I was a single mother. As many single moms know, our heart normally only has room for one, even if Prince Charming comes a-knockin’ on its chambers doors. It’s hard for a single mom to open up her heart to someone new, because she has to love that person not just for herself, but for her child as well. It feels like she has to suddenly share her heart, and that just doesn’t feel right.
“You mean give part of my heart to someone other than my child? No way Jose.” For that to happen, he’d have to be father-material. He’d have to be a great role-model. He’d have to be willing to be #2 in her life and live on the outskirts of her heart. He would have to always understand her fears and be incredibly patient. He’d have to be one-of-a-kind, a Jack of all trades, and that is NOT easy to find.
My son was now two years old, and the thought of bringing a man into our lives was like having a pesky gnat in my face. It wouldn’t go away no matter how much I swatted at it. I felt like my son and I were perfectly fine, but the thought of him not having a father figure kept weighing heavy on my heart.
Sure, I knew I could be enough for him - many mothers are more than enough - but I still couldn’t shake this feeling. As confusing as it all was, I also wanted nothing to do with anyone. I loved myself, but I was still a wounded animal when it came to romantic love. I wanted to stay in my cave, growl, and be left alone with my little cub. But I made attempts to try to balance my life in a healthy way, because that’s what we are supposed to do, right? I want to stress the word “attempts,” because my heart just wasn’t into it.
In fact, my heart was so cold to the idea, it was frozen solid.
Aside from my son, no one could melt my heart. I had worked so hard on healing it, that I vowed to never let it feel the warmth of true love ever again. It was warmth before that lead to hot heat, which led to flames, which created an out-of-control fire that poured dark clouds of smoke for me to choke on…and as my lungs filled, I died a slow death. No siree Bob, not happening again.
Let me Taylor Swift on a couple fallen soldiers for a moment. One guy I met lived really far away (like 3-4 hours away), and eventually went back to his ex. See? Unavailable…perfect.
The other one was not only controlling, but insecure too. I knew it was over when he said he didn’t want me wearing a bikini around other men. “As if!” Now if you were raised like me, if a guy tries to control your appearance or any part of you, the “Oh no he didn’t!” switch probably flips on in your mind like mine does. Don’t ignore that. (Side note, any man who feels it’s ok to talk down to a woman or make her feel caged in any way, either suffers from teeny-weenie syndrome – a.k.a: tiny penis - has mommy issues, or is just incredibly insecure for other various reasons). Steer. Clear.
Women like us will NOT be controlled; we are wild and free. It’s like when a man takes a wild horse and tries to train it. Nine times out of ten, he gets kicked in the teeth with hooves. So when this dum-dum said that bikini comment, I stood on my hind legs and whipped my mane through the air, twirling away in my bikini as I kicked up horse sh*t into his eyes. It was so painfully obvious why I briefly chose those two guys, because I knew damn well the relationships wouldn’t last. I basically just needed a transition guy or two, so sorry fellas, and thanks (horse neighing sound).
They say the 3rd times the charm, and man, oh, man, this 3rd guys charm brought “courting” to a whole new level. I was so insecure with men at this point, and untrusting of my choices, that I was actually running away from this one. Literally, I met him in the gym, and once he noticed me and asked me out, I would run…phy-si-cal-ly run.
He was so into me that I made it my new hobby to turn him down. I was looking for a new hobby anyway.
I kept thinking, “Why in the hell doesn’t this guy give up?” I shot him down 40 times, and he just kept getting back up and trying harder. If he was a soldier he’d have had 40 purple hearts at that point. I mean, I actually convinced myself he was a psycho stalker too. I imagined him sitting by a shrine of me in his home, lighting candles to his opera or classical music, and cutting out letters from magazines to write me a love letter with. I made up all kinds of scary scenarios in my mind so that I could continue down my path alone.
The funny thing is, he showed up to the gym one day and handed me a CD of songs to tell me how he felt, (Yeah, like a mix tape back in the day), and the first song… was classical music. I remember hearing the classical music, picturing him by that made up shrine in my head, and then simply ejecting the CD and throwing it out my car window near some recycling bins. I was a cold hearted snake.
My clients kept wondering why this guy was always around and staring at me. It was a joke around the gym that he was my stalker. It was both flattering and terrifying. I had never had a guy so into me and it made me wonder if this was real or not. I would smile at him when we made eye contact though because I have to admit I had mixed emotions about him. He was a 6’4’’, blonde haired, ken doll blue eyed, goofball.
I just kept thinking there HAD to be something wrong with him - with my track record there’s no way he’s normal. I tried hard to find bad things about him, but the more I dug, the better he got. How dare he! After his workout sometimes, I’d watch the back of his head walk away, reminding myself how quickly love can leave. But, he’d always turn around, look directly at me, and flash one last goofy smile making me giggle and blush.
Day after day, he’d systematically take down my lines of defense. He befriended my clients on the treadmills in the morning, starting hanging out with my trainer friends, and eventually everyone was on his team. They loved him and spoke very highly of him, which pissed me off. How dare he use these tactics to try to get me! So in turn, I shot him down even more.
It got to the point where I would say, “Leave me alone, I will NEVER date you!” I even tried to set him up with people! I’d mention girls that I thought would be interested in him, and he’d say, “No, I’ll wait for you.”
Months passed by and he never gave up. He began to wear me down. It was almost a full year of this until I said, “Fine! I’ll go on a date on with you.”
I was only half-hearted about it, though. I chose to go running together - I knew I could avoid looking into his eyes that way. I wanted to avoid creating a connection. So instead of me running away from him this time, we ran together. Even with just that, I realized very quickly that he was the most genuine, sweetest loving man that a woman or a child could ever ask for. He was definitely different than anyone I’d ever been with. He was a real man and more than willing to be a father to my son. He was my real life Prince Charming! I had pushed him away for so long because subconsciously I knew he would melt my heart, but, honestly, I had no idea he was actually the one for me.
People say, “When you know you know,” but for me, I didn’t know. It took me a long time to figure this out. Maybe it was being a single mother, or my icy heart, but it wasn’t a fairytale “love and first sight” thing for me: it was a terrifying realization that I had been wrong…Good men DO EXIST.
After we ran, we parted ways (for like a day). Then he began sitting in two hours of horrendous L.A. traffic every single day for months on end to come spend time with me. He never once asked me to go out of my way for him. Not once! I was so impressed, that I let him ice-skate on my heart. He soon began to warm my heart with his quirkiness, his smile, those ken doll blue eyes, his incredibly brilliant mind, and most of all with the fact that he never gave up on me.
After a few months of getting to know him, he met my son for the first time. I watched my little boy, who was wearing an oversized T-shirt and a diaper, cautiously peek at him for the first time from behind a wall. Their eyes locked and my son’s mouth tightened into a thin little smirk. Then he took off running down the hallway as fast as his little bare feet could take him.
In that moment, I realized my son was just like me, and I felt the ice in my heart crack from heat. My heart slowly melted over the next year as I watched them together. Between their piggyback rides, bedtime stories, holding hands, and hugs, I began to notice a brightness in my son’s eyes that I had never seen before.
Soon, all of our hearts began melting together as one. So…I married my stalker.