It’s been a long two weeks without my kids. They’ve been with their father for a long period of time. They’re having fun. Enjoying their summer. Being kids and living their best lives.
I, on the other hand, am having an identity crisis. I’ve gone from Single Mom of Two Kids, to a Single Lady with Nothing But Her To Do list… and too much time to think about dating, or lack thereof. Sometimes I think I should just get a pet.
The first week the kids were gone, I was concentrated on work so it wasn’t too different. Just quieter. By the time the long weekend rolled around, I got bored and made a To Do list. It’s now all done. My Independence Day long holiday weekend went like this:
- Felt sorry for myself and cried on Friday.
- Power-washed the house on Saturday.
- Visited family for a 4th of July party on Sunday.
- Stained my deck on Monday and Tuesday.
- Cleaned my kitchen floors, and descaled my Keurig coffee maker on Wednesday.
I thought I’d be able to use a couple of days during this time to get the know the new guy I met in the middle of June. We had a great first date, and have been regularly texting ever since, but never met up again because of our work and kid schedules. This whole time I haven’t had kids, but he had his son. Before I knew it, it was my last day of “free” time from my kids. So yesterday, when he asked what my plans were for that evening, I took the opportunity to see if he wanted to hang out again. He quickly agreed. I was a little annoyed that he couldn’t just ask me out on his own.
We met up at a Mexican restaurant. It was a little more of a subdued date than last time. The margaritas helped get conversation flowing. It was light chit chat and mostly me asking questions and him talking. I can tell he is guarded. He will freely talk when asked questions, but he doesn’t ask them back. Any information he knows about me is because I offered it up in conversation. I can tell he’s sensitive with a rough exterior, but it’s been a little frustrating trying to get to know him.
To my surprise, with how guarded he’s been, he suddenly opened up about the first love of his life. He told me the whole story, which was emotional, and I think he may have even teared up a little. I went from smiling and nodding to getting a little depressed about the whole thing. He seemed to still be in love with this person 20 years later. I was a little shocked that he went from surface level chatting to such a deep topic without much warning. I was left speechless. It kind of explained a lot about why his relationships have gone the way they have so far in his life.
After that, you’d think he’d asked more about my dating history. He didn’t. I offered up a little info, but he didn’t bite. I felt complete lack in that moment. Lack of someone wanting to get to know me too. The date was good overall. Not great, not bad. Just good. It was better than sitting at home texting him – I got to know him a little better. But like I said, did he get to know me better?
I thought getting to know this guy was a smart move because he was far from what my usual dates try to do – which is typically love-bombing to start, followed by complete good times, and ultimately manipulation of some sort. I’m done with that type of rollercoaster, but he was a complete 180 from that. It didn’t feel good. It feels like it’s not worth it. This is where I’m caught in the gray space of wondering if my perspective is twisted because of past relationships, or is this feeling of lack a legitimate red flag? I feel like I’d know how to give advice about this to someone else, but since it’s me, I’m double-doubting myself.
We walked outside the restaurant, bid farewell with some banter and a hug, and each walked to our cars in opposite directions of the parking lot. I sat in my car for a minute, bewildered, and looking for an appropriate playlist to fit my mood. It was an odd mood. Raw. Sad. Unsatisfied. Tired.
As I drove away with the windows down, the summer air smelled like it should be filled with good times, but tears streamed down my face for the whole drive. I couldn’t stop them. I was a sniffling idiot. I was trying to figure out why I was crying, because the date was not bad, but I was too tired to care. I let the music cover up my sobs and the wind dry my face as I gave up on making sense of anything.
Stifle Me Not