Tag Archives: dating

Single Parents And Dating

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dating priority

Yep, a rough one! But I am here to tell you that it is so worth it!!!

I have had and lost more relationships than I want to count. But when I finally decided to put on my big girl pants and state that my children are my priority up front, early on, the man responded with “Of course, I respect you for that”. What a relief, I had a huge boulder lifted from my shoulders, because I knew I could follow my priorities rather than his. In previous relationships, I really had thought that I needed to focus on pleasing the man, on being who he wanted me to be, rather than who I wanted to be… Hmmm, pretty messed up, huh?

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Trusting our Guts (aka Higher Selves)

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It is not that easy.  We can get a little gun-shy and self-recriminatory when we make mistakes.  I am the first one to shout “I told you so!” when I screw up.  But I have been told that the more we trust those innards, the better we will be at coming up with The Truth.

  1.  So, I trusted my gut with the Cute Guy at work.  When he said he went away for the weekend with another woman, I decided that meant I needed to move on down the road.  I did my hair differently, gave him back the book he loaned me, ignored his conversation attempts, walked the other way when I saw him, and went out on a couple of dates.  I acted AS IF I was moving on anyway; I wasn’t, but I was trying to fake it until I made it..  Ten days later, he texted that he missed me and was so sorry.  I waited to respond (ok, so it was only 4 hours).  And now, 3 weeks after that, we are dating.  Exclusively.  He is calling me pet names, he is calling me every day, and most importantly, he is referring to and paying attention to my speech to him that I only date one man at a time and only date men who date one woman at a time.  At this point, he is opening up to me more than I am to him!  He is sharing fears and dreams and listening to mine.  I have no promises of where it is going, but today the gut-check was a good thing.  I knew I could not tolerate the behavior of seeing others, and I took care of myself by speaking my Truth.
  2. At work last week, I was very uncomfortable with the way my boss handled a meeting that lasted four 10-hour days long.  He didn’t protect our client from the third party and her lawyer.  I was really stressed and in a lot of turmoil because this put my job as well as my reputation on the line.  But he wanted me to follow his lead, and ”just let it all happen, be patient”.  Because the third party held the checkbook. Finally, on the 4th morning, after painfully shutting my mouth several times, being jittery and taking more breaks than usual from the meeting for 3 days, I spoke out once in our client’s interest.  My boss ruffled beside me, and the third party blinked their eyes a few times.  We all went on, not a lot changed.  And 7 hours later I got to board a plane outta there.  I have no idea what the recourse from my boss will be when I return to the office, but somehow, I need to keep on trusting my gut and be true to what I believe is right.  I have been asking for a promotion and a raise, I really hope now that I am just not canned!
  3. Dating with teenagers in the house- the ultimate test of our reasoning.  My kids are watching me date this man now.  They have met him, they have spent time skiing with him, and have had dinner with him several times.  They know he has been a part of my life for about 8 months even though they didn’t meet him until 4 months into it.  I told them about it when I broke up with him.  I am trying to model how adults move through sadness and pain, so that when it happens to them, they will know the earth has not crashed into the sun, even though they feel awful about the breakup, death, job loss, etc.  I am also trying to teach my kids about honesty…  they don’t get to have sleepovers with their boy/girlfriends, and, well, I do.  If I am teaching my son not to be sneaking around behind my back, shouldn’t I stop sneaking around behind their backs to spend the night with my boyfriend?  This is difficult terrain here, because if I decide to stop sneaking around, then that means I have to decide how much Cute Guy means to me.  Do I want him to have a relationship with my kids?  Do I want them to like him?  Get attached to him?  Things are still very fresh and new, although going really well so far (what has it been, 2 weeks on this new relationship plane?  NOT LONG!).  So luckily, I am on vacation with my kids.  Phew.  We have some ski days planned all together.  No overnights are planned, yet.  But you know how that goes.
  4. The bottom line is, we all need to take the time to “act, and not react”, as the Al-anon saying goes.  In order to trust our guts, we need time alone, with friends, and/or with journals to process, and a ton of communication with everyone involved.  I need to have the long talks with my kids that only come when I am not worried about work and not rushing to find dinner, and can look them in the eyeballs for more than 10 seconds at a time.  And, yes, I need to ask God to “help me help me help me”.

 

Daily Bread

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God gives us our Daily Bread. I was bummed yesterday and pulled out all the stops, cried, wailed, journaled, blogged, all that. And now, that river has passed and I am counting all the ways that God has given me my Daily Bread, and has had my back. Yes, I know… you were right after all. Go ahead and gloat.

