Without a plan, our destination is uncertain. If we simply swim away from what is hard, we will soon find ourselves in the middle of a lake, with the sun setting and temperatures falling. We have to find our North Star. We must align ourselves with a higher purpose.
What I Seek
I have been a single dad for 11 years. The devastation I anticipated after my then-wife asked for a divorce, has displayed all of my weakness and desperation in front of the world. I have fallen. I have fallen in love. And I have fallen again. And again. But here’s the thing. I know what I seek. I have my North Star.
I am looking for a lifetime partner. A companion and champion. A vital woman who is stoking her own fires, tending to her own wounds, and growing at an admirable pace. We are going to grow together. We are committed to our own journeys and keeping the best interest of our partners in mind. We attend to them and our loving relationship, but we are also in pursuit of some bolder task. I want a partner who has already set sail, is furiously drawing maps and destinations even as the storms of modern life rage around her. I want a woman warrior. I want a passion that rivals mine, that challenges my love with honesty and naked ambition.
It is not the most beautiful woman in the room I am seeking. It is not the richest, most educated, or well-read. It is the woman who stands alone in a crowded room, radiating the signal of her own joy. It’s the joy factor that draws me in. You can feel these people when they enter a party. As if the crowd takes a slight inhale and appreciates her radiance. Okay, it might just be me who takes the inward breath, but the quality of her light is different than all the others around her. She is in her element. She signals her integrity as well as her independence.
The woman I find does not need me. She wants me. She adores me. She accepts my adoration fully, and we move along together building bridges over chasms of loss, childhood sorrows, and missed opportunities. We reconnect each time we touch hands, and we touch hands a lot.
Since my divorce I have sought to replace, no, to build a better relationship. My marriage was in disarray when we splintered. I knew then, as I know now, my life is more complete when I am wrapping and wrapped around a lover. Not a date. Not a temporary partner. A lifetime partner. And I suppose that’s a tall order. The universe has seen fit to provide me with a lot of learning experiences. So far, however, the success has been limited to runs of six months to two years. And the failures, while well documented here, have all been illuminating.
If we keep getting better at saying what we want, will we also get closer to having those needs met? Is that important? What if our needs, what if my need for a companion is more of a weakness than a strength? Oh, fk that. My needs are pretty clear.
- be honest
- be passionate about your life’s work
- become inflamed when paired with another spark
- burn brightly beside me
- and remind me I’m at the top of your to-do list
And in my aspirational quest for a partner, I will not lose hope, energy, or momentum with each setback. In fact, with each departure from something that was not working, I am affirming my commitment to continue to seek a higher love. Even as I note the sadness that has overcome me in the last few weeks, I am lighter and more aspirational about “next.”
I Am In No Hurry to Reignite
At the moment, my rest and recovery are more important to me. She’s still in me. This magical woman. She’s still out there doing her own thing, living her own dream. Perhaps she is not seeking me as hard as I am seeking her. Hmm. Does that mean if I become still and contemplative that I will miss her completely? No. I don’t think that’s how the universe works.
As I continue to pray, explore, and ask for what I need, I get clearer about the destination and more alive in the journey. This is the journey of my lifetime. The journey of The Lover seeking his mate. A fantastic adventure filled with sirens, shutdowns, and reboots.
Each partner has brought me so much data to analyze. Each failing has again taught me that the relationship to myself, THIS LOVER INSIDE, is a critical component of finding the lover I want. Perhaps I have not been loving enough to myself. Transgressions I accepted and glossed over eventually became the issue that broke us apart. What if I started with a boundary of loving myself? And what if I protected myself with the same passion and energy as I would protect either of my two children?
What if I knew what I wanted and was unafraid to ask? How would that change my star map of seeking? Let’s begin with an affirmation.
I am loving myself as I am, today.
My happiness is here and now.
My future partner is also happy.
I will live fully and greet her with vigor.
We will do things together.
We will continue to align, realign, and reset as necessary.
We will grow old together in our loving relationship.
We both appreciate that our lover is number one on our list.
There is no other list.
As a certified life coach, I’ve been helping men and women find lives after divorce. If you’d like to chat for 30-minutes about your dating/relationship challenges, I always give the first 30-session away for free. LEARN ABOUT COACHING WITH JOHN. There are no obligations to continue. But I get excited every time I talk to someone new. I can offer new perspectives and experiences from my post-divorce journey. Most of all, I can offer hope.
- The Four Agreements – Don Miguel Ruiz
- Braving the Wilderness – Brené Brown
- Single Dad Seeks: Dating Again After Divorce – John McElhenney
More articles from The Whole Parent:
- Dad’s Divorce Journey: 9-years Later I Still Feel the Loss of Kid-time
- Heal Your Heart from the Fear and Loss by Opening with Vulnerability
- Self-Care and Appreciation: Can I Love All of Myself Right Now?
- 3 Required Traits for Building a Lasting Relationship
- The Big Three Marriage Issues and the Hope of Counseling
- 8 Lessons from My First 2 Divorces