Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My First Girlfriend Post-Divorce

Single Dad dating and parenting at Dad's House blog

Eight months after my wife and I separated, friends introduced me to a woman who became my first serious girlfriend, post divorce. I was 37 at the time, and she was 28. Hints of an older men younger women dating relationship, but that's not what I found attractive in her. I was drawn to her vibrant feminine energy and enthusiasm for life.

Divorce was the most painful experience I ever endured. Even though my wife and I parted amicably, and made it a priority to put the kids first and co-parent as best we can, it took years to process the emotional demolition of our marriage.

Problem was, when I met my first post-divorce girlfriend, I hadn't even started the divorce detox process.

I was like Jon Gosselin dating like crazy, except I was out on the town with different women 3 nights a week. I kept telling myself I was trying to find someone to bring around the kids, but in hindsight I now see that was me deluding myself. Dating after divorce, I was sowing my wild oats, plain and simple.

And then I met this woman who became my girlfriend. She helped me become aware of my spiritual self, how we're all connected in the universe. How we're all part of one song. I wanted to see the world through her eyes. But of course, I had to see them through my own.

Could I have dated someone older? I doubt it. At the time, I was not ready for a "real" relationship. Oh, I thought this girlfriend was the one - she eventually met my kids, helped me pick out a house, showed me how to get in touch with my feelings. I fully intended to marry her.

But we pushed each other's buttons like crazy.

Fast forward ten years. I'm still single, but I'm wiser for the wear. I've been in some great long-term relationships, enjoyed some short-term flings, dated some women seriously, had more than a few one-night-stands.

Would I change anything? I'd like to see my kids every day. But other than that, no I would not. I've grown in ways that would not have been possible had I stayed married.

In case you're curious, I'm still looking for a younger woman to enter my life. Not tons younger, and not for the stereotypical disfunctional divorced male reasons. It's just this: when I was married, I was younger than my wife.

Now I'm at a point in life where I need to be the older person in the relationship.

17 comments:

chocdrop said...

It is about growth and discovering yourself. I am glad you wouldn't change a thing because that is how you got to be the you you are today.

Janie Woods said...

I was 35 when my 13 ye ar marriage fell apart. I was devastated for myself and my boys. I got the kids but I can't imagine what kind of emotional hell I put those two through for the first eight months of the split.

But I grew and moved on and I think we all healed. Ironically, I remarried a younger man.

I think the journey of my divorce was the most spiritual I've ever taken. I learned things about myself and my sons that I don't think I would have had we not just had each other. My ex and I? We're best friends and will spend hours on the phone. We have learned that we love each other but just are not meant for each other.

Mark said...

Everyone comes into our life for a reason, sounds like this first post divorce girl friend did much good for you.
I would be careful about defining possible candidates by age, you may be missing out on someone great by holding on to this age limitation that you have created.

TentCamper said...

I can relate...but not really. I was 37 when my marriage fell apart and I went through one of the most horrific times of my life. My only saving grace was the woman that I was seeing/dating (who you all know as ManicMariah) and my yearning to be with my two sons. I feel as though 'she completes me' and I don't know what would have happened to my life without her. The differences are; both my ex and she are younger than I by 3-4 years and ....We were fully engulfed in a serious relationship before my divorce (FYI - still not divorced...3.5 years and counting.)
I could only wish for that amicable split that I have heard about.

mrs. m said...

i am almost always the odd (wo)man out when speaking of divorce. i was married at 20 and divorced at 24. thank god, there were no children, but still the most painful shit ever! i am now remarried to someone who is 11 years my senior, my first and i were the same age.

my new marriage is more stable and more satisfying that's for sure. i dunno if age is a factor, but one things for sure it's hot being married to an 'old man'. :D

mrs. m said...

i am almost always the odd (wo)man out when speaking of divorce. i was married at 20 and divorced at 24. thank god, there were no children, but still the most painful shit ever! i am now remarried to someone who is 11 years my senior, my first and i were the same age.

my new marriage is more stable and more satisfying that's for sure. i dunno if age is a factor, but one things for sure it's hot being married to an 'old man'. :D

Con Template said...

