I've met women over the years who have said, "I don't date." I always thought that was so bizarre. How could someone end up so bitter and closed off to possibility? Now I get it. And it has nothing to do with bitterness or being closed off.
And, I'm done
About the columnist: You know how one minute you're in a happy and fulfilling marriage and the next you find out that your husband of 20 years has been cheating on you with someone 10 years younger? Well I do. I went from country club wife and mother of high school students to a single, 39-year-old "cougar." In this weekly feature, I will share with you all the mind-boggling, head-scratching, is-this-someone's-idea-of-a-joke moments from my so-called single life. Consider this your private invitation to my tremendous learning curve…
My last four years as a single woman have been comprised of little more than relationship and dating disasters. I've been in three somewhat serious relationships, and been on more than one date that made me want to crawl to the roof of my house and scream, "Are you freakin' kidding me?"
When I got done laughing from all the dating scenarios (that were entertaining for all the wrong reasons), I took a personal inventory and realized one thing. For all the guys who cheated on me, suffered from Peter Pan syndrome, wanted me to mother them or just wanted to see me naked in a hot tub, the only common denominator in this string of messes was me.
It was time to put myself in dating timeout. I'm not bitter, sour and I'm not giving up. I'm just putting things on hold for a bit. What I realized was that the drama and complications and the inevitable breakups were not worth the relationships I was finding myself in. I came to the stark realization that I just want to be left the hell alone.
A life devoid of complication
The truth of the matter is I was in a happy and fulfilling marriage for 21 years, until I wasn't. I'm not a young woman looking for a baby daddy. I'm not looking for a sugar daddy. I'm just plain not looking. Yes, on the rare occasion that my friends and I are out, we still play "how you doin'?" (a game where we make passes at a hot guy under our breath). That's where it ends. I'm so happy to leave by myself, sleep in my bed by myself and wake up by myself. I know many of you won't understand or believe that, but it is absolutely true.
How long am I in timeout for?
I pinky-swore with another friend who is in a similar situation that I was taking a break from men for six months, and I meant it. For the first time in my life, I have learned to find real (and that is the operative word — real) fulfillment through family, work, my adult kids and the circle of amazing girlfriends I have been blessed with. Not only do I not need to be in a relationship, right now I don't want to be in one. I just want to find a groove of happiness and fulfillment that has nothing to do with being asked what's for dinner, do I want to get naked, and can I babysit someone's kids or dogs?
Yes, if the skies parted and rays of golden light streamed from the clouds and God hand delivered a guy on my front lawn and said, "Miss B. Haved, this is the perfect male specimen I have selected just for you and your life together will be nothing but red wine, amazing sex, laughing until you throw up and traveling to exotic locales," I'd be forced to reevaluate my mindset. But since I don't see that happening any time soon, I am thrilled to fly solo for however long it takes.
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