You can never have too many friends. I will take that one step further and say, “You can never have too many divorced friends,” especially if you are divorced, or in my case, a divorce blogger who is constantly trying to gain divorce perspective, and perhaps, get divorce advice from others.
My guest blogger, Buzz Thornton is a dear friend who I met last summer, and I can’t resist telling the story of how we met. My editor asked me to cover a neighborhood Pink Flamingo party. I told her I was busy, and basically she said, “there’s no one else available. Can you please try to do it?” So, with my two kids in tow, I headed to the party, thinking, ‘I’ll grabs some interviews, take a few pics and be out of there in less than 30 minutes.’
Who would have ever guessed that the Pink Flamingo host was a divorced, cute, nice single guy?? I instantly like Buzz. I mean, I considered him a friend within the first 5 minutes I talked to him. First of all he is a firefighter (which is a cool and admirable job and a given that he’s a hottie) and he does really cool things in his free time, like displaying extravagant Halloween decorations and skydiving, plus he took a trip in a World War II fighter jet, and of course, he throws Pink Flamingo Parties.
I asked Buzz if he would do a Q and A with me, because I thought he could provide some good insight for divorced women when it comes to what the divorced guy is thinking. Here’s my Q and A with Buzz!
JP: What’s the dating scene in the suburbs like? Is it hard to meet women?
BT: I don’t believe that “all the good ones are taken” but I do think they are a little harder to find. The majority of the women I randomly meet at the grocery store, Walgreens, Home depot, running, etc, happen to be married (I look for a ring). But, I also realize that I am not the only single person in the North Shore. Divorce is pretty common.
I have tried speed dating, and had a very fun time. It was nerve racking because you are meeting a number of women that you have never met before and have literally a couple minutes to make a good impression. You have to go into the event with an open mind and a relaxed attitude. They serve drinks during the event, which always helps! I left the event feeling confident and laughing at some of the brief discussions.
I feel like the harder you try to find a date, the harder and more stressful it is. You wind up putting so much pressure on yourself to find a date that it is almost doomed from the start. I prefer to let things happen naturally and let karma (divine intervention, dumb luck…) take its course. Almost every date and relationship I have been in has “just happened” without me looking or working to find a date.
Online dating is very popular and it works for a lot of people, but it just feels a little desperate to me. Maybe it is the way to go, but I am not there yet. The downside to my more organic approach is that it takes longer, but I believe the “how did you meet” stories are better.
JP: Do you miss being married? Think you might ever go for round two?
BT: I very much enjoy my free time and I love being able to do what I want, when I want to do it. But I do miss sharing stories and life events with someone that I love. I have a good group of close friends that I spend a lot of time with, but it is not the same as being in a committed, romantic relationship. I do miss the intimate trust of a partner. The kind of trust that does not come from the bedroom but can only come from countless time together and conversations that only two people that are committed to each other can have. I am very open to getting married again. I have learned a lot from every relationship I have been in, and I know more about what I want and don’t want in a relationship.
JP: Do you have any advice for single women?
BT: I believe that if you are searching for the “perfect” partner, you will be sorely disappointed. Nearly every person I know that has ever been in a relationship was surprised to find that Mr. or Miss. Perfect was not so perfect after all. Everybody, at one time or another is, or has done one or more of the following; burps, farts, has bad breath, BO, swears, smokes, snores, treats others poorly, is lazy, confrontational, or looks like Frankenstein in the morning at times. Perfect does not exist. The goal is to find someone with faults (yes, plural) and love them for their faults. I love to listen to some of my married friends or family members tell stories of their partner snoring all night long and keeping them up, only to have the partner tell a story about their bad driving (poor leaf raking skills, setting off the fire alarm from cooking…) the stories don’t end until they are both laughing at themselves so hard they are crying!
I don’t believe in finding a date by sitting on the couch or waiting to be set up on a blind date. I feel like you need to go out and get out of your comfort zone. For some it is online dating or speed dating. For others it is travel, either a weekend road trip or a journey to see where the wind takes you. I have jumped out of an airplane, climbed some of the tallest buildings in the world, taken classes, done a zip line through a tropical rainforest, traveled, held a block party and decorated my house with over the top holiday decorations. Not to meet women or to get a date, but to live life and push the limits of my comfort level.
I don’t want to be the guy on my street that nobody knows. I try and chat up my neighbors when I see them and help out when they are in need. Everybody has good stories, but it takes time and effort to learn about them. I have had my share of unusually awkward conversations with neighbors as well as strangers, but the vast majority have been enjoyable and even funny. You never know when one of them might say “hey, you know I have a sister that is single and you would be perfect for her.”