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In today’s dating world…

You cannot put your guard down. You cannot be vulnerable. You cannot express how you really feel, and you shouldn’t even LET yourself feel anything.

When Ross passed away, from that day forward, I assumed that I would be alone, just me and the kids. I was content with that. I had come to terms with that.

So I woke up every morning and took care of my children, and I tended to the house, and I packed and unpacked our boxes several times, trying to find our new normal. I worked hard and then I didn’t work, for I was exhausted and tired to the bone from single parenting and dealing with the stress of carrying the full weight of the responsibility. I was transporting two kids to counselors, one with PTSD and the other with autistic behavior issues…who was getting physically stronger by the day, and displaying aggressive meltdowns, which seemed to only directed at me. I didn’t know to control her fits and I was getting hurt a lot. FIVE of my personal dogs that Ross and I raised together, all died, one right after another. I have yet to grieve for any one of them and I was alone during every single passing. I went to bed every night defeated, falling asleep right away, only to wake up an hour later, and lay there all night long, into the morning, pondering every little worry in my head. Did I make the right decision? How will Reagan get past finding his father dead? Will Bailey ever be able to control her aggression, when she is in full fledged meltdown, and will she ever be able to live successfully on her own, as an adult? How much longer can I go on this way, with the weight of the world, with every single obstacle in my pathway, with no way around it? How will anyone ever love me and everything that I am? My package of children, dogs…my newfound trust issues and my fear of abandonment. How?? And why?

What I have learned in this new dating world…..the world is jam packed full of emotionally unavailable men, that say they want a “girlfriend”, but turns out, they do not. There are men who only want FWB (friends with benefits), who want to reap all of the rewards of being in a relationship, without any strings holding them to any one single person. The men out there…they are indecisive or just plain mean. So mean. And the “nice” men out there…they tell you everything you want to hear, and then they are gone, without the respect of an explanation or closure.

I have learned in today’s dating world, that everyone is BROKEN. Everyone has lied, cheated, been betrayed, been heartbroken, and everyone has been hurt to the point of building their own walls, while trying to knock down the walls of others. We WANT love, but we do not want to let ourselves love completely. Gone are the days…of loving with abandonment.

I am a widow. This means that I WILL love differently. I WILL cherish my person. I WILL love that person wholeheartedly, and I will ALWAYS have an insatiable fear of losing them to death. I know that every single moment can be GONE in the blink of the eye. If I lose my person to another woman, then I am able to push on, because that person was not meant for me, but I cannot handle losing them to death. There is NO closure to death. No ending. There is no resolution and NO PEACE, especially when you lose someone unexpectedly. And my children and I will NEVER know why Ross died. That will never be okay, and I will never be at peace with that. I can learn to adapt without him because I have no choice, but I will never be at peace with his death.

So I keep trying to be happy, but I am reaching the bottom now, and I am growing tired of all the games, lies, indecisiveness, and I am growing SO tired of being hurt, and there is a hell of a lot of hurt today, at every single damn turn.

I am only confident of a few things….I have learned that the amount of effort someone puts into YOU, shows their level of interest.

And…

No average man need apply for this position. A real man will have good work ethic. A real man will put you first always (and yes, the exception is if he has children). A real man will not be cowardly, and will TELL you exactly how he is feeling. A real man will not leave you guessing. A real man will love YOUR children as his own. A real man will not sit by and watch you suffer in any way, whether it is emotionally or physically. A real man will not ever put himself into a situation where he could be tempted by another woman. Not a real man who is completely and fully devoted to YOU.

And YES, this works both ways.

I do not NEED to be married again. I do not NEED to have anyone in my life. I CHOOSE to be happy again, in a different manner, on a different level, in a totally different chapter. But I will not knock on any more closed doors.

I want my best friend that I can’t keep my hands off. BUT that person will need to find me, and he will need to come and get me, because this girl is freaking tired.

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