Category Archives: Relationship Saga

Easy Come, Easy Go

I am writing this mostly as therapy for myself, a way to work through some of my emotions around this.

I fell hard for Tim. We emailed and IM’d a lot before we finally met. We really clicked and I could barely wait to meet him. He felt the same. He was playful and smart and funny and I was wildly attracted to him. We saw each other four times in that first week after meeting. We were talking about the future, and were connecting. I think it’s fair to say I’d never connected with anyone on so many levels, so quickly. Everything seemed promising. The morning before Thanksgiving we made plans for Monday(he has his boys all weekend so we wouldn’t be able to get together). We both moaned and groaned about how difficult it would be to wait that long to see each other again.

We each had other plans on Thanksgiving, and it was too early to meet each other’s families. I texted him on Thanksgiving afternoon, a simple “gobble, gobble” to let him know I was thinking of him, and I got a wordy text back which ended in “Talk to you soon” but I didn’t hear from him that night, nor all day on Friday. Friday evening he logged on to IM and sent me a message saying he and the boys had just gotten home, they were going to watch a show and would I be around later. I settled in to wait for him to be free so we could chat, either online or on the phone.

He called after the boys were in bed, and after sharing Thanksgiving Day stories he said, “I need to talk to you about something,” and my blood ran cold.

Wednesday evening, his most recent ex-girlfriend showed up at his house. As he said, “I thought our story was over, but it isn’t.” He went on and on about how wonderful and amazing I am but I wasn’t really listening. How wonderful can you be if you come in second place? If you can be excited about someone in the morning, and then jumping back with someone else a few hours later? I listened, and was silent. He said he had seen a future with me, and that he had been looking forward to where were going. Finally I said, in a cry-filled voice, “I don’t know what you want me to say.” He must have said something and I then said, “You seem like a great guy, so I’ll wish you happiness.” And then, “The longer I stay on the phone with you the harder this will be” and we hung up. I was numb. I barely slept all night. I’m still mostly numb.

My three year marriage was mostly miserable. It ended slowly and agonizingly, as each day the love and desire oh-so-slowly slipped away. I never shed a tear during the whole process. I have already cried over Tim. I know he doesn’t deserve this much of my grief and energy. I feel foolish for falling so hard and so quickly. For hurting so much when I have only known him a short time. And yet, I don’t know any other way to be.

I am so, so sad. I’m definitely feeling sorry for myself and am not sure how to snap out of it. I miss the potential we thought we had in a way that makes my heart hurt. I’m wondering if I really have the stomach, or the heart, for this dating thing.

Taking some “Me” Time

So, update time!

Last year in my dipping-toe-in-the-water-of-dating I determined pretty quickly that I just didn’t have the time to date. My life is very full and busy. I hold down a full time job for a salary, am parenting two still-young children on my own (a full time job in itself), maintain a home, have now two dogs and all the extraneous life pieces that go with all those things. Finding time to squeeze another person into that seemed near impossible.

Until I met Tim that is. I’ve already chronicled our first date and want to let you know that I will not be chronicling any more like that (phew, right?) but we’ve seen each other three times now in less than a week. Things look really promising, although it is still very early. At any rate, I am very much enjoying getting to know him, and finding the time to see him does not seem to be a big obstacle at all.

Yesterday I ran in a local road race. It was a 4.7 mile run (yes, and odd distance) and the longest I’d run in quite awhile. But it was a perfect fall day, and the course was through some well-maintained paths along a canal near where we live and it was beautiful and relaxing to run. I finished strong and it felt great the whole way. I’m hooked on the racing bug and am going to look for the next one soon! I had a sitter for the kids and it was really nice to get out and have some time for just me.

Passing the Chemistry Test

If you read yesterday’s post you already know that last night I had a date. A first date with a new guy.

I got to the restaurant and parked on the street outside. I was a teensy bit early (about 15 minutes) because my sitter had arrived and I was too nervous to hang around the house any longer. I figured I’d wait in my car till a few minutes before our agreed meeting time, since I was sure I was too early for him to already be there, and I didn’t want to wait inside by myself.

