In my dating history I have found that I have a tendency to jump in hot and heavy. And once I like a guy, the more attached I get to him if I am under the impression that he likes me. If I see red flags I ignore them because, heck, he likes me! In my mind I start to envision a life with this person, things we could do together and events we could attend, places we will travel. I have an entire relationship with them in my mind by one month in. And then I am attached. I feel like it’s similar, for me, to the affair fog. If the guy breaks up with me while I am deep in this fog, this relationship building in my mind, I tend to feel over attached and devastated at the loss of the person. I believe this is what happened with the Fireman when we first dated. I was over the top attached to him after not really knowing him at all.
If the relationship lasts to about 4-5 months I have noticed the fog starts lifting and I am able to actually see the person based on their behaviour and actions and not what I have built them to be in my mind. I am able to see where my wishes and reality don’t match up. This is the time where I am the one to end the relationship if things are not as I would like them to be, if we truly are not compatible. In the case of FunTimesCheaterPantsAl, (FTCPA), he was super good at making his actions and my wishes align, so it was 6 months before I could see him for who he was. I do still miss the fun times and adventures though!
In the past 8 months I have felt in a really weird place.
I decided after my official separation that this year was going to be a year of doing things that bring me joy. Not things I thought I should be doing, or things that others think I should be doing, but things that really make me happy. Building memories with my kids is one of those things, so I have been taking them on more adventures. I’m trying to not over spend but I’m also not letting the idea of debt hold me back (still not in debt so things are okay!).
I’m also trying to look at my relationships for if they are bringing me joy..joy Right Now. Im tired of meeting men who are great at telling me who they are but suck at showing me. Men who say they are adventurous and like to get out and do things but then turn out to be too busy to actually do those things. I have no time for that in my new joy experiencing life!
With this shift in thinking I am also not looking at dating and men in terms of long term. I have zero desire to get married again. I feel it’s really pointless. I would love the honeymoon but one does not need to marry to celebrate being together with a lovely vacation!
I also have no desire to be a step parent or have someone else parent my kids. I don’t want to live with another man until my kids are grown and out of the home. My ideal mate would have his own place, we would spend our childfree time and together and some family time with our kids together occasionally. If we continue to enjoy each other’s company when our kids are grown then we re-evaluate, determine what would bring us the most joy at that point. Perhaps it’s buying a home together or buying an RV and travelling our beautiful country! Who knows! All that I know at this point is that I LOVE my home, parenting my kids on my own and doing things that I enjoy!
This is a far cry different from how I dated before. I would invest myself in finding out what made my partner happy and then tried to achieve that for them. Even with FTCPA, I enjoyed our adventures and the places we travelled, but really it was all about things he wanted to do and experience…I was just someone willing to go along. This time around I am in the drivers seat. But as much as I enjoy it, it’s also extremely unsettling. Now I just have to figure out why.