I’m a Divorced Mom and I Think I’ve Found The Best Way To Find A New Man
By Leisse Wilcox
Photo © doondevil/Twenty20
Nov 12, 2019
Being single — even with kids — has a ton of advantages. I have the autonomy and space to do what I like, how I like it. And I spend a lot of time getting to know myself — a nice perk if you were married in your twenties like me.
It’s in being alone that I begin to have feelings of longing, and the questions start ....
So often we go from being somebody’s daughter to somebody’s wife to somebody’s mother without ever getting the chance to just be us for a while. Ask anyone who’s started over after a divorce with kids (present company included), and the chance to be on your own as an adult has a real sense of freedom to it.
But being single — even for the best intentioned who know how to see the bright side, live in the moment and appreciate things for what they are — can sometimes still feel lonely at times.
Especially with kids, when there are challenges and joys of parenting that you are aching to share with someone else. It’s also nice to feel like there’s someone else on your team from the time you wake up until you fall asleep at night.
Another Great POV From Leisse: The Struggle Of Online Dating As A Single Parent
It can feel really frustrating to be on my own. It’s in being alone that I begin to have feelings of longing, and the questions start: “When will I ever find this person? Oh man, will I ever find this person?”
And it’s in those same moments when I can feel a bit like I’m in a temporary state of desperation, frantically focusing on how to find the perfect partner. I feel like many people can relate, because who likes to feel lonely?
For me, this has been a genuine challenge. I’ve thought a lot about it.
So if you’re feeling these things, you’re not alone. But I think I’ve figured out a simple way to erase that sense of longing, and focus more on living my best life.
Be The Best
If you want to find the perfect partner, I realized: I need to be the perfect partner.
I decided that the best way to attract a partner I’ve been dreaming of is to focus on building up my own life into something that I loved wholly and was very proud of.
Because when I meet someone who is quite content in their own life, I can feel the confidence and sense of self-assuredness beaming out of them effortlessly. And it’s when I allowed myself to get to that deep level of self-acceptance that I found myself surrounded by people who felt similarly.
A New Focus
I focus on what makes me happy. I try to exude qualities I want to see in others, and I participate in hobbies and weekend activities alone and with the family that make me feel like myself — untethered.
And I don’t think any of that is conditional on having a partner. Rather, having an unapologetically honest awareness of who I am is exactly what I believe draws the right people into my life at the right time.
Make A List
Think about all the qualities you value in a loving partner: Loyalty? Humour? Sense of safety? Purpose-lead and intention-driven?
I often ask my kids the qualities they would value in a stepdad ....
I made a list of the qualities and values I most crave in a partner, describing on paper who I’d love to be with. I basically was creating them out of thin air.
I went back over the list, and asked myself: “Do I embody each of these qualities myself?”
When the answer was no, I had to think of how I could do so on my own. I raised my own expectations of how I am, and how I want to show up in the world.
Dating After Divorce
When I first started dating after divorce, I wasn’t clear enough about my boundaries and expectations of who I wanted in my life. And I realize now it was because I hadn’t even figured out what I expected from myself yet.
A divorced friend of mine describes it as needing to find two people: first find yourself, then find the person who complements you best.
This will happen independent of your kids. Before I could introduce anyone to the most important people in my life, I needed to be very clear on what I wanted and what I expected from a future co-parent.
Ask Your Kids About Their Future Dad
But kids can have a say in this vision board-style conversation. I often ask my kids the qualities they would value in a stepdad, and that opens up an honest and insightful dialogue for our family dynamic, and creates an even stronger vision of my future partner (spoiler: they want a very funny, kind man who can build a treehouse in the yard, a gingerbread house at Christmas and someone who will let them climb or wrestle him at whim. Also, he must love dogs).
I like to think that someone is out there making their own list of qualities they value in a person, and how magical life is that that someone could unknowingly be describing me.
Showing up as the most honest and authentic, satisfied and content version of myself is the surest way to send the signals out there to the person who is standing by ready to receive them.
It also ensures I’m showing up as the best possible mother for my kids.
This is how I’m approaching life after divorce.
I’m being me. I’m singing goofy songs with my kids at the dinner table. I’m putting my heart into my work.
I put fresh flowers on the table every week, wear the clothes that make me feel like a babe.
Nobody is coming to “save” you — but you’re allowed to want a next chapter, together.
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