A few minutes later a car pulled over to park, and when the driver got out, I knew it was him. We’ll call him Tim. I watched him walk into the restaurant, waited a beat or two, and then went in myself. As much fun with talking and banter we’d been enjoying through email, Instant Messaging and the phone, I was concerned that once we met in person it would fall flat. I’m really funny about that. I’ve rejected otherwise perfect men because I just couldn’t imagine kissing them.

We greeted each other with a hug and went off to the “first date table” he had requested in arriving before me. It was off in the corner – the perfect place away from the noise to talk. He pulled out my chair for me and as he sat down he said, “I want you to know there is no reason for you to be nervous. I will be playing the part of nervous tonight.” How cute is that???

We ordered two wine flights – one red and one white, and two different orders of tapas. Neither of us had the stomach to eat much (nerves you know), but the food was excellent and the wine helped take the edge off. We had a most enjoyable time talking and laughing and enjoying finally being together in the same room.

Then we played a little game of Truth or Dare. This was something we had talked about beforehand – we’d play a hand or three of cards – poker, go fish, crazy eights, whatever –  and the winner would get to have the loser do a truth and a dare. Because of the tone some of our conversations had taken, these were already assumed to be a tad on the PG-13 side. I had mine all ready, but I was mostly hoping I would lose because I was too nervous to actually have him read or do them.

Well, I won, and as the winner I decided to read the ones he had prepared for me instead (winners make the rules after all!). His Truth was easy – it asked if I’d ever gone skinny dipping, how I liked it, and if I’d ever do it again. Yes, a lot, and yes! Then I opened his Dare. It made me blush to read it, but suffice to say, it was really just a very wordy version of the one I had prepared for him, so I gave him mine instead. Mine read, “Kiss me. Right here, right now.” He smiled as he read it, said, “Right here?”. I responded, “That’s what it says.” He got up, came over to my seat and bent down and kissed me so softly, so sweetly and with just a little passion thrown in there at the end. It was very nice, and very exciting. I hadn’t kissed anyone in way too long, so it was even better.

Once that tension barrier had been broken we relaxed even more and we continued enjoying our time together. We made plans to get together again (this Saturday!) and reluctantly left the restaurant since I had a teenage sitter with school the next day to relieve at home. He even offered to chip in for the sitter (which I declined) – is that nice or is that nice?

Chemistry? We got it. I’m really looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Plenty of Fish in the Sea…..

Tonight I am going on my first first date in just over a year.

I really, REALLY like this guy. We met online, and have emailed, IM’d and talked on the phone. We have seen photos of each other. The chemistry is there and I like him very much without even having officially met him yet.

I am hopeful that our in-person meeting (which is for drinks and tapas later tonight) will prove just as exciting and wonderful as the lead up has been. There may be plenty of fish out there, but you only need to bring home one.

Wish us luck!

Lost and Found

When my ex and I were separating there was a lot of anger. Emotions were running high and a lot of things were said and done in anger that were not kind. At the time I can remember thinking that I still felt like the same person, but that I thought that some people he cared about (namely his parents) would absolutely cringe to hear some of what he was saying or to learn of what he was doing. I’m not saying I was perfect, but I was certainly (far) less awful than he was.

One of the worst things he did was to come in one day to pick up some of his things when Krystal and I were out. That had been agreed to. When she and I returned home my eyes went right to where the video camera, case and tapes were kept on the bookshelf in the living room. What stared back was an empty space. Rage and sickness took over. I didn’t care so much about the camera, but the tapes were everything I had of Krystal from the moment I met her. In my opinion the tapes were hers.

Over the next few weeks and months he used those tapes as leverage whenever he could. He threatened to destroy them. While we used a mediator to handle the divorce rather than hiring attorneys who would take all our money, we probably weren’t very good candidates for mediation. He was very angry, which was how I now realize he expressed pain. The marriage, if not the actual divorce, was quite expensive for me. It wasn’t until we were divorcing, a process we started before our third anniversary, that I realized marriage is a legal blending of two people. You basically form a corporation with another person when you marry. Silly me had thought it was about love. I do not know if I will ever marry again, but if I do, it will be with that knowledge, and I do not rule out a pre-nup. It’s not unromantic, it’s business.

