But I came upon a different perspective with my latest loss of a 2.5 year relationship. I don't want to date at all. I want to have some women friends and see if anything develops from our friendship. Like everyone goes into the friend zone until I'm 6 months sober from my last intoxicating adventure. I'm not ready to date or be in a relationship even though it's what I long for. I like being a couple. I like mundane joys alongside someone I love.
You deserve a kick-ass relationship. You deserve honesty, monogamy, and awesome sex. Make sure you're not settling for Mr./Mrs. Meh. In the long run, only the magic will preserve your relationship, so you'd better get on with the task of finding THE ONE.
She doesn't need to force me into a plan. And I don't need to buck against her plan or freak out when it hasn't been put forth. We are indeed already married in every way but two.
And as we radiate and recommit, as we lean in towards one another and take the leap of faith towards life-transforming love, we can see the effect our joy is having on our friends and family. And the kids, while still readjusting to our new configuration, are already showing warmth and enthusiasm around our together unit, which now includes a new partner for me.
There are plenty of single parents who use their kids to get out of almost every obligation. Even obligations to themselves, for say... exercise, dating, taking responsibility for their own actions. And I have been the dad who apologized for checking his phone when a text dinged while on a date.
In my joyous engagement I was missing something from her that I couldn't identify. I thought I was listening well, responding well, and behaving well. I thought we were moving things along nicely. But I could only make those assumptions about myself and my own thinking.
Spend time together. Keep checking in with each other and with yourself. "How does it feel?" Let the answer to that question guide your relationship decisions. And remember, kissing can lead to lovemaking, if you both want to head in that direction.
Dating is simple. Relationships are hard work. Well, they can be hard work, or they can be temporarily effortless. I think that's what we're imagining when we jump back into the dating pool again. We remember the highs of love crushes, the sex, the joy, the "hi, I am soooo glad to see you" feelings that are bantered back and forth when you are establishing a new love relationship.