Updated: Apr 23, 2019
Finding love again after divorce? You betcha!
Fun Fact: Did you know that despite what Phoebe said on Friends, lobsters do not mate for life. The male lobster actually has a harem of female lobsters that he takes turns screwing for about 2 weeks each, spreading his seed like a common jigalo. Beavers however do mate for life and when they have babies the male and female both take part in caring for the little ones. How progressive!
Love take 2
True Story- My divorce was long and drawn out over the course of almost 2 years. We went back and forth, therapy, living separately, back together again, from 2012-2014 when our divorce was finally official. It was painful and ugly at times, but on the last day when we signed the papers, my lawyer looked at us both and said "this has been the most amicable divorce I have ever seen, it's actually kinda weird". When we left his office we went for dinner & drinks at a local pub talked about what went wrong, shed a few tears, and then went home to our new separate lives. During the time we were separated leading up to the divorce I refused to date. I just wanted to be alone with my therapist and figure out what in the hell went wrong and how I could keep it from ruining any future relationships. But I didn't really believe there would be any future realtionships. I was bad at love. I loved the idea of love, but I never seemed to be lucky in it. And I assumed that at 36 years old, divorced and living with my parents, I was not the catch that men would be fighting over, whatever few good men were still out there. So I was completely caught off guard when the boy next door from my youth, friend requested me on Facebook and sent a cheesy yet effective private message "sometimes a simple hello can open a door, great smile". Gag me with a spoon, right?! I opened it on a Tuesday night, around 11pm but didn't respond until the next morning. Partly because I was playing hard to get and wanted to seem aloof, busy and not that kind of girl, but mostly because I was terrified. What did he want? Why was he messaging ME?
"Sometimes a simple hello can open door. Great smile"
I was no more a catch in that moment than the night I first signed those divorce papers but I had at least moved out of my parents house and was living in a cute little bungalow on the Delaware River next door to my best friend and her husband. At least I had that going for me. I mean, if I'm being honest, I did make 6 figures a year at my advertising job, started my own side business and looked like I was still in my 20s, so I wasn't a trainwreck from the outside. I just felt like one on the inside. Moving on.
To understand the fear of responding to his message, let me give you a little back story about my new Facebook friend. His name was Rocky Niedrowski, a total heartthrob from my elementary and high school days. Rocky grew up 6 houses from me and we rode the bus together. I had a perm and fucked up teeth and he was too cool for school, so we never interacted. Besides my longing stares from the back of the bus, or my secret pining from afar, Rocky and I were basically strangers. He was a great athlete, Mr Jock, and all I really knew about him after high school was he got a free ride to UCONN to play soccer. I had heard a rumor that he was divorced and still living in our hometown, but I wasn’t sure it was true. I mean who would leave this fine specimen of the male species and could I really be that lucky? Could he really be single? So here was this handsome, hot, single babe who was suddenly sending me corny pick up lines through Facebook. Can you now understand my dilemma? Rocky was the dream guy, and I hadn't graduated to that level yet. I was still nursing wounds from years of shit guys, man-boys as my cousin liked to call them. And this was no manboy. This was as straight up, legit, 100% man.
When I got to work the next morning I filled my girlfriend Melissa in on my new found dilemma and together we crafted a simple response. "Hello and Thank you". Damn was I good!! In all honesty that took us about 45 minutes to come up with. I told you, I was bad at this stuff. He responded immediately with some banter about being surprised we had never crossed paths before, and asked If I was still in the area. This went back and forth through the next day or so, till he asked me for my number so that we could talk instead of type. This guy was a unicorn!!! What man in this day and age preferred to talk instead of type? He wanted to take me for coffee. What the fuck was wrong with this guy? Next! I mean I spent my entire 20s dealing with guys who just wanted one thing and it wasn't coffee. I attracted the guys who would go days without calling or when they did they'd give me the old, "it's not you its me," or "Im just not ready for a relationship" bullshit. And for the brief amount of time I had been single in my 30s, it didn't seem like much changed. Those guys were still around, now just older and meaner.
Tried as I did I couldn't help but wonder if Rocky was the real deal. He was funny and quick to respond. Always reaching out first, and either ignoring or completely oblivious to the game I was trying to play. One Saturday morning after we had been talking for a few days, he asked if he could take me for that coffee. It was snowing out and I had come home to stay with my parents for the weekend, unbeknownst to him. He said he was unfamiliar with the area that I lived, but he had the afternoon free and if I told him a spot he would meet me. Pause here to realize, it was snowing, pretty hard. And this guy was willing to drive over an hour in it to take me for coffee. That was a big fucking deal.
A lesson that took me way too long to learn is this: when a guy is into you, like really into you, he will drive an hour to see you, no amount of snow or rain can stop him. He'll call when he says he's gonna call and he'll text you just because he's thinking about you. In his love smitten brain there is no time for games. He wants you and he wants to prove to you that he is worth your time and attention. It's that simple. Luckily I had learned a thing or two about self respect from my therapy sessions, setting boundaries and taking things slow. So when this unicorn of a man who had only good intentions for me showed up, I was able to turn that good fortune into a real rock solid relationship, that is healthy, fun and rewarding. We took our time in the beginning but once we knew it was real, we were engaged and married within 10 months. The girl who thought her chance at love was gone, the girl who never felt worthy of a good man, was now suddenly remarried and found her forever home. Like a little pound puppy. That beaver makes this beaver sing, and together we are raising our babies and working on our forever. Together.