Life is full of sadness and disappointments. Nobody ever said life would be easy, if you are a Christian, a Hindu, a Buddhist, or an atheist, or whatever, life will hit us all (really really hard) every now and then. It is not for the faint of heart. So we get hit, we feel it, we talk about it, we learn the lesson, and we get back up.

I am celebrating all the love in the world today that is available when we look for it:

-I got to hold a 2-month old little baby named Annie today.
-My daughter put a bouquet of flowers and a note on the bathroom mirror last night for me to see first thing.
-I got to hug an older lady friend today and tell her I had been looking forward to that hug.
-Two women I snowboarded with on Sunday posted fun photos of us on facebook and called me a “Badass Boarder” (they are -10-15 years younger than me, and I got to show them the fun powder and give them a few tips…haha).
-My son gave me a huge hug this morning and looked me in the eye (he had to look down, cuz he is taller than me now) when he said “You are awesome, thanks Mom, I love you”.
-A friend gave me a piece of chocolate cake and a red rose this morning.

I got a heartfelt apology from Goober yesterday. I have stopped playing the victim, and remember that I am strong, courageous, and I held my boundary. I am learning and growing and I did really good work, breaking up with him. I needed it and maybe he did too, that is not for me to decide. I am celebrating the fact that I broke out of my old habit of taking the crumbs of love and am now celebrating with the entire cake.

God does have our back, and is giving us our daily bread of love. I just don’t always notice it in the moment. I hope your Valentine’s Day is awesome and you feel all the love surrounding you!

Left Foot, Right Foot, Left Foot, Breathe

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The title of this blog is from advice I found in Anne Lamotte’s book “Plan B and Further Thoughts on Faith”. She got the advice from a friend named Tom when she was sad and frustrated and over the top with gunk raining down on her. It is really all we can do: put footsteps and time between us and anything that is terribly disappointing.

I don’t know why we sometimes think we can no longer “handle it”, that this is “the last straw”. Because it isn’t. We do end up getting out of bed, limping into the bathroom, doing the teeth-hair-clothes bit and getting out the door. Eventually.

This morning I had to have a good wail. I was pissed. And sad. I ended up, at the very bottom of it, mad at God. You see, I had asked very specifically for God to take care of me, protect me, and told God I knew he had my back, that he takes care of my kids when I am not looking, took care that my house purchase went through ok, takes care of my finances, and so I told God over the last months/years/decade (that REALLY pissed me off at God, that I have been asking for a decade now?!) that I know he has the perfect divinely right partner in mind for me and is preparing me for him. And preparing the dude for me. Today, it doesn’t seem that way… I am feeling like I am actually out in the cold on this companion bit, and God could care less if I find or have this companion in my life. Wow. That feels harsh. It feels possible.

But God- what else am I supposed to think? How else could/should I interpret this mess?

I heard in Alanon (the 12-step group for families and friends of alcoholics, which means they have a bunch of slogans too) that “Figuring it out is not a slogan”. So I don’t get to know God’s plan, I have to step out again in blind faith; walk by faith and not by sight. Damn it.

Left foot, right foot, left foot yet again, breathe. I thought my plan was pretty good, but I guess he has a different one.

The Moth got Taken in, but She is in Recovery Now

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That sweater dress may have been a really bad idea. Goober ended up contacting me, complimenting me (my weakness), and we had a beer to talk over the status of our relationship. I clearly told him I only date one person at a time, and was not interested in dating him if he was dating someone else. “I don’t share” I clearly said about 3 times. He told me he didn’t want to date more than one person either, and really wanted to date me. I told him I want exclusive, he mumbled “yes”, and off we went, having an awesome time with each other… For a very nice 4 weeks. I asked him yesterday early morning “What are we doing this weekend? Wanna ski?”, and he said he is going out of town (do you hear the bells in the distance? see a little flag on the horizon?).

I asked “Where?” thinking maybe (hopefully) he was going on a ski trip with buddies. He said “Getting out of Dodge”. I asked “With who?”. “A friend”. I flew out of his bedroom, down the stairs, and into my shoes practically flapping my arms as I gathered my purse and coat. Alarms were ringing everywhere. He asked if I wanted coffee, why was I leaving so fast? (I don’t drink coffee, WTH is he thinking?) My hand on the doorknob, I turned to him and asked “Is it a friend, or a friend-friend?” (I had no idea what that distinction was, or which answer was correct) He said ” A friend”. By now, bells are clanging inSIDE my head, panic is in my mouth, and I ran out of the house, into my car and out of his driveway as fast as I could get out of there… What would you have done?

