“It’s not you, it’s me…”

Like most single, thirty-something women, I am hungry for love. Since I left my ex-husband three years ago, I’ve seen a wide variety of men. Trying to broaden my horizon and experience new things, I have made some pretty sweet memories and had my share of detrimental lessons learned. What I have yet to find is an unwavering, unhesitating love, not held back by fear or uncertainty. I have met a few guys that seemed to have the fortitude to pursue something lasting with a single mother, but it was all smoke and mirrors, followed by excuse after excuse; many including the infamous “It’s not you, it’s me.” In my experience this means: it’s totally you, in fact, had it not been you or your situation, we’d probably live happily ever after!

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve left my fair share of broken hearts along this journey as well. I can’t seem to get past the stage of infatuation successfully. The stress of not knowing is probably the biggest roadblock for me. Having my trust broken repeatedly has left me lacking total trust in anyone. I tend to shut people out, fearing my own dubious suspicions and I jump to the worst conclusion in record time. This has made it hard to actually find something that works in both directions.

The most common issue I face is men not being able to wrap their heads around the sheer number of children I have. They say “maybe if you just had one or two,” or “I can’t see myself as an instant father of four.” To this I say, I never even said you’d have that opportunity. In the few years that I have been single, exactly zero men have met my kids. This was actually the demise of a very promising relationship. He was ready, I was not. That’s not to say I never would have been okay with it. I suppose when the right man comes along, I will be. Until then, an outsider would just seem completely incongruous to their normal, everyday life.

Why the long face, you ask? Simply the fact that I feel at times my children are holding me back from love. Now before you pick up your pitchforks and scream “selfish mom,” hear me out. My entire married life consisted of, cooking, cleaning, and kids. That was my career and I did it extremely well. I was somewhat of a Stepford wife, wired to cater to the needs of my household while remaining in pristine condition at all times. I put my entire life on the back burner to secure the best environment for my then husband and children. Now, I am picking up where I left off; no career, scholastic achievements, or savings…just life experiences. My ex-husband has the career and believes that it comes before any personal need that I may have. Having to bend completely around his schedule has caused many canceled plans and has left men questioning my desire to spend time with them. This will obviously get easier once the child barrier is broken and we can spend time together around the kids, but until then, my schedule is pretty tight. The most interesting thing in most situations seems to be, men are much more needy than they claim to be, or will even admit to themselves. Yet they claim to need an abundance of space…very confusing indeed.

Dating in the modern world is just disappointing, on so many levels. Facebook seems to ruin everything, and the new man logic is “I like her, I should send her a picture of my penis!”  With actual telephone calls being obsolete, we have the ability to misinterpret nearly every message sent. Sarcasm is mistaken for kindness, and kindness mistaken for sexual interest. Being in constant contact with a new romantic interest, exchanging messages all day, every day can give someone a false sense of comfort. Making one to feel as if they’ve known the other person for much longer than they actual have. Courtship seems to be a thing of the past, and exchanging sexual or romantic texts or messages with other people can too easily tear apart a couple.

The biggest challenge that we all seem to face, is not penalizing a new relationship for the offenses of past relationships. Someday, we will find our “person,” the one who puts all of our past lovers to shame.  So keep your chin up, and give it time.  In the end…our time was the only thing we truly ever owned.

I’m not quite sure where I’m going with this, so here’s a funny video about the “joys” of texting!


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