I’ve said it before, being separated in my late 30’s was hard for many reasons. I was finally done childbearing, breastfeeding and the sleepless nights that came with early parenting. My sex drive took notice of the increase in energy and of possibility. My spouse on the other hand did not take notice of my sex drive.
So when we mutually agreed that we were done with our marriage, I could think about one thing.
Yup. That thing.
Our marriage didn’t dissolve because I wanted to have sex and he didn’t. It wasn’t as simple as that, or as shallow. But nonetheless I thought I was starving. And what do starving people do? They hide behind their phones looking at food, talking about food, writing about food, but not eating said food.
Imagine a tightly coiled spring.
…and no place to unwind. Like me and at least 70% of other people on Twitter, that is.
The only place I had begun to interact with men was on Twitter. And as much as you could imagine, my imagination just made my spring wind a little tighter, if that was at all possible.
Speed ahead to five months after our separation and I take a girls trip to England and Scotland.
I write about my very first dating experience after separation with some delicacy. Listening ears, reading eyes, whichever you may have it are still within reach, and I hope he knows I am forever grateful for the way he treated this fucked up woman he met on an internet whim.
Flat out, I wasn’t ready. But I wanted a tipping point. You know, the moment of no return, where you can’t go back, no crying Uncle, but I wanted the finality of finally doing the deed with another man other than the one I gave my virginity to. Because after that, it’s all over right? (Well it was over, I think subconsciously I just wanted to prove that it was.) As a side note, I heard a counsellor once say many seperated people do this when they leave their marriage, it just took me five months to do it…and to do it badly.
I was thousands of miles from home, feeling free as a bird, empowered by this new found freedom so I took a risk and met a friend from the internet. We spent a lovely few days in London seeing the sights, and it was pretty darn romantic. Hand holding through Green Park, laying in the sun together in St James Park and kissing along Tower Bridge in the rain. My gut said to leave it there. (My gut is almost always right.)
I didn’t listen to my gut.
I ended up in Gatwick, off the main line of the tube system unable to return to my bestie until morning and outside of a very sick kid, this was one of the longest nights of my life. 4am I sat fully dressed on a hotel floor crying while an oblivious man lay on the bed next to me sawing logs. I even put my necklace back on and when I was tired from crying and feeling alone in a strange city with a strange man I crawled into the other side of the bed fully clothed and slept on the edge.
Morning came (literally that was all that came) and I couldn’t have felt more anxious about getting out of there. Like a rabid dog in a cage I was ready to bolt the second I was back in neutral territory. He took me to the train station and offered to ride me back… (yeah yeah) and I declined, hopefully graciously. I remember seeing his face as the train left the station, him standing on the platform looking at the train slowly moving towards London and I have never felt more like a giant embarrassing let down in all my life.
I walked the streets of London until I found a Starbucks (and wifi) and finally could connect with a friend in North America. My bestie, god love her, was anxiously waiting to hear from me in my time zone, but the shame associated with this night was a little much to handle face to face so I opted for text where I could hide.
That’s what fuck ups do, you screw something up whether intentionally or not and the inclination towards shame and hiding runs hot through your blood.
Stepping out to explore dating (and yes, sex) mid life, with all my hang ups and ongoing heartwork made me face my truths, my paradigm, and man oh man, was my paradigm shifting. I never did promiscuity as a young adult, I would never have condoned meeting a stranger from the internet, and sex outside of marriage… well let’s just say I had a lot of refurbishing to do in this brain of mine.
For all the fun I have had discovering a whole new world, I have found equally as much fodder for evaluating the person I want to be, the things I want to believe and the ways I want to see.
If anything, dating was just another catalyst, to be brave enough to take a look inside, at the risks I was willing to take to live wholeheartedly. And the ones you fuck up…those aren’t the only ones that teach you about yourself thankfully, but you take the good with the bad, and transform. Some may even say, you rewrite yourself. And that’s exactly what I did.
*For other facetious (and sometimes illuminating) pokes at dating midlife check out my A Date in the Life on Wattpad…just be careful if you have anything in your mouth at the time…lest you ruin your electronics.*. http://my.w.tt/UiNb/8Bvqqd7p8D