Sadly, I am living this right now. About 5 months ago, I parted ways with a boyfriend of a few years. He had become a member of the family. On some level, I thought I’d marry him, but it turned out we were just not the right fit. It happens. I’m over it. My kids still mention him. I have noticed that my nonchalant way of mentioning that I ended things has not been so easy for them. I mean, they played COD with him, laughed at me with him, sided with him, etc. You know, immature boy stuff. And I find they miss him. But, I want no part of him, no mention of him, and don’t think about him. But my negative experience was not their experience. I have to accept snd redpect that.
In light of this, I sat down and had a real honest talk with them. I said “I know you guys like him, but he wasn’t a good fit for me. I tried 3 years and he couldn’t get it together. Don’t I deserve to be happy? Should the new guy in my life have to compete with an old boyfriend because you guys are still connected?” After that discussion, they saw things my way. True, they have no choice because I’m the grownup, but it is important to note their feelings and the level of discomfort it creates for me and potential mates. I also know they will have those fond memories because I allowed the ex in my life and theirs. My doing.
So, this post is to say kids do get attached to the people we date. But, we can’t stay mismatched and connected for the sake of our kids. They need to know sometimes stuff doesn’t work out. I had become so unhappy because he did not support my dreams. You all know how important chasing dreams is to me. Oh no! He had to go! 🙂
So, may the following lessons I learned bless you:
1. Watch the length of time you date
Sometimes, we just prolong relationships. You must learn to have the gift if good’bye. Everyone isn’t for you no matter how you try. Be willing to check the temperature of the relationship and make the hard move to move on as needed. Only you know the answer.
2. Make sure you both are on the same page
Faith is my most defining value. We have to share the same faith. Discipline and child rearing are important points if contention in relationships and we’re in ours. I’m not saying to run if uou and your boo disagree, but to watch out for non negotiables.
3. Do not remain in relationships that drain you
Draining, depressing, limiting… I can go on. No one should live like that. Let them go. Sign no 1 you are not with your Boaz.
4. Be quick to move on when you know you are not a good fit
I had clues that the fit was iff, but people in my ear combined with his smooth talking and better than the previous guy M.O. had me bound. I admit it. But, I have learned to watch the fruit if who they are not the image we want.
5. Be careful who you let your kids get attached to
Even I can stand to be reminded here. The ex had all the chivalry a woman could stand, all the right mives, and language but didn’t deliver one to one. Was neglectful of us, tried to be demeaning (notice tried. I don’t play that.), and just had signs of being a manipulative … But, he and my boys bonded, had a good time, and he cared for them and they liked him. BUT WE DID NOT FIT. So, now I know from that lesson to really make sure the fit is there first. I let him meet my boys within 2 months. I used to wait 6. There is no perfect timing but we must be cautious and realistic.
6. Keep conversation open with your kids
Of course, here, my language is child appropriate and not too detailed. But, I let them know I want God’s best for me and them. And if I make a move like that to end a relationship, I had good reason.
I, in no way, am trying to place the ex in a bad light. Truth is truth. We were and are not God’s best fit. I knew it. I had to let go. But, he was the first guy I actually introduced to my boys and let be around them for this length of time. He was better in some areas than any guy I had ever dated. That was blinding to the fact that we were not a good fit. It happens. When you see this in your relationships, don’t force it. Let go. We have too many examples of unhappily married folks to continue on with badly fit partners.
Life sucks. Relationships are hard. Single parenting and dating is hard. Breakups are hard.
Do It Anyway!