I find myself falling into familiar patterns all too often these days. I stumble upon a guy who quickly becomes a good friend, I sometimes develop feelings (sometimes not), and I play it by ear. We talk about everything, laugh a lot, get close, and I think things are great.
Then there's the ghosting (or at least extreme pullback). Reciprocal communication becomes fewer and farther in between. Eventually I realize I'm the only one talking. Then for a brief moment, I hit the bottom of this weird, emotional pit before bouncing back.
I think this a single mom pattern/weakness: happening upon someone who is a good listener, getting wrapped up in that feeling and talking a lot, and then realizing retrospectively that you've shared too much and been too real, and the guy couldn't handle it. This solo parenting thing is a lonely gig. It feels so good to have someone to share thoughts with. But based on my [very limited] experience, I think guys just get confused and scared.
Single parents have lots of thoughts, limited sounding boards, a super high level of stress and responsibility, and like no free time. Oh, and the list of things to do never, ever ends. There is always something, and we are the only ones there to do it. Life never stops, and peaceful pauses are rare. That responsibility feeling rubs off, and I'm sure it's an unpleasant taste for a non-parent guy. I get it. I really do.
I guess the part of all this I need to continue to drill into my brain is what while Kimmy is a normal part of my life, she's not a normal part of any one of these guy's lives. They don't get it--or at least if they get it logically, they don't get it practically because they don't live it. They can't separate her from me and just take me for what I am. I can see how it's all a bit intimidating.
I'm just SO BUMMED about it.
I'm not daddy shopping for my daughter. I don't want to talk about my child all the time. (But let's be real: she's a part of my life, and she's going to come up from time to time.) I just want to feel like a normal 27-year-old woman sometimes. I want a person just for me when I'm entering into a fun, maybe-more-than-friends-one-day dialogue.
I just wish that guys wouldn't assume the worst and be so quick to slam that door. I'm worth the stress and the drama that follows me and the time it takes to get some face time with me. I'm worth it all. The man who takes the effort to discover that will be one lucky son of a gun.
Guys everywhere, take heed:
Do not ghost a woman. She can literally see that you saw that message. It has a time stamp. Say something. If you're not interested, if you're scared, if you're on different pages, if you're going away on vacation for 5 months, if you're just looking for a hook-up, whatever the reason is...
Be real. Be honest. Speak up and break things off.
That's what it means to be a man.
That's the respectful choice.
Sure, you may not feel you owe a woman anything, and, sure, that may even be true, depending on many factors. But at least cowboy up and give her some damn closure. Even if she reacts like a fool, she'll still respect your honesty a hell of a lot more than never hearing from you again, as if she's not worth the ounce of effort it takes to text a 1-sentence goodbye.
When women say all men are the same, this is the type of BS we're talking about--because y'all prove it time and time again. Quit being so damn disappointing and prove us wrong for once!
So this is where "extraordinary things" comes into play. When I land in this emotional pit, I think to myself, "How did I find myself here again?" Then I realize it. My story isn't over--not even close. I am fine. I'm alive and healthy. I still have my friends and my family and my passions. I still have my mind, full of art and depth and dreams and plans. I'm still me. I'm intact. I'm standing. I'm better off.
I will do, see, and experience extraordinary things in this lifetime, regardless of who comes in and out of my story. And I'm actually never more motivated to dive deeply into my passions than when I find myself here over and over and over.
Maybe one great love isn't for me in this life. Maybe these small glimpses of it are enough. I have my daughter through it all, so where has love really gone off to? Nowhere. It's present and constant.
Being in this place makes words flow out of me. It makes me spend more time with my daughter. I'm a better friend. I travel more. I appreciate all the real people in my life even more. I toughen the parts of me that need toughening and settle deeper into the parts of me that need to remain soft. I take a good, hard look at myself and deliberately examine my headspace. So thanks for that. You're actually doing me a favor.
Take me or leave me, but if you're going to ghost me, leave me the hell alone.
P.S. this post has been a draft for months. (I'm not happy with my first drafts lately, so I do a lot of slow crafting before I publish.) It's a culmination of experiences, not a passive-aggressive swing at any one dude. I'm in a really good place right now. If you're in my life, I hope you know we're good, too.