Monday, October 13, 2014

Dating After the Dirty D Word

Divorce.  What did you think I meant?  I swear, this is why we can't go to nice places.

On a serious note, my marriage became estranged three years ago, and as of Valentine's Day 2015 I will have been divorced for 3 years.  In the past few years, I've been on  more dates than I care to count.  Seriously.  It's been a lot.  Some good, some bad, some wonderful, but mostly just awkward.

I'm not sure how the math works, but also in the last three years I've been in two serious relationships. One lasting a year and a half and the other 10 miserable months.  Ok, not all miserable, but I do shudder at the memory of how that one ended.  Shaking off the memory... and... we're good.

So, lets take a trip down memory lane.  Starting with the decision to divorce.  That was a relatively easy decision, just as easy as the decision we made to get married in the first place.  Of course, it took more time planning the divorce because now we had two kids to consider.  I needed some time to clear my mind, and a friend of mine in Colorado wanted some company.  Friend may be too strong of a word.  He was my former Drill Sergeant and he was also going through a divorce.  I wanted to see the Garden of the Gods.  So, a couple weeks before Christmas, I took a long weekend to visit him.  It was a fun short trip.  Great hiking and bouldering went down. Then I went home and celebrated Christmas with my family.  That was pretty much the end of that.

New Years came, I was alone.  More weeks passed and I started seeing a former classmate. We bonded over mutual fondness of the Blazers and Sushi. I wanted more, he wanted less, that was pretty much the end of that.

Next, I found a personal trainer who worked in management at an up and coming gym that boasted 24 hour accessibility, MMA, Crossfit, and my least favorite, zumba.  He got me a job there as the front desk girl for the evening shift.  It was fun, I flirted and sold memberships.  Meanwhile I was taking classes online and serving in the Army Reserves.  Soon I moved in with the personal trainer into an apartment where our roommates were a Marine Reservist and a Blazers Dancer. She got me a job working weekends (because she didn't want to work them) at the same MMA gym she worked at (you've probably heard of it, a certain gangster from the mean streets of West Linn trained there.) We were a funky bunch.  The personal trainer proposed, and I stupidly said yes. Months passed and I was suddenly in a position where I needed a bigger place because the boys' dad could no longer have them living with him.  So the roommates disbanded and I got a house on the river in Oregon City.  Within a couple months, the engagement was off.

Within weeks, I was dating again. I dated a wonderful guy who I also knew from high school.  On our first date, we discussed our children's bathroom mishaps.  That's how I knew it was not merely a fling, it was a future relationship.  I left for a month for training and we talked every day, well... texted, it was 2013 after all. When the school year ended, I decided to pack up my house on the river and start saving to buy my own house (or farm) while I rented from my parents.  This allowed me to spend a lot more time with Mr. Wonderful.  If it wasn't a drill weekend, we were together every weekend.  I had a great job, but I had to commute during the week which took my work week from 40 hours to 50 hours a week, for a mom and student, it was pretty hard to manage.  So I left the Army Reserves in hopes of working full time for the National Guard.

That worked out wonderfully. Within one month of my transfer I had a one year active duty order, and just a week after that I got picked up on a 3 year active duty order.  Now I could put my whole BAH aside each month into savings for a house.  I found a house with Mr. Wonderful in between my frequent out of state trips for training.  By April of 2014 we moved in. I didn't get to live in it for the first month because I was in California training.  When I finally did get to come home, it was annual training season.  Mr. Wonderful and I grew apart, quickly.  We broke up, and he moved out in July.  Leaving me once again back in the shallow dating pool, only instead of living in the Portland area, where the waters are less polluted by my own gene pool, I was back in my hometown with considerably less options.

So who have I dated since becoming single in July? Who haven't I dated is a better question.  Just kidding.  But I have been on a lot of first dates and it's getting exhausting.  They say you'll find the right person when you stop looking.  I find that concept to be confusing.  If you don't date then how can you take a partner?

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