The One They Claim They Want

The one they claim they want but cannot handle.

“Looking for a girl who’s tired of the games.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen that exact phrase listed on a dating website bio.  A guy claims he wants something real with someone real.  But then when he gets it, he ghosts it.

I’m one of those girls that goes all-in on everything.  Work, motherhood, friendships, dating- if I’m invested in something, I’m going to really invest in it.  That’s why it hurts so much when I don’t receive the same in return.

I’ve been divorced for a year, and in that time, I’ve had 2 legitimate relationships and a whole bunch of texting relationships.  The texting relationships, I’m learning, seem to be the new thing- whether there’s a pandemic going on or not.

When I made my first online dating profile, I was flattered by how many likes and messages I received.  I thought to myself, “Wow, I really might find my Prince Charming after all.”  I’m laughing now as I write that.  Anyone who has experienced online dating knows you have to weed out a lot of frogs before you find that prince.

The fact is, I am that girl that’s tired of the games.  I can play with the best of them, but I’m definitely tired of them.  So, when a guy tells me the same thing, I expect them to mean it.  If they say they want to see me, then I expect them to prove it.

I’m a busy mom.  I have my son most of the time and I work full-time as a writer.  I’ve also been my son’s teacher for the past 3 months because of the pandemic.  I’m a very social person so I love to see my family and friends often.  But, even as busy as I am, I still make time for the person I’m dating.

The fact is, if you really want to see someone or talk to someone, you’ll make time.  It takes 2 seconds to send a “hello” text or a kiss emoji.  If I’m not worth 2 seconds of your time, but you can be on social media scrolling for hours, then I’m not the one for you.

What I’m learning in this post-divorce dating world is that it’s very different from pre-marriage dating.  Instead of feeling the need to settle down and get married and start a family, I want to find someone that adds value to my life and is a true partner.

I’m learning that I’m strong enough to live on my own.  I can pay my own bills.  I can take care of my child on my own.  I don’t need a man.  I’m also learning that a lot of men can’t handle that.  They claim they want the smart, independent woman who’s not afraid of commitment, but then they get her and they run.

I’m also learning that I’m not going to settle for a relationship where my partner isn’t as equally invested as I am.  That’s the beauty of divorce.  You can finally go after what you want instead of what you need.  That freedom is going to make you realize that a lot of people aren’t as genuine as they seem.  They may believe that what they’re saying they want is the truth, but when it comes down to it, they can’t handle it.

You’re always going to be too much of something for some people.  It’s impossible to please everyone.  I know the disappointment can be disheartening when you’re a single mom.  Your time is precious, and the last thing you want to do is waste it on yet another failed relationship.

It’s ok to take some time off.  It’s ok to keep putting yourself out there.  It’s ok to never want to be in a relationship again.  This is your life.  Don’t let some guys that can’t handle a real woman dull your shine.

Will I continue with online dating?  Probably, since there’s not a lot of ways to meet someone when you’re a busy single mom.  I still believe there’s a guy out there somewhere who says he can handle me, and actually can.  Until then, I’ll be perfecting my duck lips for my dating profile picture.

-Lindsay, The Divorced Mama Bear

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