After being married for five years, I am newly single. I am getting used to this new life, but the problem is my well meaning friends. They are married, and they are constantly encouraging me to date. I don't want to date. I have a toddler who keeps me busy. The idea of dating just doesn't appeal to me. I know they're worried about me, but how do I tell them to back off?
Credit Image: kellyhogaboom on Flickr
Dear Alone and Happy,
Based on your letter, it sounds like you’ve been through a lot and have now successfully reached the other side. Congratulations! Divorce, no matter how amicable it may be, is never an easy situation and I applaud you for surviving, especially with a toddler in your care.
Now let’s talk about why you’re not gettin’ any.
I completely understand that you’re not ready to date yet, but that’s because I don’t know you in real life. On paper, or um, computer screen, it sounds like a good idea to wait a while. There’s absolutely no need to rush into having a first date with some weirdo at Applebee’s. (Fun fact: A friend of mine went on a date with some guy she met on Match.com, and he not only ordered the Kid’s Meal because kids ate free that night, but he spilled his milk all over her purse and yelled, “Hope that’s fake leather!” I know, what a catch!)
Anyway, that said, my opinion is obviously very different from your friends’ because they see you every day. They’ve held your hand and dried your tears and listened to your problems. And for those reasons, they want to see you smile and move on with your life on the arm of a nice, kind man. It’s only normal for people who are in a happy relationship to want the same for their single friends. So you can’t get upset with them for trying is what I’m saying.
What you can do is be firm when you tell them you’re not ready. Maybe make up a date and time, say six months in the future, when you’ll be accepting leads on single men. Tell them to write it in the calendars and call it “HOOK UP DAY.” Maybe that’ll placate them.
And if that doesn’t work, tell them you’ll be happy to go on a date they set up as long as they babysit your toddler that night. Your toddler who has the stomach flu, Sharpie markers in each hand and an unhealthy obsession with hair pulling and biting cats. Works every time.
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