Most divorce moms I know, myself included, have all asked themselves the same scary question at one point or another: Am I still attractive and what will happen the first time I let someone see me naked?
It’s the same insecurity we had as virginal teenagers– but now there are stretch marks and saggy boobs where there used to be tan lines and perky boobs. If you are back on the market after a long absence, you’re probably scared… and you should be. Post divorce dating sucks.
(For clarification, I define dating as getting to know and spending time with someone in hopes of creating a relationship. Sleeping around is not dating. Sleeping around is fun… sometimes. At the moment I’m not doing either, in part because I’m better at sleeping around than I am at dating and I want to flip that around. Being flipped around is fun too. But I digress…)
Dating sucks because we are out of practice and carrying a half ton of baggage from our last crappy relationship. It sucks because everyone we could potentially date either a) has their own half ton of baggage, or b) has never been married/partnered and therefore can’t relate to us at all.
Getting naked for the first time with someone new is definitely one of the scariest parts of dating– especially after having kids. I’m on the thin side of average, reasonably fit, still have that little mama belly pooch that never really goes away, and I was terrified. I was convinced my mama belly was the only thing he’d see. Fortunately I was wrong, and everything was fine. And by fine, I mean fun and then awkward, followed by exciting and then slightly disappointing. But we kept dating and it got better. He wooed me with flowers, massages and adventurous dates and we found our groove. The relationship was great and the sex was great.
Six months and many naked nights later the 43 year-old short, balding, in-shape but with a beer gut man I was falling in love with started doing and saying really crappy things. He went out for drinks with his friend/ex-girlfriend without consulting me; he told me that I didn’t have the kind of butt he liked; and during a romantic weekend away he scrolled through a hot coworkers facebook photos and suggested that I “might want to try her workout routine.” Ridiculous, right??!! And yet I stayed. Equally ridiculous. I stayed for another 6 months and a whole bunch more of his stupid crap. Never underestimate the power of insecurity– his or yours.
So what’s the take away? Perhaps it’s that short bald men aren’t as appreciative when they snag a hottie as popular culture would have us believe? (Truth be told I bought into this myth and took comfort in the assumption that it would ensure his kindness towards me– something that was severely lacking in my marriage.)
Or maybe it’s this: As beautiful as you are (fat, thin, tall, short– you are beautiful) some people will not see or appreciate your beauty. Anyone who is worth your time and attention will see ALL of your beauty. Your job is to love yourself well and learn to spot the dipshits. May the force be with you!