Chapter 10- Modern Courtship

     And then there was one…

Once again, the time to heal was obviously NOT something I took serious. That same year of my breakup with Marc, I took a leap of faith and jumped into a “courtship.” I knew “James” since middle school. Flames were sparked when we saw each other at a party. Right away we hit it off and exchanged numbers. We both jumped ship too fast and started dating right away.

James had a daughter who was so precious and loving. He was definitely the kind of father you’d want a man to be to a child, especially to a little girl. I spent my afternoons with both of them; playing games, watching movies and just spending quality time. He even met my parents and they loved him, and he loved them. What more could I ask for?

I asked James for dates, solo time, quality time between just US. Eventually, that was hard to get because he was a full-time dad. I felt bad and disloyal because here I was, seeing their relationship and saying to myself, “if I was to have a relationship with a man who has a child, he is what I’d be looking for.” Yet, I don’t have children, so I couldn’t adapt to the family life. Several times I approached James with the “let’s go on a date or I need dates” conversation, but it was always something. He couldn’t give me that and after expressing my concerns with him over and over, I got tired of it and decided to end things between us. It wasn’t easy to do because I actually cared for them very much, but I wasn’t ready to jump into being a part of their family. He was looking for a mother figure for his daughter and I was looking for a full-time boyfriend, who could potentially be my husband one day. Of course I understood that his child came first, but that’s why I had to leave. At the end of the day, I wasn’t ready to accept that.

AND two…

Months and months later as the summer approached, I went on a date with this guy… we’ll call him Randall. Randall and I followed each other on SnapChat for over a year, but never had a conversation until one day when he messaged me. We exchanged numbers and chatted for a little over a month before actually meeting up. He lived an hour away, which he claimed it wouldn’t be an issue. Overtime, little by little, I started seeing the flaws that I just found so unattractive. He started complaining about finances and his gas tank. OMG! Gas tank???really??? I know what you’re thinking… why the hell would he claim distance wasn’t an issue? I started feeling like a burden and once I felt that way…it’s a done deal.

One day I met him “half way” to a bowling alley. While in line, he started complaining about the prices… YES! I said it… So, as my blood was boiling, I finally said, “I don’t want to bowl anymore.” He made me feel like I was obligated to pay because HE was in a tight spot, so I ducked out and NOT once did he ask me “are you sure you want to leave?” Mind you, I am not opposed to doing something inexpensive; especially if it’s romantic. As we drove off in MY car to find something else to do… he offered to go grab a bite to eat, even though he claimed he wasn’t hungry. I was craving Dairy Queen, so as you see, I didn’t even choose an expensive restaurant. We order our food through drive thru and as we drove up to pay, Randall turns his head away when the total was given. I didn’t say anything, I went ahead and reached over for my wallet and paid for our food. I know what some of you are thinking… “KIM, I would have said hey, you gonna pay?” In reality I wasn’t about to fight about $14. As we drove off, my mood changed and it was downhill from there.

After that night, I wasn’t acting the same. I stopped answering calls and I started being “DRY.” Something didn’t feel right, so I typed his name into google AND found some information on him that was VERY shocking. He had a past that he did NOT disclose to me. It was definitely the icing on the cake. Once I approached him about it, he kept saying that “it’s old.” BUT to me, it wasn’t old enough; It was a RED flag. Coming from an abusive and toxic relationship, I already had/have my radars in full effect.

I now disclose to you that he was in the reserve, which was perfectly fine to me, but he had PTSD. So from the beginning of our “courtship,” I accepted his mental state since his PTSD wasn’t shown to be severe, until I started noticing his patterns of aggression, including his past conviction… So, the little voice in my head wasn’t so little anymore. It screamed “RUN.”

In the mist of all this DRAMA going on, someone popped back up into my life after 6 years of no contact. His name is CHANCE.

 

Lesson to be Learned

It’s simply said, but hard to follow through… heal before jumping into something you’re not ready for. Get out of the thought that you have to be with someone because that is what you’re used to. Take time for yourself, love yourself and it’s ok to be selfish. It’s ok to NOT accept what’s being offered to you in a courtship. It’s ok to be picky. Did you hear me? I said… IT’S OKAY TO BE PICKY. Now don’t confuse picky with being shallow. Make sure you state what you expect and want in the beginning, that way there’s no confusion.

For those who are/were in a toxic relationship, don’t be afraid of the word SELFISH. IT IS ABSOLUTELY OKAY to be SELFISH, especially if you NEVER got the chance to be. When I say SELFISH, I don’t mean in a negative way. Your safety and security IS important. Wherever you stand in life at this point, it is ok to put yourself first. For example:  I happily disclose to any man I meet that I AM SELFISH right now. I don’t have kids and I don’t have extra drama (previous relationships hindering over me) going on in my life, so if “he” has a lot going on in his life or even has a child/children, A. he’ll know he’s not fit for me or B. he will share that he can balance a dating life. Once again, it is OKAY to be SELFISH!

 

You are beautiful inside and out.

-Kim

 

 

 

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