As soon as my divorce was finalized, I jumped into the dating seen. “Why the rush? You haven’t been single long, just be single and heal first,” my Daddy & sister told me. Other’s wondered & thought things but were too hesitant to say anything to me because I was so emotionally fragile.
Was I lonely? A little but honestly, being single had its benefits. I got to do what I wanted when I wanted. I didn’t have to ask anyone what their thoughts were or make sure my plans fit theirs. All the movies I watched at home were my choice. I just did what I wanted to do, whenever I wanted to do it. It was very freeing. Yes, I was lonely but I didn’t feel I needed a man to fill that void.
Was I scared to be alone? A little. Mostly at night. If anyone snuck into my house, it would have to be me to protect my kids. So I prayed hard for protection and stayed up until my body gave into sleep. I survived.
Was I looking for a man to take care of me and the kids financially? NOPE. I knew I could take care of myself and the kids. I knew I would be okay with some time. I was not looking for a man with money or to take care of me.
So why did I start dating so quickly?
- By the end of my marriage, I felt ugly, unwanted, and unloved. Who would want a woman like me? I couldn’t even keep one man as a husband. Plus I had FIVE kids!!! With full custody, who would want to help raise 5 of someone else’s kids for the next 18 years? I didn’t think I was dateable at all. So just to prove my point I put myself out there. I knew it would take a LONG time to find that perfect man, that single sterile guy who’s wife left him because he couldn’t give her any children but he had always wanted a big family. HA!
2. After my divorce was finalized, I still had an unhealthy relationship with my children’s father. When he was lonely he would come and stay over because I couldn’t tell him “no.” After 12 years of being faithful and loyal to the father of my 5 children, it was hard for me to wrap my head around the fact we were “over” and accept him as “not mine” anymore. I became the “other woman” in his relationships, the woman I resented for years. Our relationship was destructive to my self esteem and confusing to my children, I knew the only way he would stop coming over would be if there was another man in my life.
3. The quote, “The most important thing a father can do for his children is love their mother,” would often run through my head. Knowing the sad statistics of children coming from homes of single mothers, I felt this quote was something I wanted to have in my children & my life. I wanted my children to experience loving parents in the home again. I wanted them to see a man love and treat their mother with respect so that they would know what to look for and how to love in their own future relationships.
4. I’m not a sports person or confident in the water. That’s where my children’s father took over. After he moved out I felt our family was a now lopsided, lots of reading & school stuff but not much outdoor things. Seeing this huge change in dynamics, I knew something was missing, a man’s touch. It was obvious to me how a father’s influence can be a huge factor in a child’s growing up. I wanted my children to have that again.
5. Since young I have always wanted an Eternal Family. As a faithful LDS female, I did everything right…earned my Young Women Personal Progress award, graduated from seminary, went on a mission, got married in the temple, and had beautiful children. I was on my way to having an Eternal Family but then my husband decided to choose a different path. By the time my 5th child was born he wasn’t a member of our church any more, which meant my brand new baby was my only child not sealed to me. This devastated me. How could I have done everything right, but now one of my children was NOT sealed to me for the eternities? My desire for an Eternal Family was still there but the only way to have my Eternal Family and my baby sealed to me was to find a new father to complete our family.
The scripture “…faith without works is dead” (James 2:20) often runs through my head. I knew that WAITING for a perfect man to fall into my lap was not showing any FAITH that I knew I could have an Eternal Family someday. I needed to make an effort to show my faith by continuing to move forward toward the Eternal Family I had always dreamed of, so…to me that meant I needed to start dating again.
(In 2011 my happy family was filmed and a few years later added to this lovely music video. My family has changed a lot since then but no matter what I always desire a home, where love is spoken there. https://youtu.be/7Vjp9y6wvkY)
Some people may have thought I was rushing into a new relationship. After much prayer, pondering, and consideration, I started dating knowing that I was doing what I felt was right for my children and I. Was I scared? Yup! Was I excited to date again? NOPE! But for me, it was the right thing to do for my family. <3
**Now how did a single woman with 5 kids, going to college full time, and working part time have time to date? Stay tuned! Please join my mailing list so you can know when my new posts have been posted!