I’m a 44-year-old single mother of two, divorced for three years. I have not had any relationships, no dates, not even a male friend. I miss having someone to rely on and have fun with. I try to dress attractively and keep myself up, but nothing works to attract a man. Am I ever going to find that special person?
It’s a mystery, isn’t it? Many of us love reading mysteries, but prefer to script out our lives in the hope that the unknown can be controlled according to our specifications. Or we search our daily interactions to sort out clues that align our experiences with our expectations. You might be scanning the responses men offer during conversations or while passing you on the street, and then trying to interpret their interest. But have you considered why you want to be in an intimate, committed relationship? Yes, Judeo-Christian religions tell us that human beings should be paired. Yes, our society was built on this foundation and fosters some economic advantages for couples. But none of that guarantees reliability or fun, which is what you say you desire.
I want you to open your mind and heart to the perfection of your life as it is. Allow your spiritual practice to be this: gratitude in every moment for what is good. You are 44. Celebrate living into midlife. You are divorced. Be joyful that, after the death of your marriage, you still rise each day and thrive. You have two children. Embody the role of mother, and be glad. You are single and have not dated recently. Humble yourself in the face of loneliness or worry or whatever emotion you marry to the belief that being single means something is wrong. Discover reality instead. Being single is not a disease or dysfunction. You are not lacking something essential to a well-lived life. Being single is an adventure, an opportunity, a path of self-discovery. In the process of embracing this solo flight, you will begin to rely on and trust yourself. That’s when the real fun begins.
I found out that my husband has been hitting on a friend of one of my close friends. When I confronted the woman my husband flirted with, she denied it. But I recently found out she actually encouraged my husband’s attention by texting him several times. I ended the friendship with my good friend and her friend (the woman who was flirting with my husband). Do you think I’m right for kicking them out of my life? How can I trust any friendship after this kind of betrayal?
You kept the flirtatious husband but kicked a good pal to the curb because her friend flirted with your man? Ay yi yi! Focusing only on the two women might be a distraction. I mean, yes, there are people on this planet who will flirt back with a flirt who is in a committed relationship. And, no, those flirtations are not always the prelude to a sexual or emotional affair. Yes, flirtation can be annoying to the partner who is not included in the exchange of sexual energy (that’s what a flirtation is, after all). No, you can’t control your husband’s flirtations by ending every relationship you have with a woman who enjoys verbal foreplay. Yes, you can talk to a therapist and find out whether your husband’s behavior is a red flag. Yes, that therapist can help your husband find out whether his flirtatiousness is an unconscious attempt to shore up some insecurity, or to end his marriage. But have you spoken to your husband? Now is the ideal time for a chat about the state of your union and his need for attention.