Submitted by: Lee Block
This seemed like such a good idea when the papers were finalized. The excitement of someone new and unfamiliar, getting spruced up for a night out on the town, but now that the reality of that first date is upon you, you feel nothing but anxiety and fear.
You joined the online dating site thinking it would be easy. Easy to get a date and even easier to go on a date. You thought it would be like riding a bike, something you never forget how to do. But, suddenly, you have forgotten. The rules have changed, the players have changed and someone forgot to send the new and improved manual. What are you supposed to do?
The first thing you do is go through your closet, maybe even buy something new. You shower, shave, dry your hair, put on your make up and put on that new outfit. A final sprits of perfume and you show up 10 minutes early.
You listened to your friends warn you to never allowing a man you don’t know to pick you up. But, where you come from, back in the day, the man always picked you up and where you come from online dating didn’t even exist. You hope you recognize him. A picture says a thousand words, but what if the picture on his profile was from 1952?
You meet, and he’s not half bad looking in the right kind of light. He seems a bit desperate and his palms are sweaty when you shake hands hello. You order a glass of wine, which he brings you from the bar. He is nice. He is nervous. You wish you were home in your own bed watching Weeds or The Good Wife. You smooth down your skirt and run a shaky hand through your hair while sipping your wine. You hope you don’t spill down the front of your dress.
You haven’t had to make this much small talk since your ex-husband’s Christmas party at his firm a few years ago. You don’t want to talk about your divorce or think about your ex, but you can’t help but compare your date to him.
You notice he doesn’t have as much hair and is a bit chubbier. His teeth are yellowing and his gums are receding. He chews with his mouth open. You want to tell him about your divorce, but read that discussing the ex is a no-no on a first date, so you keep sipping your wine to keep the words from gushing out all over your first date.
And, through it all, you smile and laugh at the right places. You look him in the eyes when you speak to him and ask plenty of questions. You find out way to much about his kids, his ex and his dog. Things you aren’t interested in. Do you want dessert? NO! The wine gave you a headache and the glare from his bald spot is not helping any. You need Advil and want to check your phone to see if your children have called.
At your car, you can’t wait to escape inside and drive off. Please don’t kiss me, you are thinking, as you clumsily try to make your getaway. Once in the car you realize, you had expectations. They were huge. This was the date that was supposed to sweep you into singlehood and make you realize the decision to get divorced was the right one. This was the inaugural first date that was supposed to change your life.
This date was supposed to make you feel sexy, not sad. He was supposed to make you feel like you were on top of the world, not like the world was on top of your shoulders. You were supposed to feel lighter than air, not like you were weighted down with depression. You were supposed to feel elated that you have the freedom to choose who you want to be with not upset over the choices you now have.
And, through all this, you still learned a very valuable lesson. You learned that the next time…
- You would not have high expectations, but expect nothing and be surprised if you got something.
- You would try again, because this is part of post divorce.
This strange animal called dating. And, you know that even though you didn’t want to do it again, you would go home and flip on the computer and stare at the hundreds of profiles wondering if one of the pictures would turn out to be Mr. Right, while choosing who you would contact for that second first date.
Lee Block is the vision behind the Post-Divorce Dating Club. An online site where divorced men and women can mix, mingle and maybe meet. A community of like-minded individuals not just for dating, but for learning and growing and maybe marriage. Post-Divorce Dating Club offline is currently located in Houston, Texas, with plans to exand nationwide. When Lee is not working on the launch of her Club, she can be found writing at The Post-Divorce Chronicles and Coaching at Post Divorce Group, LLC.