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


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kelti... kelticmom

I am usually not a judgy person. But you split up with your husband less than a year ago, you have kids, and you are already moving in with someone? Hmm. Look, it's great to have the courage to try again, but jumping into things so quickly, even if they seem perfect, sets you and ulimately your kids for a world of hurt. I noticed you didn't mention your kids feeling on the situation one single time in the article. Leaving their father, splitting up their home and family is a huge deal - and then to turn around not even a year later and move another man in with you --- I don't know. But you put it all out there for all of us to know. So be prepared for the good and the bad.

nonmember avatar Dianne

Have some singledom fun. Do things u couldn't have done while married. Have a (safe) one night stand. Go on dates with attractive guys for fun bc you can, even if I know ur not interested in a relationship. Eventually you'll find someone who steals your heart. I did!

Coles... Coles_mom

I came on to say the same thing as kelticmom. No judgement at all regarding the dating...I think it's great, but the moving in together is way too soon. Since you have kids.

nonmember avatar Nj

Jesus, whats with all you judgy b#$#es!? If she's found happiness, let her enjoy it. And if you were even remotely familiar with Aunt Becky or her blog, you would know that she always puts her kids first.

Rootbear Rootbear

More power to you....sometimes when you know, you know. When my bf and I met, he had just gotten seperated 2 months prior, 4 months later we were painting out apartment together. He has a 6 year old and neither of us ever thought twice about being together.

eupeptic eupeptic

I'll second Rootbear's first sentence.

As for the question, expectation leads towards disappointment. If both people in a relationship choose to live by this (that is, not expecting their partner to be someone that they are not) then the odds of them being happy together improve. This is a good thing to discuss early on while dating.


See the guy,have sleepovers with the guy but moving in?Already? I just think you have way more to explore on your own again before being so deeply entrenched so early on in this new chapter of your life.

Venae Venae

Yeah, try not having even kissed anyone else since you were 16, you are now 46, husband left over 3 years ago, divorce final almost 2 years ago....I don't even know how to go on a date!  I haven't dated anyone else since I was 15!  And I think dating grownups is a little different than dating a teenage boy!

All I can think about is STD's!



Funny Venae! Wish you well.

nonmember avatar Heather

Thank you Venae! I am so glad I am not the only one. I hadn't kissed anyone but my ex and we were together since college. I have been divorced two years (I'm 41) and terrified to date, because I have no idea how. If anyone has any advice, I will take it. Good luck!

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