Having three older sisters I have always been around females. By the time I advanced to college many of my friends were females and I had taken much from interacting with them; I had learned a lot about the female race. This permitted me to access and navigate through the female gender as a college student as well as shortly after college. Not having a serious relationship until I met the mother of my only daughter, most relationships spanned from 15 minutes to a weeks or so, I didn’t feel a need to settle down. Reflecting honestly, I vowed only three things while I was in college: I knew I was not going to get married, I knew I was not going to have children and I knew I would not ever have a need for or get life insurance. When I feel in love I got married, we had a daughter and then when we were divorced the lawyers insisted that we both get life insurance; strike three…
I suppose I could have felt like a failure; but I moved on. I did begin dating again quickly, using the learned skills that served me well in college. After about two years of dating on and off I began dating my most recent ex-girlfriend; you can read about her and our relationship in my book (once I get published). We were together for about three and a half years, things went well until then went poorly and the last 12 months we just kind of “hung on” and dragged things out long beyond where it should have been. Soon after we split many of my friends began brainstorming for women they knew who they felt I should “get with”. I chose to decline on all of them. Frankly, I wasn’t interested in “going back to college” and having short lives 15 minute relationships.
Recently I have began a relationship with someone who I have been friends with for 7 and a half years; not going into any details, but our friendship grew organically into romantic feeling and strong feeling toward each other. Chronologically: college “relationships”, married for 6 years, college “type” relationships, a 3+ year relationship, NO interest in relationships for over a year until where I am right now. Recently I have reflected upon exactly why I did what I didn’t do.
I couldn’t be happier with where I am right now and I have grand intentions toward my current partner. Of course, if anyone cannot suggest exactly what my intentions are they may want to reconsider the long term value of their relationship, but I digress. My reflection at the moment is not on where I am, but how I found myself where I am. I am thankful I was emotionally and romantically available for this relationship and I have to suggest that my availability is due to my daughter.
What would have happened if I had dated other people between the time of my most recent ex-girlfriend and my current relationship. Between the time between my divorce and my ex-girlfriend my daughter was about 6-8. Since then, my daughter has now grown to be 12. I have had the “talk” with her, she has become interested in boys and she is more interested in making sure she matches and looks good, in her own stylish but sporty style. Everything I have done between the split from my ex-girlfriend and my current partner has been with my daughter in the back of my mind. I declined on sexual and/or romantic opportunities because I viewed myself as my daughter’s father and I thought “How can I expect her to respect herself and expect males to respect her if I don’t respect myself and especially respect whomever else I may be with?”
By this point in my life I understand that if I were to get into a relationship that I can envision there being an end would be foolish. I want my daughter to see what a good relationship looks like. Her mother and I did not do a good job of showing that; I am as much as at fault as is her mother. My ex-girlfriend, not getting into any details, didn’t allow much respect to be shown and it was certainly not a good example for my daughter to see how relationships can be in a healthy manner. I passed on “opportunities” between then and now because I just knew it was not going to be a healthy situation for my daughter to see. My daughter drives much of my actions toward how I choose to live my life. I do understand that I need to do things that would make myself happy and that I need to focus on what is helpful to me personally, romantically, professionally and emotionally, but a humongous portion of those ingredient will only be successful, because of my daughter.