Single Again… The Survivor

By Kenneth Stepp

I’m a survivor… I’ve survived 20 years in a very competitive business and excelled, I survived 2 divorces, several tough breakups, 2 shootouts when I was a federal asset, numerous injuries, and a financial crisis when thieves stole over a million dollars from me.

There are many other things I’ve survived as well. I’ve been single for over 6 years, after a 24 year marriage to a girl that was the center of my universe. Survival comes in many forms. For me, trial and error rules the day.

I explained how I survived, but this is not about my story. This is about those I’ve met along this singles journey. First I will talk about who I have not met along the way. I haven’t met anyone weak. I’ve met plenty of strong girls who were tired. They’re all, warriors in waiting.

I’ve met many strong girls that were fed up with weak men, but  those girls were never weak. Men have to learn what to do and then do it. Women know what to do and almost mechanically, make it happen.

Just Be You

The Natural… In every field, every athletic pursuit, every career, there are always naturals. I was a professional fighter. I have 5 kids, 3 boys, 2 girls. I was teaching my youngest daughter self defense a few years back and found her to be a natural hitter. This quiet, peaceful, and kind young lady, hit like a giant man. First i was shocked, then proud. Genders are different. Men must learn to survive by surviving. Women are naturals at it. Surviving is in their DNA.

Rookie Move

When I first became single, I had no idea what had happened to dating and what being single would look like. Instead, I signed up on an online dating site and away I went. I received many messages from some amazing women. One grabbed my attention. She was patient with me, we messaged a while, then emailed, then text, and spoke by phone. I will remember our first 3 dates forever. They were amazing. Undoable again. They were only possible because she let me go slow as I was a newbie. She was and is, an amazing human being. I often wonder if she remembers those 3 dates.

We decided to finally meet, we met in an artsy area of Atlanta. We spoke for over 6 hours, we sat outside, and actually got sunburned. It was magical, I walked her to her car and she kissed me. It had been 6 years since someone kissed me like that, I was gone. I made the biggest rookie mistake one can make, I fell in love… Logically, I knew better, but in reality, after much time past, I was in love. The next girl I met had been single for years, she informed me that what I did was fall for my rebound relationship. Lesson learned. Of course, it was a several years long, painful ordeal.

Looking back, we all have similar views, while the future is full of all this hope and a beautiful dreams, the rear view mirror is stark reality. The future is bursting with possibilities, but the past is our record of wins and losses. If you are like me, my wins were scarce.

Romantic endeavors always have the deck stacked against them, this means that we are all going to have scars from past, near misses, hits, and vanishings. These days we all have pull/push doors on our hearts. People come and go so quickly that we hardly know they were there at all.

At the end of the day, if you have dated, broken up, and lived to see another day, you are a survivor. In my view, an X chromosome (females) makes you almost superhuman. Or at least, it makes you a natural survivor. I have friends who were married to the man of their dreams, then one day everything changed. Losing through infidelity, abuse, or even death, is still losing.

Tomorrow will come and go, and you will be there, stay your amazing self, keep your standards and eventually, they will attract the one you search for. For me, I’ll keep working on me, you guys inspire me to do better. Thank you for that.

“What a beautiful woman. She moved with grace, she was entirely feminine, and yet, she possessed incredible inner strength. She’s a survivor.”

Jan Moran