I stay true to a very old-fashioned rule when it comes to dating a friend’s ex, whether it is an ex-boyfriend or an ex-husband. Simply put, I won’t do it because I put a high value on my friendships. To me, dating someone’s ex would be disrespectful to the friendship. Having said that, I do know that exceptions to the rule can be tempting
In this case, Steve was the ex of an ex-friend of mine. Since the friend was no longer in my life, one would think that the no-dating-an-ex rule would no longer apply. Technically, I would agree. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t flattered by his attention toward me. However, every time I looked at Steve, images of him sucking face with my friend flashed before my eyes. There was just no way that I could date him with this picture in my mind, so I turned down his advances.
I have never told Momma this story for the simple reason that she already thinks that I’m weird for remaining single for well over a decade after my divorce. If I would have told her that I actually turned away an interested fella, she might have had me committed. You see, Momma still wants me to have a man in my life so that I have someone to “take care” of me. (Talk about being old-fashioned.) She means well. In her day, it was rare for a woman to have the means (financial or emotional) to live a happy and successful life independent of a man. Being without a partner was just unheard of. But times change.
Today, many single people have had to learn to walk through life independently because the dry spells of dating often get longer as the years go by. My perspective on not having a steady love life can best be compared to how I deal with having a zit.
Picture yourself in this scenario. You are on your way out the door for a night on the town. You take one last look in the mirror. Your hair is looking unbelievably good. You are looking hot in your “skinny” jeans. And your makeup? Flawless, if you do say so yourself. But there, lurking on your chin, is a red bump. You know very well what it is, and you also know what it is going to turn into.
In that moment, you decide your fate: Am I going to let this zit affect my life? Do I get upset, depressed, or neurotic over it? Should I cancel my plans and spend the night comforted by a tub of rocky road? Do I lock myself in the house until it goes away?
Much like the zit on my face, not having a love life can be annoying, painful, and an overall unpleasant situation. It’s very easy to look into the mirror at my life and only focus on the fact that I am alone, meaning only that I am without a partner. In fact, there have been times in my past when this was all I thought about. And believe me, there have also been plenty of nights when a bowl (or three) of rocky road has eased my pain.
Fortunately, I have learned to put this zitty aspect of my life into perspective. Now when I walk in front of a mirror, I stand far enough away so that I can see my entire reflection. I stand there until I see a balanced view of myself—all the good things and all the bad—and then I say out loud: “this too shall pass.”