I believe that our child-centered lifestyle and choices allowed us to let go of the marriage in favor of the kids' welfare. Regardless of who blinked first in the marriage, in the end, it is a mutual decision.
As single parents, dating, those choices now are much less dramatic. We can date, decide to continue or not continue dating, and that's it. No big breakup, no big divorce. Just "we're not dating anymore, maybe we can maintain a friendship."
I had the desire and intention to go the distance with my ex-wife. When I entered the agreement, and we decided to have kids, the deal was sealed for me. And love was never an issue. Compatibility and control could often come up, but I *never* doubted my love for my wife.
Recalibrating our taste in a mate is difficult with all of these examples showing us what we should desire. Women have unrealistic expectations, that is draining all the life out of many of them as they try to perfect something in themselves. Abs, for example, may not be that important to their actual happiness. And men, well, expectations cut in our direction as well. The images of desirable men are everywhere as well. But they are not as rigid.
I look forward to having another opportunity to learn about myself "in a relationship" at some point. I'm happy and patient right where I am. But I believe by having my priorities clear and articulated I can do a better job of finding and sorting through the process of finding that NEXT RELATIONSHIP. I wait enthusiastically.