Whenever anyone says to me, “I’m so happy for you,” I nod and smile. But more often than not, I think to myself, “You have no idea what a road it has been.”
I don’t like to write about what that road — what it looked like like or how it felt to walk it — before I met Chris. (And don’t get me wrong, my marriage is really showing me just how much work, intention, and trust a healthy, loving relationship really does take.) Yet sometimes, I browse back through these old blog posts and remember how hopeless I felt about love exactly four years ago.
At that time, my boyfriend — “The Israeli” — and I had just moved in together. But after just a few months, it was clear that we’d made a mistake. I beat myself up for pulling my daughter through this — the relationship, the move, the break-up. I also replayed the past two years: why hadn’t I noticed how much he’d been shutting down?
In the meantime, I was off on my book tour, answering questions about dating and love. I figured that if I talked out loud about being hopeful, maybe it would really sink in. Back at home, in early 2007, I was packing boxes, simmering among my books and bed sheets. My daughter and I moved across town, and she asked about him just a handful of times. I called him, we had a few awkward play dates in the park, and then she stopped asking about him.
In the meantime, I got a new job. I started kick boxing three nights a week. I had girlfriends over for dinner. I launched Singlemommyhood. I read a lot. I felt lonely. I wrote in my journal. I cried. And I said “No” to dating.
Then, in late 2008, T from Life’s a Classroom, encouraged me to write a post about “The man I hope to love.” As I wrote a list of all the traits I hoped to find in a man, T reminded me that I needed to BE this list. “We only get what we give away,” she said.
Well, he came into my life a few months later. Coincidence? Maybe not.
I’d love to know:
If you are dating again in the New Year, have you written down the traits you hope to find in a man (or woman)?
Or, have you made an intention to stay single and focus on yourself?
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