Why I went back…

06/30

I never planned to go back.

I may have even said I’d never go back.

Never say never.

I did go back, though. I went back because emotionally I wasn’t done.

He wasn’t done. He fought for me. He pulled me back. And, I allowed it. I wasn’t kicking. I wasn’t screaming. I was guarded. I am guarded. But, if it crashes and burns. I have no regrets. I have no doubts. I leave confident. It will be the final goodbye.

And, that was the agreement. If we go all in again, and it doesn’t work, we walk away. No friends. No communication. Nothing lingers. It’s done.

But, we have to go all in. We have to try. I have to try. I can be guarded, but I have to try.

Sheesh.

Okay.

07/23

I went back to realize that I shouldn’t stay.

Long term expectations on short term relationships

As a single woman, well past 30, rounding the corner to 40, I have made a lot, A LOT, of bad decisions in relationships. My primary issue in is that I have given short term relationships long term expectations.

Where is my church fan? I should be waving it at myself shouting “amen”.

Ladies, and gentlemen, I get it. I completely understand that you are hoping against hope, and praying with all you’ve got, that some relationships will just work themselves out. You are perfect for that man or woman, but they aren’t perfect for you. They are NOT perfect for you. They aren’t even good for you. That relationship isn’t good for you. That relationship isn’t a long term relationship. It’s a reason or season, but not a life time.

Short term people tell you they are short term people, through words and/or actions. I had an ex boyfriend who claimed to want forever with me, but he never discussed marriage. He wanted a child with me, but he never discussed a family. He always stopped short of committing to me. The relationship was saturated in missed opportunities and let downs. But, I loved him. And, because he said he loved me, I stuck it out. It was bound to get better, right? Eventually he would see that I was perfect for him. I was supportive of him. I was committed to him. I was in this. Right?

Wrong. He showed me time and again that we were short term. Maybe we would shack up for a bit. Maybe I could join the baby mama team. Maybe I could look up in another 3 years and realize he had been consistently telling me that I wasn’t the one.

Mercy?!

Because as motivated as I should have been to leave, he was motivated to keep me around. I was offering up a wife life to him, with little expectations. Human nature was telling him to soak that up. I understand. And, he didn’t owe me anything. He’d told me what I was getting. If I wanted to stand around hoping for more, I was the fool.

He was a reason for a season. He had a clear point and purpose in my life. I needed the lessons he provided. And, I’m grateful.

But, how do you know when long term really equals long term?

You will just know. The behavior changes from anything you’ve seen before. You feel it in your gut. Your person isn’t being dragged into this idea of forever by you. They are happily walking into forever, eyes wide open, eager about what’s to come. You are having long term conversations. They are initiating some of those conversations and not avoiding any of them. Their plans have you in them, and your plans don’t intimidate them.

I’m there. Finally betting on the winner. My guy discusses us as a team, not two individuals that happen to be in the same time and space. We plan our life, our family, our future, our finances, our investments, our needs, our wants, and our goals. We have real arguments that aren’t sugar coated to avoid upsetting the other person. We laugh with and at each other. We sacrifice to support the relationship, and we build each other up to be the best version of ourselves.

I didn’t know what long term felt like until I got to where I am. I only knew the short term was uncomfortable. I only recognized the struggle. I thought forever was going to be a battle.

Long term IS a challenge, but short term with long term expectations is damn near a war.

There’s levels…

Shahs of Sunset S6E11

“There’s levels. There’s levels. There’s levels. There’s girls that you’re friends with. Girls that you sleep with. There’s girls that you date. There’s girls that you engage, and there’s girls that you’re gonna marry.” – Mike Shouhed, Shahs of Sunset

I’ve been living in the levels. All the levels. 

“Hello, my name is Leandrea, and I’ve been living in the levels.”

Sheesh. 

There’s girls that you’re friends with. I’m a great friend that’s a girl. I don’t need too much attention, just the occasional plus one, respond to my text, take most of my calls, and keep my favorite snacks and drinks at your place for hang outs. I’ll advise you on your relationships. I’ll support your courtships. I’ll stand up for you at your wedding. I know my place. 

Girls that you sleep with. AKA: Friends with benefits. One night stands. A hook up. Fuck boys. Fuck girls. I don’t want to be that. I don’t want to be that girl. Let’s be friends or not. Let’s date or not. But, I don’t wanna be a conquest. I’ve been that level, and it doesn’t sit well with me. It’s not a good look. 

