So, although I’ve been a single-mom for over 10 years now I guess to begin my blog I’d need to revert back. When my ex-husband and I first separated I went through the proper legal channels to gain permission to move out of state, and relocated with my two children to Florida. My eldest sister was also going through a divorce so we moved in with her and begin our life near the beach in sunny Florida.
At the time, my daughter was 8 and my son was 5. I was fortunate enough to get a full-time job the day after moving and I worked the standard office hours Monday through Friday from 8-5. We quickly fell into a routine, structure is good I thought for young children but quickly discovered it was good for me too. After a few months of working and spending most of our free time at the beach my sister and new-found friends encouraged me to start dating. I reluctantly created an online profile for a dating site and spent way to much time conversing with what I still hope were real men over that site. Sometimes I was brave and initiated contact, sometimes I lurked and hoped that a hottie would contact me.
Eventually I finally made a commitment to meet Doug at a restaurant in Ormond Beach. He lived in Daytona so it was about the half-way point for us. I followed all of the safety tips that my friend Scott from back home insisted on. I left screenshots for my sister to find on the computer if I didn’t come home; I made sure a friend knew where and when we were meeting; I met him at a very busy location that was not secluded or off the beaten path and I still had not given him my last name, address or even my phone number. I have to admit, it had been many many years since I had felt the adrenaline rush of going on a date. I was pleasantly surprised to see that he was just as handsome in person as he was in his profile photos. He had a beautiful smile and we clicked instantly and had a wonderful, long lunch where we talked non-stop with plenty of laughter inter-mixed. It was the best date I had been on in…say, decades I guess since I was married 16 years and we had dated then lived together before that.
Wow, this was fun! This was easy! I could really get to like this! We reluctantly said our good-byes after exchanging phone numbers. Yes Scott, I did give him my number that day! We both said we looked forward to the next date, he walked me to my car gave me a kiss on the cheek opened my car door for me and closed it after I’d gotten in. We both headed off toward our own homes and I cried like a baby all the way home. What the hell was wrong with me!? I seriously sobbed driving north on Interstate 95. I had just left the best date I had been on in ages and I was acting like a two year old that hadn’t gotten the happy meal toy. I was so pissed that I had to go through the whole dating thing again. I really didn’t enjoy dating much as a teenager and I certainly was not thrilled at putting “it all out there” all over again.
So when I got home I promptly told my sister that this is Doug’s number and when you see it on the caller-id you DO NOT EVER ANSWER THE PHONE!! And we didn’t. He called, and he called again. He left sweet messages, he was so kind. I listened sometimes from across the room, but I never picked up the phone. Eventually he quit calling. Whew!
I stumbled. I fell. But I got back up again and again. I proceeded to enter a dating frenzy where I sometimes went on 3-4 lunch dates in the same week! I quickly determined that with the kids hectic activity schedules that it would be so much easier to meet these men for lunch during the work day while the children were in school and I had an excuse for a quick exit just shy of one hour.
My boss began to question me. He said “at least in the movie 50 First Dates she had short-term memory loss, what is your excuse?” My response was that I don’t need one! I learned that despite what I had been told during my married life, I wasn’t such a bad person. I needed to figure out who I was, when not part of a couple. And, I developed a list that pertained to my search for my idea of Mr Right. That list was not comprised of everything that I was looking for in a man, it was completely made up of all of the things that I would not longer accept from a man. Otherwise known as my “No List”.