On my very long drive home from touring an alternative school for my children in a neighboring state, I did a lot of thinking about my life and where I am at. I had basically concluded that I will not be leaving this little town any time in the near future and it is time to start the next chapter in my life here, rather than question if the next chapter will be here or not. I know whole heartedly that the prior chapter of my life is now closed and while I have had fun occupying my spar time with the company of younger, free-spirited men in the area, at the end of the day it still left me unfulfilled.
I am ready to move on and begin living a life here, rather than my business and children be my whole life here. I began the dismal task of assessing all of the single men in the area and sizing them up to The List. My thoughts kept circling back to a regular of mine at the restaurant. Most single men in this town have voiced an interest in me at one time or another and this regular was no exception. I was aware that he would be interested in taking me out, if I were so inclined. I have always held him at bay because he has been divorced for less than a year and his ex-wife hovers somewhere between and acquaintance and a friend of mine.
Upon returning home, I began showing more of an interest in My Regular with what little time I have to do so. I went out one night with some friends and co-workers of his and ended up taking him home. As we began to spending more time together, I began to suspect that he was not emotionally available or ready to start dating. I read him The List and explained the importance of The List to me. I am very attracted to My Regular and have a wonderful time with him, but I have to be true to myself out of fairness to both of us. I could not continue to string this man along, if in my heart I knew that he was not emotionally available or ready for a relationship. I did my best to explain this to him and put some distance between us.
Rather then riding off into the sunset, My Regular took another approach to my attempt to hold him at arm’s length. He lifted the veil and unloaded his baggage on my front doorstep. It was honest, it was real, it was raw and it was heartbreaking. I empathized greatly with so many things that he said. He reminded me of myself shortly after my divorce; uncertain, insecure, frighten by possibility of letting someone new into your life. He was taking a huge leap of faith with his approach, but it worked. I have found great comfort and assurance being with a man who openly exposed his vulnerability and genuinely understands that we all have a past that we bring with us.
The choice he made changed everything, for both of us. Giving into him and embracing the idea that I am ready to love again has been so much easier once we both put down our guards and trusted each other enough to expose our true selves. I certainly still get consumed by fear from time to time with him; wondering why he doesn’t talk about his marriage more or when the other shoe is going to drop and I will find out something about him too insignificant to overlook. But I think that is part of falling in love; you do not fear something if you are not scared to lose it.
I am doing my best to focus on how wonderful it feels to feel unconditionally loved, supported and appreciated again. It has been way too long since any man has made me feel all of those things. And the sex, lets not forget the sex! I had completely forgot about how much better sex is when you feel emotionally connected to someone (Think Your Body is a Wonderland by John Mayer). We are both verging on exhaustion from staying up way too late talking for hours on end about our children, families, friends and youth. And of course there are the late night nudges that have been preventing us getting a solid night’s rest in weeks, but you won’t hear either of us complaining.