Blinders, Red Flags, and One Brutal Text

The one saving grace of my terrible luck with men… is that they sure do make it easy for me to hate them.

For those of you who read this blog for drama because my personal life is a trainwreck most of the time, this one’s for you.  Just go easy on me in the comments, okay?  I’m a little sensitive right now.

So we all know I’ve been dating HSD (Hot Single Dad) since the summertime.  We had taken a little break somewhere in the beginning of October for about two weeks, but had both decided we did want to be together, and things went really well after that.  We met each others’ families, I introduced him to Caroline (which I have never done with anyone I’ve dated since my divorce), and he introduced me to his daughter.  We were together all the time and I was really happy.

Yeah… was.  Past tense.

Yesterday, during lunch, I got a text from him, out of the blue, telling me that he was sorry but his ex-girlfriend, who was married, finally left her husband so he couldn’t continue our relationship anymore.

Yeah, a text.

Yeah, it said that.

So that’s that.  I still don’t even know what to think.  I’m more mad than sad.  Were we a perfect match?  No, but he was good to me and to my daughter and I had really liked him and trusted him.  I had felt secure enough in what we had to let him into not only my life, but my daughter’s life too.

And that’s the thing that pisses me off the most.  Not at him, but at myself.  I should have known to wait longer to bring him around her, I should have been more careful, I should have taken things slower where she was concerned.  I don’t want to be one of those single parents who brings a string of significant others in and out of Caroline’s life.  Well, she’s not even three years old and that’s already one down.  I better shape up in the future.  It was selfish of me to let them develop any kind of relationship, really.

But… how could I have known?  And even worse… in the future, how will I know?

You would think, having been crushed by a failed marriage by the young age of 26, and having a child involved, that I would be more cautious about getting attached to anyone in any way.  You would think that I would have an eagle eye out for red flags.  You would think that having a child whose father’s involvement in her life is sporadic at best would make me more protective of who I let into her life in the role of my significant other.  But I was not, and now I have to pay for my foolishness by being faced with the task of telling my daughter that he won’t be coming around here anymore… on top of having to deal with how the whole thing makes me feel.  I guess I just got caught up in the euphoria of actually really liking someone who seemed to really like me back.

In the end it is not as big of a deal as I’m making it out to be, because she did not much care for him anyway (she’s a better judge of character than I am, I suppose), and because a relationship of only a little over four months will not take me long to get over.  I am mostly disappointed that he is not the person I thought he was, that someone who I thought was wonderful would not only do something like this, but do it in the most cowardly and sh*tty way possible: with a text.  Christ, I had just left his house that morning, thinking how lucky I was to have found a great guy like him.

So.  I got the rug pulled out from under me.  It happens.  But… what do I do about it?

I pick myself up and be grateful that I learned this lesson before my daughter is old enough to be too affected by the consequences of my poor decision, that this happened sooner in our relationship rather than later, and that I can at least be secure in the knowledge that he is not the kind of person I want to be with anyway.  I allow myself to be sad and mad but place the blame squarely where it belongs… not on him, but on me, because I am the one who made the decision to introduce them.  And I look at the example he is setting for his daughter, who is twelve, and old enough to understand, and I make damn sure that I become a better relationship role model for my own daughter than he has been for his.

And in the future?  I try to take the blinders off, put my daughter’s needs before my own selfish wants, and give things time and take it slow.  What is the rush, anyway?  For now, I think that is all I can do.

It sucks, though, you guys.  I’m not feeling too great about things at the moment.

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  1. by gill booton

    On December 30, 2011 at 6:23 am

    Please don’t be hard on yourself… could you have known..i didn’t want to be one of those single parents either…but it happened! My daughter is 13, and i do worry about the damage, but she’s v savvy and better judgement than me! After too many bad experiences on internet dating – i’ve given hp with it and tweet instead! Must admit i have become v cynical and sceptical but that was inevitable too!
    Soo all we can do is keep strong and don’ t give up hope xx

  2. by Heather

    On December 30, 2011 at 6:24 am

    ((hugs)) I’m so sorry Julia.

  3. by Jenn @therebelchick

    On December 30, 2011 at 6:43 am

    Don’t punish yourself too much – it happens. Being a single mom is tricky, at best. I dated a guy for almost a year before I introduced my 2 yr old to him…and we broke up two months later. I introduced my daughter to my the next guy within a month because we were mainly just friends and I figured we’d continue to be friends…and we ended up getting married. LOL
    You make mistakes, you live and you learn. She will be okay and you will start to learn your way around the single mom dating thing after a while. And that guy? Total douche.

