Foolish

Early on, after my divorce, I figured I was racing the clock. You know, trying to beat that date on the calendar that somehow says you are now too old to be putting a profile up online. What that date is specifically, I don’t know. After a solid three years of meetups and a few relationships that lasted about 3 months before I was able to discern that, no matter what he said to me, he just really wasn’t that into me. Then there was this one relationship that I somehow completely missed the clues that he just wasn’t into me. Two years later, he’s disappeared into thin air and I haven’t heard a word from him since he left seven months ago. As I look back on it now, there were plenty of signs that he wasn’t as fully vested in the relationship as he said he was. Actions speak louder than words. I didn’t like the actions. Specifically, I didn’t like how they betrayed his words. I think I hung in there because I just didn’t want to admit that I had made another bad judgement call…again. I hung on when I should have let go. I was foolish.

So what were the signs that he wasn’t as interested and how could I have discerned early on that he wasn’t exactly serious…or ready to be serious? If I take the advice Greg Behrendt’s and Liz Tuccillo’s book, “He’s Just Not That Into You”, seriously, these are the warning flags I should have noted early on, or much earlier on than I did.

1. Let’s start with Chapter 4, “He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Not Having Sex With You.” Okay, so this was, or should have been a dead give away. Really? He claimed erectile disfunction due to heart meds he was on. It was a great excuse, for him, because I believed it. After all, his insistence that “it was him, not me” seemed so sincere. He got a warm bed to sleep in and roof over his head and he didn’t have to do anything to earn it. I was not just a fool. I was King of Fools. I am embarrassed that I fell for this, especially for as long as I did. In retrospect, he was right. It was him, and not me; he just wasn’t that into me.

2. Let’s then skip to Chapter 7, “He’s Just Not That Into You If He Doesn’t Want to Marry You”. So, to quote the authors,

make sure from the start that you pick a guy who shares your views for the future, and if not, move on as quickly as you can. Big plans require big action.

I don’t know if it is right or wrong, but I figure a year is about long enough to get to know someone. In fact, I think people let their guard down and let you get to know them pretty early on, if you pay attention. But…giving someone the benefit of the doubt…if after a year, they still aren’t certain about a future with me then I’m gone. In most cases, I can tell by about month three (and that’s way too long, really) that it isn’t going anywhere. I missed it with this last guy, because there were other issues muddying the situational waters: unemployment, legal battles he was still dealing with his ex about, and so on. Of course, each one of those items should have been a big warning flag flapping in the hurricane of relational disaster, but I just refused to pay attention. In short, he didn’t have the same plans for the future that I did. Best we parted ways.

3. Chapter 10, “He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s Married (and Other Insane Variations of Being Unavailable) was also tricky. He was divorced, but he was so tied up in legal battles with his ex that he may as well still have been married. She had remarried, but she is one of those evil people who wants to make people hurt for as long as possible. She used the kids, money, everything. She even used me. I should have taken that as a sign to get as far away from the crossfire as I could. I didn’t. Foolish in the extreme.

4. Chapter 11, “He’s Just Not That Into You If He’s a Selfish Jerk, A Bully, or A Really Big Freak. This was hard to determine, until the very end, because he was always so helpful. I later learned that this “helpfulness” had a very selfish quality to it. He helped because it helped him. When he made the decision, that he was not going to take this relationship any further, he stopped helping. When I stopped paying his bills, he really stopped helping. The coup de gras was when, on my birthday, we were out with friends and he insulted me and treated me with disgust. These same friends later told me that they’d noticed it earlier on that this; things he’d say under his breath, nonverbal rolling of the eyes, and such. I didn’t see it, obviously. I was too busy enjoying the fun I thought we were having. I noticed it on my birthday. That’s the day I was done with it. Foolish, I waited two more months before kicking him out. Those were the most difficult two months of all. By the time he left, as painful as it was that I’d been a fool to allow him to take up so much space in my life for so long, I was relieved.

Sure, going it alone, can be lonely. Having a relationship end, after two years, was like a big failure for me. I am a big believer that being single is far better than being in a crummy relationship. I let myself down, though. I settled. I hung onto a relationship much longer than I should have. If I’m completely honest with myself, I hung on long after I knew it wasn’t going anywhere, and this is the most disappointing thing to me.

It’s true. I cannot change what has happened, but I can, and I do intend to learn from it. I don’t need to settle in a relationship, just to avoid loneliness. I’m single, and I am not lonely. I’m busy, active and have my hands full with my kids and my hobbies and friends, both male and female. Would I like to be in a great relationship? Sure I would! I’m just not going to spend any more time in ones that make me feel badly. I also recognize that at this stage of the game, post-45, post-divorce, and with lots of kids still at home, the odds are just not in my favor. I’ve come to peace with that. My life now is better and happier than it’s ever been. I certainly don’t need a relationship for relationship’s sake. That would be foolish.

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About Miz Insomniac

Usually, it's the kids who grow up and leave home, but Miz Insomniac switched it up. When her kids grew up she decided to make her dreams come true so she flew the nest. After making 12 trips across the pond and back to Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East in 2014-15, Miz Insomniac now qualifies as a world traveler. She hasn't quite mastered the fine art of traveling light, but she knows how to manipulate travel plans to avoid missed flights and jet lag. A former hopeless romantic turned realist, she's stateside now reinventing her life in a new city, with new opportunities, and all the challenges that come with leaving a career, traveling abroad for a year, and then returning to a world that's nothing like she left it. Her overseas travel is by no means over, it's just not as frequent. She's different now, but remains a night owl. She writes when she should be sleeping...and while you probably are.

Posted on January 25, 2013, in Dating, Relationships and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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