Year 1, Month 7, Day 5

I had an interesting conversation with Alex yesterday.

I believe I have mentioned that one of his daughters is getting married at the end of July. He had not mentioned anything about my attending with him, and I was certainly not going to mention it. Since I have not met this daughter yet, I can totally understand why she would not think to invite me. Besides, I have only been dating her dad for three months (four by the time of the wedding) so it’s still in the early days. All perfectly logical reasons and nothing for me to get upset about.

Last night, we were on our usual weeknight date, enjoying dinner at a nearby restaurant. I was filling him in on which of my family members (and old friends) he would be meeting this weekend. (My brother, his crazy ass wife, his youngest daughter, and my brother’s BFF.) Somehow we got started talking about my brother’s wedding and elopements (I think it was because we could overhear the young couple sitting across from us discussing their wedding plans) and he seized the moment and said…

I want to let you know why I haven’t said anything about you coming with me to  ‘Mary Beth’s’ wedding.  It’s a sensitive issue with her, and I want you to know the back story.   When she got married for the first time a few years ago, I was engaged to my wife.  My daughter did not want my then fiancée sitting with the family on the first row.  My ex threw a fit at the rehearsal dinner, and really showed her ass.  I made the decision to support her (since I really just wanted her to be quiet) and it pissed off my daughter.    Because of my bad decision, I didn’t see her or my grandson for two years.   I don’t your feelings to be hurt that night if you are not included.   She and I haven’t talked about it yet…so I’m not sure which way she is going to go.

First, I was astonished at how SELFISH Alex’s soon to be ex is.  it sounds as if this woman already considered herself a part of the family even though they were “engaged” and not actually married.  And since this was not even a couple of years after his first wife had passed away, it was incredibly insensitive of this woman to insist on being treated like “family.”  Secondly, he is still legally married to that woman, so his bringing a girlfriend could be awkward for his extended family (sister and in-laws).  And third, this day is about his daughter…not me…and not my relationship with Alex.  So her and her fiance’s wishes are what’s important… not me.

So, I said:

Alex, it is entirely up to you and her as to whether I am included as your guest.  I haven’t met her yet, so I can understand why she may not want me there…especially if your soon to be ex caused drama at her first wedding.   This is Mary Beth’s day, and her wishes are what’s important… not me.  I think you know me well enough at this point to know that I certainly wouldn’t insist on being treated as a family member or step-mother. If I am included, I am perfectly fine sitting behind the family on the fourth or fifth row and not being included in any pictures.

I also suspect “Cathy” and “Becky” (the daughters who have met me) told Mary Beth I was nothing like that woman, and she wouldn’t have to worry about any drama from me.   But, again, it’s her decision….and I won’t be upset if she doesn’t want me there.

He had a bemused look on his face when I told him this. He replied, “I am not used to hearing this kind of thing from a woman.  I can’t believe you wouldn’t feel hurt if you weren’t included.”

I replied, “I wasn’t included in the Father’s Day cookout at her place…and it didn’t bother me.  That was father-daughter time and that needed to be family only. Granted, it was odd not spending the evening with you, but I was okay with it…and totally understood why I wasn’t included.”

He just looked at me and grinned, and said, “You have a point there.  And Cathy asked me if Mary Beth had included you…and I told her ‘I didn’t ask her if I could bring Lizzie.  I didn’t want to push it.’  She wasn’t happy about it, but understood why.”

I replied, “I was properly raised…and know better than to force myself into family situations. All I ask is that I have enough time to pull together an outfit so I don’t embarrass you.”

“It’s a deal!” he said…and we shifted the conversation to less sensitive subjects.

I now realize how hurt Alex was by his estranged wife. How eager he is to avoid confrontation.   He lost contact with oldest daughter and only grandchild for years because he chose to keep that woman happy and put his children second.

It gives me a sense of his priorities.

Children (even if they are grown up) come first.  It also lets me know he trusts me enough to tell me his family issues.  And that he cares about my feelings.

Since I am no stranger to dealing with family issues, I’ll just sit back and let decide what they want to do.

Stay tuned….we’ll see what happens next…

Ready to Take A Chance Again

Year 1, Month 6, Day 19

Okay, Gentle Readers. Time to bring you up to date on things with Alex.

But, first, I ended things with my FWB, Elliott. I took the bull by the proverbial horn a couple of weeks ago and told him I couldn’t continue sleeping with him. He was very kind and sweet… and told me he thought something was going on… and that I deserved to be happy. He also said he wanted to continue the “friends” part of our relationship. So… thus endth Lizzie’s FWB experiment. Cleanly…neatly… and no drama.

For once.

Now, back to Alex.

We’ve been seeing each other now for nearly three months…usually a couple times a week.  We’ve spent most of the last three weekends together…either at my place or at his place.  I don’t want to sound corny, but I am beginning to suspect that I may have met my other half.

He is funny, intelligent, sweet-natured, and an all around decent and kind man. We have so much in common that it actually frightens me a little. Food, wine, religious views, moderate politically, books, TV and movies.

And, I’m not going to tap dance around this; we really connect sexually.  When we are together, I feel like we are one.  I haven’t felt like that in ages… maybe since Peter and I were last together.

I do realize Alex and I are in smack in the middle of the honeymoon/discovery/can’t keep our hands off each other phase of the relationship right now.  (And I intend to enjoy this phase as LOOOOOOOOOOOONG as I can.)  The oxytocin is flowing and we are bonding as couple.  So there is a chemical/biological reason for the physical bonding that leads to an emotional connection.

