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. 

Wishful thinking…

08/01/2016 rabbit rabbit

New guy didn’t get the “I hate to be ignored,” memo. Obviously. Because he made me feel ignored and disregarded. Didn’t matter what he said. It mattered how he made me feel, and it was lousy. And, I didn’t want to go back to putting that much into a relationship that left me feeling that way. 

I think he understands me. 

We hit some major barriers. And, it’s probably not the last time. But, we made it through. He didn’t let me cut and run. He didn’t let me sabotage the situation. He listened. He’s trying. And, I’m relaxing into the good times without fighting back.

I think we are moving in the right direction. I think so.

This is progress. 

08/10/2016

Look at me being all hopeful and shit. But, I’m a realist. And, I know that my gut was telling me this wasn’t going to work.

It didn’t. 

Why is this so hard? Why are relationships difficult? Why can’t people just show up, say what they mean, mean what they say, and live a peaceful life? Why not? This ain’t brain surgery. Hell, it ain’t even a paper cut. 

So our final conversation was me telling him to never contact me again. And, he hasn’t since. And, I don’t miss him. Because nothing should be difficult in the beginning. No one should have a bad honey moon phase. We shouldn’t be wrestling with truth and emotions this early in. We shouldn’t be explaining any bad behaviors or asking for second chances. I’ve only known you a hot moment. You shouldn’t have had enough time to screw up. You must have come through the door screwing up. 

I can’t. 

I just want to be in a mature relationship, with a grown up, who is productively adulting. That’s it. 

Right now, I just want to sit quietly and focus on my next chapter. Because, that last one didn’t turn out according to plan. 

I want out, again. 

I recently ended a short lived romance. I met this guy right after I moved back home, and we quickly hit it off. We knew a number of the same people, and we have some similar interests. All the makings of a beginner courtship, right?

Shortly after our first few dates and conversations, his life blew up in his face. Royally. His ego, finances, and stability took a major hit. He was grumpy. He was on edge. He was a different person. 

We stopped talking regularly. I’d had enough patronizing and aggressive conversations from “Mr. Brand New” to last me a life time. 

But, I hadn’t. 

And a month or so later, I ventured out and sent him a text. Something “…I wish you well,” type message. I was feeling lonely, I’m sure. And, maybe his personality changes were caused by his life circumstances. He responded, and we were instantly back in the first interactions. There was a connection. 

Then, he started reminding me of all the issues we’d had on our first run. He can come across incredibly arrogant and patronizing. There’s lots of pettiness and stubbornness between us, too. It’s exhausting and overwhelming. It’s silly and pointless. 

And, I had a moment of realization. It’s been a hot minute. There is no reason for us to have any resemblance of drama this early into the honeymoon. If you can’t maintain the peace, if we can’t maintain the peace, at the beginning someone is sure to have a pending case within the first year. So, I wanted back out. I answered the last few questions I’d avoided to keep from making a mountain out of a mole hill. I voiced my concerns and my desire to walk away. He understood. He couldn’t have been enjoying the misery, either.  

Then I deleted our text change. Kept his contact information. However, I changed his company to “remember how it ends.” 

This is what the end feels like. 

Again, How do you know when enough is enough? Yep, that question and all the questions it creates. 

This conversation keeps surfacing. When do you let go? When is enough, enough? That’s a hard question. It’s never the same answer for the same person. You just know when it’s time to let it go. But, you may have doubts. You may even second guess yourself at times, but when it’s over it just is. 

For me, it ended without fanfare. There were no emotional outburst, no tears, no regrets, and no long embraces. It just ended.

I had exhausted every emotion.  We were finally at the same place. We were both done. I rested well. 

That’s how you know it’s over. When you have relief and no regrets. 

I may miss things. I may even miss him, but everything happens for a reason. 

I thank God for the course. I appreciate the lesson. 

Cue the music.