Happily Ever...Single?

Girl gets married.
Girl gets divorced.
Girl rallies.
Girl finds new guy and lives happily ever after.

That's how it seems as though it's supposed to go, right? For many of us, our divorce story wraps up with the great new guy and the happy ending.

For some of us, though, we don't get the great new guy. Can we still have our happy ending?

I really thought I'd have been remarried by now. If you'd have told me, when I was a freshly-minted divorcee, that I'd still be single at this stage in the game it would have made me sad. It would have made me wonder what the hell was wrong with me, what I'd done to screw up this time.

It wouldn't have occurred to me that I'd be happy. From my tender years all the way up until I found myself saying "I do", it was ingrained in me that the end goal in this life was to be in love. To find Mr. Right and have his babies and be a good wife and mom and maybe do something for a living too.

And then everything changed. My Mr. Right went away and left me with the babies. It felt as if I had failed, spectacularly, at being the good wife. My first instinct, once the pain abated enough for me to think about the future, was to find the second Mr. Right, and do it as quickly as possible.

I think that was when I began to understand that perhaps my original end goal wasn't all it had been built up to be. After dating several men, and having a couple serious relationships, I decided that I wasn't going to settle just for the sake of meeting some imaginary stipulation. Oh, I came really close, with John McCain **. Super duper close. I knew he wasn't truly the one for me but I considered sucking it up because life with him would have been comfortable and safe.

And then I decided that I'd try to have a comfortable and safe life on my terms.

Society tends to paint women like me, those who stay solo for an extended period of time, as odd or defective. We are either fire-breathing career women or anti-social spinsters or wizened party girls out on permanent prowl. There's a person I work with who asks me, every few months, if I'm dating anyone. She means well, I know, but the sad/hopeful eyes that accompany this question kind of freak me out. Like, am I a project to be taken on? An incomplete person, in need of my missing half?

I always tell her the same thing: I'm fine! I talk to guys here and there, I see one or two once in a while, I exchange smiles and what might pass for flirtatious banter in some circles with fellas now and again. She sweetly reminds me, then, that "it's never too late" and that "the right guy is out there". And I mumble something like "yeah I suppose" and then spend the rest of the day wondering if I reek of desperation.

We've discussed this here before, the whole "not dating" thing. But I think it's good to revisit it now and again. Not only for those who are newbies to this club, but also for those of us who need a reminder now and again that we are the ones who get to decide what's right for us.

Not dating isn't giving up on love. It's not closing off our hearts or man-hating or anything like that. I do sometimes wish for a more regular, permanent relationship. And then I'll have a weekend with my kids, or time with my dear friends, and I realize that I do have regular, permanent relationships already. Just not with a dude.

I choose to see this time as my happily ever during. I'll worry about the after, later.


*I've decided to challenge myself and do the NaBloPoMo, National Blog Posting Month, and write a blog post every single day of November. I figure it's the kick in the ass I need to get writing again. I've made this one with about 30 seconds left of November 7th so you can see how well it's going so far. 

Stay tuned. And thank you for being here.

** I heard it through the grapevine that McCain found himself Mrs. Right and got hitched. I am beyond happy for him, and for her. Truly. 


  1. It is true, this concept of love is over-rated.

    I love reading your blog. I am at a very different life stage, and the infidelity is the common denominator that got me to your blog, so I am reading around.

  2. ..."my happily ever during"... I love that!

  3. Love, Love, love!!! I’m jumping up saying “me, too.” I’m happy with my family and friends... happy with my career, happy with my hobbies (when I can grab a few minutes). Why does my singledom seem to scare or upset so many others. You be you!

  4. I'm in the same boat. I love being single, doing what I feel like doing, spending my tiny salary the way I want to, decorating my house for myself, cooking what I want to eat. I like not having to stoke a man's ego, watch what he wants to watch on TV, cook food he likes, clean up after him, do his laundry, make his doctor's appointments and keep track of his prescriptions. I enjoy being alone (of course, since I'm an introvert) and I love quiet. To me it seems like having someone in my life is a huge sacrifice with the only return being someone to open jars and kill spiders.

  5. This is some old-fashioned talk. Did you know more people are single rather than married. The majority of my female friends are happily not coupled. They can't stand the thought of compromising on the little things throughout their day. You are awesome, keep on keeping on.

  6. Joy (above) said pretty much everything I wanted to say. My husband left me and my 2 kids 8 years ago for the local bike (everyone has had a ride). Wanted to come back 3 weeks later but sod that. I did see someone for a while but we never lived together and it was great like that. I'm VERY happily single, do my own thing, spend my money reasonably so am no longer up to my eyeballs in debt because of his need for new toys, and so on. It's great to lie on the bed at night surrounded by my bank statements and go "I'm still in the black, I'm still in the black". To be honest, I have had quite a few girlfriends say how much they envy me. Just saying. I'm at the stage of my life where if I am with someone it must be for the pleasure of being with them - I will never be someone's nurse and a purse ever again. Love your blog by the way. Anna


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