  4. by Karen

    On December 30, 2011 at 7:11 am

    Wow. That is so crazy and he’s a big doucher. I’m happy that it happened when it did. I will never understand some men. They truly seem to think with their penis most of their lives. I know you’ll get over him quick and move on with your life. You’re beautiful and some day there will be some guy out there who is totally deserving of you and Caro!

  5. by AFB

    On December 30, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Oh my gosh! I am shocked. This makes no sense. WTH? You can not blame yourself for someone else bad behavior.

    And even if his ex gf just left her husband she is in no place to be with HSD (aka now as: Hot Single Douche).

    One, I am betting his sorry a$$ will be back so refer to this post when that happens and remind yourself not to go back again.

    Two, Caroline is so little. She will not remember. So this is a good time for you to learn what your comfort boundaries in relationships will be. And really saying goodbye to people is part of growing up. (Teachers, Friends, Mom’s Friends, a class, etc.)

    Three, I am so sorry. This sucks. You don’t deserve it. Cry, be bitter, eat treats, drink champagne and make a fresh start in 2012.

  6. by jaclyn

    On December 30, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    Since he left you via text for a married ex-girlfriend who is leaving her husband, he is a person without integrity and you dodged a bullet by not marrying him. You shouldn’t be too upset about introducing your daughter to him too soon – she didn’t like him, so she didn’t get attached and she won’t be hurt by the breakup (she might even be happy he’s gone). You learned an important lesson for the future when she might have been hurt by losing someone she was more attached to. Everyone makes parenting mistakes – it happens and this one didn’t hurt your daughter.

  7. by Candy

    On December 31, 2011 at 9:12 am

    I am going to echo what most people have been saying: don’t be so hard on yourself, you did what you thought was right at the time. Lesson learned. Your daughter is young and won’t remember. You’re not bringing home every Tom, DIck and harry.

  8. by Julia

    On December 31, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Thank you so much, ladies. I really do appreciate the support. It means a lot.

  9. by Christian

    On December 31, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Here’s one to make your thank-you comment useless (nah, I’m not gonna be mean, I’m just not a lady).

    I think your resolutions are good. I think you do take seriously and with lots of precautions who you introduce into Caro’s life and who you don’t.

    I think you’re not responsible for this. Not for what happened nor for not seeing it come. I think you did take all the measures to make sure this one would work… and I think you did everything in your hands to make the situation clear and smooth.

    I think that the blame is not on you. You can think it was a mistake to introduce him to Caro, because he was not the guy you thought he was. You can think you made any other mistakes… but that doesn’t cover the fact that he lied about (or hid) something really important for him (the effing marital state of his ex) and that he pretended to be someone he’s not… adding the final touch of grace with a breaking-up-text. *YOU* are not to blame for any of those things… which were, actually, the reasons for you to commit any mistakes.

    I take the blame completely off you… not for pity or just a circunstancial thing… for absolutely objective reasons.

    I’m sorry this guy didn’t work out. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but I’ll say it: Don’t sit there and wait for Blue Prince to come. The waiting for love is so over-valued. The waiting sucks, and the coming happens anyways… so just worry about your own matters and have fun in your things (enjoy parents, Caro, work, friends, going out, whatever) and… Prince will arrive unexpectedly (and, I’m pretty sure… in the moment you are, actually, thinking you’ll be fine without him).

    [sorry for the never-ending comment]

  10. by Natalie

    On January 3, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Well I am not going to comment on the DB who text-dumped you because I met my husband at 23 and we were married within 8 months, and that was 8 years ago, and he is awesome, so I have very little dating experience, and feel extremely lucky.
    HOWEVER I am the product of 2 divorced parents, my father left my mom when she was 4 months pregnant with me (yea real DB move, I can say that now because my dad is actually very awesome but it took him about 10 years to “grow up”)
    I digress… My mother only dated 1 man briefly when I was about 4 years old, she had a few dates here and there but she basically gave up her personal life for her kids… and let me tell you what a MISTAKE that is! Her favorite thing to tell me when we are in a fight is how ungrateful we all are that she gave up her dating life for us, so we didnt have a parade of men in and out of our lives, and she is a VERY bitter woman now, and really has never experienced love in a romantic sense in 30 years.
    Here are my tips for your feelings about your daughter. 1) She needs to see you be a normal human being, happy/sad single and dating. 2) I think introducing dates to her as your friend and having her call them “Mr. Smith” is perfectly acceptable, keeping any PDA away from her until you and he have come to an understanding that you are more serious and then explaining that to her is perfectly fine. and 3) If it doesn’t work out it is ok, so long as she is remaining emotionally attached to you and not them she will be fine, Life is not fair or easy and she is learning that and it is ok. She is also learning you dont need another person to be whole and complete that everything you have inside you is enough.
    Additionally watch this vid on vulnerability it might be just what you need.