Wishful Thinking

When I first separated from my husband, the last thing I wanted was to find a new man.

I spent two years healing, enjoying my newfound independence, and focusing on my children.

But then I started to feel lonely.

The pandemic had begun by then, so meeting someone in any of the traditional ways was out of the question. Lockdown led me to try dating apps, something I swore I’d never do.

Messages came swiftly, and after deleting the creepy and inappropriate texts, I got one from a man that seemed interesting. He had all the qualities I was looking for, and we ended up dating for a few weeks that summer. I was excited and thought I’d found the one.

Then he started asking questions I’d already answered – stuff he should have paid attention to, like had I been married before – and got upset when I was in a serious mood one day. It turned out he just wanted a plastic girlfriend, and that wasn’t me.

I waited a little while, then tried again. This time, he was creative and established, and I thought I’d found the one. Until he gave me the silent treatment for several hours, then full-out cried one day because I had forgotten to give him a hug when he’d arrived.

I was done with online dating.

Then someone I had known previously showed up over text. And I thought I’d found the one. Until so many red flags started appearing, I nearly got whiplash.

A year passed before I tried again. This time on the advice of my therapist, who thought I hadn’t been using quality sites and suggested a paid app. I soon met someone who ticked all the boxes. I couldn’t believe my luck. I was so sure I’d found the one.

But after 8 dates without even an attempt to hold my hand, it became very clear this guy had intimacy issues. It died its own death.

I was discouraged, until I wasn’t. Until I realized that none of them had ever been the one. It was all in my head.

Now I happily spend my weekends on my own. I hang out with my kids and my dog and I don’t waste time waiting and wondering and wishing. If I meet someone who is worth the wait, great. If I don’t, then I know I’ll be perfectly happy anyway.

I hope you have a love that is true, or a single life that works for you. I hope you are happy either way.

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