The Dreaded “D” Word

The Dreaded “D” Word

Yes, it’s the dreaded “D” word and depending on your situation and/or stage in life it can mean two very different things…both of which strikes fear into the very core of our being.

Divorce

Dating

Both can be a heartache, headache and/or something we dread more than anything else. But sometimes you find yourself going through the first “D” word either by choice or unwillingly, and then thanks to your friends and co-workers or even perhaps by accident of circumstances, are forced into the second.

The first can be a blessing all on its own…at least until the attorney’s get involved. That’s when the claws come out and your nice, polite, agreed upon division of property and assets get tossed out the kitchen window with the dirty dish water. It quickly becomes a game of he said, she said, he said, he said. The emails start flying back and forth, everyone’s ticked all to hell because one little attorney spoke out of term and blew your peaceful world apart with idle threats that are so ridiculous your own attorney laughed when he got them. BUT the damage has been done and now you’re really pissed so you decide to ‘get even’ and ‘go for it all’.

Unfortunately, no one wins that battle except for the attorney’s as you and your – soon to be – ex spend the next year or so of your life paying off his fees.

Sounds fun, right?

And then you’re single again…and at my age, a lot of my friends are once again. We’ve all seemed to come full circle…went to school, married young, had children…the kids are all grown now or mostly so and then the divorce happens. We don’t know why or how, but one day you wake up and you don’t even recognize the person sleeping beside you anymore and you realize that you haven’t really spoken to them in years. You’ve just been going through the day to day motions and before you know it, you’re strangers with the one person who is supposed to love you above all else and you them.

It’s sad but true and I’ve seen it more often than not. Some marriages survive the test of time, others should have never happened in the first place.

So what to do now?

In your 20s dating was fun, exciting, and sometimes romantic. In your 40s…it’s a whole different ballgame! And it seems everyone in your life knows the perfect person for you and are all too eager to set you up on that horrible, wretched, and mind-numbing first date. And it feels more like a job interview than a date…admit it, you know I’m right! We’ve all sat at that little café or Starbucks (because making a commitment to share a meal is too much since you’re fairly certain your date is related to Satan or worse…reminds you of your ex), giving our life history in thirty seconds or less and then listen to theirs and decide within 20 seconds of seeing them (if it even takes that long) whether or not you will EVER share a meal with this person.

Yes, I’m divorced. Yes, I have children, three actually. Yes, I like movies. No, I don’t like rap music…ok, time to move on.

It’s the same ol’ same ol’ and as I get further into this messy stage of life the more I realize how critical it is to have a sense of humor. As women in our 20s we all mainly go through the same ritual when preparing for a first date…shower, shave, sexy panties (not that they will see them, but we know they’re there and they make us feel sexier. Plus, let’s face it in our 20s, 99% of our panties fell into this category), make-up perfectly applied, hair looking glamorous. We try on 20 different outfits and they are discarded about our room carelessly as we move on to the next one determined to find THE perfect and magical outfit that we believe hides all our flaws and accents those assets we’re fairly confident about (like such an outfit exists!).

Now add 20 years to that and the routine changes just a smidgen. Sure we still shower, apply make-up and fix our hair…sexy undergarments are not even a thought because we know there’s no chance of him seeing them unless he happens to look like Johnny Depp or Gerard Butler…because there are just SO MANY men out there that do!! Hell, we may even throw on our best fitted jeans but I’m willing to put money on it that we didn’t bother to shave our legs! And the only required undergarment is the glorious push-up bra that you paid $65 for at Victoria Secret because it is the only bra you have that can seemingly defy gravity.

It’s funny, it’s sad…but it’s also so true!

Dating in your 40s is nothing like the escapades I recall from my 20s…thank God! And as I’ve attempted to navigate my way through this new era in my life, I’ve learned a great deal:

1. Adult children are more of a pain in the ass then younger children (your own and his).
2. There are still gentlemen out there you just have to look really hard for them.
3. Motorcycle rides through the desert are fun…especially at sunset.
4. A kiss can still cause butterflies in my stomach (which honestly shocked the hell out of me cause I was positive those guys died over a decade ago)
5. Sharing a cup of coffee and watching the sunrise is very romantic
6. Holding hands says I really like you
7. Having him ask you to walk on the inside of the sidewalk because he wants to make sure your safe means everything
8. Making out is fun!
9. Making out in the car in front of the house like a teenager is a lot of fun!!
10. The smallest gesture, like getting a text in the morning that says ‘You are beautiful’, can make you smile all day long.

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So, while it isn’t perfect and at times does test your patience…the dreaded “D” word can be a blessing in disguise. And while neither was something I thought I would ever have to deal with again, as I look back over the last several years of my life and how unhappy I’ve been, for me, the “D” word has given me a second chance at happiness.