I called him from my car and was able to calmly and clearly confirm that he was going out of town with a woman, that he had misled me, he knew what I wanted and expected, and yet was confused, and and and. I clearly told him that dating more than one person is confusing to me, and dating someone who is dating more than one person at a time confuses me. I clearly told him how happy I was that he had not spent any more time with my children, as they and I clearly thought we had more going on than we did. I explained that raising my 2 teenagers alone and doing my job takes enough energy that I am not interested in adding in any confusing or jealous energy to that equation. “So it doesn’t have to be completely over, we can still be friends” he tried to convince me. I admitted that I had only slept about 2 hours the night before and probably should not make any decisions about that. Then I said “I will let you go now” and said goodbye. 15 minutes is what my cell phone said about our conversation.

I keep expecting to feel awful and rejected. But I also keep reminding myself that I made this choice, that I wasn’t being rejected, and that I broke things off with him. Mary pointed out that I made this healthy choice for me, and now I am ready to accept what I REALLY want. Sara told me he is not offering me anything I am interested in. Liz said it was pitiful that a 50 year old man couldn’t figure it out and have a little more humility. Mark said that he definitely wants me in his life, but his rules don’t mesh with mine. Another Mark would say Life and love are not for the weak. So I am getting a ton of support.

Here is what else I am doing:

I am congratulating myself on making a courageous decison that was not easy, but will help bring the man who wants to be exclusive to me. These decisions to love ourselves and not accept unacceptable behavior are difficult. But our hearts and our children need us to make them anyway… And, they bring us closer to God’s plan for us.

I am listening to sermons about God bringing light and purpose to our lives, sticking with us through thick and thin, and loving us no matter what happens by my friend Mark whose wife is suffering from a debilitating illness that is tearing apart his college sweetheart’s mental stability and his family. This illness will take her over the course of decades, and yet he can deliver these hopeful and faithful sermons about the depth of God’s love for us. I just heard him say “God is in the darkness, God is in the Light, and in the Fear. He is in the unexpected places of our lives”. Let me know if you want a link to these sermons.

I am envisioning a beautiful bouquet of flowers inside of me- with lots of light blue delphiniums, yellow sunflowers, pink wild roses, red Indian paintbrush, orange globemallows, and many more. This bouquet is gorgeous; it is springing into bloom, with little buds and bursting petals. Raining down on this bouquet is God’s golden Light, filling up my arms, legs, shoulders, and fingernails even, with this radiant Light that gives me energy, love, and blessings. When I get anxious, I focus on the exact flower species…

I am praying a lot and asking God to hold my hand and hug me through all of this, to lead me and give me wisdom, help me to learn from this, and oh yeah, if it is your will God, bring me my divine right partner- the one with the big heart and nice biceps too.

Somehow, this morning, I was able to be present with my children at breakfast, was the kind thoughtful mom I want to be, rather than the depressed, sad, immobilized mom I was afraid would show up this morning.

The rage and argument in my head against Goober and his actions has quieted down. I am not cussing him out in my mind as often as I did yesterday when he had the stupidity to come by my office to ask a work question. Glimpsing him in the office anhour ago was NOT heartbreaking. I would rather be writing a blog to you about how my boyfriend has surprized me with amazing plans for Valentine’s Day. But that is not the case. Instead, I am sharing with you how I fell into the sun, but am surviving big disappointment.

We are all bouquets of buds and blooms. Let’s make the tough decisions and let the Light in. I hope to write again soon, to let you know this spiralling upward has continued.

Like a Moth, Going Towards the Light

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Here is the latest:

I decided last night that I need and want, deserve, and am going to have a man that will protect me and cherish me.  It made me cry just thinking that would be possible…  So I have been fantasizing and calling in a cute man who looks and acts pretty much like a fireman- you know how sexy those guys are! : ) and that feels really good.  I am definitely praying a lot about it, talking it all over with God and letting him know I am ready for “my fireman” to arrive.

 In the meantime, I have had all these wonderful, yet unavailable (a.k.a. married) men give me kindness and warmth- the cable guy was so sweet with his follow-up and re follow-up on cable issues I was having; a coworker gave me an apology card after being pissy and belligerent with me during a meeting; another coworker has been laughing and joking with me about the difficulty of our project these days, sharing inside jokes and hilarious puns with me on it; the youth director awarded my daughter a really robust scholarship to go on the Church ski trip this weekend; an old friend is keeping me company on text, encouraging me and offering sweet support and kindness; and another coworker has been tirelessly and cheerfully helping me with some really boring aspects of the project.

 I am experiencing sweet men in my life, and it is reminding me that there really are some very good ones out there!

 CG (who has been re-named Goober, becasue he is not a Cute Guy after all- I don’t care how much turmoil you have in your life, it is not ok to start a fling iwth a single mom colleague who clearly has other ideas about you…) has been out of the office for the last 2 days, working from home.  Goober is in today.  I happen to be wearing a really cute sweater dress that looks pretty good on me.  (I am calling that Fireman in!!!)  Goober passed by an office where I was talking with someone and I saw him take in the whole view with a cold eye.  I am focusing completely on that Fireman, and attempting to not care less what Goober thinks, what Goober says, or what Goober does.  Goober-Man is not about protecting and cherishing me.

