The move to Denver brought a change in the romance department, too. I started dating a long-time friend last May. I met him through his sister years ago, before I had a child. He told me he liked me in March, just before I moved. Then he moved too.
In May, we embarked on a long-distance relationship, the first for both of us. As a full-time mom with limited free time, the arrangement worked for me. The distance provided a guarantee that I would not do anything too fast, like move in with him. It also meant that he would not impose on my physical space too often. He sent flowers regularly all summer and fall, supported me emotionally through whatever I faced, acknowledged and accepted our differences, and planned for the future with us in it, a serious, committed future.
His sister visited in November. We went to dinner. I hadn’t seen her in about ten years. I noticed that when I talked about this new relationship, I felt bad that I was so happy or maybe I had an early intuition that I wasn’t as happy as I thought. I remember cringing a bit as I proclaimed my happiness and gratitude to his sister for all her training that she provided to him to make him a great boyfriend.
I questioned this cringe going forward. What did it mean? Is my self-esteem not where I think it is? Not where I want it to be? Did I cringe knowing that going forward with her brother meant accepting some character traits that reminded me of my husband? I kept visiting how this man treated me, how my husband treated me, and they were both so different in that regard. I visited their similarities, both good and bad. The good included having a strong intellect, stronger than my husband’s with more thirst for knowledge, and the bad included a learning disability that prevented correct spelling and use of words, as well as, a tendency against organization. I kept going back to the way this boyfriend treated me, and I felt like a queen. It overruled everything.
Until the last time we spent time together in person a couple weeks ago. We’ll discuss that later.
This dinner with the sister made me wonder what I want, why I was willing to accept these differences and replay part of my life with someone else. I have wondered if I believe in marriage at all, or if I believe in marriage so strongly it scares me out of trying again. I have wondered if I see the value in a husband. I have peace and harmony with Little Guy. Why would I want to screw that up by throwing another person to clash with into the mix? Or is that way of thinking preventing me from throwing in somebody who might grow the peace and harmony? What kind of example do I set for my son by trying or not trying to make it work with a partner? I read a step parenting book in the last six months to better prepare myself. Will I ever meet one that doesn’t drive me crazy? If all boyfriends/husbands drive all girlfriends/wives crazy, why do it at all?
A couple of weeks ago, Little Guy and I traveled to meet up with this boyfriend on the East Coast. This relationship went down the drain when I told him, the day after our return, that I didn’t appreciate that he spent a majority of our time together, which is limited, on his phone, texting, emailing, texting another woman (which I left out of the conversation), the entire trip. Did I mention the texting? He said the distance didn’t work for him and ended it. He also saw nothing wrong with his behavior, or hasn’t admitted to it. Aside from that, we had a great trip, Little Guy and I, stressful but great.
This boyfriend wasn’t such a great boyfriend. My trust issues grew. The relationship reiterated to me to stick to my rules, of which I only broke one by letting him meet my son before the one-year mark. The other rules are: a)Don’t date the neighbor. b)Don’t date a co-worker. And I didn’t break those. I have a tendency to get caught up on another person’s feelings for me without standing up for my own. So, rule c)Stand up for my own feelings.
Lesson learned. I have rules for a reason.
I like that this is the cleanest break I have had probably ever. I’m making time to figure out what I want and prioritize my life, my son’s life and what’s best for us, and move past this pattern of picking partners that don’t suit me/us. I am free of distractions that may inhibit my decision making. I want to learn more about me, maybe get some certifications in order to change to a different career. Time to crack that whip to make me a better mother, provider and person!