But, I’m not happy. 

This is a hard story to tell. It’s a hard realization to live. 

I’m not happy, but I want to be. 

Is he the one? Or, isn’t he? 

I’d trust my instincts, if they were clear. 

I’m having a hard time. 

We’re having a hard time.

This will either make us…

or break us. 

It’s really simple and kinda complex. All our little problems have come to a head. It’s all the little ticks combining to work our nerves. All the little things have become a big thing, and they’re sucking all the air out of the relationship. 

Neither of us had done a fully committed relationship in a decade. Yep, a decade. There was that guy. He and I were involved, but it wasn’t solid. It wasn’t whole. It didn’t really work. And, he had a few girls. Neither of us have done this though. Not for a minute. Not in a minute. And, we didn’t totally miss it. 

Now, we’re smashed together. We’ve done the meet the family thing. We’ve committed. We’ve stretched ourselves thin for each other. We are in this thing. But, it all happened so fast. 

How did I go from a single mom to a girlfriend, future fiancé, one day wife, and hugging his family members in .002 seconds? What happened? When did it happen?

Why can’t I catch my breath?

What are we doing?

I felt like my identity was fading. I was signing up for things that were bigger than I could fathom. I was being sucked up in this relationship machine. I needed to escape. I was overwhelmed. 

I wasn’t happy. 

I needed to hit the pause button. I need to stop this and find myself in it. I had lost my voice. I was  just doing what I was supposed to do. I was getting drug along.

It wasn’t his intention. He hadn’t compromised in a decade. He has a strong personality. He was doing so many perfect relationship things. He was handing business. If I didn’t speak loud enough, his commanding presence just rolled right over me. 

I stopped talking. I stopped trying. I stopped being in the relationship. I started emotionally connecting elsewhere. I was shutting him out. I wasn’t happy. He couldn’t figure it out, because I wasn’t letting him in.

We’re in a tough space. We’re struggling. This is so hard. 

We aren’t happy. 

So, we are both living in this gray space. Neither of us is certain if we want to stay the course or cut and run. We aren’t done, but we aren’t convinced we should keep going. 

Damned if we do. 

Damned if we don’t. 

Exhausted. 

Why would I want a friendship with my exes?

There is a sincere part of me that believes that if it didn’t end in absolute chaos, 911 calls, or extreme threats we should be friends. Seriously. If we spent that much time in each other’s lives, loving each other, building a friendship, shouldn’t we remain friendly?

So friendly, not necessarily friends. Is that too much to ask?

Yes. Yes, it definitely is. 

I had to have this conversation, lose this battle, and eat poorly seasoned crow on this one. 

I’m only speaking for myself. 

I have had this STRONG desire to maintain this “friendship” with an ex. It’s been ridiculous, at times. But, why? Why have I fought the new man, the ex, and myself for a friendship that’s not really worth it? Because I like to win, and I hate to lose. 

I like to win. 

I hate to lose. 

It’s that simple. 

I invested a lot in that relationship. I gave so much of myself, and I lost…technically. He and I didn’t work. It wasn’t a happily ever after situation. We didn’t sail off into the sunset, well not together. 

And, I was crushed. Not because we were a good fit. Nope. Not because we had both tried so hard. Nope. I was crushed, I am crushed, because I put forth so much energy and effort for nothing. 

I know. I know. It’s the journey and the lesson, but those aren’t tangible. 

I didn’t feel the love he spoke. I didn’t get the baby we wanted. I didn’t get anything but a handful of empty promises and some debilitating headaches. I lost. 

I know. I know. I dodged a major bullet. I avoided a life time of excuses, misunderstandings, and let downs. I know. I really do, but it’s hard to trade that for the tangible. 

So, I accepted “friendly”. I actually initiated it, and I even pushed for it. Because, it means I don’t walk away empty handed. 

I’m not proud of this. 

Am I still in love with this ex? Am I expecting us to work out?

