Check him off the list

Joey Garcia

My boyfriend moved home to Chicago to be with his young daughter
and wants me to join him. He originally moved to California because his baby’s mama took a job here. When she returned to Chicago, so did
he. I visited, met his family, but can’t see myself living there
long-term. I love him but have doubts. Recently, he had an unexpected
expense and reluctantly borrowed money from me. Weeks passed without
repayment. I gave him a deadline because my house payment was due. He
sent a text saying that he didn’t have the money. I had already written my mortgage check. He eventually paid me back, including bank
fees, but now, I don’t feel like I can trust him. Plus, when we
argue he always says it’s over and then begs me back. Recently,
we have escalated to name-calling. Is finding love really so hard? Do I
have the wrong idea about what a committed relationship is? I’m
nearly 40, a single mother of two grown girls. I was pregnant at 17,
married at 20 and divorced by 22. I have not experienced anything close
to a serious relationship before. Am I afraid to let go because I am
afraid I won’t find love again?

No, you’re afraid to face the truth because you don’t
know if you will ever trust yourself again about men, money or moving.
Here’s the breakdown: It’s an ego boost to be wanted,
especially when you have been alone for so long. You might even have
told your girlfriends that your man wants you to move across the
country to be with him. That kind of conversation would heighten the
seduction of being desired. But the truth is Chicago is not your
Emerald City. You could argue that your own children are grown and
there is nothing keeping you in Sacramento. I would argue that your
intuition is inviting you to stay. You have strong security issues,
likely born of being a single parent for so long, and this relationship
does not offer the safety you seek. When you accept how vital security
is to your self-esteem, you will find every life-determining decision
is easier to make.

Let’s chat about the cash. My friend Byron Katie once told me
how to loan money. When someone asks to borrow money, give whatever you
can afford. You can establish a payback date, but don’t expect
the money to be repaid. If the debtor returns your money to you,
wonderful! If not, well, no worries, right? This practice helps you to
understand and trust the mercurial nature of human beings. That said,
it’s also easier to trust yourself if you don’t write
checks until you have the proper funds. (It’s one of those things
that we all learn the hard way.) And, yes, it is easier to trust others
when you trust yourself first.

The other issue, of course, is the inability to resolve conflict.
You and your man have not learned how to handle disagreements. Part of
the problem is that you believe he is not trustworthy. If you
don’t trust him, love does not really exist between you. Oh,
there might be attraction, lust, comfort, fun or other factors, but
genuine love requires trust. If you long for the real thing, consider
this relationship practice and patiently continue your quest.

Meditation of the week
As a birthday gift to myself, I purchased a sterling silver charm
bracelet for three meaningful charms I had been given over the years.
At one jewelry store, the saleswoman chastised me for coming in 20
minutes before closing and then said it would be $90 to attach the
charms. The next day, I went to Guzzetta & Co. Fine Jewelers on
Howe Avenue where I received excellent service and a sane price. How
are your customers treated?

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