Dating after a toxic relationship

If you have been keeping up with my blog posts, or know me, then you know that I am divorced. My relationship with my husband was not a healthy one. He was very toxic, and it effected me in ways I wouldn’t know until I started dating again. I waited until I was separated for a year to really start dating again. I had flings here and there but nothing even worth mentioning. I don’t think it matters how long you decide to wait, it should be whenever you think you are ready. But I was ready at around the year mark.

Some people might be wondering how I knew I was ready.

1. I had done some work on myself. I knew what needed fixing and I started working on changing those things.

2. I no longer were looking at my kids as baggage. I’ve had a few single mom friends who have started dating again. Something I’ve talked about with almost all of them is, how is another man going to love me with (insert # of kids)? Your kids are not baggage. They are amazing and worthy of loving. Any guy you date will see that as well. If they don’t they aren’t the guy for you.

3. I wasn’t just wanting someone to comfort me at night. I wanted someone with me all the time. At breakfast. At my children’s meltdowns. Shopping for groceries. Diaper changes. Movie nights. Dinner. Trips to the park. Trips to the mall. Holiday activities. Depression. Sadness, and my happy times too.

Dating apps are a nightmare! You either get the guy who thinks he’s the shit and sends you a picture of his junk right off the bat, you can also get the guy who thinks he is shit, has been working at McDonald’s his whole life and has no motivation to do anything with his life. Or my favorite, the guy who seems perfect and is everything you wanted but ghosts you after meeting or texting for a while. I can tell you that I’ve talked to all three guys and none of those options are good ones.

It’s easy to get discouraged after running into these three guys. Most of my friends have. Maybe I should just stop trying there is no one out there for me. I remember thinking that often. Dating just didn’t seem worth the hassle anymore.

After a couple months on dating sites I was ready to give up. An advertisement for “hinge” appeared in my Facebook news feed. I have seen it several times before, but had ignored it. This time I thought why the heck not? What did I really have to lose at this point? Absolutely nothing. I downloaded it and started talking to this guy Alan. We hit it off right away. We scheduled our first date after a week of texting. I hadn’t been on a first date since my ex husband so it was super scary. My mom and friends kept trying to remind me that even if this didn’t work out at least I got away from the kids for a bit. Which was true. Who cares how the date goes if it means a break? The date went great though. He texted me immediately after to let me know what a great time we had and we even scheduled a second date for the following week.

Six months later here we are. I’m still dating Alan. He loves my kids just as much as he loves me. He changes diapers, he gets up with the kids at night, he buys them anything they need. He scratches the parts I can’t itch. He rubs my feet tells me he loves me. He cooks me dinner and paints pumpkins with us even if he does think it’s silly. He communicates with me. If I look in another guys direction he doesn’t get mad at me. If I leave the house he isn’t blowing up my phone asking where I am. I’m allowed to spend my money how I please. I can talk to my mom without getting attitude. I can hang out with my friends. I can have friends!

A lot of this stuff is things that are standard. I want you to know that I know this, and I want you to know this in case you don’t. Alan isn’t doing anything special. He’s not the perfect guy. He just does what he is supposed to be doing. He does what all of you reading this deserve. A man should be doing all of the stuff I mentioned. If he isn’t then he isn’t someone you should be wasting your time on.

I think it’s hard to not jump into the first relationship that presents itself. But dont unless it’s the right one for you. Dont date someone just because you don’t think someone else is out there willing to put up with you. Don’t date someone just because he’s the first guy who went on a third date with you. Don’t settle. That is how you got back here in the first place. You are worthy. You deserve the world. If you are not ready for dating that is fine too. Don’t rush yourself you will get there. But if you are, hold out for someone good.

The Apartment

Writing my post last night about new beginnings has me thinking a lot about where I was to where I am now. It feels like everything and nothing happened between now and then. Posted above are some pictures from the first apartment I’ve ever lived in alone.

There are only five pictures, and two of those pictures are from the same room. It is only a studio, but it might as well have been a castle to me. I had never lived alone before. This was scary. I had enough room for all of our stuff though. The apartment made my mother and I get creative with spaces.

I sat my work computer up in a corner. It sat on two cardboard boxes. In front of it I sat my moms llama lawn chair that she graciously let me borrow. Mind you, I was also pregnant so this chair hurt my back, (although it probably would’ve regardless). Often times I would be on call with a customer and you would hear my son running and screeching in the background. If you looked at him you would see him with a broom in one hand and his diaper in the other.

Thankfully, his diaper was still on in this one.

Shortly after moving into this apartment I decided I needed to find a job that was based in the state I was living in. I got a job a few weeks later working for another company whom I’ve almost been with for a year now on November 9th. This job started out in the office, so my son had to go to a babysitters house. Eventually though my pregnancy was too much on me and I was able to work from home. Ive now been working from home for nine months. My son is here with me and so is my daughter. How I do it…I don’t know! I’m losing my mind send help!! Anyways, long story short I enjoy the job I’m at now. Ive met some good people and it allows me to stay home with my beautiful children while still making money.

If you saw the apartment now, you wouldn’t believe it was the same one in the pictures above. Just like myself, the apartment too did some changing. It now has pictures of my kids and I on the walls. I have wall stickers. I have a memory bunny made out of my daughters hospital blanket on a shelf. My bed has a duvet on it now that I bought. Most of the stuff I entered in this apartment with my parents bought for me. Now, there are just as many things that I’ve bought in here that my parents have bought, if not more.

The bunny mentioned above. On its foot it has her DOB and weight/inches

It looks like a home. My son has done a lot of growing up here. He started occupational and speech therapy in this home. He’s talked sentences to me in this home. He has rubbed my back while I had my head in the toilet (morning sickness). He has cuddled up in bed with me watching Disney movies way past our bed time. He has went up a diaper size, started potty training, went up a clothing size, and has become a big brother in this home.

Staying up too late, watching too many movies
This was our first night home. He surprised me by giving her a kiss!

I have done some changing in this home too, though. I became a mother again. I learned that if you spend your rent money on Amazon the rent money just doesn’t magically reappear again. I have learned how to be alone, and to be okay with that. I have enjoyed the time with just my son and I. The few months where it was just us were priceless. Then when his sister came I have enjoyed the times where it has just been us three. I have put myself in therapy. I made doctor appointments I have been putting off. I have prayed. I have cried, and screamed. I went into labor in this home! I have learned how to set boundaries and communicate (still a work in progress). I have formed a relationship with the man who is everything I’ve ever wanted and plus some. This apartment was born into a home, and I was born into me.

Had to share a picture of her too!