I can count on one hand the number of relationships I had been in before I married my husband.

I met Joey on a university ski trip. My roommates and I joined a group travel deal with a bunch of other students and decided to head out west for the Christmas holidays.

I was a pretty good skier and Joey really loved that I could “keep pace” with the boys. He thought I was nice and easy going and made me feel like I was a welcome addition to his life.

Two years later, we got married. Joshua was born a year later to the day. Sarah and Jessica soon followed.

My kids filled my world with joy and entertainment and I felt an incredible connection to each of them. But Joey and I never really connected past the requirements of parenting, finances and keeping our bodies active. We lived a well-intentioned life but underneath the surface was a marriage that lacked any real depth. I never felt he understood me and we definitely did not elevate each other to be our best.

We parted when Josh was 10 and vowed we would not get nasty.

I was so scared of dating after divorce. Everything about it freaked me out. I had actually never been on a “real” date in my life and the idea of posturing and perhaps getting intimate with another man felt so unnatural to me.

I didn’t feel good about myself after our divorce. Feeling somewhat deflated, I was skeptical that I would ever move forward with another person. So I set out to rebuild the career I had left behind to raise our children. With the extra time on my hands when the kids were at Joeys’, I was able to focus and excel in my career and really climb the corporate ladder. Gaining confidence in this area of my life made me feel better about myself… and I guess it showed!

I met Steve at an after-work cocktail party. I was with my co-workers when he whisked me away to “talk shop”. Later that night he confessed that he was extremely attracted to me.

Steve made me feel sexy and alive in a way I never dreamed. I found myself sending him texts throughout the day, flirting with new looks and styles, acting coy and planning hot rendezvous. I felt like another person. I took on a new swagger and felt confident and happy.

He made me feel desirable and young. Our nights were always late and filled with exciting plans. I remember thinking if this was what dating after divorce was like than I was in!

But soon after… our sexy nights began to exhaust me. Dating after divorce was exhausting and I couldn’t keep pace any longer and found myself yearning for nights at home and for comfortable pjs. But Steve didn’t want to ever stay home.  He wanted the passion and the partying.

And I was left questioning the connection we had – without the sex, what was it?

Three months later, I ended it with Steve.   It had become clear that the connection required significance in a different way. And while Steve did provide what I lacked with Joey,  I realized I needed more of a balance between the two.

I try and date regularly now and have been in a few different relationships. I am always learning what I want and what I will tolerate and really hope I find that special someone one day.

Heather, 46

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