It’s good to be single. No, honestly being single isn’t a bad thing.
“Set yourself on fire and seek those who fan your flame”, one of my favorite Rumi quotes. It puts my marriage, divorce, and post-divorce relationships into perspective and reminds me to shut the door on people that do not deserve my light. Once I filed for divorce I set out to grab this feeling, unfortunately, there were more men throwing water on my flame than logs.
This week I celebrated six years of being divorced and six years of being completely single. In the past, I would have hidden that I remained single for six years, but now I embrace it and use it as fuel for my business.
My business, Divorce Diaries, a one-woman comedy show that follows my post-divorce journey, specifically my dating mishaps, helps me process the rollercoaster ride that is dating after divorce. When I first got divorced I was eager, ready, and excited to fall in love. I hadn’t been intimate with anyone in two years and I was ready to be engulfed in someone’s adoration and chase. I was optimistic, to say the least. I started seeing a man I used to work with and got caught up in the excitement. I hadn’t dated in over ten years. I started to think he was the one. I ignored his refusal to take me on a date and only speak to me when it was convenient for him. After weeks of a sexually charged buildup, we had zero chemistry in the bedroom. I remember leaving his apartment stunned and thinking, “this is not going to be as easy as I thought”. Over the next six years, I would continue to date a rotating cast of men who all had the same character traits: unavailable and allergic to my commitment pheromones.
I have dated cops, firefighters, teachers, public service workers, coaches, and bartenders, they all were eager to engage and eager to run when they heard me say, “what do you consider us?” They never admitted to anyone they were with me and would come up with some odd label, “we’re just chilling, relax”, a cop I used to date would say. We were never together.
There was a recurring theme to my dating life; friends with benefits, something I never wanted but always seemed to land in. I used to hide that I wanted a relationship with these men in fear that I would scare them away. After a year and a half affair with a man who was getting separated, I stopped. I realized me waiting around for them to change their mind was never going to happen and I needed to pivot drastically or my life will stay stuck. The constant relationship rejection made me question if I was desperate for love. After a year of reflection, quarantining from men, I came to the conclusion I am not desperate for love and never have been. I’m hungry for emotional intimacy that rocks my world. Apparently, this is a lot to ask for of many of the men I have been attracted to in the last six years. One thing I haven’t lost though; my eternal optimism. Why? My parents were married for forty-five years and were always the first to dance at weddings, parties, and family gatherings. They gave me the faith that someday that person will come along. As corny and cliché as it is, even if I am eighty-five and finally meet him. (God, please sooner than that).
I took the rejection from dating and the loss from divorce and used comedy to help me heal, learn, and grow. I turned my pain and bumpy dating road into one of the favorite parts of my show and upcoming TV series, Divorce Diaries, the endless struggle of finding love. I am still challenged by releasing things that are not in my control, being patient, and accepting the timing of certain things. But the beauty of the struggle is that you find a way to process your journey that can help others. Maybe it’s writing a blog, a podcast, or a comedy show. Whatever it may be do not blame yourself, it’s not you, it really is them. Keep people around you that allow your flame to blaze and the rest will fall into place. The world is already cold enough for you to be in a cold relationship with someone who doesn’t embrace you. Shout out what you want from the rooftop, never hide it, or make an excuse for wanting love or a relationship like I did, and most importantly keep people around that help your flame blaze.