Tag Archives: commitment

another door closes

Not that it was open, or anything…but I’ve recently learned that Chi-guy got remarried. How did I come upon this fascinating tidbit, you might ask? Facebook, of course.

It’s funny when someone who was once in your life (remembered fondly, probably because we were never more than flirtatious friends) moves on in very real way. I can’t deny feeling a twinge of emotion — not because it didn’t happen for us, though perhaps because it’s happened now for one of us. And that one wasn’t me.

I wish them well, blah, blah, blah… Truly, I hope that he’s learned to be a better man in this relationship than I observed him being when I last visited him. And her, too:  there was a distinct moment that struck me as very “I will not be ignored, Dan!” (picture Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction). Perhaps I am being unfair. And perhaps that long ago visit was exactly the catalyst they needed to get over a relationship hump and move forward.

…for that, newlyweds, you’re welcome!

Just kidding.

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baby crazy

Today I’ve learned that another of my girlfriends is pregnant. She’s the second wife, and he will have grandchildren older than their coming arrival. And I can’t help but feel just a bit surprised.

Sure, this happens all the time. But, given their lifestyle and such, I guess I’d just assumed that they’d talked before getting married and decided to be wonderful aunt and uncle and grandparents. But, oh, what a wonderful treat to have a baby!

I met another friend and her one-year-old for brunch over the weekend. My children sat bored and restless, playing with electronic devices, while I, smitten, cooed over the darling little girl. My girlfriend was 39, nearly 40, when she had her daughter. Another girlfriend has just undergone IVF…fingers crossed.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve got babies on the brain. I suppose it’s safe to confess that I’m baby crazy!

Would I have another? I’ve gone back and forth many times since my youngest was born (now more than eight years ago), even considering becoming a surrogate to give another couple the joy of becoming parents. My son even remarked a few years ago, “Mommy, I think you’d have another baby if you could.” Last week, I saw a profile of three children waiting for adoption and wished I were capable of bestowing such miracles on my own. I’ve often thought about hosting exchange students or taking in foster children…if I weren’t a single, that is. (Even as a single, I may yet do such things as my children grow a wee bit older…)

Ultimately, with my other roles as parent and provider, such musings have yet to come to anything. And today, while I’ve counted myself for some time among the well and truly finished, unwilling to go back to wee-hour feedings and diaper pails, I think I might just be open…if the stars aligned…if the man and wind conditions were right…perhaps if I could stay home at least part of the time…I might be open to considering it.

My children are, of course, dead set against this. But they can be bribed. Further, they are not in charge.

Ultimately, my conclusion is this:  I have an open heart and an open mind and many, many gifts that might be shared in any number of ways. For the moment, I’ll revel in being an honorary aunt to my friends’ babies — and someday, sooner than if I had a newborn, a social life.


Peter Pan

Somehow I’ve always managed to attract a certain type of men:  When I was not yet thirty, the fifty-year-olds were drawn to me like white on rice, like moths to a lamp. Lately, it seems to be guys who don’t want to grow up, who want to live in the moment, who don’t have any kind of vision for the future. Or is it just that a disproportionate number of the available men out there are single because they aren’t interested in commitment?

In any case, I sometimes wonder whether I should be concerned about the trend, concerned that maybe I’m giving off a “fantasy” vibe, rather than “marriage-potential” vibe.

I’ve been clear about what interests me, and I’ve aligned my behavior to my long-term interests, eschewing easy dalliances. After all, I’d hate to end up back in a relationship with a man who ultimately required as much parenting as my children. A man (by this age) ought to have some sense of self, strong core values and a clear understanding of the expectations of commitment. He ought to be mature enough to behave with integrity and conduct himself with a certain amount of dignity.

My latest six-month romance was with a man who bucked the trend:  he was dignified and intentional (though he would have said “deliberate”) about living a set of values. In fact, he may have been the most mature man I’ve ever dated. It goes without saying that these are qualities I admire.

So I’m going to bless that chapter of my life, express my gratitude for the experience and know, with confidence, that I’ll recognize such qualities when I next experience them.


let’s break up again

Hollywood has made a killing on romantic stories of first dates that happen over and over again.

And so, while lying in my hammock on the first lovely day of spring, remembering fondly its role in the courtship between me and my first boyfriend after becoming single again, I began musing on what I thought was a brilliant idea:  We had broken up so lovingly, maturely, beautifully…why couldn’t we break up over and over again? Why not spend one more beautiful, perfect, last day together — knowing that maybe we aren’t quite right for the long haul together — but enjoying and celebrating the love and affection we still have for one another. What could be wrong with that? Perhaps I should start on the screenplay!

So as I was remembering and musing — you’d think I’d know better — I dialed his number. To my surprise, he answered. And I rambled on for a bit about all my girlfriends thinking I’m a damn fool and how much I missed him and that I’d brought my hammock out and I told him my idea. We chatted a bit and then, as we were about to end our conversation, he asked, “So, do you want me to come over?”

And he did. And we talked and snuggled in the hammock for a bit and he said, “I’m going to take you upstairs and [this part is really not fit for print] and then we’re going to dinner and then I’m going to bring you back home and we’re going to [do that part] all over again.”

