Dating and Life After Divorce

My most frequently asked questions are always about my dating life and life post divorce. It’s hard to believe my divorce was finalized 3 years ago. Sometimes it feels like twice that long and sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday. Divorce is one of the hardest things I have gone through in my life. It is heartbreaking and gut wrenching to even get to the decision to divorce. After that the sheer amount of emotions range from relief, to anxiety, sadness, grief, mourning and hope for what the future may hold. It is a rollercoaster of emotions.

As many of you know, right after we separated I got right back into a relationship that lasted 1.5 years. I was a shell of myself and scared to be alone. This relationship wrecked me. I tried to be someone I wasn’t and I was always walking on pins and needles. The demise of it brought me to a really low point, but it taught me how to be alone and learn to love myself. You see I was choosing relationships where I was constantly put down and always trying to prove myself fearing I was never good enough. Being alone gave me time to get recentered and realize how strong my divorce made me.

I am now in the best relationship of my life, no doubt, with Evans (pictured above). I have never been treated so well and can truly be myself. He is an equal partner and we share all the burdens and joys of life together. I never get tired of being with him. He is wonderful to my children. Coming into a relationship with two kids is not easy and he handles us and our family dynamic so well. He is helpful around the house which is amazing. He has hung my light fixtures, paintings and countless other odd jobs around the house, and he actually enjoys doing it.

I reached out on instagram asking you guys for questions and I will answer what ya’ll sent me below!

How did we meet? and what’s our story?

This was the most asked question. My best friends and old neighbors introduced us. In fact they had tried to set us a few times before but we both were dating other people. This was a date I was going on as a favor because I felt like he was too old for me. He later told me he didn’t want to go either because he thought I was too young (there is an 11 year age gap). I agreed to meet him for a drink; I told him I had plans at 6, but we could meet from 5-6. I showed up with zero expectations literally just wanting to get the date over with. He said the same. Our one hour date turned into 4 hours and I canceled my other plans that night. Truly, from that day on, we were inseparable. I instantly felt comfortable around him. I could be my real self.

Did he move in?

Yes and no. He owns a house close to mine, but has been staying with us during quarantine, which has greatly benefitted all of us. He is a huge help with my kids and truly my best friend. We talk about eventually selling his house, and maybe add on to mine, or buy another house together.

Does he have kids?

Yes he has two kids, a daughter who is 22 and a son who is 8. All of the kids have met and really get along well. His son actually lives less than a mile from us so that makes time together easy.

3 favorite things about each other?

me: I love how loving and gentle and kind he is to me.

I appreciate how handy he is and wants to help me around the house. He can fix and or install anything. Bonus: he loves to clean and does a lot of our laundry and dishes.

I love that he is such a good dad, son, friend, boyfriend. He would do anything for those he loves. I love that he loves my children and treats them as his own. He is a truly good person.

Superficially I love his hair; he has amazing hair.

Evans: I am amazed at the connection we have, and the balance between us.

I love her nurturing ways towards her children, as well as me. She loves to do for others and is very genuine in all her actions. She is a beautiful soul.

Natalie is one of the best people I know and became my best friend in a very short amount of time. There are many more favorite things about her!

Where is he from?

Charleston born and raised.

What does he do for work?

Senior Data Analyst / Systems Administrator at MUSC (Medical University of SC)

How did you know when to introduce your kids?

This is tricky and truly different for everyone. Once we knew we were very serious, which for us was early on, we introduced the children. My kids have only met two men I have seriously dated.

How long have you been dating?

Last year we started talking on and off for several months, but really got serious after Thanksgiving.

Do you want more kids?

Probably not, although I guess never say never. Our hands are full with our blended family of 6 (although Evans’ daughter is a recent college graduate and not with us all the time).

Do you want to get married again?

Yes and no. I am on the fence about this one. I don’t feel the need to be married again. I have done that and had my children so I feel comfortable just being in a long term serious relationship. That being said, the romantic part of me craves a small ceremony with Evans. We talk about it frequently. I envision a marriage ceremony on the beach in the Caribbean if I ever did get married again.

Is he a foodie like you? Does he like to cook?

He is not as big of a foodie as me, but he loves to sample my creations as well as try new restaurants. I still do most of the cooking, but we recently bought a nice grill and he is a master on the grill with meat (which is not my speciality).

Did you ever use dating apps?

I did right after I got separated and actually met my first boyfriend on one. For me personally they were time consuming and it scared me to date someone I had never met nor had any real life connections with. I never got back on them after that relationship. I do know lots of people who have success on them though.

