Things change. Sometimes they change a lot. I alluded to that in my blog post back in May (Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes), and it’s never been more true than now.
As many of you know – J and I have been together since college – That’s 15 years for those of you wondering how old I am. We started dating just after I turned 18. We were oh-so-young, and in many respects have grown up together. But things change. A few months ago, J and I made the difficult decision to separate. The reasons are simultaneously simple and complex, but it boils down to J’s acceptance that he is gay. We remain good friends – the best – and hopefully will continue to be, but our lives will no longer follow the exact same path.
It’s a bit weird. In many respects, I’ve never been a single adult. Think about that. What a bizarre concept, to be 32 and never have been single. Many – in fact the majority – of our friends have never known us as anything but a couple. Now, I think that those of you who know us know what we both have very strong personalities – no shrinking wallflowers here – but still a very different mindset.
In many respects, I look forward to this opportunity to see if there are hitherto unexplored aspects to my personality, but it’s certainly a bit overwhelming and at least a little bit scary.
With K, there are obviously additional considerations. Having both grown up in divorced households, both J and I have some very firm (and luckily fairly compatible!) ideas about how we don’t want to raise our child. I believe that we will be able to remain friends. I know we will both look out for what’s best for K. And I desperately hope that we don’t somehow screw her up. (But boy are we giving her an easy thing to focus her angst during her teenage years… Aren’t we considerate parents?). And maybe, just maybe, K will help us further preserve our friendship as we morph our relationship into something new.
In times like this, it would seem easy and natural to “what-if” yourself to death. To lament. To worry yourself sick. But to what end? What’s done is done, and I wouldn’t change the outcome. These 15 years have been worth it. K is worth it. It’s time to take things one day at a time.
But in the meantime, if you know of any single 30-something year-old guys who wouldn’t be scared off by the single mother of a 15-month-old and a gay (soon-to-be-ex) husband, well, send them my way 🙂