My brain has really damaged three potentially great relationships now.

With Tweni, I analyzed the hell out of the relative quickness of our finding each other in regards to my recent divorce and also to fresh events in her own life. I talked myself out of something incredible.

With Fabulous Wendy, I analyzed the hell out of her current situation, my life’s possible future direction, and whether or not the timing was right. I once again talked myself out of something incredible.

With the last woman who I never introduced to you, I analyzed the hell out of how she viewed me, what she expected from me, and if it was all sincere. See, I didn’t know it when I first approached her, but she had been a long time reader of SDL. And that presented challenges of its own. That relationship could have been incredible, but I talked her out of it from the very beginning.

It has been a difficult year and a half for me when it comes to dating. You see, I’ve never been in the place in life I am, and it seems to be constantly changing.

This professional blogger thing is all new to me. The dynamics of it are all new to me. The ways it affects my relationships are all new to me. The worry about not only what my friends and family will think about me, and love, and the person I’m with, but what a hundred thousand or more people will think about it all? I never saw that coming. And as much as I’d like to believe and say that it doesn’t affect things, it has. This blog is my profession, my job, my life. And the person I fall in love with is going to be a part of it. They’ll be talked about in posts, yes, but they’ll also greatly affect where my life takes me, what I think about, and what I write about in the future.

And the two divorce thing. I’ve never had to deal with that while I was dating. I don’t believe my future is defined by my past, but that doesn’t mean others don’t believe it. When I zoom out and look at every girl that has fallen for me, I can honestly say that the “two divorce” thing has not been an issue for any them. At all. But it’s so hard to believe it when I’m in the moment with these women, knowing that I have been on multiple dates where the subject is brought up and I see another woman’s spirit deflate completely. I have seen plenty a woman who will immediately and completely discount and discredit me as a potential match because of that one fact alone. I have seen many a pretty set of eyes droop in repulse as they realize they’ve found themselves yet another deadbeat loser.

And even if I do believe that a woman loves me for me and can see past the divorces, I have a hard time believing that her mother and father, her siblings, or her friends will. Parents who sit their grown daughters down to talk them out of dating this man they’ve never even met has happened on more than one occasion. Parents are often the worst culprits of vicious pre-judgment. How could any man be good for you who is not of our church? How could any man be good for you who has been divorced twice? How could any man be good for you when he has such a tainted past? Thankfully almost every parent who has actually met me since my divorce, loved me and began encouraging their daughters in dating me, so this is actually one of the lesser worries of mine.

Another thing I constantly analyze is who the women I date are falling in love with. Do they love and want me or do they love and want Single Dad Laughing? Do they understand there is a difference? Do they understand there is a big difference? Do they want to date me because the thought of being in the limelight is alluring or do they want to date me because the thought of being with me is alluring?

I remember I was kissing a girl one time and when we stopped she blurted out, “I can’t believe I just kissed Single Dad Laughing. My friends will never believe me.” I had really liked this girl. I never called her again. It was a toxic reality to be faced with.

And then, after our “kind-of” break-up (we were never quite official) with the woman I never really told you about, I was texting her back and forth trying to figure out what happened to us. She told me that after we stopped dating she met another man and that she had fallen in love. She told me it was the most incredible love she’d ever experienced. One in which they didn’t analyze each other or care about anything. Love at first sight, she said.

“I don’t believe in that,” I told her. “I don’t think I believe you can fall in love with somebody right away. I think it takes time and a lot of consideration.”

Continued on next page.