A few things I have learned when dating post divorce. Be kind to yourself and take your time. Dating is weird after being married. I had not dated since I was 20 so 16 years later it felt very strange to get back in the dating game. Dating with kids is a whole new ballgame, it is not easy. I know people always say this but love will happen when you least expect it. When I met Evans I was in a good point in my life and didn’t feel like I needed a man, did I wish for companionship of course but I was also comfortable being on my own. I totally expected our date to be a flop and it turned into the best relationship. So stay open minded. Give yourself time to heal post divorce. My therapist once told me it takes a solid 5 years to truly heal after a divorce and I think she is right. Stay positive and hopeful love the second time around can be even better.

16 Comments

  1. Toni :0)
    June 16, 2020 / 12:56 pm

    So happy for you both. Your happiness is what is most important in order to be the best person you can be for you, your children and now Evans. Thanks for being open and honest. That’s not always something that is easy to share but it’s nice that you did. I always say if he’s the one that can make you laugh, he’s the one for you so hopefully he does that for you as you seem very happy. Cheers to a great time together always.

  2. June 16, 2020 / 2:24 pm

    Thank you for being so candid and honest! Love how happy you are and that you’ve found your match! Truly believe God uses every twist and turn to take us where we need to be ☺️ Wishing you all the best!

  3. Nancy
    June 16, 2020 / 2:39 pm

    You look so happy, and that’s what is most important. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Elizabeth
    June 16, 2020 / 2:48 pm

    Love this post! So happy for you! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Amanda
    June 16, 2020 / 2:51 pm

    Me and my husband are 10 years apart. I’m actually the older one, but I love our age gap. So good to see you so happy.

  6. beth cleary
    June 16, 2020 / 3:14 pm

    I can genuinely tell in your smile that you are truly happy!! So happy for you and Evans.

  7. Mary Beth
    June 16, 2020 / 3:23 pm

    I am so happy for you! I went through a divorce in 2010 after being married for 2 years but together for 10. I was suddenly 30 and single. I had no idea how to date in the digital age. I spent the next several years dating on and off without having a serious relationship. It wasn’t until I decided that I really needed to focus on me and being comfortable and HAPPY with just myself that I met the most amazing man. TIMING is really everything. He was a widower with two small children and we hit it off right away. The single me a few years prior might have been too scared to enter into this type of a situation. I truly believe some things are meant to be. We just celebrated our one-year anniversary yesterday….he was 100% worth the wait.

  8. Megan
    June 16, 2020 / 3:24 pm

    Thank you for being so open and honest. I’m so happy for you!

  9. June 16, 2020 / 5:01 pm

    I loved reading this Natalie!! So very happy for you!! <3

  10. June 16, 2020 / 5:19 pm

    Love this Natalie!! I have loved seeing you so happy and in a wonderful relationship!!! You know Matt is 16 years my senior!! Never in my wild dreams would have ever thought that but I knew in almost an instant just like you described with Evans. I was completely and utterly myself from the get go and he is best friend!

  11. Jaclyn
    June 16, 2020 / 7:14 pm

    Love this post and relate to it so much! I’m also divorced. I’m 40 and my boyfriend is 50. We’ve been together almost 6 years and have no interest in getting married 🙂 I love your blog and enjoy reading it every day!

  12. June 16, 2020 / 7:16 pm

    So happy for you and the happiness you have found! Evans seems like a great guy! Thanks for sharing — I’m sure many women will relate and feel less alone reading your story. xo

  13. carol gray
    June 16, 2020 / 11:30 pm

    Sounds good!
    I always felt you’d done yourself a disfavor jumping into dating immediately after your divorce…I had to mourn the end of my marriage and REinvision my life. ..now different than I originally planned. I only introduced my daughters to my “final BF”..lest my daughters thought men were coming in and out.
    My first marriage was young and innocent….my second is wiser and mellow..
    A sexy combo.

  14. Rachel Bardin
    June 17, 2020 / 2:09 am

    This was an awesome post. I’m so happy for u

  15. Denise
    June 17, 2020 / 2:17 pm

    I remarried fairly quickly after being widowed nine years ago. Horrible mistake, but I learned who I am from all of it, and gained two more wonderful boys out of it. I wouldn’t take it back. Now I am dating a fantastic man who is 15 years my senior. We connect on every level, and I know I wouldn’t have had this kind of relationship had I not worked through the hard stuff. Congratulations to you both!

  16. Mary J
    June 24, 2020 / 11:53 pm

    So happy for you both! I have followed you for years, and I went to high school with Evans. He IS awesome, and I am so glad you got together and are enjoying the happiness you bring each other! Next year is a big one for our high school reunion. Maybe I will get to meet you in person, finally. Hope so! I have really enjoyed following you and have always been rooting for you. 🙂

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