There’s girls that you date. I’m perfect at this level. I’m an ideal dateable girl. I think I’m fun, a chameleon that can make most situations work. I’m available, with notice, and I’ll try almost anything once. I will hold you down. I’ll build you up. I’m charming with your family, and I’ll be friends with your friends. 

There’s girls that you engage, and there’s girls that you’re gonna marry. I’ve been engaged, twice even. Never married. Not yet. I don’t know that I’m even ready to be that girl. But, I’m down the street and around the corner from the final level, and it makes me want to vomit in my shoes…a little bit. 

Marriage isn’t necessarily the finale any more. Divorce is always on the back burner. It’s just simmering waiting for either person to turn up the heat. Sheesh. But, I’d like to think I’ll only do it once. I want to believe it will work until something like forever.

When I’m ready. 

Maybe I’m just the dateable girl. Converting into the live with girl. Always the plus one and vacation with girl. The never ending friends with girl. Maybe those are my levels. 

But, true success lives just outside of our comfort zone, right? Maybe? That could just be a clever self help slogan. 

We end up living through the levels. It’s life changing. It’s challenging. It can be overwhelming. 

So, I’m almost in the last level. Struggling, but I’m here. And, I’ll do my best to see it through. Because this is the plan. And before I got to this level, it was all I ever wanted. Now that I’m here and it doesn’t look the way I expected it to look or feel how I expected it to feel, I’m doubting everything. EVERYTHING. But, I’m going to try. 

 If it all goes to shit, I can just start over…right?

That’s not really how I’m moving into this, but it’s the truth. If it all goes to shit, we move forward…battered and bruised. That’s okay too. 

Side note: This post went in its own direction. Definitely organically written, zero planning, and off the cuff. 

It’s NOT me. IT’S you. 

  
I couldn’t have been more available unless I’d moved in next door. I couldn’t have been more supportive without an advanced degree in psychology. I couldn’t have loved, or something like it, anymore. I couldn’t have tried any harder. And, that’s how I know this failure isn’t about me. It’s about him. I couldn’t have changed anything, because he wasn’t invested in, or possibly ready for, the same type of relationship or friendship I’m seeking. And finally, we are free. 

That’s the take away. When a relationship doesn’t work, and you have honestly and genuinely given it your all, the issues were bigger than you. It was impossible for you to make it work, because they weren’t ready, in the same place, or willing. And, you’re gonna be okay. It’s their loss. It’s their issue. And if it’s meant to be, they will get their shit together and come back to you. Or they won’t, and you’re better off without them. Either way, have ALL the fun you can withstand in the mean time because you’ve earned it.
Dry your eyes. No one wants to hang out with a cry baby. 

I want a wedding. 

  

Of course, I want a wedding.  I’ve been planning and designing it since I was a little girl.  Almost had one once. Asked to have one twice. Of course, I want a wedding.

I imagine styling my natural hair like something I’ve pinned from Pinterest. Maybe growing it long enough for a high bun or having it straightened like the old me. My make up will be understated. I want to look like me, but lots of lashes. I want my lashes to show in photographs. Individual lashes, nothing that screams falsies, done by a professional. 

I’ll wear diamond earrings. Something large, celebrity, and with the same cut as my engagement ring. Any other jewelry will be determined based on my hair, but I must have the earrings. 

My dress will be traditional, fitted. Classic with considerable beadwork or lace. And, I’ll wear flats everywhere but in pictures.

I’ll have just a few bridesmaids. I can only think of 3. They’ll wear different dresses based on their comfort level and body type. I really like olive green and coral. Something in one of those colors. We’ll make jewelry. Design it  with them. Make it with them. Sharing my passion. They’ll carry small bouquets in Fall colors. 

Fall wedding. I’m thinking late September to mid-October. 

My son will walk me down the aisle. He will wear a black tuxedo and white Converse. I love Converse. He doesn’t. Great opportunity to get him to wear them. I’ll pin a hot pink rose in his lapel just as the doors open for us. We will talk the entire way down. I’ll have a vintage handkerchief. He will have some  Kleenex in his pocket for me. He will tell me he’s happy. And, all my jitters will subside. We will stop at my parents. I’ll hug them both. And, they will all stand for me when the pastor asks who gives me to be married. 

