Just like the television show of my childhood, I have to agree that dating is a game. Any time you are in a position to ask someone ‘out’, or if someone asks you it involves a certain roll of the dice. There is risk, adventure, excitement, worry and maybe some fear.
A couple years ago my marriage unraveled beyond repair after 22 years and I was faced with a new status – divorced. And, single. My mind and heart were in a fog for quite some time, but I do recall the pondering and worrying about how one returns to the world of dating after such a long sabbatical. It had been at least 25 years since I had been out with anyone besides my husband, er.. ex-husband. Technology, opportunities, motivation had all evolved. I didn’t have a clue.
After the divorce, we had gone our separate ways and stumbled along towards healing our broken hearts and shattered dreams in our own different ways. He struggled with anger, rejection, and an affinity for alcohol to cope. I was numb, confused, and eventually smothering in depression. We lived alone on our separate corners of our small town, then found healing for ourselves through a Celebrate Recovery step study, a Christ-centered 12 step recovery program.
I dated a couple times, in an awkward effort to move on with my life. Totally unfamiliar territory. Online dating sites? They induced anxiety and panic more than anything else. I even accepted an invitation with an old flame from high school. That was a disaster that had to happen. Then I considered the idea that I may just stay alone for the rest of my earthly life. That would be the safer choice.
I spent some time praying and working on myself and God decided that alone wasn’t the right choice for me after all. I am shocked to say that today, two and a half years after my divorce and 4 years since my separation, I am finally dating someone regularly again.
He is similar to someone from my past, but has many qualities that are so unfamiliar. He is patient, considerate, understanding, thoughtful, calm and best of all, he is a grateful son of God and strong in his Christian faith. This guy is as much a stranger as any other I had met during my single years, but he has the advantage over others. He has the same last name as mine, he is parent to the same children I am parent to, he knows the same friends and family as me. He also knows me and loves me like no other guy.
He used to be my husband. And, according to God and my Catholic faith, he still is… only so much better.