I Didn’t Want To Be THIS Divorced
I used to envy divorced people.
I had a protracted spinsterhood that lasted into my 40s and towards the end of my 30s I discovered that between the 1960s and 2005 being divorced had gone from being a liability to being preferred. A conversation with a man I’d met through online dating went like this:
“Have you ever been married?” he asked over the phone. We’d liked each other’s profiles and were chatting to see if we wanted to meet in person.
“No,” I said. I was 38.
“Have you ever been engaged?”
“Have you ever lived with anyone?”
“No.” I was picking up on a pattern. “Have you?” I asked back.
“Yeah, I had girlfriend and we lived together for a couple of years.”
“Oh. Okay.” Pause. “Well, I — “
“I just kind of prefer to stick to people who have been in a committed relationship,” he said.
“Well, I have been in committed relationships.”
“Yeah, but I mean…it’s not the same.”
What I discovered from this man, and others, was that at a certain point, my never-married status had gone from being a plus to being a big negative. I began envying my divorced single peers. For successful middle-aged dating, the divorcées were more appealing than I was.
Then in 2008 I got married! And in 2014 I got divorced. I’d achieved the dream.
No, being divorced hadn’t really been a goal per se. I’m being more glib than the sadness and grief I went through deserves. I had wanted to stay married and felt devastated when my then-husband told me he was done.
But my service as a wife was no longer needed, so after grieving and establishing my post-divorce household and lifestyle, I looked forward to a new life. A year and a half passed and then I started dating again.
It hasn’t gone well.
Actually, it didn’t start out badly. I first discovered that there were 23-year-olds who wanted to have sex with pudgy, 48-year-old me, so I did that for a while. I also discovered that…