The ceremony will be simple. Flower girl and ring bearer, but not all of those other roles. I know I want a soloist, but I have no idea what they would sing. I’m sure I don’t want any of those sand or water ceremonies. I hope my future husband isn’t counting on those. Also, no stand up comedy by the pastor. Romantic, comfortable, and simplistic. Straight to the point, and on to the reception. 

The wedding and reception will be at the same venue. Same room if I can make it work. No standing around. No waiting and boredom. As soon as we exit for picture taking and quiet moments, the music starts, appetizers round, and drinks start to flow. My husband, family, and wedding party get a little down time. We get a moment, but the party continues. No one notices I’ve stolen time with my new husband, taken a thousand pictures with the people I love, and I’m high-fiving my son in a corner because he wore the Converse and didn’t complain. 

Within an hour, we will make an entrance. Nothing too grand, I’m uncomfortable with too much attention. Shortly after, I’ll take the dance floor. My dad and I will dance, and Blaise will cut in. Then my new husband will cut in, the song will change to I’d Rather by Luther Vandross, and someone will announce our first dance. We will dance and talk about how perfect everything is, how we can’t believe we are pulling it all off, and how much we appreciate everyone coming. We will laugh, and he will spin me. Then everyone will join and we will dance until dinner arrives. And, we will dance again after dinner. And, we will dance until we cut the cake. And, we will dance again. Eventually, we will thank everyone who came. There will be wardrobe changes, make up updates, and garders and bouquets. We will do all of that too. 

I can’t decide if I’ll have a band or DJ. I’ve gone back and forth between the two. A band seems glamorous. A DJ seems much more practical. I don’t know, but probably a DJ. If so, he will have to dress better than DJs I’ve seen in the past at weddings. IJS

At the end of the night, we will all depart. My new husband and I will spend the night with close family. The honeymoon will be scheduled the next day. The family part will continue until then. Pictures will continue into the night. We will go to bed late, after more drinks, movies, and family fun stuff. We will be a family for awhile longer before we are just a couple on a vacation. At some point, teary eyed, I will declare that I married my bestfriend.

I can have a wedding, an incredible wedding even. I just don’t know how I feel about marriage. 

I met someone.

So, I met someone. Yep.

Life moves fast. You can’t let the grass grow under your feet, right?

The new guy, Mister. That’s how I’ll regard him until we see if he sticks around. Mister is a really nice guy. He comes across genuine and ready for a grown folks relationship.

He checks in with me. Wants to know how my day went. He’s been my sounding board and my confidant. He makes me laugh, and he thinks I’m hilarious. Mister gives me space when I need it, and he makes himself available to me.

When I told him that I have no idea what the next 6 months holds for me, I don’t know how long I’ll call Houston home, he said we will just focus on the moment. Swoon. He just wants this time to count. He just wants to be the highlight of my life here. Wow. Those were all the right things to say, sir. Kudos.

I wouldn’t usually do the rebound thing. I know I’m still an emotional mess after the last guy, but this feels good. This is easy. I’m not stuck feeling like I’m attempting a two man job by myself. Mister wants me, too. I feel like this guy could be a great guy even if he’s not the guy. And, that’s okay, too.

Welcome to my life, and my blog, Mister! Yay!!!

Don’t screw this up…

Romance

My online dating profile asked how romantic are you. As a woman I leaned towards “extreme,” but let’s be real. My honest answer is “seldom” or “unnecessary.” I don’t really need romance. I like romance, but I’m more concerned about our day to day gig than a bouquet of flowers.

Traditional romance has it’s place. Please wine and dine me to death on anniversaries, birthdays, and the dreaded Valentines Day. But outside of that, just the little things. And, I’ll reciprocate that. I’ll handle fulfilling your wants and needs while you fulfill mine. That’s our romance.

No hot air balloon rides. I’m terrified.

Few flowers. They die.

No heart shaped boxes of candy. I’d rather have a Twix.

Few jewelry pieces. I have enough jewelry for 100 people already.

Invest in our future and our children. Satisfy our needs, and we can choose our wants. Love me with small actions instead of grand expressions, and say the word! Aloud. I don’t need a million cards and poems. Just tell me, make me feel it, and be sure I know your love. No commercialized romance needed.