I read your column just about every day, with the exception of days you don’t post one.
Usually the situations are about a sideline hoe questioning her place or the prostitute who doesn’t want to tell “the man she loves” she used to trick to pay her bills. I enjoy your openness and the lack of a censor button. Some things cannot be sugarcoated, and that brings me to my situation…
I am a single mother to two children. They are each a product of long term relationships and are used to stability and comfort in our family setting. I feel this is necessary so you understand my predicament further. I take being a mother very seriously. I don’t do the “jump off” thing. There has been no drama so despite the demise of my two previous relationships, we all collectively work as a team to make sure the children remain just that, children.
After my son’s father and I split last year, I began talking to a guy I met through mutual friends. He was in my area from out of town for a job. I have strict rules for sex and furthermore, being in my home or around my children so we took things slowly. In addition to my rules, we also knew there was a possibility of him being sent back home if his company lost a contract during the tough economy.
We dated for about three months before I arranged a play and pizza date with my new friend and kids. They took to him immediately. This shocked me!! My daughter is stubborn an opinionated like myself and does not warm up to people like that. My son was just happy to not be the only man around anymore.
Fast forward to six months later. He’s met my entire family, and I have met his family on trips back home with him and the few occasions his family was able to make it up for a visit. We all really clicked and enjoyed the familiarity that was there. His family and mine would introduce the other person as my boyfriend or his girlfriend. We would laugh off the titles because we knew the risk of really falling too hard. I kept him at arm’s length with my kids. In the event something would happen with his job, I didn’t want them to get hurt. And then it hit. His company lost all of their contracts and all employees were laid off.
He had a roommate who found employment elsewhere and he decided to stay out the rest of his lease to be here, even though he was able to leave without penalty. The last few months and weeks were amazing and tough at the same time. We did as much as we could together and spent lots of time together, but it was heartbreaking because we both knew in a short time, he would be gone. After having been in serious relationships previously, the way I felt for him was in no way, shape and/or form the way I felt about either of my exes. There was just a genuinely good heart and soul in that man and it radiated through everything he did and everyone he encountered. It’s safe to say I was/ I am in love with him.
I’ve always been the person to keep my feelings in so those around me could be happy. You would never know if my heart was broken because I would glue that smile on my face and tell you to have a safe trip and have fun. I don’t believe in dwelling on things you can’t change. It is just my stance in life. This is where you come in. I know I cannot make this man move back here with me. I cannot make his job come back so he can be here. I don’t do the whole getting pregnant to keep a man thing either. I believe in letting people do what is best for them and hoping life brings us back to each other in the end. But with him, I would pick up and go wherever he was if he needed anything. We had briefly discussed me moving with him but we both agreed it wasn’t the right thing to do to my children since their dad’s are both so involved.
I just need to know how can I turn this feeling off. It has been six months since he left. I haven’t dated anyone. I’ve declined more offers than I can count for friends to set me up on blind dates. I know I am probably being unreasonable and stubborn, but my heart and soul tell me he is the one for me. I wish I could pick up the phone and tell him I love him and I want him to spend the rest of his life with me and I want to continue my family with him. But I won’t. I know leaving was hard for him too. He became really attached to my family, especially my son.
We still talk almost every day and not all days are good days, but we promised to always be there for each other regardless of where we are physically or in life. He is my best friend and I feel like my true soul mate and I will always want him in my life, but I am terrified he will meet someone back home and I will have to sit back and watch the man I love fall in love with someone else. With this all being said, lay it on me. What do you think I should do…? Tell him how I REALLY feel and forget how it may affect him or just chop it up to the crazy way life works and just try to move on with someone new, even if I know I will never feel for them the way I feel for him…? Thanks for your help. – Lost And In Love
Dear Ms. Lost And In Love
I think you need to stop being strong, independent, and holding your feelings in because you don’t want to get hurt and call that man up and tell him how you feel. Let him know you love him, want him, and need him. Tell him how much you miss him, and want to be a family with him. Let him know how much your children adore him, and want him around. Girl, pick up the damn phone…naw, freak that, get on the next flight and go get your man!! LOL!
One thing I know about love is that it never fails. It prevails and will transcend time and space. If you can’t move to where he is, then offer him to move in with you and your children. You’ve invested in him, and he’s come to know your children and your family, so why not make it official and make him an offer. If in your heart you know he is the one for you, and he knows you are the one for him, then two hearts, two people in love will make it work.
Here’s how it can work: 1.) Offer to have him come and stay on the weekends, or for a week. Do this a few times. This will be trial runs to see how you operate living in one space together. Yes, love may be grand, but living with someone is another thing. See how it goes over a few visits and how the two of you gel in the home. I’m sure it will be great to have him around, and enjoying one another. And, though he may be out of work, see if you can split the costs of the plane ticket, or train ticket. If he’s willing to make the investment, he’ll make it work.
2.) Why isn’t he looking for opportunities of work in your area? He can search companies where you live to see if there are any prospects. I’m sure he’s done this, but don’t assume. Talk with him and see if he’s been looking at returning to your area. And, ask him if he is open to the possibility of seeking out temporary agencies to help him get some work until something permanent opens up, or working with a headhunter. If he’s a working professional I’m certain he can find a headhunter who can help him secure employment in your area.
3.) Sit and talk with your children’s fathers and discuss the possibility of you relocating to another area. It’s great to hear that they are involved with their children’s lives, but don’t let that stop you from having and enjoying love. If they are great and supportive, then they will want you to be happy. Besides, if you’re happy, then you’ll be a happy parent to your children and in working with them to rear your children.
Look, the point I’m making is you don’t want to live your life with regrets. You don’t want to live your life wondering, “What if?” Or, “I wonder.” And, “If I would have done this, or done that.” Don’t let life pass you by, and definitely don’t let love slip through your hands. If you’ve found someone who loves you just as much as you love them, then make it work. That’s what love is all about. Making it work despite of. Making it work regardless of the situation and circumstances. Life is always going to happen, and there will be obstacles, challenges, and hurdles, but how will you deal with it in the face of those situations.
Lastly, you sound like a great woman. You sound like a great parent. But, I don’t the fact that you are putting your life on hold and unwilling to make yourself happy. I don’t like that you hold things in, especially your feelings, and try to be this strong and independent woman. Enough already! It’s okay to let those you care about know that you love them. It’s okay to express your feelings and be vulnerable. Girl, trying to be stoic and stern is not serving you. Hell, it’s been six months since that man has been gone, and you’re trying to move on knowing good well that you love him and want him. He even suggested that you move where he is, but I’m sure it was you who said you can’t move because of the relationship your children have with their fathers. This man obviously wants to make it work, but you’ve got to go out on the limb with him. Take a breath! Listen to your heart and head, and follow them. They are telling you to take a chance. Be vulnerable and willing to share yourself with him. And, I guarantee that once you take a step toward love, love will take three steps toward you. – Terrance Dean
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