My friends liked him.
My parents liked him.
Hell, I even liked him.
But none of that deterred me from making a swift exit from our relationship last week.
When we starting seeing each other eight weeks prior, I had my reservations about getting serious with him. Sure he was fun to drink with(WOOT), emotionally available(HALLELUJAH), and there was physical chemistry between us(RAWR), but deep down I knew I’d need more than that for there to be a real future with him.
I have a son and if I’m going to get really serious with someone I know they’ll eventually have to be a good role model for him. My gut told me this guy wasn’t it. Still, my therapist and mom encouraged me to give it a try.
“Just have some fun. Why does it have to be forever? For once, why don’t you try dating someone for you instead of your son?” my therapist said.
“Maybe you can inspire him to grow up and want more,” my mom suggested.
And so I stopped talking to other guys and ventured into exclusivity with him.
When he drunkenly professed his feelings for me two weeks after we started dating and asked me to be his girlfriend I literally winced. Why? Because I didn’t want to be anyone’s girlfriend so soon. Especially when I was still trying to figure out if they were a fit for me.
But a week later I agreed to be his girlfriend anyway. I loved the idea of letting myself fall in love with him and it seemed like the right thing to do. I had fun with him, he was good to me, and he was obviously head over heels in love with me already. Wasn’t that the kind of guy I’d been searching for all this time?
Looking back now I know I shouldn’t have rushed into things before I was sure, but I’ll be the first one to admit I can be impulsive when it comes to romance. Still, I probably should’ve continued to play the dating game with him instead of venturing into playing house – because that’s exactly what started to happen without me even realizing it.
The second time he slept over he left his toothbrush behind because he said it would just be easier that way. The next week he left hair gel on my sink and man soap in my shower. Soon after came the underwear that needed a drawer and shirts that needed hangers in my closet. There was never any discussion beforehand about him leaving his stuff here – he pretty much just assumed it was ok. And while it freaked me the fuck out I never said anything.
I thought maybe I was just being an asshole for feeling suffocated. I questioned whether or not I was simply being a wuss about getting this close to someone. Perhaps I still had some issues from my past that I needed to work through and trusting him enough to leave his shit here and sleep next to me sometimes would help solve them. After all, I was his girlfriend and we were spending two nights a week together at my place. It should totally be ok for him to leave his stuff here, shouldn’t it?
I told him I loved him several times while we were together, and when I said it I meant it. When you start spending so much time with someone that treats you well and openly expresses how much they care for you, it’s pretty much inevitable you’re going to fall in love with them too. Of course, I also fell in love with that cute little dog I passed while running at Manasquan reservoir this week, but that doesn’t mean I want to take him home with me and pick up his shit every day.
Somewhere during our time together I went from feeling hopeful about our future to feeling like I had a second child on my hands. It might’ve been that time he repeatedly drunk texted and drunk dialed me while pretty close to blackout drunk at 1am on a Saturday night, nearly waking up my sleeping kid, to tell me he needed me and wanted to marry me someday.
That shit would’ve been cute in my 20s, but as a single mom in my mid-thirties being woken up by drunk texts and calls just makes me roll my eyes. Yes he took out my garbage, washed my dishes, told me he loved me and was genuinely good to me, but I wasn’t looking to be in a relationship with a 30-something Frat boy.
There were things he said and did over the course of our time together that made me realize he was light years behind me in maturity, and rightly so as a young guy without kids and little responsibility. Maturity would probably be the last thing on my mind too if I had that kind of freedom – but I don’t.
If I continued down the path I was on, I envisioned my future would one day consist of me serving Totino’s pizza rolls to him and my son for the rest of my days while they sat on the couch playing video games together in their underwear. I wasn’t about to settle for a life of that for nothing more than a simple “he’s good to me.”
And so I bolted.
I’d thought if I found someone that I could have fun with, that was capable of loving me the way I deserved, they would be the person I would spend the rest of my life with. I’d thought that simple act of being “good to me” would be enough.
Turns out it wasn’t enough to keep me in a relationship.
Maybe this wasn’t the right guy, or maybe I’m just not made for serious relationships anymore.
Maybe the truth is that I can be perfectly happy living the rest of my life flying solo as a single mom, hanging with my friends and family, taking my son on adventures, never getting married, but enjoying the occasional date, fling or one night stand.
That idea actually sounds pretty damn awesome right now.
Maybe I just keep on being “good to me” and doing my own thing, without a definitive answer on the future of my love life…