dipping a toe into the pool…

“I don’t know what the hell I’m doing,” is the other working title.

Pondering the universe.

Pondering the universe.

You know Facebook is a great way to keep up with your family, friends and to stay connected to those you love. I am on a little break from social media, but before I started this week off, I look at my friends list. It’s grown tremendously over the last year. I’ve met a bunch of new people, many at the women’s blogging conference this summer and now, as a result, have a lot of friends. A few I’ve gotten to know a little better than others, and I am truly enjoying sharing in their lives.  At one time, I was so private about who I’d share any information with my Facebook friend list was relatively small. Because of my writing, I’ve connected or reconnected with some people I don’t know that well. There’s something so healing in talking to someone and hearing about their experiences especially when their’s aren’t that different from yours.  I like knowing I’m not the only one to have gone through heartache. It’s good to know that others survived their bad experiences too.

Just a toe...

Just a toe…

This writing thing led to one such message from a boy (I say, boy, because the last time I remember seeing him we were in high school) who shared a little about his marriage ending and we had some of the same feelings post-breakup. Well, a few more messages were exchanged on Facebook, then multiple text messages. Of course, I’m not going to share with you who he is or give more details. He shall remain nameless as everyone outside of my family does on here.  I will say this; he genuinely seemed to be a nice man. I liked him although somewhat cautiously and was open to getting to know him better.  I was ready to test the water, maybe just dip my toe into the dating pool? We finally met in person. I don’t know if you would call it a real date but whatever it was, it was nice. We hung out watching TV and visiting.  We stayed up most of the night talking. I haven’t had that sort of conversation with a man in a long time.  Did I say it was nice? For sure.  It was comfortable too, which was so unexpected, especially at this time in my life.  I’ve spent the last ten months looking over my shoulder for #3’s craziness. My assessment at the end of the evening was this: nice guy.

We saw each other a few more times, and we texted quite a bit and talked on the phone.  Problem, my mind wouldn’t stop worrying. How after everything of this last year could I accept anyone or anything at face value? I wanted to get intel on the guy, but I resisted, however,  when the opportunity presented itself I asked a few questions to one of my girlfriends to which his character received glowing recommendations. Sweet!  Perhaps I could stop obsessing? I did, well as much as I could. My kids knew I was texting someone pretty regularly, and they figured it was a guy, they had even seen his name on my phone. The kids and I had a conversation and talked a little about mom being a grown up and having a social life when they were gone to their dad’s house. End result, I got the go ahead from Emma to date (this is my child who had said not long ago she would cut anyone I dated). Of course, the approval wasn’t given carte blanche. There were conditions. She told me my happiness meant a lot to her, but I had to reiterate my promise of not falling in love, getting married or making her spend time around whomever I chose to go date. Again, SWEET! Friend approved and daughter (sorta) approved, and Cole as usual on the fence and said he could care less. I was free to proceed slowly with this dating friendship. So what’s the punchline, right? Why is all of this in past tense?

A combination of things all on my end initially were responsible for the end of my very short dating life. Friends, you all know I have had a lot of crap go down in the last year.  I’m still in therapy because of it. While I poke fun at myself and joke about it most of the time, the damage done is real.  I have a few issues to work out. I’m trying is all I can say. I have developed an uncanny ability to over react. So, all it took to set me off was a vague warning from someone saying I should be careful dating this person. That was pretty much all it took to tie my stomach up in knots, turn it inside out and give me that feeling of shell shock.  I’ve been so worried about messing up again that just the idea made me literally sick to my stomach, broke me out in hives and just about gave me a freaking panic attack. It’s ridiculous, I know. But unfortunately right now it’s my reality.  Eventually, I calmed down but it was still there, so I asked my guy friend about it.  I thought it would clear the air.  I wasn’t ready for his response or subsequent withdrawal from me.  We don’t talk anymore. At one point, I told him it was ok if we didn’t see each other anymore. I didn’t mean it, but it seemed to be for the best. Knee jerk, yeah, this kind of reaction is my specialty these days.

Coffee makes everything better.

Coffee makes everything better.

So, dear reader, as I set her this Sunday morning sipping on coffee and pondering life I’ve reached a few conclusions. I am not ready to date. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. There’s no predetermined amount of time one needs to take to get over a traumatic breakup; this makes me wonder when or if I’ll ever be dateable. My Nanny, after her third husband died, never dated again.  She wasn’t that much older that I am now when he passed away.  She told me once, she’d had her good husband (this was, of course, after having two bad ones) and she wasn’t willing to look for another man because no one would measure up to her #3, Glenn.  That’s some kind of love right there, big love,  the kind to last over forty years in your memories and in your heart. I’ve never had that kind of love, and I may never experience it.  The thought makes me a little sad because, even though I’m a little jaded these days, I am still a romantic at heart. I think true love does exist. It may not happen for me in the romantic sense, but I like knowing it does exist.

In case you are wondering if this is an open letter to him apologizing, it’s not. My friend doesn’t read my blog post anymore. I asked him not to. My mom thinks it should be mandatory reading for anyone considering dating her daughter.  Her words on the matter included: good insight, truthful, knowing what you’ve gone through.

I’m back on the side of the proverbial dating pool for a while longer.  I’ll need to keep my toes to myself and out of the water.

Daisies, coffee and chocolates,

holly

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