 Instead, I am channeling, growing, feeling, God’s love and infinite care for me.  And I have received 3 (!) really fun invitations from women friends for this weekend!  So, onward and upward, toward the Light.  I will let you know what happens next.Image

Pity Party Invite for You

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I haven’t written a post in forever: moved, got busy at work, the computer at home is moved, can’t find my socks yet, etc.  But this post by Soon to be Divorced Dad inspired me:  (I don’t know yet how to link, and need to find my socks and my extra checks before I learn…)http://fourisafamily.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/would-you-like-to-come-to-my-pity-party-part-2-of-2

This is a party I have been at for a long time, hogging the dance floor and spinach dip, so I thought I would invite you to come along as well!

I am just trying to go on a date with CG tomorrow night.  But in order to do so, I have to organize my and 4 others’ lives down to the level of synchronicity you would think it were a space shuttle launch (no, we are not having sex yet.  So you can drop the analogy there) .

1.  In order for me to be available by Thursday at 5:30 pm as requested, I need to get my work done for the day at a reasonable time, and be sure to eat lunch so that I am not a frantic wreck by 8:15 pm (that is what happened the 1st time we went out, I skipped lunch and was a basket case).

2.  I need to be sure that my 14-yr old daughter does her homework after school, so that she is available to go to a band concert with a friend for the evening.  That will involve a few phone calls and reminders tomorrow afternoon.

3.  I need to get my 15-year old son picked up from wrestling practice by 5:45 and procure dinner for him and my daughter.  You would think these kids are old enough to manage it themselves.  However, I assumed that once, and came home to 3 empty (jumbo) bags of Halloween candy disguised as dinner remains.  As SD said, they are large people, but teenagers seem to have the IQ of raisins when it comes to eating healthy, going to bed rather than staying on Facebook until the sun rises, cleaning up after themselves, doing homework, etc. without incredible oversight (preferably by deaf people who cannot hear their sighs, mutters, and moans of not being able to fit another dish in the dishwasher). And now(!) my sweet girl has this fetish with the TV show Criminal Minds- a disgusting show about demented crimes that she has been told 59 times not to watch without me in the room.  So that needs monitoring as well.

4.  So- I will order pizza to be delivered and pay for it ahead of time with my credit card.  I have a Algebra tutoring appointment for my son from 7-9 pm.  So- the tutor needs to be able to pick him up and drop him off afterwards.  Then son needs to be motivated to do his OTHER homework, which doesn’t include Halo on his laptop- I need to remind ex-room mate to do that, somehow.   Dog needs to get fed and outside somehow so that he doesn’t knock over the trash can for the 17th time in the middle of the night.  Both kids will have my ex-room mate stay with them until they physically get into their beds and she turns the lights out before 10 pm. 

5. I need them all to *believe* I will be home “around midnight” so that I can just relax and stay as long as I want and they won’t think I am a trashy mom for perhaps spending the night there.

6.  I need to be sure to have the tutor payment arranged, as the tall boy with a riasin for his brain cannot be trusted to actually tender the check- I would more likely find it in the dryer next week.

7.  Of course, it is Christmas, and I need to be sure that I have the right credit card for pizza payment, bc I have not been keeping track.  I will need to put gas in my car too.  Oh yeah, and while I am making the laundry list, my daughter committed us to a list of things for her Angel Tree at school that are naturally do Friday morning, so they need to get bought tonight, right after I get my lip waxed.

8.  I need to be sure to be home and happy and ready to get my kids out of bed by 6 am Friday morning so that they can get to school on time.  And when I enter the kitchen Friday morning, I need to be rested enought that when the pizza trash, dishes, and 49 other things are scattered about I won’t flip a gasket.

9.  Somehow, by 5:30 pm, I need to be calm, rested, attractive, witty, relaxed, ready to laugh at his jokes, and act as if organizing myself for a date is the easiest thing in the world, and we should definitley do it more often!

10.  Luckily, I shaved my legs and plucked my eyebrows last night, or that detail to remember tomorrow morning would throw the whole thing off. 

The result is, I will be way too exhausted to even THINK about another date for at least 10 days, which eliminates the shuttle launch concept.  If I cannot see him more than once every 2 weeks, how can I possibly build a relationship?!  After he asked me out, rather than replying to him “Yes, I can’t wait!”  I had to text my single mom friend Sara to give me a pep talk so that I could do the enormous amount of logistical line-ups to have 6 frigging hours free.