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Relationships 101: When is the right time to go back on the market for a new partner?

By Douglas Ewing of Love, Awake, (www.loveawake.com)

When I first began dating, I felt like I was dying when I turned 42, and I knew I needed to find a guy with my same interests. Here’s how it was working out then:

The guy I was dating was clean-cut and educated. He had a job, two young kids, was down to earth and even had a pocket protector! He also had fairly good connections with his family, and it didn’t hurt that he had about a million mutual friends. Well, I was head over heels. He had everything I was looking for. I had everything he had. Our families had friends in common, and we communicated by phone. (There are definitely a lot of benefits of calling and texting instead of chatting over the phone in this age.)

I made plans to see my significant other just prior to my 45th birthday. Our anniversary would be the week after my birthday. I expected to see him that day at work. But I didn’t. I decided to go ahead and go to work with hope that I would meet him as I got to work. That did not happen. I thought I had some kind of premonition that he did not show up at work. Of course, it is normal to have thoughts about your significant other around such an event, but in my case, there was one more thing that it had to be him. When I put an end to that thought, I entered a deep and powerful fear. A fear of abandonment. The fear of not knowing what is out there for me in my life. That fear came with the realization that I was ready for new beginnings, and my significant other was not.

So I put two and two together and then three. On my birthday, I finally met my current husband – he was with his own children and his wife at the time. We had a falling out with our significant other. I learned about his new and special relationship in the interim and left it at that.

We both had our “happy place”: He was at his job, I was at my job. We were not getting any younger, we had spent most of our marriage in it, and we both yearned for a new excitement. I took those new jobs, and he did not. It was like going in a well-packed trunk, and both of us started to look for cars and new experiences.

I had a teacher’s son’s birthday coming up, and I told him, “I can’t be happy without me – how can you be happy without me? I can’t be sad, what are you gonna do? I know he will be happy when we can both be happy.”

Next week: When is the right time to go back on the market for a new partner?

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