The past should remain in the past…
This past year, for the first time in my son’s life, I ventured into the dating world….and proceeded to fall flat on my face because the guy I was seeing turned out to be not who I thought he was. One of the biggest mistakes I made early on was caving in when he insisted on getting my teenage son’s approval prior to us seeing each other. I broke a major fundamental rule when I did this because my stance had always been that unless the relationship becomes serious, no one is introduced to my son.
He was different or at least I thought he was. I knew him from a long time ago back before I had my son. Since I knew him, I trusted him. Under normal circumstances, my response would’ve been a quick no…or HELL NO would be more like it!
When we first met all those years ago, there was just something about him that drew me to him and it had nothing to do with the fact he was good looking, gorgeous and had an amazing sense of humor. I was attracted to everything about him and the way he carried himself…always so self assured and confident. But as drawn to him as I was, I never acted on the attraction because at the time, both of us were involved with other people. It threw me to find out he had been attracted to me all those years ago as well.
When we found one another on Facebook, I never imagined that we would get involved. An entire lifetime had passed between us since our initial meeting when we were teens.
I should’ve known in my heart that if the timing wasn’t right for us all those years ago that chances were high that there was a reason we shouldn’t be together. There was a reason we lost touch with each other.
Before technology and social media, interaction between people was done via face to face or by phone. If you happen to lose touch with someone, that was it. There was no such thing as the Internet or Google to find someone from the past. As such, the past remained neatly tucked away…out of sight, out of mind, for a reason.
When we reconnected, I foolishly thought this was the chance we never had. He made it sound like he was looking for the same things I was. Unfortunately when one tries to tempt fate, the reality in no way matched what I had imagined things to be with him…not by a long shot!
The him I reconnected with was still confident and self assured but many times, it crossed over to extreme arrogance and cockiness. Those in my inner circle who met him were turned off by his arrogance and who they perceived was a self-centered individual.
Unbeknownst to me that while on the exterior he was still him, inside he was broken and angry. He was also bitter, jaded and extremely cynical about women, feeling that all women were out to hurt him the way his two ex-wives had. One had cheated on him with one of his friends and the other took advantage and basically emasculated him. These experiences stunted him forever and he vowed he was NEVER going to let anyone close enough to hurt him like that again.
Whenever anything happened between us that remotely reminds him of what THEY did or the hurt they caused him, the walls went up even higher and he would shut down.
Not wanting me to get close enough to ever hurt him, he often spoke in generalized blanket statements even about the most minor and insignificant things. We could never have serious conversations because he perceived everything I said or brought up as drama and if I contradicted him or proved him wrong, he would hold a grudge like nobody’s business. I found this to be ironic since he often claimed to be moving toward the positive and cannot dwell in negatives.
Isn’t that what holding a grudge is? To dwell in negatives to the point where you’re ready to spit nails because you can’t see beyond whatever it was you felt the person who wronged you did?
Despite all his faults and the fact we had absolutely nothing in common other than mutual attraction, I stupidly fell very hard for him and the feelings were unfortunately one sided because as he later told me, he will never feel for me the way I felt for him.
In retrospect and hindsight is always 20/20, perhaps over the years and our lifetime we spent apart and believing we would never cross paths again, I over-romanticized what I remembered about him…the memories that I tucked away in my memory banks of him and who he was.
Getting involved him and giving him my heart was a colossal mistake. It wasn’t the him that I reconnected with that I fell so hard for and tried with every ounce of my being to make things work between us. Rather, it was image I had of the him burned in my memory bank of long ago that I was attracted and drawn to…the gorgeous, confident, self assured young man who was untainted by life, ready to take on the world. Not the broken beyond words, cynical, overweight, bitter and jaded middle-aged arrogant jerk that he became.
He broke my heart into a million pieces and walked out of my life as quickly as he re-entered it.
As for the impact of me venturing into the dating world had on my teenage son, he has mixed feelings about it…though he seemed to have liked him initially and said it was nice to see his mom happy, he always felt there was something off and not right about him from day one. As time went on and the days turned into months, his feelings toward him cooled immensely. It wasn’t until things ended between us that my son finally confessed that he really didn’t like him at all and he was so happy that I was no longer seeing him.
In the end, when all is said and done, what it all boiled down to was that I tried to tempt fate in a futile attempt to recapture a moment I thought was lost forever in time and it imploded on me. Reality is ugly and nothing like the fantasy of memories tucked away from a lifetime ago because people change over time…sometimes for the better, but more times than not, as in my situation, sometimes it’s for the worse.
It was lesson learned the hard way that the past should remain just there, in the past.