No. Nah. Nope. Not even. 

It wasn’t a good relationship. He wasn’t good for me. I wasn’t right for him. It was toxic at points, and the high points are covered in sex. We weren’t good for each other. We weren’t in the same place. We don’t have the same set of values. Nothing worked. 

I don’t want to go back. I don’t think I could handle another run. I barely made it out the first time. 

I just don’t want to feel like it was all pointless. I don’t want to feel like a loser. I don’t want to have lost. 

Sheesh. 

What about the new guy? Am I willing to sacrifice the new hopeful situation for the old tragic guarantee?

No. Nah. Nope. Not even.

I guess not. But, I kinda do every time I hold out for the win, huh?

This is a classic reason, season, lifetime situation.  Was the relationship meant to last for a season or a lifetime? Or, was there just a reason to it? Am I going to sacrifice a reason relationship for a lifetime relationship? 

No. Nah. Nope. Not even. 

I have to force myself to take this loss. I have to let go of the ALL the different relationships I planned with this man before it cost me the real relationship I’m living with my man. Duh. 

That’s the real win. 

Cue DJ Khaled’s All I Do Is Win

What’s the plan?

What do you want? What are you looking for? What are you willing to do to get there?

Nothing else haphazard. 

Before I start any more relationship journeys, I need to know where this is headed. 

Point blank. Period. 

Everyone has a general plan. We all have an end game. It may not be easily satisfied or obtained, but it exists. 

Name it. 

Because I want forever. I want commitment and love, in natural progression. 

Oh…I’m your home girl?

New guy. My guy. The met his mama and his whole family guy. The met my dad and my son guy. The drop off lunch guy. The flowers delivered for an apology guy. The drive me, my son, and his friend to camp two hours away guy. The pick my son up from the same damn camp a week later guy. The late for work to ensure I’m okay guy. The fix my tire in the dark guy. The let’s vacation overseas together guy. The “don’t you wanna marry me one day” guy. The stay at his house, eat most meals with, talk about building an empire together guy. Yep, that guy. 

That guy just referred to me as his home girl. 

Huh? Excuse me? 

Me? You can’t possibly be referring to me. 

I almost went scary movie off. I mean run for your life type shit. Your home girl? Me? Really?

“First and foremost, I am too f*cking old to be anyone’s home girl. Too. F*cking. Old.”

Excuse my French. Inserted for both dramatic effect, and because it’s exactly what I said. 

And, for the romantics, I heard it with my own two ears, sitting beside him, on the couch, in silence. Please don’t tell me there could be a misunderstanding. 

He referred to me as his home girl, while talking to his home boy…I guess. I can only imagine we all get that title. This friend of his, was an associate of mine before I knew him. He’s the man I was talking to when I met my guy back in So there’s this guy… So, if he doesn’t know that we are dating (that’s its own issue), he would at least know my name. 

Use my name. If in doubt, say my name. No title. No confusion. Just my name. 

Never refer to me as your home girl. Maybe this was because we just saw the Tupac movie. Maybe he’s all hyped up on the 90s. IDK. IDC. 

I sat there. Stunned. Looked at him, equal parts hurt and confused. He looked at me. He didn’t correct the bullshit. He asked me what he was supposed to say. 

If you don’t know. I don’t know. 

I stayed a little while. Hung around. Waiting for the air to be cleared. Nope. He made small talk. He called me over to him. I didn’t move from my seat across the room. He dozed off. Woke up. Came to me. Made more small talk. Finished off the dinner in my to-go container. I sat there perfectly still. Continued watching Hulu on my cellphone. 

The cell phone with the tempered glass screen he bought me when I scratched my screen and in the Mophie case he got because I was always complaining about my battery life. 

He never mentioned home girl. So I got up, got my stuff, and left. I have a bed at home that I can lay in knowing full well who I am. And, he let me leave. 

