I intentionally took the first year off to be single and heal and process and focus on the person I want to be, and the kind of person I want to be with. Listening to Andy Stanley's series "The New Rules For Love, Sex & Dating" helped with this. We separated in VERY early December 2014 so I said December 2015 - but, even better to wait for January 2016 because I didn't think the holidays would be a good time to pursue a relationship.
So, since January, the process has started and I'm not having fun.
Let me explain, I have so many insecurities I am still working against - they've been drilled in my head by some of the most pivotal relationships in my life, so it's a hard habit to break. I'm torn with thinking I'm this ugly hot mess to thinking I'm a beautiful women with so much to offer. Like how that happens?
So, I take things personally. After meeting someone, I go home and over analyze every word, action, etc. It's ridiculous. I make myself physical ill as I beat myself over things I said or didn't say. I automatically assume he doesn't like me/won't like me - if not for what I said/did, then for how I apologize for it. I assume the worst. After all, if the "love of my youth", my (ex) husband, the father of my kids did not love me right or want me, why would anyone else?? Because surely now I'm his leftovers, I'm damaged goods. And I have 3 kids en tow so I'm a packaged deal - that's pretty intimidating! My sister and friend had a marvelous point - why am I so focused on what these guys think of me? I need to be more focused on what I think of them. Wow!
I think the whole world of social media complicates the dating process. Two of the guys I've met, the ones who I actually somewhat "dated", I've suspected of lying. And in my mind, if you weren't lying, you'd try to prove me wrong, but neither did. They were basically like, "Whatever" and moved on. Which confirms to me I'm not worth fighting for, they didn't really like me, so what was the point of dating me to begin with?
Look, I get this is kind of emotional for having just started dating, but I'm trying to be honest and transparent here. The most recent incident has me all hurt and upset, yet relieved and hopeful that OK, so he's not the one...that's one more ruled out, which means I'm one more closer to the one I'm supposed to be with. Onward & upward. The emotions and feelings with dating as a single mama is real! It's hard. I look forward to the day this season is over!
I have a specific prayer that I've prayed many times. I don't pray it faithfully every day, but whenever it's on my mind I do. This prayer is based on a couple stories I've heard from remarried single mamas. They got real specific with God on what kind of man they were looking for, and low and behold, that's what they got in their next spouse. Because I don't have time to waste, because there's 3 kids involved, I need to be intentional here. And my hope is I get to see this prayer take life and I can't wait to meet him. The qualities I prayer go a little something like this...
I want a man who loves God, loves my kids, loves me. A man who is funny and outgoing. A man who works with his hands. A man who knows a lot about the land and how to live off it. A man to teach me and my kids these things. A man with facial hair and truck to boot wouldn't hurt. ;)
But yes, those are the qualities I pray for. I know our prayers don't always get answered. I know sometimes God's answer is "no". And I suppose that's what bothers me the most in all of this; the unknown of if I'll be single forever or if I will get to be in a loving, committed relationship turned marriage one day.
The best I can do right now is to continue to grow and better myself, while maintaining the hope. I look forward to seeing where I am 6 months from now, 12 months from now and so on. I will say that the only New Years Resolution type thing I made, was to find myself; to become more than just a mom and find hobbies and interests, etc. To go out with friends, etc. 3 months in to the new year and this has played out so far and so this gives me hope that with time the relationship situation will work itself out. Patience is key - and also, remaining hopeful, keeping the faith, and trusting God.