The difference in being in a new relationship after the age of thirty-five versus your late teens and early twenties is awareness. I can’t think of a better word than that. Aware as in knowing what you do and don’t want, aware of those dumb ‘rules’ and aware of how to handle yourself.
Today, we are oh so very mature…and if we aren’t? We sure have to fake it. (Ask The Boyfriend. He is constantly faking maturity. Such as “DO YOU REALIZE HOW HIGH THE LIGHT BILL IS THIS MONTH? IT’S A WHOPPING QUARTER MORE THAN IT EVER HAS BEEN. LIKE EVER. LIKE EVER IN THE HISTORY OF PEOPLE PAYING LIGHT BILLS!”
And there I am listening to him looking as if I’m completely horrified at the quarter more a month light bill, but I’m faking it as well. Because secretly? I’m getting turned on because who knew a Grandpa yelling about the electric bill in their underwear could be so hot? )
When I started dating after my divorce, I wasn’t dating for anything other than being in the moment. I didn’t want to rush into a relationship and I certainly didn’t want to live with another man. For three years, I dated blissfully and non-exclusively. I was so guarded with my heart anyway that the men usually knew a friendship was about all I could offer.
I did have a difficult time trying to figure that new life out. I wasn’t just a single woman, I was a mother and there was this level of caution when it came to dating I had never experienced pre-marriage. My kids had no idea that Mom was even dating. In fact, until The Boyfriend, they had never met any man I was seeing. So when it came time for them to meet The Boyfriend, I was nervous. It wasn’t just about if they’d all like each other…it was more that it sealed the deal. This gave me anxiety. I was opening the door for my kids to know someone and that someone would be a part of their lives. It was the adults’ call, not theirs, so there had to be a level of confidence that The Boyfriend and I were serious about being together for the long haul.
The Boyfriend and I are approaching two years together which is CRAZY, because he was only going to be THAT GUY I would go out to have fun with. It’s been a hard adjustment. The kids and I moved into HIS house, in HIS hometown where all HIS friends live whilst I rented my house out and left my little bubble where most of my friends were within walking distance. I do miss that life I had where I didn’t feel like a visitor in a place that I live.
The kids, on the other hand, love life. They still get to go to the same school and since they are old enough to have friends who are driving age, their friends are always over.
Which brings me back to being aware. Had I been in this relationship twenty years ago before marriage and kids, I would have been all, “BYE Boy, Bye with your quarter a more light bill.” This time around, I’m aware relationships aren’t easy. Relationships are difficult… especially when you add teenagers, exes, illnesses, deaths and dogs to the mix.
Basically REAL LIFE can turn your fairy tale love life into a bad Lifetime Movie for Women.
It isn’t always easy to remember the intense feelings of love, respect and adoration that brought you together in the first place.
However, if the two can remain aware of those feelings and keep it in the forefront of your minds and hearts, there will never be a reason to fake anything to stay together.
Especially faking the audacity of an outrageous travesty of a quarter a more month light bill.