I don’t like to talk about my personal life.
Mostly because it’s mine.
I’m sure that doesn’t make a lot of sense to anyone else, but it does to me. What is mine I like to keep mine. My personal life never goes on FB. Only a handful of people know when I am seeing someone. Any blog posts pertaining to my love life do not get shared on my personal or blog’s Facebook pages. Years ago, I got burned when I was open about my love life. Now I am not. I am far more reserved. I save that part of my life for me & only those closest to me. I don’t need to publicly shout from the rooftops that I am with someone & in love. As long as I’m willing to introduce you to those who are closest to me (my children), then you’re special to me. The rest I like to do slowly, in baby steps, so that I don’t feel in over my head. I once dove in too fast & was engaged after three weeks & married a little over a year later. I always felt like I was drowning, doing too much, too soon & ignoring the red flags. When I was here before, I knew I was with the right person, but I didn’t understand that you can know you’ve met your lobster but not be ready for the major steps. Maybe I’m a lobster that likes to wade in the ocean & not get flung into the pot. Truthfully, I like to let my partner take the lead on major steps & I can let them know how I feel as we go. I like to know their comfort level beforehand. I’ll have a timetable for the next logical step (ie; meet my parents) & unless they take the lead & suggest it much sooner, I’ll bring it up then. If that makes sense. Mostly because I want to do it right; quickly isn’t always “right.” Comfort level is key & mine is “wading pool.”
Also, my taste in men is generally horrible. I once joked that I was going to buy a shirt that said “I attract losers.” I dated men that didn’t see my worth. I dated men who weren’t there for me when I needed them. I dated abusive psychos & my marriages ended when he tried to smother me with a pillow. I generally pick emotionally abusive or generally horrible people, with the exception of my current love, who was always the right person, just never at the right time. But it is now & it’s wonderful. But I also want to do things in the right way, so I’m more mindful of giving space. I’m more mindful of making sure we take things slowly & do things right & when we are ready, not just jump in, because this lobster likes surf. But I’m also protective of my choices & when those closest to me question my affection for someone & my willingness to give them another chance, I get annoyed. I’m a grown up, I know the risks & I am fine. But, I guess it’s the reasons that annoy me.
“He won’t talk to you every day. He doesn’t even have the decency to send you a good morning text every day. That means he’s not that into you.”
“He’ll have free time & go out with the guys & NOT EVEN INVITE YOU & then leave again because he’ll rather be single & I’ll tell you I told you so…again. You should be his only priority, and you know you’re not.”
Or my favourite;
“You’re dumb & this is gonna blow up because he has no respect for you & I’m going to laugh at you when it does.”
Nope. My boyfriend & I do not talk every day. Sometimes I’m busy & doing my own thing, as is he. Besides, we are grown adults, who needs someone to check in every day? Blah. I am not his only priority. He isn’t mine. My number one and two priorities are my daughters & my writing career. Everything else is secondary. If I can’t make someone my number one priority, how could I ask that of someone else? All I ask is that I am one of your priorities, as you are mine.
Besides, cutesy words are highly overrated.
(Before you say “MHC, you write novels in greeting cards”. I sure do. Those are actual feelings. Canned sentiment is not)
There are entire webpages dedicated to templates of “Good morning beautiful,” text messages, in case you were wondering about the romance level. It’s not original; nor is it romantic. It doesn’t mean he thought of you, it’s part of the dude playbook. If he wants to go out without me, go out! Have fun. My love is based on free will. This way, I know the choices he makes when it comes to me are 100% his & I respect them. I understand the concern of my inner circle, as historical precedent predicts a sudden and swift exit, and he’s not telling me what I used to think I needed to hear every second to make me feel secure. But I am secure & I know I’m with the right person for a great many reasons, which likely sound so stupid to my friends, but make perfect sense to me;
- He knows my Starbucks order & brings it to me every time he sees me, & even makes sure my name is spelled correctly on the cup, because I am convinced that they don’t spell my name wrong.
- He brought me ice cube trays because I mentioned I didn’t have any & would have to pick some up later to make iced tea.
- He has remembered my favourite colour, book & movie for four years.
- He laughs at jokes I’ve told a million times.
- He listens to me babble away & is almost amused by my obsessive need to be the best at everything.
- He sits with me at the hospital when I’m dealing with a family emergency & makes stupid faces at me because he knows I won’t listen to his attempts to help anyway. But he doesn’t leave the room to go smoke, or go home when he’s obviously exhausted. He just sits & makes dumb faces or tells dumb jokes so I’ll laugh for 10 seconds.
When he asked to be in my life, I asked why I should believe him & he said he would show me. Words are great, but actions are everything. I set timetables to make sure we are ready & he bends them to show me is ready & committed to being with me. He shows up at my door after time apart to show me that he missed me. Any one can type out a text & not hit send until morning, but someone invested will be there when you need them, or remember something stupid you said that would make your day brighter.
I may have terrible taste in men (or so I’m told), but I know I would rather be with the man who brings me ice cube trays than the guy who says the right words. I’ve been with men who know how to say the right words, but they never did the right things. Now, he sometimes says the wrong thing (not lately, but it’s happened), but despite how my friend sees it, I am a priority. He shows me I am a priority in a million little ways; with his time, with his level of commitment to me, by respecting my comfort zones, & even finding it oddly flattering when I write about him (which I never truly feel comfortable doing, but I’m overtired & had an idea which likely read better in my brain) & often texts me to tell me what he thought; once in such a sweet way it rendered me speechless (for the first time in my entire life).
When given the choice ladies; pick the guy that brings ice cube trays over pretty words. Or if they can do both; pick that guy. The guy who brings the ice cube trays was listening to you & knew you needed them & wanted to make your day easier. That will make you smile far more than a cutesy message (although they can be nice). My father always said pick a man of substance, not a man who knows smooth lines, so I did. Over & over again. And of all the choices I make in life (which are mostly terrible), it’s the best (not parenting or journalism) one I’ve ever made.