Now, y’all know by now how much I like a man with a plan. And especially one who can execute on the plan. Well, we did exactly as planned. Except for the part where he paused and told me that the only thing that could make it better than it was already was if we were in a committed relationship. And when I told him that I still couldn’t say, “YES!” to that, I know he was disappointed.

As we said our good-byes that night, he looked me in the eyes and said, “Now don’t call me again.” And I haven’t, even though I still think he’s wonderful and will miss him.

I’ve since told a few girlfriends about this, and they’ve all nodded and repeated, “mmm, breaking up again” knowingly, like it’s a thing. So apparently this is no novel idea. Apparently, for years, all around me and without my knowing it, people have been breaking up again and enjoying it! Like so many other things, I am a late bloomer when it comes to enjoying the benefits of break-up sex.

None of this brought up difficult emotions for me. I’d made my peace with where we were at — and I still think this guy is a terrific catch!

And then, earlier this weekend, I saw a little film (again) called 500 Days of Summer. Months after breaking up, main characters Tom and Summer find themselves at the same wedding / reception and she falls asleep on his shoulder on the way back to the city. She asks him to a party that weekend and, at some point that evening, he realizes that she’s engaged to a new guy…and he’s devastated.

That’s when I realized that I was Summer and he was Tom, and inviting my former man back into my life for a day may have given him false hope of reconciliation and was, probably, actually kind of cruel…and that hurting him was the furthest thing from my intent.

Toward the end, the two leads run into one another again and, in the course of their conversation (I may be paraphrasing here), Summer, now married, says, “One day I woke up and I just knew.”

Tom:  “Knew what?”

Summer:  “All those things I was never certain about with you.”

And I guess that articulates really well what so many of us are looking for:  certainty, something to which we can say YES!

Oh well. Lesson learned. But I’m still toying with that screenplay idea, Hollywood.

p.s. If you haven’t seen the movie, do — it’s a tale wonderfully told. Besides, who can resist Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel?


there you have it

I think those of you who follow here can tell that I’m fairly real and genuine. One moment I think I’ve forgiven and moved on; the next I’m behaving badly out of lingering blame and resentment.

These are realities for the divorced, and these are the things I choose to share here. I don’t dwell in them. It’s not my whole life. But it’s the sliver of me you get to see for visiting here.


end game

I know I’ve touched on this theme before:  How does a woman know that the guy who’s doing it for her now is the guy who’s going to do it for her in forty years?

There’s a part of me that goes:  Duh. She can’t. She can’t possibly know. None of us know. We can’t know the future!

And then there’s another part of me that goes:  This whole expectation that one person is going to meet our needs now and also forty years from now is ridiculous and arcane.

Finally, there’s the part of me who wants that…to love a man now and love him forty years hence, and for him to do the same.

If it sounds like there are a lot of voices in my head…well, so be it.

But like most stubborn broads, I want what I want what I want. And I’ve seen guys who are attractive and good fathers and good providers and are smart and healthy and good conversationalists. (Of course they are not perfect. No one is.) And I’ve seen elderly couples holding hands while walking on the beach. Maybe I’ve only seen that in television commercials, but so what? It’s okay if some marketing is effective — that gives me hope on both a personal and professional level.

As I’ve also mentioned before, I’m totally digging my man. I’m enjoying every minute.

I can’t see the future. I don’t have a crystal ball. I don’t know whether he will be a good husband or co-homeowner or parent, much less whether he’d be a good husband at eighty. I know he’s a good and loving man. And, for now, that’s enough.

 


marital efficiencies

I haven’t been getting any rest on the weekends lately. That’s because when my children are home, they’re running me ragged. And when they’re not, a certain special guy has been keeping me up at night.

We sat on a park bench one day a while back, both of us stifling yawns as we proposed big, wild ideas for the evening, of which none stood any real chance of actual implementation, because we were both far too tired. I teased him about keeping me up all night and translated that into what could be a future state, whether with me or another, in the wonderful, blissful drudgery of married life and parenting:  “All that caressing and foreplay and loving gets squeezed into the daily routine of life, with children in the next room and narrow windows of opportunity, and what we now do until all hours of the morning gets condensed into a very functional 13 minutes.”

I think that’s a pretty real example of something that happens in many marriages with children. And I don’t think it’s really such a bad thing when it does. Work lives, logistics, spit up, diapers, play dates, hobbies, the gym, sports, other activities, chauffeur duties and more enter back into a humdrum stream of days. The romance and excitement make way for everyday life. Love, which was once demonstrated with flowers and kisses, takes on new meaning, like cleaning up the toddler’s vomit.

I mean, you still have to take time for one another, keep the magic alive…but, as I’ve written before, I was totally cool with married sex…it was efficient in a very satisfying way. There are other opportunities for intimacy and loving acts and I guess my point is that sex can’t really take center stage forever in a relationship. A certain equilibrium or balance or something takes over… Life can be beautifully, exquisitely, satisfyingly routinized — almost boring — without ever getting remotely dull.

How did my guy respond to this whole train of thought? He laughed and gave me a big ol’ “Hell no!”

And does that mean I want to trade sleep for being kept up late loving and caressing? Nah, I kinda dig this stuff, too.