The Cost of Success

Without trying to date myself, the last time I was dating was in the ‘90s and very early 2000s. I hated dating; there always seemed to be so much pressure throughout the entire ritual. I would mostly try to make the process as casual as possible, protecting myself from failure. Although I like being with someone and going out, I was no good at dating.

One of my biggest dating fears about dating was being with someone who had an ex they were supporting. I realize this sounds selfish (I was in my 20s, after all), but the thought of my partner having to pay a monthly stipend to someone they weren’t even with was truly the worst-case scenario I could imagine. 

In a weird twist, I have found myself in that same position I feared most, but — looking back — I should have been more concerned with the character of a man who would take money from his ex, than one who would give it.

“Unfortunately, you married someone who doesn’t make very much money,” were the words the judge said to me as she exited her chambers, signed paperwork in-hand, ready to be filed. At that time I had so many questions about that statement, but feeling under pressure, asked none. 

Today, the question I ask myself while I date the check and seal the security envelope addressed to my ex-husband is, is this monthly payout a mark of my failure or success?

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