If you think motherhood is lonely, try doing motherhood without a spouse. It sucks. Sitting side by side watching ‘Parks and Recreation’ re-runs while you play on your phones ignoring the TV beats Grey’s re-runs on your couch completely alone for months on end. I wish that there was a magical group of single parents waiting at the pickup line like on the new show “Single parents,” or a group of divorced women turned instant BFFs like in “Girlfriends Guide to Divorce.” But alas that’s not reality.
Just like there are all sorts of parenting philosophies, there are all sorts of divorced philosophies too. There are the moms who are still hopeless romantics and hold onto the idea of happily ever after the next go around; there are moms who swear off marriage and relationships for life; there are moms who are excited by the thrill of dating someone new and a million different variations between.
I personally hate dating. I’d theoretically skip over to the lazy couch dates where you don’t have to wear a bra or be embarrassed by your snoring. Where no one cares if you’ve shaved your legs or not when you want to have sex (ohhhhh, that’s why she’s divorced). The reality though is I don’t have the courage or heart left to go through the work to get there again. But, again, being a single parent is super lonely. So lonely (especially in the winter) that I’ve reluctantly attempted to ‘get back on the horse’ … Can’t say I recommend it.
Since I got off the market in 2008 things have changed … a lot. The dating apps tell me that all the single men left are obsessed with the gym. And taking shirtless selfies with dead fish (or maybe the fish aren’t dead?). Also, tacos are huge in the land of the singles, who all apparently love to cook. And then they make sure to excitedly add “no kids, never married!” to their profile because that makes them a great catch, and the fact that they love cooking and going to the gym 7 days a week wasn’t proof enough that they are kidless.
The simple fact that dating apps are even a thing is really quite fascinating. “Hi, I’m single and lonely but am trying to seem casual and cool. Would you like to enter a relationship (or bed) based on a perfectly presentable photograph and awkward intro.” Kill. Me. Now. I love the “what do you do for fun??” line … I have three kids; I like to drink wine and eat cheesecake in my underwear while texting my friends and watching trash TV. That is what I do for fun. But don’t worry – if dating apps aren’t your thing you can always drink wine at an 8-year-olds birthday party and invite your mom friend’s sexy single cousin back to your place. Because nothing attracts a bachelor like a mom at a birthday party swarmed by her cake-drunk children. If you’re really lucky you will live in a small town where said single cousin winds up being friends with your ex-husband. BONUS!
I initially planned to make this post a “tips for dating after divorce” type of thing, but it turns out I have nothing really valuable to share. All I have learned in the almost two years of being divorced is that dating sucks and there are a substantial amount of creeps in the world (arrestfscts.com is your friend). If you’re brave enough to try it again after having kids and getting divorced, you’re an all-star. I’ll be here waiting with BOGO wine and desserts to hash out all the dirty details when you return from your date.