The first man after my marriage ended
10 Mar 2017
When my marriage ended last year, I was suddenly a 37 year old single mother ready to be on my own. The thought of dating again was daunting, but exciting.
My shine had been dulled and I wanted it back. I had lost a bit of myself and wanted to find it again.
I didn’t plan on meeting anyone else for awhile, but then I unexpectedly met this handsome, funny, intelligent man.
The timing of meeting him wasn’t ideal, but I wanted to keep seeing him.
Even though we only spent 3 months together, I learnt so much from him.
I can’t give him all the credit though of course, as I was ready to find out more about myself.
He showed me how to be in the moment
When I was with him, there was no place I would rather be. Whether it was chatting at a bar together, just lazing around in bed, or going out for dinner. I was enjoying all of those moments, not thinking about what I had to do, where I should be, or even checking Facebook..
He made me realise that the past doesn’t define who we are
He shared things about his past, even things that weren’t necessarily positive, and yet I didn’t see him differently or think less of him.
He made me feel safe enough to do the same. I shared with him more than I have ever shared with a man that I barely knew. I didn’t feel judged, and I never judged him.
I learnt that butterflies and nerves are real, and they are a good thing
I had that every time I saw him. And to think I nearly cancelled our first date because of my nerves!
I felt passion again. I didn’t think I could desire someone so much.
Just a kiss could make me melt. He opened my eyes to new things, to let go and enjoy myself.
He showed me tenderness. When he played with my hair, when he held my hand, I felt safe.
He made me see that I can be defensive
Because of having to deal with men in my family who don’t respect women, this is a sore spot for me.
I know not all men are like that and I need to let that ‘hang up’ go.
His friends triggered some insecurities in me too. I can see now that I was being a bit defensive then as well. I am learning to know when I should stop talking, or let something go.
He showed me forgiveness
He met me at a tough time in my life, and probably saw me at my worst. There were a few times I knew I wasn’t being the best person I could be, but he let it go.
He challenged me when I was hiding and not exactly saying what I meant. Even when I didn’t know that I was doing this. I shouldn’t try to fool myself.
He encouraged me to be even more compassionate in a tough time
When I was struggling to have my daughter around my ex’s partner, the woman he cheated on me with, this man made me feel better about it and encouraged me to do it. He was there for me when I needed him.
I can’t imagine how much harder that would have been for me if he didn’t help me through that.
I have always struggled with being vulnerable
When I was younger, whenever I developed a crush on a guy, I would try to act completely uninterested. That way, if they weren’t interested in me, they wouldn’t know that I was, so I wouldn’t look like a fool.
The problem with this tactic, (I found out years later) was that some of these guys actually were interested in me, but thought that I wasn’t, so didn’t pursue me. I was protecting myself a little too much.
I thought I had learnt from this, but clearly I hadn’t!
I had a big crush on this guy, and even though I told him this, I’m not sure I really let him know how I felt about him until the very end. Even saying the words to him ‘I only want you’ was one of the hardest, most vulnerable things I have ever said. And it shouldn’t be.
He told me multiple times that he thought I was amazing and I thought he was too, but I’m not sure I ever told him that. I won’t let my fears stop me from giving compliments more freely in the future.
My fear of rejection was strong, but I want to be more vulnerable in the future, because I don’t think I was enough with him.
I learnt through mistakes I made with him, that I need to open up more
A few times he could obviously sense something was wrong and he asked me if I was ok, and I lied and said I was. This is not the way to deal with things. I should’ve told him what was bothering me, instead of letting it boil up.
I have heard that people come into your life for a reason, and I think his reason was for me to learn more about myself.
To question things, to understand myself better, to have hope again that there is someone out there for me that I will adore. He made me feel sexy again, and smart. Things I hadn’t felt in a long time. I know that I deserve great things.
I hope he learnt things from me too.
And lastly, I’ve learnt that I need to let go
I can’t control everything in my life, and that’s ok.
I wanted answers, and he didn’t give me the ones I wanted. I know that doesn’t make one of us wrong and the other right.
I hope somehow our paths cross again one day.
But even if they don’t, I will always remember him and what he helped me learn about myself.
Kellie Claire xx