I am surrounded by amazing people in my life. I am surrounded by people who have supported me through the hardest parts of my life. I am surrounded by people who want me to find the happiness that I deserve.
More and more I’ve been getting asked if I’ve been dating. And my simple response to that is “not really.” I’ve joined (and then deleted) different dating apps. I’ve agreed to (literally) a few dates that haven’t gone well. Recently a friend of mine made the remark that it must be an exciting time for me to be meeting and discovering new people – that I have the opportunity to meet someone wonderful. I don’t think I actually answered her…
The feeling of being rejected over and over by the person that had promised to love you forever is a hurdle that is tough to get over. It’s one that you stumble over, fall on top of, and have to slowly climb over. There are moments when you sail over that first hurdle, simply to slam into it the next time as you make your way around the track.
I think my biggest takeaway from all of this so far is that dating after a divorce is terrifying! (At least for me.)
I find that as soon as a guy shows interest, I immediately begin to have self-doubts. I begin to question why anyone would be interested in me if my own husband wasn’t (especially since he replaced me with someone else while we were still married). I begin to question if I am interesting enough to hold a conversation with someone who is essentially a stranger. I begin to question if I am willing to open myself up enough to potentially get hurt again. I begin to question myself with the typical question a woman has: am I pretty enough; attractive enough? (Especially in a world where dating begins with a profile picture and a swipe.)
I think part of this fear comes from feeling exposed. The new person in my life will need to see all of the ugly parts along with the good. It feels different this time, not only because it’s been so long since I was truly in the “dating world,” but also because discovering those ugly parts comes sooner. Part of me is still afraid to admit to other people (new people) that I’m divorced. I still feel sometimes like I failed at something important.
I am sometimes worried that because I have these pieces that have been broken, even once they’ve been put back together, that someone won’t be willing to accept them. As someone who finds it difficult to connect with others, as someone who prefers to keep things to myself – this is a terrifying concept. Sometimes it’s easier to prefer the escape of a book. Sometimes it’s easier to live someone else’s life. Sometimes it’s easier to live vicariously through the movies that get binge-watched on Hulu (or Netflix) and the meet-cutes that seem to be so easy…
However, as scary as this is, I also hold out hope that I will one day find someone who is willing to accept the broken pieces. I know that I have so many wonderful people in my life who have helped me put those pieces back together. So I know that there are people that are yet to come into my life who will see the broken pieces, not as broken but simply as a part of my story.
I hope that I might have a “meet-cute” of my own. I still believe in love and I still believe in all of the good things that come with sharing your hopes, your dreams, and your fears with another. I look forward to the joy that will come from discovering the person.
I look forward to welcoming those people into my life as I learn how to not be terrified by starting over, but instead I choose to be excited. I look forward to welcoming the new me as I learn how to find the confidence it takes to welcome those people.