A new relationship after divorce can come in many forms, sizes, and levels of commitment.
When you get divorced at 50, the shock of being single after decades of marriage can either devastate or liberate you.
I was distraught for about 2 weeks after my ex told me he was in love with someone else. Then I picked myself up and started dating. Mainly, I must admit, because of the dent to my ego.
By the end of the first month, I actually felt free. I realized I had been living in a passionless marriage for years and had essentially become roommates with my husband. Our conversations were limited to our daughter and to the day-to-day household must-dos.
So of course dating was fun and freeing.
I could feel interesting, sexy and passionate again. That was all I was looking for. I wasn’t interested in meeting Mr. Right, making a commitment, building a future, getting married.
So why have I dated the same person for almost a year now?
We both said we weren’t looking for a relationship. When he said that Mr. Right would be lucky to find me, I said I wasn’t looking for him.
We just hit it off. There were so many overlaps in our lives yet we never met each other before, I’m sure. But we had lived on the same street, known the same people, had parallel lives. We could, and did, talk for hours about so many things. But we’ve also spent many hours in quiet silent.
I have only just introduced him to my daughter, and to friends….as a friend, not my boyfriend (gentleman caller? Lover? Partner?)
He’s introduced me to his oldest child and to some acquaintances.
By all definitions, we are not in a relationship.
If you asked the experts, we cannot be a “couple” because we don’t talk about “we” or “the future”. We are not involved in each other’s families. We don’t make plans beyond the next week. We call each other “friends” (no, not FWB). We only see each other twice a week at most.
He told me quite early on that he was getting off dating apps, but didn’t ask me to do the same. I said I was still chatting with others because I enjoyed the conversations. He never mentioned it again.
Friends wonder where we are going. I did too sometimes. But the reality is while I do care a lot for him, I don’t know what I want to do with my life. I’m still trying to sort out my life. I need to figure out what I will do for an income since I gave up my high-flying corporate career when my daughter was born (too many details to go into here.) I need to find a new place to live. I need to support my daughter and not disrupt her life too much as she finishes high school.
So, how can I commit to another person?
Especially one who has, even more, to sort out in his life. I will support him, but I have no responsibility to him while we date exclusively.
I turn to him first when I’m dealing with issues that I need a more objective perspective on. I trust him with my secret vulnerabilities. We laugh at the same things and share some dreams. We have amazing sex.
We both do say that we can walk away if we ever meet anyone who suited us better, when we no longer have fun with each other, when we want more from a relationship than what we have.
I reflected on that for a long time and realized that there is a focus of a marriage in today’s world. We re-commit to each other every single time we are with each other, and respect and honor each other while we are not together. We are honest about who we are and are not; we don’t pretend to care while hurting the other person behind their backs.
It’s almost a year since we met, and I don’t know what we are and where we’re going. But I’m enjoying the life out of this and will do so until we don’t.