Embracing Singlehood,  Single Life Blog

Divorce Child

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About being a divorced child, and how having divorced parents impacts and connects to my own love life and singlehood.

** Check out the end of the blog for a poem I wrote about my parents divorce, and my singlehood.

Growing up, my parents marital status has never been much of an issue for me. I was almost 7 years old when it happened, and frankly, I can’t really remember a time when they were not divorced. In my mind, I was basically born into it and was always mostly fine with anything regarding the topic. I mean, what kid wouldn’t be ecstatic with double gifts on birthdays and Hanukkah, right? At least I was.

My childhood was fairly good, considering, but it was far from perfect. However, none of my issues were a direct consequence of my parents divorce. It was all I knew, to me it was normal. When I visited friends’ homes, it was strange for me to see their parents married. I remember wondering what it was like, it was so bizarre it was for me to see. Like they were the abnormal ones. 

As I look back now, and examine all that I have been through and experienced – in an as objective POV as can be… I can clearly see the prominent, and subtle effects being a divorced child had on my life, especially regarding my singlehood, dating history and romantic relationships.

Not wanting to get divorced myself

The one thing I was always conscious of, is not wanting to end up like them. I’ve always known that I will be very cautious with who I marry, that I won’t do it with just anyone – and I will take my time to decide. Personally, I think it is something we should all do when deciding the fate of a relationship – whether we will marry our partner or not. Regardless of our parents marital status. However, I do believe that being a divorced child has the topic burning more prominent and consistent in our minds. 

Growing up with divorced parents, while I never suffered greatly from it, it was also a fate that I always knew I didn’t want for myself. Because I’m one of the lucky ones. While I did have many moments where I hated it, and I had so much weight on my shoulders having to choose between mum and dad at certain moments… I also had a wonderful childhood, where both my parents put in so much effort. Where they both were solid pillars I could count on no matter what. They showered us with undivided and unconditional love and attention. But cases like mine are rare, I’m hyper aware of that. I’m also so very aware of how difficult it is to achieve that.

So do I think that it has anything to do with my singleness? 

Hands down, yes. I will not say that it has everything to do with it, because that would be a lie. There are so many reasons, some even more responsible for my singleness. Since I was growing up with that constant worry in my mind, it stuck, and it did so very hard. I’ve not always been extra careful with the men I dated, but I always refused to marry without checking off a list of criterias first. Like, waiting at least a few years, living together before, being completely certain, and more.

I’d rather marry very late, suffer society’s pressures and stigmas, than make the same mistakes my parents did. I could have been married quite a few times by now, it wouldn’t be difficult. But I just always refused to settle. I almost did once or twice, but even then I managed to pull myself together. Because I’ve seen first hand the repercussions. And in my opinion, it’s better to wait than end up divorced. I have yet to find the person that checks all the criterias on my list, thus I’m still single until I find someone. And that’s more than okay.

Having no prime example for what a loving partnership looks like

It wasn’t until a couple of years ago, when I was in a poetry class at college, that I was suddenly faced with the topic from a new angle. One I have never even thought about, let alone considered as a conscious factor of my love life. Which now that I think about, is actually quite strange and baffling that I’ve never thought of it before. Or perhaps it’s a testament to how well my parents did. Either way, it is something that has accompanied my singlehood and dating journey for the past few years. 

Perhaps it’s the reason I’ve always loved romcoms, perhaps it’s just an exaggeration. But it’s definitely a valid thought, that quite possibly has a strong basis and impact in my life, without me even realising it before. Either way, fact is that I grew up with no showcase of what a healthy, loving relationship looks like. I had no prime example for love to go by, besides the ones I saw in movies or in other peoples homes. And let’s face it, that’s nowhere near ideal. So how was I ever supposed to recognise what is love and what is not? Is it even something that relates to my parents’ love?

So do I think that it has anything to do with my singleness? 

I’m not sure, and I’ll probably never be completely certain. But looking back now at past relationships, I can see more of the full, overview picture and be more objective about it. And I think in all my relationships, I’ve always had difficulties recognising and defining what it was I was feeling. I don’t think all feelings should be defined and boxed up, but I was certainly confused more often than not. I never knew how to separate and fully understand the true meanings of my deepest feelings. Including my gut ones.

I could definitely feel it nagging at the back of my mind for the past few years of my singlehood. Dating has become that much harder, because I was no longer certain of what love actually looks like, and if I would even be able to recognise it. Perhaps I would ever truly be able to feel it. Now that it had come up to my conscious thought, it wouldn’t leave me be. However, with time I learned to control it, and not the other way around. I learned that while it may be based on truth, I can also decide for myself what love looks like.

Having a strong, independent and single woman as my main role model

In my humble opinion, one of the main reasons why many fear singleness and avoid it at all costs. – Sometimes even settle for less… Is because of society’s consensus’ and stigmas regarding being single. We grow up around narrow minded beliefs, that if you don’t marry or have kids by a certain age, then there is something seriously wrong with you. Because that is and should be your main goal you need to aspire to. Like life hasn’t much more to offer than just that. Thus, so many people end up with the wrong partner, suffering in silence and full of regret.  

There were times when I was ashamed, and feared what people would think and say, especially when I was newly singled at 26. Fortunately though, I wasn’t foreign to the concept of being a strong, independent woman, who is also single. My main role model growing up, and to this day – is my mother. She’s a single mother of four, a hard worker and still keeps an impressive amount of positive vibes. My mother, like me, is a dreamer at heart that doesn’t believe in the words “no” or “can’t”, and she educated us with that same mentality. All the while leading a full and happy life, always thinking creatively and achieving new things.

 So do I think that it has anything to do with my singleness? 

I don’t think it has much to do with my reasonings for being single, at least not consciously. But it definitely has a great deal to do with my comfort level with my singlehood. How I’m able to accept it and believe in the concept of being single and happy. Watching her, I realised that you can have a happy life without marriage. That a woman can be whole and complete without relying on a man, without being married.

Having such a strong woman, who is single as my main role model, has definitely helped me accept my own singlehood. In that sense, the divorce of my parents has impacted my attitude towards being single in a great way. Because if my parents hadn’t divorce, and I wouldn’t have had that single, strong woman role model, I probably would’ve had a much harder time accepting it. 

A Poem I wrote during my college years:

Stay safe, stay healthy and stay strong!
Michal B.L.

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Hey there! My name is Michal, I was born and raised in Israel, currently I live in Tel-Aviv. In my Single Life Blog I write about single life in all its glory, and share Single Life Lessons to help you embrace singlehood. I offer tips and advice for a better, happy single life. How to be independent, feel comfortable in your own skin and company, and how not to chase toxic people.

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