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Just When I Thought I Was Safe…

March 5, 2009

Six weeks ago I had reached a point of complete contentment with being single.

Over the past year and a half I have been looking, searching for someone. There was a pattern. I liked a guy. We hit it off. I scared him off. My friends told me, “You’re calling him too much.”

“What? I have a child. Do I really have to play these dating games anymore?”

“Great,” I said, “Then I’ll get rid of him quickly. If he doesn’t want a phone call from me, why would I want to be with him?” It was like a reflex, something inside of me trying to protect our little life from being broken.

“There are rules,” my friends would say. Rules? Oh, yeah. Those damn rules. I used to play by the rules. I used to be a dating diva, often dating more than one guy at once. It was my independence that attracted them. But after being married and a mother for nearly eleven years I have completely lost my edge. It just can’t happen.

I can’t see myself ever returning to those days of care free dating.

So, what’s a single mom to do? Forget about it. And that’s what I did. I decided not to date a guy who makes me feel like I have to play by the rules. No more games. They are either completely into me or they aren’t. And I have to be completely into them because this single thing is actually pretty damn cool.

I was at a coffee shop, enjoying my new found indifference when fate took over.

My phone rang. It was an old friend and she desperately needed a ride out to a bar in the suburbs. A place where I never venture past dark. I hate the suburbs, especially bars in the suburbs.

I can’t say no – she’s desperate. We get there and I find out she’s meeting two completely drunk men in their late 50’s. Not my bag. I head outside for a cigarette.

I’m still enjoying my own company, not striking up conversations with any of the men around me – completely content. And then a guy sits down at my table. He starts up a conversation. I’m witty, I’m funny, I’m happy because I just don’t care. And then his friend walks in, “This is ____,” he says.

Oh no. Oh God, he’s cute, really cute. He’s wearing a vintage suit, he is tall, thick dark brown hair, big green eyes. I couldn’t have dreamt up a better guy for me – just based on looks. I still didn’t care. But I wanted to find out – is he intelligent, is he funny? I can’t go back inside and talk to the old creepy men.

So I test the waters with some witty comments a guy for me would understand. He sits up in his chair.

“We’ve got a smart one here,” his buddy says to him. He nods. His eyes are light now, his smile is huge and he’s actually excited… so am I. Damn it.

From this point on it’s all over. We were laughing and talking all night. Before I left the bar I got his number, called his phone so he had mine and invited them out for Friday night. When we left, ____ grabbed me in a big hug. A hug that was so incredibly refreshing. He’s sexy, he’s innocent, he doesn’t have any baggage. He just wants to be with me. There were no rules in that hug.

That night I had a dream – about him.

We were kissing, we were together. What??? I had a dream about a man? This never happens. I was married for nine years and had only a few dreams about my own husband. I woke up and decided to text him. That dream was an incredible tease.

“Thanks for the hug.”

He wrote back, “No problem, you’re a sweetie and very hugable. I’ve got class until 8:00 – after that I’ll be feeling like calling you.” He called at 8:15. No stress. Completely adorable. I don’t feel myself losing control because this time around I am gauging this relationship against my content single frame of mind.

Note to self – you can not be happy with someone else, unless you are completely happy with yourself.

Getting there is the tough part.

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