Dating after divorce is not fun. I met my ex-husband when I was 17, got married when I was 23,
separated at 28, and the divorce was finalized when I was 31.
Guys never really asked me out in high school, I don’t regret that. I had the best time with my
friends. Having water balloon fights, throwing Elijah Wood parties just so we could have cake,
watching all six hours of the BBC “Pride and Prejudice” with vintage Colin Firth. My high school
days were full of theatre and happy memories.
But at the end of four years, only having “dated” one guy for barely a month, that seeping doubt
began to creep in. What’s so wrong with me that no one wants to date me.
The first week of college, my ex husband asked me out. I said no. I didn’t want to go to school
and just be someone’s girlfriend. I dated one other guy, for about a month. And that was fine.
After a year and a half, my ex-husband and I got together. It was the midwest. I had a
boyfriend. There was validation in having found my person.
When things fall apart and no one really did anything wrong, it hurts. You’re left reeling. I had
only ever dated two other guys before him, and for a little over a month. Dating wasn’t my
strong point. When you’ve been married, you’re supposed to do things for that person. Spend
time and grow together. And when that sort of comfortability is compromised. Out in a big city,
dating and casual sex are like a foreign language.
I was a virgin when I got married. And here I was at 28, having only been with one person. All
of my friends and coworkers were having casual sex and dating around. I’d go to parties, and
just practice talking to men. It felt weird. I couldn’t bring myself to go home with them. The first
time I semi-drunkenly kissed a guy at a party. I froze, immediately went home and sobbed. I’m
in my 20’s, the prime of my life. I should be having fun.
Since then there have been a few guys. Nothing super serious. But my low self confidence
with men usually leads to my self-sabotaging the possibility of a relationship. And for a long
while I’d promote the “I fly solo” theme out there. Because being vulnerable and letting
someone new in is scary as hell.
Starting your dating life at 28 is a doozy. But I gotta keep growing. Keep on pushing to open
myself up to the possibility of love. While it doesn’t happen very often, the guys I’ve gone out
with give me lots of hilarious stories . There’s the guy who lit up TWO joints on our hiking date.
The guy who kissed me, barely touched my boobs, then immediately came in his pants. To the
guy who for the first time I thought might go somewhere, only to have him text me out of the
blue that he was getting back together with his ex-girlfriend.
Those guys aren’t my person. Some people don’t have one person, they have many. My
family, my friends, and coworkers. I’ve grown so much by being independent over the last five
years, finally being comfortable being alone and being with myself.
Over the course of the last year, I’ve learned to let go on dates, and just enjoy the experience.
I’m now growing into the powerful force I’m meant to be. And maybe that scares some men, but
it hopefully will lead me into the direction of someone just as independent as me. Who gives me
plenty of room to be myself and gives me that authentic need for freedom so we can both
realize our full potential.
And if not, I’ll just keep on being awesome.
Kate Orlando has performed in It's Personal On Stage and will be joining us again this summer for the Fringe show: Los Angeles. We are thrilled to have this lady be apart of It's Personal and THE PERSONALS.