I just read this quote from another blog and could not agree more: “to become a happy and fulfilled single mom, you have to stop waiting for a prince to rescue you — but that doesn’t mean you have to stop believing in one.”
Reading this made me realize — I have stopped believing.
(For all you who don’t get this Shrek reference — first of all shame on you; secondly this Prince Charming was conceited, manipulative, and out for himself. Not to mention he didn’t really love Fiona).
I do not think that all men are bad. I know some good men. Honest, hardworking men. But I have succumbed to the belief that finding a good man FOR ME is something that is not going to happen. At least not easily or in the near future. Why? Because I can no longer trust what I see when I meet guys. I knew my ex for SEVEN YEARS before we started dating in earnest. As a good friend of mine pointed out today, he had good qualities. He was likable. When we first started dating, up until we got engaged, I felt like any other person — in love and happy. I felt like I had found someone who understood and accepted me as I was. Someone I could be myself with. Someone who made me feel comfortable. Of course, there were things about him that I did not like. But they paled in comparison to the way he made me feel. My younger self cared more about how I felt about someone than what they had to offer or where they were headed. Sad, but true. But I digress.
My point is that I was happy. I thought I had found a good person to spend my life with. Then the bomb hit — truth. He was unfaithful (an understatement), manipulative, emotionally and physically abusive. And unapologetically so. Not to mention irresponsible and lacking goals. To make matters worse, he proved himself to be the type of person to walk away from their child as easily as most people will walk past a beggar. They may feel a bit guilty about it — but not enough to actually stop and lend a helping hand. Not the person I had fallen in love with.
How could I know someone for 8 years (we got engaged a year after dating) and not realize their capacity for such horrible things? How did I get fooled into thinking that he was “the one”? More importantly, how can I trust my judgment in the future? Clearly I was blind to his true self despite having known him for so long. What would I be opening myself up to if I were jump out into the murky waters they call dating? How could I risk opening Christian up to pay for my mistakes? Yet again. Because I did that already by taking his father back after I found out I was pregnant. Some people would say that I did the right thing by trying to make it work. Some people have told me that they admire me for my commitment to my family. I, however, think it was the stupidest decision I ever made. I rarely wish that I could go back in time to change my decisions. Not my decision to chop off all my hair and get a perm. Not my decision to dye my hair that resulted in my hair resembling a bee before falling out. Not my decision to have a horrible Palestinian hairdresser butcher my hair and charge me $200 for it. I have a lot of hair horror stories, don’t I? Anyways, the only thing in my past that I regret enough to want to go back in time and smack some sense into myself is that decision to take him back. I would have just accepted my fate as a single mom and saved myself all of the hurt and drama that ensued over the next 1.5 years.
If my judgment was so off about this familiar person in my life, how would I be able to see through the mask that most people wear when dating? Because, let’s be honest, most people are not fully “real” when dating. People who usually walk around in tshirts and sweats will don dressier clothes and makeup when dating. People who have no interest in sports will pretend to enjoy them if their date does. People hide embarrassing habits and potentially odd hobbies. They try to present themselves in the best light possible to win their date over. It isn’t until they feel more certain that the person is sticking around that they become more comfortable. This is when they — sometimes slowly, sometimes suddenly — reveal more about themselves. Some of these revelations are bearable. Maybe a bit shocking, but bearable. An obsession with beanie babies; an embarrassing bowel related disorder (lol); a hoarding habit. Some may take some getting used to if sprung on you — for example, someone who waited to let you know that they have kids. Others are dealbreakers: chronic infidelity; drug/alcohol addiction; criminal history; anger and aggression issues; a double life as the hottest stripper in town. The possibilities are endless and scary. I don’t want to involve myself with another wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Perhaps it is the paranoid side of me making itself known. However, I think that my past experiences warrant a degree of hesitation. At the end of the day, though, I don’t want my fear of of coming across another “wolf” to hold me back from a legitimately good man. I am honestly not LOOKING for a man right now. I feel like when the time is right, it will just happen. However, I fear that when that man does comes along, I may be still be so suspicious that I will turn him off or away. So I need to work on that. On renewing my faith in fairy tales. Because I do believe that it is possible to find a king. After all, I am raising a little prince myself.
Have you ever had a relationship that made you lose faith in others? Have you regained that faith?
Quote from www.mssinglemama.com