After my first marriage ended I did the wild sowing thing for a time, too. Ultimately settled down with my true soulmate who is more than 10 years younger. She had been married before and jerked around badly by her first husband, the proverbial "high school sweetheart." It has been the greatest thing for both of us, now more than a dozen years later. I guess we learned a lot from prior experiences.

T said...

Great post Dads.

And yes, I do believe that everyone comes into our lives when we need them. Older, younger, wiser or whatever!

Sowing oats... yeah, I've done a bit of that too.

:)

Danielle said...

I too believe that everyone that enters our lives, has a purpose.

Oh, and it shouldn't be hard for you to find someone younger since you are pretty much older than everyone. :)

Missty said...

I haven't been divorced, but those close to me who have, have had such pain. I just can't imagine. Ugh.

Great post. And you just never know when that right person will come around!

And oh tentcamper, still not divorced? that must really stink! ugh. I can't imagine.

Off to thank my lucky stars I have a great guy who rocks my world.

LB said...

Well I will join in with the crowd of divorced readers. I was married at 19 to a man 3 years older. My marriage was not meant to be built of lies and deceit. I tried to make it work and after ten years. I realized that my 30th birthday was coming and life was to short to spend the rest of it so unhappy.

My divorce was truly the war of the roses, and I ended up with full custody of my 3 girls although they do visit twice a month. Through the 6 years of being divorced I have sowed my wild oats, took time to truly enjoy being a parent. Learned what it is like to sacrifice material things to be happy and have truly found myself.

Everything happens for a reason and I would not change a thing, I have learned from my mistakes and think that these experiences have made me a better person.

Sandi said...

I have been married for 14 years and I can honestly say I think marriage is too hard to do a second time. I think if I were to get a divorce (which I have no intention of doing lol) I would never marry again. I got married at 19 and had no idea what I was in store for but you know I am a stubborn and determined girl. I am always ready to work things out. I think that's one of the reasons we have lasted. I have however gone over the thought of this in my mind before and I can truly say I would never want to be married again.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I am with Sandi.

I think if I were to get a divorce, which I doubt I ever will, but if I did or if, heaven forbid I was widowed, I don't know if I would marry again.

It's hard work and I have been lucky this first time around.

But from what it sounds like with you, that first girl did wonders and people do come into our lives for a reason, but the ones that give us a breath of fresh air are the ones to hold onto for a while! :)

Sometimes younger people have wise souls and older people have young ones. Age is just a number, it's the experiences people go through that make them who they are. But I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir on that one! :)

Daddy Geek Boy said...

I haven't been divorced, but I was engaged and in the midst from planning a wedding when we called it off. Though not as painful, it left me shaken up and unsure of myself. I feel really bad for my first girlfriend after the breakup. I was an emotional wreck.

D. said...

Thanks for visiting my site and commenting on my post about my first anniversary since my divorce. I am currently dating someone and I am 18 months older but the whole dating thing is just odd. Everyone has their opinions on how they think you should or when and who after a divorce. However, I do believe that people come in and out of your life for reason and I am glad this person is in my life right now no matter what happens.
I am learning SO much about myself right now and appreciate every moment.

Anonymous said...

I just said goodbye (though I'm hoping that he'll change his mind about a long-distance relationship) to the first man I dated post-divorce. Everything was great, the sex was incredible...that's almost what I miss the most...but he moved across the state for work. In this small town, there aren't many desirable single 30-early 40-something men. Bummer.

Divorced men and dating said...

As a dating coach for women dating over 40 or dating after divorce, the one thing that often surprises me most is when a woman tells me how much she wants to find love and yet, she does almost nothing to find it. Does this sound familiar? Discover how to turn this around so you can create the love life you say you want.

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