Dating isn’t “easier” for men.

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When I was younger, I was resentful of the role that men got to play in dating. Men got to ask women out. I had to wait around to be approached.

I told myself that men had it easier than women did. A guy got to be proactive. He got to act.

Me? I’d don some sparkly dress, making myself up like a fishing lure so I could “catch” a man’s attention. The skimpier the dress, the better. Whatever I had to do to attract a dude.

But if I didn’t, I went home alone.

It felt like giving up a certain power. Men had way too much control. Placed in the role of passive participant, I felt needy and weak. Men got to make all the decisions. If I didn’t catch his eye, I ended up feeling helpless and grotesque. …


I put myself in the position where it could happen.

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I was third-tiered by a man I was dating and let me tell you: it was crushing. What do I mean when I say I was “third-tiered”?

First, let me explain what the tier system is in dating. People organize their love interests on tiers. We all do this even if we don’t do it consciously.

The first tier is saved for those people who we really like. We want to see them exclusively — even marry them.

Then there’s the second tier. …


We put aside our differences to create warm memories for our sons.

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I know it sounds crazy. A divorced couple going on vacation together. How could it work? Many divorcees can’t stand to be in the same room together, let alone stay in the same hotel room together on a trip. Wouldn’t they argue the whole time? Be miserable? Isn’t this a terrible idea?

Good questions, of course. As a divorced woman who still travels with my ex-husband, I wouldn’t say it’s easy. Still, it’s not impossible. Sure, we bicker sometimes. I’ve had to take some deep breaths and just put up with my ex while on vacation with him. So why do I do it? …


A starving person will eat anything.

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I dated a ton of different men after my divorce. I downloaded Tinder and started swiping. I’d match with most of the guys in my feed, spend my day chatting with them, then make plans to meet up in the evening.

Sure, the going advice was to spend some time alone. I was single again after ten years of marriage. Shouldn’t I be taking at least some moments to mull over what I’d been through? Shouldn’t I do that alone? Shouldn’t I not be diving headfirst into dating? Especially with the way I was going about it — compulsively.

What about figuring out why my marriage had ended in the first place? Maybe ruminate over what led me to marry my husband after only knowing him a year. …


Because I don’t want to put myself in a situation where my boundaries won’t be respected.

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I read Sarah Stroh’s recent piece, Was It Rape or Something Else?, with great interest. Not only was it expertly written, but I could identify with her experience. She detailed the story of allowing a man to sleep at her place after a night of heavy partying. The man was pushy, and she, drunk and just wanting to go to sleep, ended up letting him spend the night in her bed.

She woke up the next morning to him touching her inside her panties. She enjoyed this, at least at first. …


My affair helped me grow strong enough to leave my marriage.

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Joe met me for coffee the first time in bulky, green harem pants and a gray T-shirt that looked like it had been white in another life. His hair was overgrown — a uncombed mess. He looked like he’d just rolled out of bed.

He sat across from me in the coffeehouse we were meeting in, grinning at me, baring his crooked, yellow teeth. He was from England originally. Poor British dental work or too much smoking — probably both.

He was inappropriate for me and I knew it. What did I expect? Everything was inappropriate about this meeting.

I was married. So was he. He said his marriage was one of convenience. He’d just needed a green card. His wife knew he dated other people. …


I’ve just had to accept it.

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“Mama’s always leaving us so she can go be with her boyfriend,” my ten-year-old son told my father during a group phone conversation we had on New Year’s Day. My father, whom we haven’t seen in two years, had just asked what we’d been up to since Christmas. I said my kids had been with my ex-husband since then but were now back with me. I’d mentioned how much I missed my kids while we were apart. In response, my youngest rolled his eyes and said what he did.

I was shocked. Sure, I’d spent a few days away from my sons with my boyfriend, but I hadn’t ditched my children for him. On the contrary, I’d gone to stay with my boyfriend because I’d vacated my place for my ex and our sons. …


And two that ended before they even began.

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Going on a date with someone you’ve met on an app is basically like going on a blind date. You’ve never set eyes on the person before. Sure, you’ve done some texting — maybe even had a couple of phone calls. Maybe you’ve even Skyped or FaceTimed or Zoomed — but come on, you’ve never experienced this person in person. And now you’re going off to meet them for the first time with all your high expectations in tow. What could possibly go wrong?

Everything.

Here are five of some of the most humiliating dates I went on post-divorce that went south quickly — and two that did before we even managed to meet up. …


He doesn’t care for them like I do.

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It’s New Year’s Eve, and I’m happy, not because I’ll be partying tonight (I won’t be), but because my kids are coming back to stay with me after days of being with their father. My ex-husband has had our children under his care since the day after Christmas. Truth be told, even though I was looking forward to the time off, I’ve missed my sons.

Whenever I’m away from them, I’m shocked by how much their absence affects me. I never expect it to hit me as hard as it does. I’m always so excited to be getting some time off to myself. …


Models have problems and insecurities just like you and me.

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I was thirty when I moved to Barcelona, Spain. Now I’m fifty. But back then I lived a glamorous life overseas.

I wrote about sex for Spanish Playboy. I embraced fashion over function, destroying one pair of stilettos after another while running around on the cobblestone streets of the Barri Gòtic, the ancient quarter in the center of the city. But I was also incredibly depressed, mostly because I was single and couldn’t seem to find a stable partner for the life of me. But I had friends. Oh, I had lots of friends.

I prided myself on being able to get along with just about anyone. Maybe I was just a people-pleaser who charmed everyone into loving me by telling them exactly what they wanted to hear. They were beautiful, enchanting, successful, amazing. It’s not that I was lying. I’m also a people-lover, and I truly believed these things about my friends and acquaintances, but they loved to hear it as well. …

About

Elle Silver

I write about relationships, women’s issues, and my highly imperfect life. Learn more about me: my.bio/theformerlymrs Support: ko-fi.com/ellesilver

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