As far as the video camera and tapes go, he showed up unexpectedly at Krystal’s final gymnastics class that year with the camera, took some video, and then without fanfare handed me the camera and case, with tapes inside. My heart was pounding so loud and hard I was sure he would see it through my shirt, and my mind was spinning with how I could run off with it before he grabbed it back. But he didn’t. They have been mine, and will be Krystal’s, ever since. He did remove the tape of our wedding, but I didn’t care. I assume he took a hammer to it, or ran over it with his car, or tossed it in Lake Ontario as he drove by one day, and whatever happened to it is OK with me. I got what was precious.

A few other things relating to our marriage seem to be missing too. While he got the engagement ring in the split (even the mediator was shocked he would ask, but I was stupid and didn’t care), our marriage certificate was mysteriously unable to be found after I moved. I might not have noticed except I changed my name back after our divorce and needed it during the adoption process for Belle. I was able to get another copy, but the lingering question to me was why? Why would he take it? My wedding band has also been missing since even before the move. I’ve never been a jewelry person, but I did like wearing a wedding ring. When I realized the ring was missing I actually bought myself some costume jewelry rings that I occasionally wear on my other hand. What he wanted with the inexpensive band I wore is beyond me.

When Krystal was little, and before we got married, two of his family members gave her savings bonds. They were issued in her first name with his last name, which was never her name. My mother has offered to help get them switched over to her correct and legal name, but the bonds are missing too. I did ask him several months ago if he might have run across them – I have learned to let things be his idea – but he said he didn’t think he’d seen them, and so far he has not produced them. I am willing to believe he doesn’t knowingly have them, and if he does come across them in the future, he will give them back. Four years ago I would not have felt confident saying that.

This morning Krystal was poking around with the myriad of things on my dresser. One of these things is a small wooden box that closes with a buckle. I’ve had it since I was about 9 or 10, just a tad older than Krystal. I keep old money in it – some $2 bills, Kennedy half dollars, silver dollars and the like. I don’t think I’ve opened it in years, but it’s not something I’d ever consider getting rid of. She was fascinated by the money “They make $2 bills!?!?” and wanted to know where I got it. Then she pulled out a gold ring. My wedding ring. What is it doing in there? I’m reasonably sure I never put it there. Did he hide it there? Or did I and promptly forget about it?

The inside of the ring has an inscription: Love is in the details.

Facebook Fearsome

Who out there is on Facebook? I resisted for awhile, but once I succumbed I found:

Facebook is so much fun!

Facebook is addictive!

Facebook has contributed to the plot of at least two TV shows I watch regularly (Ugly Betty and Trust Me). It’s a real pop culture phenomenon, and I don’t see it going away anytime soon.

I haven’t specifically checked lately, but I’m up to about 85 friends. These friends traverse almost all chapters of my life: high school, college, past co-workers, fellow adoptive parents, current co-workers, a couple blogging buddies, my step-mother, and more than a few ex-boyfriends (including Gary, my speed dating guy, who I feel better than ever about not pursuing things further – I really should de-friend him, but what can I say, I’m a voyeur).  It can be very strange to have people who knew you “when” mingling amongst those who know you now. If you’re anything like me, you’ve changed lots and present different sides of yourself to different people, so arguably some of these people know very different “you’s!” I have set up “groups” of friends, but have yet to restrict access to any photos or posts to only certain groups, although I set the groups up with that in mind. I know some “friends” better than others, and especially regarding high school friends, some of them I barely knew even then. But I’m Facebook friends with them now as an avenue to finding folks I did know, should they join in the future.