The next morning he called. He typically calls. He said good morning and asked if I was still mad. I’m not mad. I’m good. He asked if I was annoyed. Yep, I am. Disappointed, too. 

“Why? This isn’t a big deal.”

“Because, I AM NOT YOUR HOME GIRL!” I’m not signing up for that title. It’s bogus. It’s young and dismissive. I’m not young. I’m not going to be dismissed. Because, we should have a damn plan at this stage in life. You obviously don’t have a plan for us. So, let’s be friends.

And, I’ll go back to waiting for the man who has a plan. And, you can do whatever it was you were doing before I was your home girl

Cool. 

I’m not interested in making anymore useless investments. I’m not going to play relationship with someone who doesn’t see me that way. This is insane. 

Too. F’ing. Old. 

Side note: I did stuff for him, too. Spent money, time, and resources. I wrote this to show how I misconstrued the direction of the relationship based on his actions. I thought we were working on something. 

It’s just a kick in the teeth. Wondering what you refer to me as when I’m not there and the person doesn’t already know me. Can’t imagine I’d be proud. 

It’s so important that you know what you want and be able to communicate it. It’s not weak. It’s grown. And, it’s keeps people from wasting each other’s time and breaking hearts. 

Update: As my mother says, “Nothing beats an understanding.” And, we got one…I think. Turns out home girl wasn’t the direction he wanted to go in. Hashed it out. Maybe we’re beginning to get this communication thing. 

We only entertain what’s important to us. 

I’ve had a long and often complicated relationship with this one guy. I saw so much potential in us, sacrificed so hard, and prayed for us almost daily. 

I’m 36. I felt this had to work. We had to be successful. I honestly felt like it was my very last chance. Because, in those moments I saw my options for another child, this grand life, and all my goals slipping through my finger tips. We had to work. Right?

No. We didn’t. We weren’t good for each other. We weren’t focused on the same agenda. We didn’t have the same goals. We just weren’t right for each other. I had to get that into my rock hard skull. I had to learn to live without him. 

I had to learn that we only entertain what’s important to us, and he wasn’t really entertaining me. 

I had to learn that if it worked out, this would always be my life. I would always be hurt. I would always be disappointed. I had to learn that we weren’t creating a partnership, he was teaching me how to settle. I had to learn that  his love would never be enough for me. I had to learn that it wasn’t the sacrifice I was meant to make. 

And, I’m still learning how to let go. I’m still figuring out how to let go of the investment I made with zero return. Because that’s what it’s all about. 

Really, that’s it. 

I gave so much for us. I invested so deeply. I tried so hard. There’s gotta be a payoff, right?

No. 

Sometimes there’s nothing left. Sometimes you just lose. I lost. But, it’s kinda losing the battle not the war.

 
Because winning is sometimes losing, right? I’m choking on my on words. 

I’m on the other side of that chaos. Still wishing we had a friendship to show for the time we spent in each other’s lives, but grateful that he left me in a place to meet this new guy. 

Because this guy is making an equal investment, and I’m looking forward to all the adventures, life, goals, and opportunities we will explore TOGETHER. 

“Last night took an L, but tonight I bounce back.” -Big Sean

This shouldn’t be complicated. 

I only want two things. I want someone to believe in me, and I want someone to fight for me. That’s it. It’s that simple. 

My last two relationships blew up in my face. They were both men that promised me something they couldn’t commit to. I was hurt. I tried so hard, and I remained their friends. I’m supportive. I cheer for them. I want the best for them. I know it will never progress. 

I fought for them. I loved them. I sacrificed for them. I would bend nearly in half. I was in. Both times. And, it didn’t work. They couldn’t, or wouldn’t, come through for me consistently. They were both so broken, and I was ill equipped to fix them. 

And, I gave up. After minutes, months, and years of doing my part, I gave up. Do you know how hard it is to walk away from someone who tells you they love you? It’s devestating. Because if you’d said that you didn’t love me it would all make sense. 

I tried. I know I tried.