After a few dates, I realized that I was not interested in a guy I met online and told him so. He suggested that we give it a little more time. Three dates later, I learned that he had met someone else online before me and dated her—but was not attracted to her. He said they were friends and that he found me more attractive and hoped that our connection would turn into something. Then, a few weeks pass and he tells me that she showed up unannounced at his home and they went out for pie. He told her that he was seeing me. At that point, I told him again we should be friends. He became angry and said some really rude things to me. It was strange. Four months later, I run into him and he is wearing a wedding ring. Guess who he married? The woman he said was his friend. Was he just dating her all along and cheating on her with me?
Honey, let his dating hygiene (or lack thereof) remain a mystery. What is really important is why you opted to ignore your initial intuitive assessment of him as a “no.” When he persuaded you to give it a few more dates, were you flattered? Did his sweet talk about your beauty make him more desirable? The real problem here is that your hunger for attention interfered with your intuition and common sense. That’s the only valuable information you need to carry away from this dating experience.
And yes, sometimes people are uncertain when choosing a marriage partner. It doesn’t mean that the marriage is doomed. It does mean that the uncertainty must be overcome by a willingness to become an apprentice to love. You can begin this process as a single person by honoring the deep wisdom that arises in you. If you can’t hear it or tend to acknowledge it too late, spend more time in solitude or meditation. Doing so will prepare you to listen, receive, savor and act on a truth that can set you free.
In a recent column you expressed curiosity about why 40-something men keep returning to live with their retirement-aged mamas. As a psychologist, I’ve seen many a potential spouse condemned by Mom or Dad as not good enough for their son or daughter. Although no parent will admit it (except in the old country), many had their children for the purpose of having someone to take care of them when they reach their senior years.
An excellent point! Thank you for sharing it with us.
My mother died two days before Christmas, five years ago. Every year it is harder for me to muster the enthusiasm I need to get through the holidays. I feel a constant dread as the date grows nearer. I know I should be over this, but I miss her so much.
Grieving has its own rhythm. Be kind to yourself as your heart recalls its loss. One step in this direction is to refocus your mind. Think of what you gained by having a mother in your life for so long. Notice her influence in you and invite that sweetness to grow. Add a ritual to your pre-holiday season in memory of your mother. For example, if she taught you to bake pecan tarts or organize silly-gift exchanges, gather a crowd of friends, family and a few acquaintances to join you for such an event. Or host a fundraiser and pay the way for low-income families to enjoy a seasonal theater event. No one needs to know why you are launching a new tradition. Hold the reason close to your heart, and let the knowledge heal you.