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Dating is hard enough as it is. Now throw in a child, work, and some college classes into the mix and you have yourself a fully booked schedule. How anyone can manage to find the time to fit in a social life with friends let alone a romantic life in is beyond me, but some how I'm surprised to find I'm managing.
For starters, I got lucky. The guy I've come to find is an incredibly patient individual, I've been through the duds and out right crazy guys in my more recent dating history. I tried the online thing, where I met a guy that I had mutual friends —the date was nice, but there was zero chemistry and, I knew at that point in time after my last failed relationship in the years prior that I simply wasn't ready to date. I was defensive and closed off to the possibility of letting anyone in. We picked some cozy bar—he picked me up back then, I did not have a car so it only made sense however, I could see now how that could've been a hazardous decision. Anyways, upon arrival he asked if I wanted a drink and me feeling nervous and, out of my element could tell then and there that I was in definite need of one, however I politely declined. I didn't want to risk drinking too much, being 21 at the time I knew with my level of nerves that I'd probably have downed one drink too many if I started. As for the chemistry—or, lack thereof it was fine on a friendly level, but the guy kept dropping flirty cues and I just wasn't having anything to do with them.
We eventually wandered over to the pool tables the bar offered for a dollar a game, and well, I suck at pool, but that didn't deter the guy. You know those subtle hints people give off? The subconscious movements that you can see and it tells whether or not someone is into you? Yeah, well, I wasn't aware of it at the time, but I was giving off some bad vibes. I felt bad for the guy afterwards, once I realized. I even apologized for how horrible that date went. It seemed as though every time I switched sides of lining up my shot or standing while he took his, it was the polar opposite of where he stood. Leaving the entire expanse of the pool table between us while we carried on our idle chit chat. In the end, I left an hour before the time my sitter had given me. I was just not feeling the date at all and, it was to no fault of this poor guy. I just simply wasn't ready at the time, but I pushed on through the awkwardness and could say that I did it. Unsuccessfully, but I held my head high in saying I did it.
Flash forward about two years and, now I have a four-year-old and a full-time job, I hadn't yet started school at this point. Yet, here I was again pondering the idea of dating. I was still terrified given how the last date I went on played out. This time I met someone through the same online dating site that I didn't know, again. It was at a bar. Public place, but I was a little smarter. I didn't have the guy pick me up or anything. I took an Uber—that no car thing back then was a real annoyance.
This date however, was with a nice arborist that seemed to know all the right things to say to me—should've been the first warning sign, but I figured I'd meet up with him anyways. He was very attractive, the intimidating kind of way. We sat and talked for two hours at that bar. I genuinely thought we'd clicked. I was getting more and more comfortable as the date went on. I went on to order two whiskey sours—clearly enjoying myself. I knew then that it was time, when compared to that last, awkward, terrible, date I went on it was like I was a totally different person. I knew then that I could begin actively searching for a partner again. I could feel this weight lifting off my shoulders the more I relaxed and the more we talked. The date ended well...but, unfortunately the dude was clearly in it for the chance of getting laid. Right in his car, afterwards. Unfortunately for him, I'm just not that kind of gal.
After that night I didn't really have much contact with him, I don't know if it was the fact that I didn't put out or if he was irritated that he had faked the whole two hour plus conversation on the off chance he'd possibly get sex, but I wasn't too concerned about him at this point. I was finally, finally ready to get out of my shell and meet people. There really weren't any other dates after that for a while. I went through the process of trying to work on myself for my daughter and I. We ended up moving shortly after planned an awesome trip out to —which is an entirely different story on it's own—flying with a four-year-old was quite the experience. I enrolled myself in a couple classes at the community college nearby for the coming fall and, made time for friends and most importantly my little one. However, a family member of mine recently moved to her own apartment in the same town I used to reside in, and had picked up a job at the same fast food place I'd worked at in previous years.
Soon enough, she began to hang out with the same people I had, and of course upon hanging out with her I began to reconnect with old friends, that's when I found him....well, again. The guy that I'd known of for a long while, but never had really thought much about before. The very guy I would fall for soon enough. The guy that would totally change my views on love. It's only been a few months of solid dating, but we've had run ins with each other over the course of the last four years so it wasn't as if I had taken up dating strangers over the internet again. He also was forewarned by many people how I could seem standoffish and aloof, he'd heard about my having baggage from my last bad relationship—thankfully not nearly as bad as it had been in the previous years. He also had already met my child—which safe to say the previous guys had only heard of in conversation.
Now, I suppose I could be jumping the gun on this one given that it's only been a few months. However, the saying goes, "when you know, you know" and I don't think I've ever been more confident in something before. He doesn't just put me ahead of himself, he puts me and my child ahead of his own needs. He thinks of us in everything he does, and he goes out of his way to reassure me in my crazy way of overthinking everything that is us. He is legitimately there for anything that I could possibly need in ways that no ones ever been there for. He's been there for the good, the bad, and the down right ugly. On one of our first over nights together my daughter threw up all over his feet and in my crazy state of mothering, all while feeling downright awful for him. I thought he'd have been running away as fast as he possibly could. Instead he simply looked at me and said, "You take care of her, I've got this," then proceeded to clean it all up. It hit me then that I wasn't dealing with the type of guy I was accustomed to. He has no kids of his own- which was even more surprising to me. Someone this great with kids without any of his own seems highly unlikely—unless, you know that might be why he's great with kids... :) Anyways, someone that can step up to the plate like that is well worth a measly article on the internet. I've found someone that finally makes me and my child the happiest we've been in a very long time, and as much as I wish we'd started dating sooner... He was definitely well worth the wait.
My advice to those that are in a similar boat to where I was just a few short months ago is don't give up on love, don't just sit on the sidelines pining away for someone to come to you. Get out there and, do something that interests you, better your life. If you can focus on your life, and growth. Love is surely going to follow.