymore.

I moved out in October of last year, a dismal end to an otherwise okay union. We both agreed it was best, although I know we both struggled. And oh how we struggled to start over again. Separately.

I'd hit the point, post-divorce, where everyone from the mailman to the guy at Starbucks was asking when I'd be ready to date again. I never knew the answer to that question. I'd not considered dating in more than 10 years, so the prospect of being intimate and vulnerable with someone I didn't yet know seemed daunting, to say the least.

And then I met him. A random event strung into another random event, and something clicked. I was intrigued. Terrified, but intrigued. I'd just begun learning to live on my own, to begin my life again, and here was this guy -- this great guy -- and, well, I went into a tizzy of self-doubt and fear for about a month.

He knew I had kids. He knew I was in the process of divorcing. He was even my age -- someone I could respect.

And then one night, long after a movie had ended and we'd sat together on the couch simply chatting, he said the words, "I know we're both in the middle of our own stuff right now, and I know that dating is probably the last thing on your mind, but I'll be right here. Waiting for you."

I blinked back tears before wrapping him in a bear hug.

"Thank you," I whispered into his ear. "Thank you," he said back. And I took a leap of faith.

Today, we're not just dating. We're in a relationship. And we're about to move in together. I'm glad I faced my fears and took the chance. Because he's worth it. And so am I.

What advice would you give to someone who has to start all over? Have you ever been in that position?

 

Image via heyadrienne/Flickr

breakups, dating, dating mom, divorce