There is the saying “Careful what you ask for because you might receive it,” and it sounds like the stupidest threat. Of course I want to receive it, it’s wtf I asked for! However, I do understand the sentiment behind it. In reviewing my virtual list of things I want from a companion, I came to the realization that most of my needs are actually being met.
As a divorced woman I can’t pretend that I don’t miss being married. Relationships can end badly but there are always good times to reflect back on even if it’s just the feel of never having to worry about being alone. I know what it feels like to be married so everyday I am very aware of what I am missing. On some level I do admit to being a liar in the dating game. Of course ultimately I just want to chill with someone and see where things go in sort of a loosey goosey carefree way—but I also want someone to help carry my groceries, to take out my trash, ask me about my day, and talk to about which bills to pay and whose turn it is to go to the grocery store. Functioning solo and always having to “hold it down” is fucking exhausting! Dating makes things harder because you slowly open yourself up to another person who initially just cares about you and doesn’t really give a damn about your children or your commute or your annoying boss. I met a guy recently and I remember feeling so relieved that he was a father. I smiled as I looked at pictures of his little son on his cell phone, but I didn’t even bother to show pictures of my girls because for men that’s cute—for women, not so much.
I have an overall feeling of tiredness in my body—and I’m seriously just going take a break from dating for a couple of weeks. Making eye contact and putting yourself out there to a practical stranger is more trouble than it’s worth to me these days. When I come home from a long day at work there is dinner on the stove, and my 7 year old is usually at the coffee table doing homework while my 2 year old plays nearby. The trash is taken out and sometimes the kitchen is even clean. If I need to run to the grocery store I have someone to consult with, and I can do so without having to pack the kids up and take them with me. Finally, I have some stability at home.– though it’s from an unlikely source.
A few months ago, my brother decided to move out of the house he shared with his roommate. It seemed kind of a hasty and ill-planned decision, so to make sure he didn’t have to move into some sleazy hotel somewhere I volunteered for him to stay with me until he figured out where he wanted to move. It goes without saying but it’s looking like he’ll be staying with me for the long haul. It is probably one of the best and healthiest rash decisions I’ve ever made in my life. We share finances, he cooks, he helps me take care of the children and even watches the baby during the day—which saves me so much money on daycare. In the rare moments I am not in my introverted shell, we talk about our days and current events and the children and sometimes I get to veg out on the couch and drink beers with his friends and watch the game on Sundays.
Do I wish to have romantic companionship from the opposite sex? Well, of course but there doesn’t have to be a big rush about it. I think this arrangement makes my dating life so much easier because there’s no subconscious pressure coming from me to have whoever I’m involved with to fill a certain role. In the beginning stages the truth of the matter is: no one cares about you. Sometimes people just want what they want, then as relationships grow and progress that’s when they start caring about the other person as human being and not the “weird-eyed chick with the big ass”. I am also fortunate that I have male friends who are invested in me as a person and love my children enough to ask about them and actually care enough to look at pictures while murmuring about just how cute they are.
The look on a man’s face after he finds out you have two children with different fathers is just plain taxing on my little heart and pride. Also, I like to deal with being totally up-front and honest with people and most are not on that same page. I’m going to take some time and spend it with the men who love me and accept me for who I am—and maybe in a few weeks or so I will resurface with some fun dating stories and experiences. As for now, I’m done.