I recently started dating again. It’s been over two years since I have been on a date and now I have a child. (I know this is pathetic, please don’t judge me – I have been traumatized) Being a single mother (not to mention one with extra ex psychopath drama) makes dating feel like a whole new ball game. One of the things that I have struggled with is how much to tell a person you just met about your situation. Honestly, I still don’t know what the answer is to this question. How would you react if on your first date they asked you about your child’s father and you said, “well, he threatened to kill me and 50% of the women he has lived with in the past ten years have died violent deaths.” Ok, so maybe I will leave that discussion for another time. (It’s ok, I would run screaming too)
Throughout my relationship with Luc, he would often get frantic and make me promise that I would never date anyone else – even if we broke up. This was another one of his attempts to break my spirit and control me. He wanted to have complete control over me even if I eventually walked out (which I am sure he knew was inevitable). So this leads me to one of my first dates. Mind you, I have since learned it wasn’t really a date and was more of a “platonic friends getting together for drinks” sort of situation…but none the less we will call it a “mock date” for the purposes of my story. (We will also call him “Bob” for the purpose of anonymity)
Bob and I knew each other through a good friend of mine and I hadn’t seen him in years. Our mutual friend recently told me that Bob’s wife suddenly decided she wanted a divorce and Bob was devastated. (So clearly, this was never meant to be a real date given the situation) I had lost touch with Bob after he got married, but I remembered him to be a sweet guy who was funny and really fun to hang around (not to mention very attractive). I asked him to get drinks and catch up thinking that he would be a good person to go have drinks with as a “practice date” if you will.
Over drinks, Bob shared the hideous story of his divorce which both made me sad for him and added to my terror about relationships in general. While I had not intended to share the most hideous aspects of my story, he had read my blog (and knew it was me) so I couldn’t get out without covering it in some detail.
The “mock date” was nice. (Despite the bleeding hearts aspect) It was nice to get out with another person roughly my age and share a drink that wasn’t spilled all over me by my little boy. (Sorry baby boy – mama loves you despite your mess and poor hand eye coordination) Bob brought something up, however, that had me thinking all week. He said that after his divorce he felt like a leper. While I tried hard to convince him that he was certainly NOT a leper, I completely understood how he felt because I feel like a leper too. Though, my “dating leprosy” is a little different than his.
It’s interesting because as he was talking, I couldn’t help but to remember when I was that person who had all these “standards” and “a list” like a lot of woman have when they think of potential mates. That list seems so silly now because not only did I break some of the smart rules with Luc (i.e. job that you can verify, college education, not abusive), I now had several things in my life that I would have ruled someone out for five years ago. For example:
1) Child: I never wanted to date someone with a child. Mainly, because I didn’t want Baby Mama Drama. Well, right now I would certainly take baby mama drama over “psycho killer bad dad Luc”.
2) Extreme baggage: Five years ago, if I was on a date with someone who had such extreme dating baggage that they were not sure if they would ever trust someone enough to marry them – I would have run in the other direction and never returned their call after the first date.
3) Living at home with parents: I have always viewed people who live at home with their parents as somewhat scrubbish. (Yes, I just made that word up – scrubbish) While there are some people who have valid reasons for living with their parents (childhood, taking care of elder parents, temporary place to stay while waiting to buy a house, etc), most of the time it shows a person who is either cheap, has bad credit, or is lazy. Or at least this was how I felt before I was in a situation where I needed to live with my parents.
The above are three reasons are a few examples of my feeling of dating leprosy. I wonder if this means I am not ready to date. I have always heard that it is important to build yourself up after a relationship and be confident standing on your own before you try and invite someone else into your life. Maybe this is what that means.
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