I can’t see for the tears streaming down my face and I’m shaking, so it’s actually hard to type. Why is it, the first thing that goes through a woman’s mind with a break up; the first thing she can come up with for the reasoning behind it, is—-“What is wrong with ME?” This is still so new that I’m having difficulty forming cohesive thoughts, but that’s the one overwhelming thing that keeps going through my head–“What is WRONG with ME?”
I just turned 60 two weeks ago. It’s a mind blowing thought that I also can’t completely wrap my mind around, but it’s okay, because–let’s face it. It’s better than the alternative.
Tomorrow is the anniversary of my one and only wedding–it would have been 33 years if we were still together; we divorced at 27. A good chunk of time in one’s life, but after the first couple years of being by myself, I was ready to move on. Yes, I joined some of those dating sites. Yes, I got a lot of responses, the better part of which were pretty pathetic. Yes, I responded to several, talked online with most; only agreed to meet a few in person.
A gentleman that I did meet and we were together for 1 1/2 years, just recently passed away suddenly. I knew it wasn’t quite right, but we had a pretty good time together, movies, theater, day trips, dinners, the usual “getting to know each other stuff.” When he called it off a year ago, I wasn’t too surprised and that was that.
I didn’t venture into the dating game again until the first part of this year, when I was contacted by someone who had just recently moved to our small town from a much larger one in California. We got to know each other online, sent cutesy emails back and forth, again, the usual stuff. We first met for lunch at a local restaurant and had a pretty nice time I thought. The first time he kissed me, I think I actually swooned (what does that even mean? Whatever it is, I was feeling it). The first time he took me to his house, we were in his computer room and I saw that not only had he printed out my online profile, but he’d starred it and highlighted a certain phrase I’d written, about knowing that I would eventually meet my soul mate. I remember talking to him about it and he admitted that he felt he’d found that in me. Awww!
Over the course of the next few weeks, we spent lots time together; dinners, movies, theater and we just never seemed to run out of things to say to each other. I was never really a “girly” girl, but found that I liked to primp and get made up when I knew I’d be seeing him. I knew he appreciated it as well, because he told me, he liked a woman to “look” like a woman.
When we talked, it felt like there was this unsaid thing between us, yet neither of us wanted to be the first to say it. Finally, he did. Out to dinner one night he asked me to look at him and he said, “I love you!” I felt that was the one thing that was waiting to be said/done to cement our relationship.
I had never felt so loved or cherished in my entire life and everytime he held my chair for me; walked around the truck to open my door for me; again, I felt special. I’d never been treated so well, I felt like a princess, and I always let him know.
Did I think it was too soon? We’d only been seeing each other for less than two months, and I think, with anyone else, it would have felt forced, or not sincere. But with him, it felt so totally right that I couldn’t believe it. We would talk almost every single night, and again, there never seemed to be a dearth of topics. Movies on Friday afternoon/evenings because he felt that I needed at least one good day off a week (I take care of my MIL). I sent loving cards to him for no particular reason but to say I loved him. He always called to say how much he loved and appreciated that I was thinking of him.
When my MIL had to go to the hospital ER, he came and sat with me. When she was admitted and ended up in there for two weeks, I found myself running ragged with all the errands, doctors, trips to the hospital, etc. One night, he asked me to come over and he fixed me a wonderful, “comfort food” dinner that just reinforced how much I loved him and how much he tried to go the extra mile to make me feel special.
As much as I didn’t want to admit it to myself, I did start to notice some slight changes in the frequency of our time together. The phone calls at night to just chat started to slow down. He was in the middle of a TV program (or I was), and the calls got shorter and shorter. He was starting to study to get his real estate license, so when he’d say he was sorry he wasn’t avoiding me, he just had so much to learn, I accepted it. We both had our own lives; I knew that and I certainly didn’t want to take anything away from what we both did on a day to day basis.
My family is very important to me; my girls, my Mom, my siblings. I like to make a few trips to see them each year (they live in the city) and my plan has always been to sell my house here and move back north to be closer to all of them. Coming from and living in big cities, he told me from the get-go, that he didn’t want to move back to a city and he didn’t like rainy weather. Understandable, and we talked many times about compromise, on both our parts. I wouldn’t move to the city, but just closer; he talked about the coast; close, but not IN a city. Things like that.
I took my daughters back to their apartment and spent 6 days with them and the rest of my family in the city. We talked once as I was leaving town; I called him once I got there and that was it. My sister even asked about him, since I hadn’t talked much about him while there. When I got back to town, I called; his answering machine was on. We played phone tag for the next few phone calls; he left a voice mail on my cell. I finally called him a few hours ago…it was pleasant enough, but he told me he just didn’t have the same feelings for me that he did originally. “Can we still be friends?” “Yes.” He was surprised at “how well” I was handling it. He said he still loved me, but the spark wasn’t there.
Do I blame him? Of course not! He truly is a wonderful man and I hope we CAN still be friends. But it’ll take awhile before I actually want to see him in person I think.
—-Back to the title of this post—What is wrong with me?—–
~~Too fat, too old, too independent, too clingy, too loud, too involved in my own life, too selfish? Yes–Yes–Yes. I am all these things and more, at some time or another.
~~I’ve lost and gained weight throughout my life and will continue to do so–recently, I lost 23 pounds and it’s made me feel wonderful at what I can accomplish in that arena.
~~Not too-oo old, just older, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
~~I’ve had to be independent, in order to take care of myself and my girls.
~~I can be clingy or not, I think I just go with what the circumstances call for.
~~Yes, I’m loud at times, aren’t we all.
~~Involved in my own life–well, YEAH!
~~Selfish to the degree that we all are–no more and no less for the most part.
I raved to my Mom and my family when I first started going out with him, like a loony teenager. I told Mom that “this was THE one”, even as she cautioned me to go slow. Once a mother, always a mother. Just as I was so gaga in the beginning, I’m equally distraught right now. As I sit here, much calmer than at first, I’m back to feeling like it is me. Why do we women always feel so strongly that if a relationship doesn’t work out, it must be them?? Or that it behooves them to make any changes that need to be made to “fix” it? At first, I thought I was the type who might be in love with the idea of being in love. But the more I think about it, I just don’t want to be alone. I’d still like to find “the one” and, eternal optimist that I am, I might still find him. I just hope I’m not so old I won’t recognize him!
Knowing my propensity for pen and paper (or in this case, computer keyboard and screen), I knew that this would be theraputic and calming. I have a headache from crying, but I’ve stopped that now, my hands aren’t shaking anymore and I no longer feel like such a dud. Ah shoot, nevermind–I guess there’s still a few tears left.