I had a different kind of post to go up this evening but after the events of this week that some of you know about, I felt like for a cathartic experience after a week of bad luck, I needed to address this. I’m going to write about how my last relationship still influences my thoughts and feelings about future relationships. I’m hoping by writing about it, it will put a stop to my bad luck and help me look more positively about the rest of the year. I’m so terrified of the terrible events of 2013, spilling over into 2014. Until this week the year was going so well, but a serious of unfortunate incidents have led me to some sleepless nights again. I need to blog to get what’s clogging up my head out into the open.
Next month, it’ll be two years since my last relationship ended. My last and worst relationship and for a whole year this put me off men completely. I had mentally branded them all as the same, and became terrified that I’d ever go through what my ex did (and to an extent) is still doing. In case you haven’t seen any of my last more personal posts, it was a domestically abusive relationship of the mental, emotional and physical type and I’m sure I’ll carry the baggage of this with me for the rest of my life. However, not to dwell too much on what happened during the time we were together, after a year of being cut off completely from the dating world, I started to feel lonely. I like male companionship, without being too crude, I like the physical relationship side of it too (aka I like sex and I was missing that as well). My sister had a boyfriend, and my best friend was now in a happy relationship, both of these good healthy relationships showed me what I was missing. And although at the time, I didn’t feel ready to persue anything until February of this year when I took on the Just Singles #3dates3mths challenge.
I’m now 6 weeks into this challenge and after a week of truly horrible (and dare I say it, threatening) messages from my ex, I’ve realised a few things about how my mentality towards dating has changed.
I am a romanticist, a dreamer and someone on an endless quest for the happy ever after. And though for a while I feared my ex took away my ability to fall again, I know deep down I’m still looking for my prince. However, I’m so much cautious on who I dare to start a once upon a time with. I’m not too naive to know I haven’t had offers over the past year, I have and the ones that could of possibly turned into something are the ones I’ve made up excuses for and pushed away. Why? Because I’m afraid, terrified in fact of being too close. I want the outcome, the marriage, maybe even another kid, but I’m scared of what comes in between.. of the moving in together, the big steps. I’m so scared that I can’t even bring myself to make the baby steps. So instead I latch onto the guys that there is no hope for a future with, the Mr Lives Abroad, the Mr Already Taken and the Mr Workaholic. They’re the ones I have my deep heart to hearts with, the ones who make me laugh and flatter me and I feel comfortable enough to flirt back, most of the time it’s harmless flirting, but I won’t deny two of the three have been on the receiving end of drunk “would you go to bed with me?” texts. They make me feel good, they make me feel attractive and although they can’t fulfill all the boyfriend duties, they make tell me i’m pretty and I feel safe.. because in the back of my mind I know it can’t go any further, I know they can’t hurt me like the last one did.
But what happens when I feel myself falling for them in a way that’s more than friendly banter? Because I do, I always do. I’ve had a boyfriend who always kept me at arms length and although I tried to be okay with it, the rejection really destroyed me. At twenty six can I be okay with something I couldn’t cope with at eighteen? I don’t know yet. I know I’m a stronger person than I was three years ago. Anyone who showed me a little bit affection I’d run at with open arms. I’m now much more cautious and I’m definitely much better at keeping tight a hold of my heart. Because after all they don’t just have to be good enough for me, they have to be good enough for my daughter too. But in the long run, will I be okay with just being “a friend”?
Although my ex isn’t the Devil in the religious sense, he embodies everything that the bible teaches him to be. He is the Devil to me, he has caused so much harm that I wonder if any good can ever come of the damage he did to my heart. I wonder if I’ll ever feel safe enough to let anyone who I have a realistic chance at love with in. Or will I spend my whole life standing on the sideline too frightened to run back and join the game. Instead I just smile at people on the other team, the people I can never be with and perhaps give them a wave, just so I know my heart (and head) can’t get broken again. Dealing with a broken heart is so much harder when you’re a mother, you can’t go out and drink yourself stupid and buy expensive shoes. You have to get up each day and you have to carry on with your life, still with a smile plastered on your face. Dare I risk it?
I have one and a half challenges to go with #3dates3mths (half being the online dating I’ve been trialing through out) and I’m still positive good things will continue to come from this. But this week, I’ve had to take a step back and assess the way I’m approaching this. Maybe it’s time to stop playing it safe, maybe it’s time to stop letting that Devil have such a control over my life..