When I first joined I did what I’m sure most folks do, and searched for those people you’ve often thought of over the years but had lost touch with. I found my erstwhile prom date that way, and have enjoyed the re-established connection. I searched for my ex-husband, out of morbid curiosity, but he wasn’t on. I searched his sisters (one of whom I’m still close to), and his brother-in-laws, one of whom is a very minor celebrity (TV/movie writer). I found the BIL, but I didn’t friend him.

For some reason I searched the sister I like again on Friday, and she’s now on Facebook. I debated about friending her, all sorts of scenarios running in my mind. While I don’t post anything uber private on Facebook, I’m also not sure I want my ex-husband knowing any of what I post. Then again, I shouldn’t be so hung up on myself as to think everyone is so interested in what I have to say that she would run off and tell him any of what I might post.

In the end I decided to friend her. She accepted.

I also searched the ex again, and he’s now there too. He is not (yet) friends with his sister. The ex and I are connected on LinkedIn, but I see that as a professional networking site, where Facebook is personal. I’m OK with using him for job opportunities (and vice versa), but personal…..not so much. I have to assume he’s looked for me too, and seen that I’m there, but has elected not to friend me, probably for many of the same reasons I have. Once we have a common friend, that may get a little stickier.

Don’t you love how I can find things to worry about?

One and Done

After my last “big date” with Gary almost two weeks ago, a break over Thanksgiving wherein he traveled across the country to have a too-short visit with his kids, and a date looming this weekend which I had not decided what we should even do, I had to face the truth. The cringing when I saw his number on my caller-id had to mean only one thing: I am not ready to date. Or at least not date this man.

I have had a lot of time to think since our last date. I wasn’t feeling any physical attraction, and even though several of you mentioned that you didn’t initially feel attracted to your husbands, or other men you ended up in relationships with, I knew I didn’t have the time to wait for that to develop (sitters are expensive, and let’s face it, I’m not getting any younger). Truthfully that’s happened to me as well – I actually married a man I wasn’t sure I liked after the first date (turns out my first instincts were correct, oh well).

But it wasn’t just that. I think we have some different values about a lot of things, which was evident to me even after just two dates. Which will probably be a bigger issue for me as I’m older and I know I’m pretty well entrenched in my ways and ideals, as I imagine almost anyone is in their forties or fifties. Interestingly enough, the last time I did online dating, in the mid-90’s, my experience with men was similar to what I also ran into with Gary this time – the men were nice, but seemed to presume a level of relationship or intimacy that was more advanced than where I was.

Anyway, I knew any future date would have me seething in resentment that my “me” time was being taken up. I knew I had to take care of this beforehand. My best friend’s husband gave me the go-ahead to use email, given we’ve only been on two dates, and I was more than thrilled to use that option. So I sent Gary an email this morning:

I hate having to resort to email for this, but honestly it’s how I feel most comfortable, especially since we don’t know each other super well. I apologize in advance if this seems impersonal, or cowardly, to you, but please understand this is about me. Anyway, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about you, and me, and whatever might or might not be going on between us, and about me. Yes, I said me twice. I’ve been doing a lot of introspection. And here’s what I’ve come up with. I signed up for speed dating because I thought I wanted to date. I thought I wanted to give myself something: some grown-up time, an adult friendship, someone to count on, and possibly even someone to have a relationship with. And unfortunately, I find that even though I did this to try to give myself something, I’ve realized that I don’t have anything to give right now. Perhaps at the root is that my children are too young, my job situation too sketchy, or any combination of those plus everything else involved in being a single mom, – but whatever it is, at the end of a day, at the end of a week, I am spent, and there is nothing left for anyone else.  I feel awful because you have been nothing but kind and sweet and generous to me. You seem like a wonderful man, and I have enjoyed getting to know you.

I hope you can see this as I mean it, which is completely about me. It is me who thought I was ready for something I am not, and not you who did anything wrong.

I wish you nothing but happiness and success in all you do – and I hope you’re able to get to your girls full time just as soon as you can.

All the best,

Ragtop Day

And he responded back within 10 minutes – he said he thought something was up, offered himself as a friend anytime, and wished me a “great life with your girls.”

And I feel relief.