That emotional connectstock-photo-silhouette-couple-kissing-over-sunset-background-96511558ion is growing.

I met two of his three children last night. You don’t introduce a casual girlfriend (or boyfriend) to your adult kids or family unless you know that person is going to be a part of your life…and that you have feelings for them.

Now, it’s Alex’s turn to meet mine (including my crazy ass sister-in-law) sometime in the next couple of weeks while my youngest niece is in town.

So, yeah.  It’s getting serious. And I suspect Alex and i are falling in love as well.

Which scares the bejesus out me.

I haven’t had the best of luck in men I have loved.  Peter and Robert were both bad choices.  Peter because he didn’t love me enough to turn his life upside down to include me in it; Robert because he was a womanizing, insecure, manipulative asshole who wanted to have his cake (me…the sweet, respectable girlfriend) and eat it too (his affairs with multiple women).

I know I need to take all this one day at a time…and let my relationship with Alex develop organically.  I also know I need to take a chance again with my heart.

So, here I go…


Good Feeling

Year One, Month Five, Day 18

Well, now that I have let y’all in on my latest romantic victim “Alex,” I’ll go ahead and fill you in on some of the complications in this budding relationship.

I mentioned in my last post that he was the same age as my brother.  He is average height (about 5’10”), has salt and pepper hair, blue eyes, a very strong jaw line, and the cutest little dimpled chin.  He’s no movie star, but when he smiles, his entire face lights up and he is quite attractive.

He is a geologist by training, and works mainly in water/envionmental clean up for a government contractor. He grew up here in town, and went to a now long gone high school on the south side.  He attended a university other than the one in our city, but at least it wasn’t one of its biggest competitors, so should we still be seeing each other come football season, we can at least root for the others alma mater (until they play each other).

He has three children (all in their 20’s) and one grandchild (age 10), and his oldest child is getting married in a couple of months. No, I have not met them yet; I’m leaving the timing for that up to him.

His first wife died of colon cancer about eight years ago; his children were all in their teens when she passed away.  His father died about year after his wife.  He then married his second wife about six months after his dad passed away, about eighteen months after his first wife.

Alex told me at the time he realized he was probably making a mistake by marrying this woman, but he did it anyway. And as it turned out, he was right. She apparently would not let his kids come to the wedding, and did not want them to be a part of his life. And, he let her do it because he didn’t want to hear her complain, bitch and moan about it.

It sounds like he has managed to successfully rebuild his relationship with his kids.  But because he rushed a relationship with a woman while he was mourning his first wife and father, I going to let him set the timetable on meeting his kids… even though they are aware he is seeing someone.

Here’s the main complication.

He’s separated….not divorced.  He has been separated from wife number two for four years. And Alex says the final divorce settlement is ready to be filed… once his step daughter graduates from college next year.

To give him credit, he told me about the separation in the first thirty minutes of our first date. And to my credit, I didn’t mentally give him the heave-ho when he told me.

His stepdaughter has some gynecological issues that require monitoring, and her mom apparently cannot afford to cover the child on her insurance, so Alex is keeping her on his health plan until she starts her job next summer. (Her father isn’t in the picture.)  He also apparently owns the condo this girl is living in and is planning to sell it to her when she is fully employed.

I appreciated the fact that he was being honest with me. (He had,during our online chatting, given me his full name and said to Google him.  I did, and everything he told me matched.)   It shows he is a caring man who takes family responsibilities seriously.

When I decided to date “age appropriate” men, I realized children (and possible grandchildren) were going to part of the equation, and I was going to have to accept that the kids (no matter their age) would come first.  When I was seeing Troy, I had no intention of coming between him and his children, and I have the same intention with Alex.

I find Alex’s dedication and love for his family attractive…because it matches mine.  In fact, we laugh at just how much we have in common.

  1. We both spent summers growing up in the “country” with grandparents.
  2. Our family backgrounds are similar:  never divorced parents in an upper middle class suburban neighborhood.  Our moms had a lot of the same interests…our dads were hardworking professionals.
  3. His grandson calls him the same name that my dad was called by my nieces (Poppy).
  4. His stepdaughter’s gynecological issue is the same as mine at her age (polycystic ovarian disease.)
  5. His soon to be ex is a negative thinking, devil’s advocate type who is never wrong about anything. (Just like Robert.)
  6. We both hate conflict and will do anything we can to avoid it. (Not a good thing, but I am working on at least talking about problems before they become an issue.)

Of course, we have a lot of “superficial” things in common as well, TV shows, music, food likes/dislikes, etc.

And, I’ll be blunt here; the sex is fantastic. We just seem to “fit” perfectly.

I know right now we are still in the “honeymoon” period of the relationship.  The oxytocin is flowing and we are infatuated with each other.  I know he isn’t perfect and I sure as hell know I’m not perfect. What happens when we have a crisis or have to face a problem together, I don’t know. We can only find out the answers in time…and can only hope that we will stick it out.

One thing I have realized about being in love is that it’s all about how that other person makes you feel inside…and how you want to make them feel inside. It’s not about jobs, looks, money, kids, family.

It’s about the two of you…and all that superficial shit isn’t important.

I am NOT in love…yet. But, I can see it happening.

I have a good feeling about Alex.

A very good feeling indeed.