My 10 year divorceaversary was last week. Prior to that, was married for 20 years. Which is a fair amount of years to be with one person.
When I was newly divorced, I figured I'd spend a year or two single, then start to date, then eventually wind up married again. I didn't feel strongly about this happening but just assumed it would since most of my friends that had divorced were usually back to being married within several years.
Except that didn't happen cause I discovered I didn't really want it to happen. And the longer I remained single, the more I liked it. Actually, the more I loved it.
Not that I have anything against dating or marriage...it's a good thing if it happens for the right reason with the right person. But not something I felt I needed or wanted. Even tho I felt this way, the first night I moved into my apt after separating I made a list of qualities I wanted my next partner to possess. Just in case.
The No's -
* No Drugs
* No Kids or Cats (allergic to both)
* No Smokers
* No Tattoos (I know they are fashionable but they scare me & I loathe them)
* No Felons
The Yes List
* Great sense of humor
* Loves Dogs
* Has a loving relationship with his friends and family
* When he smiles, the edges of his eyes crinkle. The sign of an authentic smiler. Which is important to me.
Over the years I've added to both lists.
No intolerance. No rudeness. He can't be mean for the sake of being mean. Hell no to someone that uses 'silent treatment' (btdtnft). He can't be lazy. Or have bad hygiene. Or be a total slob to the point of being a hoarder.
On the Yes side, has to be a great hugger or at least not mind being hugged several times on a daily basis. Has to be open to sex more than 3 times a month. More like 3 time a week. At least. Is confident without being cocky. Knows the difference between calculated risk and a sudden whim. Has a healthy relationship with money. Must be comfortable with someone that lives in the social media world. And while he may not have a Twitter handle or follow millions of friends on Facebook, he has to be ok that I use both. Maybe a little too much at times.
Lists can be good. They're like a road map for an important trip. And if you don't know what you're looking for or where you're going, how will you know when you get there?
After 10 years of honing my list and getting a grasp on what is a must have and a nice to have and realizing that a list is great but people aren't defined by action items on a list, I'm ready. It's time for the next step.
For years, every time I told a friend I was ready to date, I always changed my mind within 5 minutes. Cause my life was good and comfortable. And the memories of being in a relationship had been bad for so long compared to the length of time I was married, that I truly thought that playing it safe and avoiding the whole dating issue would be the best course of action.
2011 made me see things differently. Nothing specific happened to create this change in attitude other than waking up one day and realizing that playing it safe was getting me nowhere. And was a horrible way to live an authentic life.
So here we are.
I've tried EHarmony & Match.com before. Wasn't impressed. Besides. who knows me better than you guys, right? So I'm asking for your help in this "Dating Adventure". If you know someone that might be good for me (we'll worry about Mr. Right later on down the road), send him my way. I'm great for starting as friends and actually prefer it that way.
My list of No's is still intact. Not gonna change my mind if he has kids or cats. Believe me, I've tried guys with kids AND guys with cats and it's not meant to be. And let's not even discuss smokers, ok?
One more question. What kind of list did you/do you have? Did it help? Did you stray from your list? Did you find your happily-ever-after and where did you meet them? What advice do you have for me. Good? Bad? What one thing you'll NEVER do again? And what do you wish you would have done sooner?
I'm all ears. And ready for the next step!