I spent a few years in what one of my close friends calls a “SITUATIONship”. This is when you are in what LOOKS like a relationship but not really. Everything feels like a relationship, you act as if you are in a relationship, other people think you are in a relationship, however, one person won’t commit or the relationship is not defined. A Situationship.
I understand how the problem began. We started seeing each other during the summer. My daughter was out of state with her dad for 3 months. This allowed for an unrealistic idea of what my life looks like. I spent so much time with this guy. We talked until the wee hours of the morning almost every night for those 3 months. If I wasn’t at work…I was with him. We did things that couples do. Movies, bowling, dinner and even went to church together every week. He knew my most vulerable secrets and I knew his. As time went on, I grew strong feelings for this person. Then my child returned home. Things changed. While we still spent time together, it was different. I couldn’t stay up on the phone as much because I was exhausted from the daily duties of motherhood. I finally introduced him to my daughter at a group outing with friends. She grew attached to him pretty quickly. While she had not been around him that much, she liked him a lot and could probably see how much I cared for him as well. We all hung out a few times and she saw him when he visited our home. She talked about him EVERY SINGLE DAY! It was her first time seeing a man around her mom in over 3 years.
While talking over dinner with this guy, I referred to our dynamic as “dating”. His face looked like he saw a ghost. “Dating?”, he said. “We aren’t dating.” I was confused. By now, it had been a year. So I asked him to define what it was that we were doing and he responded that we were developing a friendship. I had no idea that we weren’t dating. He said that he could understand my view point and would adjust where things needed to be adjusted so that it looked more like a friendship. We tried this for a month or so and things went right back to normal.
I made the mistake of going along with it because I truly valued our friendship. What I didn’t realize was that my hidden insecurities would soon come to surface. After a few months, I began to ask myself “Why am I not good enough to be in a relationship?” “Am I not lovable?” “What’s wrong with me?” “Am I not worthy?” Time passed by and I still found myself wanting to define this “SITUATION” but he wouldn’t budge. So I finally decided to remove myself from the “situation” after almost a year and a half.
We had a discussion later and he was pretty honest about his feelings. He decided that he didn’t want to be in a relationship with a woman who had a child. He doesn’t feel like he is in a place in his life where he wants to play the role of “Step-dad”. Now I could have easily been upset and say “Why didn’t you tell me this from the beginning?!” But I decided to be more open to the fact that people have the right to change their minds right?. Maybe he felt like he could handle dating a single mom and he found out that he couldn’t. I saw the signs. I was in a bind one time and asked for his help. I asked him to take my daughter to tutoring class because I had to go into work. He seemed totally freaked out about it. It was pretty obvious that he made up an excuse to why he couldn’t do it so I ended up having a co-worker help. Maybe this was too much for him. Maybe he felt like I would be calling and asking for his help all the time. I don’t know. But it is true that dating a Single Mom is different. We are a package deal. Some people aren’t really ready for the whole package.
I can definitely say I learned many things about myself and the poor choices I made. I should have set boundaries in the very beginning by stating where I was in my life. I want to be in a relationship. I’m not dating because I need something to do. I am dating to eventually get into a serious relationship that will lead to marriage. Once you know what it is that you truly want, you have to make sure that every decision you make from that point on matches up with that goal. I didn’t do that. I have to hold myself accountable too for my actions. After taking some time off for myself, I was able to address those insecurities. I am good enough. I’m actually more than enough. I am very lovable. Nothing is wrong with me. I am worthy of a great relationship. But it’s all in God’s time.