Posted on | January 11, 2013 | 6 Comments
When I first got divorced, I believed that I would never love again… at least not anyone other than my child. While I liked the idea of dating or having someone to talk to, it wasn’t because I thought I’d fall in love, be swept away, or even be worth the time and effort of getting to know… it was more that being with someone was what society seemed to expect. My OB asked me a few months into divorce if I was seeing anyone and when I seemed surprised he would even think I could be, he said most divorced people he knew were already back out there.
I feel certain he meant men. Surely there was no way that someone as shattered as I was could ever be enough for any man.
I finally started toying with the idea of dating just shy of a year out of my marriage but I’ll be honest… I didn’t know my worth. When you are reduced to nothing by a man (or by a woman), when you are made to feel undesirable in every way, the only thing you want to feel is desired. And it becomes a pattern of wanting someone to want you just to prove to yourself that you are, in fact, worth wanting… even if someone else didn’t want you all that much.
My first dating encounters post divorce were embarrassingly disastrous.
As I’ve grown stronger over the past year and a half, one thing has become abundantly clear:
I have consistently undervalued myself in the realm of dating.
Now let’s be honest… there are three types of people in the world: Those who believe they are God’s gift, those who shrug and know they are only as awesome as the next person, and those who believe that anyone who pays them the slightest attention must, in fact, be crazy because who on earth would pay THEM any attention. When I returned to the dating world after divorce, I fell quite soundly in the third group.
Asking me out was tantamount to admitting you were a douchebag. Telling me I was pretty meant you were only interested in ONE thing. Spending any time or effort or money on me meant that you had issues because honestly, who would pay attention to broken and beat up me?
As 2013 rolled in, I made a resolution to myself to re-evaluate, well… myself. I made a resolution to stop thinking of myself as broken… to stop thinking of myself as anything other than just me… whoever that was.
Honestly, one of the hardest parts of being divorced and returning to the dating scene is the knowing that you have a few strikes against you in some men’s minds, the knowing that there are some who believe you are starved for attention and will just go for whatever crumbs they toss your way… the knowing that yes, your taste in men is probably excruciatingly flawed based on past choices. At first, I just wanted to prove to those types of people that they were wrong about me… I wanted to prove to myself that they were wrong by, well, letting them be right. Dating when you’re broken is a bad idea.
But returning to the dating scene as a member of the second group, the group who believes fully in their own, and everyone else’s awesomeness, has been the most rewarding thing I’ve done in a long time. It’s been a slow, upswing of better judgment, better taste, and better ability to cut loose the ones who don’t see just how awesome I really am. When I first returned to the dating scene, I believed I had to compete with other women for the best guys… the best looking… the most desirable. I believed that it would be a fight, a push and pull of finding someone to push and pull for or against.
Now, I can see it… I can see me… for what it is, for who I am… I don’t have to fight. I don’t have to tuck and twirl and press and impress. I just have to be me.
And just by being me, I now believe I’m worth the right person. I now believe that he will find his way to my door… will find his way to my heart just because I deserve that… because I deserve him. And someone out there deserves me, too.