today is my birthday. the big 3-5. i honestly don’t feel 35 (however that actually “feels” i’m not sure, i just know that i don’t). i remember waaaay back when i was fresh out of high school thinking that i had a pretty solid plan; get married to my high school crush and pop out a few kids by the time i was 25. there was no way i wanted to have kids later, because, who wanted to wait that long? and who wanted to be that old having a baby? well, i can tell you that things did not work out that way, and i am extremely grateful and beyond ecstatic about it. why you may ask? well, turns out that my high school “crush” (of almost 10 years of dating) ended up being a lying, cheating, manipulative and self-centered a-hole. i found out that the man i (used to) care about was not only sleeping around, but having full on relationships with other women. don’t ask me how he managed to do that, as i still can’t wrap my mind around it. looking back i suppose there were little things i could’ve picked up on but honestly, who wants to believe that the person they’re with isn’t who they thought they were? and, after being together for so long, you just sort of assume that this is how things are and that they aren’t going to change. boy was i wrong. and i’m sooooooo glad. it all seems like a soap-opera or a crazy movie plot when i think about it (or when i tell anyone the short-short version). that chapter of my life is over, and thrown in the trash! i can honestly say though that if i didn’t live the life i had, then i wouldn’t be who i am today or married now to the love-of-my-life.
i remember when my ex and i split up (or rather, when i dumped his slimy, pompous ass) thinking, oh my. for the first time in almost 10 years i was single. i had no commitments (except work). how was i supposed to do this thing called “dating”? how do you go about meeting someone when you’re in your late 20’s and you’ve never been on a real date in your life? i decided to avoid the whole thing for almost a year. i did whatever i wanted, whenever i wanted. it was amazing and liberating! i went out with a girlfriend and got belligerently drunk on a Monday night. just because i could; and i had a blast! then one day i thought, hmmm, maybe i would like to meet someone, but how do i go about that? i don’t want to go the pub and meet someone that way and i definitely don’t want to have my friends set me up with someone.
i was working full time at a newspaper and part time at a tanning salon so i didn’t have a ton of spare time but i met a few cute prospects. i contacted one of them and we went on a few dates and hung out a few times. then things got a little odd and we sort of stopped contacting each other (to be honest, he was a little quieter than i like, and didn’t exactly enjoy doing the things i did and he sort of lived in a small little world of his own). after that i met someone on myspace who lived just over an hour away from me. we went on a few dates and chatted online but i found out that he still lived with his parents (he was 35, I was 27) and he had a 15 year old daughter; 2 things that i really wasn’t overly comfortable with. plus the more we chatted, the more he would talk about “our future”; i’m sorry? what future is this you speak of? i gently broke things off and decided maybe i wasn’t really ready for the dating world. i mentioned this to a friend of mine and she suggested going online to a dating site. i snorted under my breath and thought, really? (mind you, this was back in 2007 when online dating wasn’t as popular or as common and “normal” as it is now – there are far more regular people out there looking for exactly the same thing that you are) … she said to me, listen, you don’t have to necessarily go on serious dates, just keep your options open, you never know what you’ll find. i decided to give it a whirl and signed up for a free account on lavalife. i added a few pics, updated my profile, let out a sigh and started browsing through the pics and profiles of potential datees.
i had a few men contact me right away; the majority of which were at least 10 years older, which i wasn’t thrilled about. i wanted to find someone closer to my own age, who had similar interests and who i could possibly see myself having a future with (crazy, right?). i finally had one person contact me and agreed to meet up for a drink at a local restaurant. after a few hours of chatting i could see that he was put off with how comfortable i was with myself and that i was the type of girl to speak my mind. we parted ways and that was that. a few hours and a few free drinks. harmless. but boring! urgh. back online i went.
i was only signed up with lavalife for a few weeks when i saw a pic of this pretty cute guy; ball cap, tattoos and a little scruff/beard. hmmm i thought. so i sent him a “smile”. he sent me a private message and we started chatting back and forth. i felt like a teenager with butterflies in my stomach as i typed messages to him and he wrote back right away. we got talking more and more and decided to add each other on messenger so that we could chat easier (and faster). we started talking about tattoos and he wanted to show me his sleeve (based on his scottish family heritage) so we added each other to Facebook. i didn’t think anything of it until down the road when he told me that my profile picture was one of me in a bar holding 3 different kinds of beer up to my lips. classy. he said he laughed and thought, that’s pretty awesome. (whew!). we planned to meet up and after maybe our fourth date we were lying in bed (just chatting! get your mind outta the gutter!) and he said to me, so where do you see this going? what do you want out of this? i replied, honestly, i want to be with someone who wants me for me. i don’t have time for bullshit. i just want to be happy; what do you want? he said, that’s perfect. exactly what i want. and from that point on we spent every day with each other and have now been together for (just under) 7 years and married for 3 of them. i didn’t ever think that i’d be 31 when i got married and 34 when i had my first baby. but to tell you the truth, i’ve never been happier or more comfortable. i don’t have to “try”.
one son, one hound dog and lots of laughs later, i can honestly say that i never imagined things could be this amazing, and this easy. in my 35 years on this earth i’ve never been happier. a successful, positive and happy relationship should be one where you don’t constantly need to go above and beyond to impress the person you’re with (whether it be dating, engaged, common-law or married). you should just be able to be YOU. no strings attached. nothing complicated. just easy.