Love blinded me.
On the first date, we both knew it was different, we both felt it – we just clicked. By the third date he told me he never wanted anything to do with my two kids.
“Having an instant family is not what I imagined or wanted for myself,” he said.
At the time I didn’t care, the last thing I was looking for was something serious after just leaving a seven-year relationship. He was fun, and sweet, and he kept up with my crazy humour and I wanted more.
It was the start to a long end for us.
Because when he looked at me, for the first time in a long time I was someone other than a mum. It was like I was flying and had met my match, and the more I experienced the feeling with him, the more I craved it like a drug. I was addicted to the high he gave me, ignoring the hellish withdrawal I knew would come the minute we parted.
He was 31, never married, and looking for a wife. There was pressure from his family to start his own, and pressure within himself to hurry up.
When he said, “I hope you don’t expect me to ever change my mind”, I was shocked at his willingness to come forward so early, because I knew he felt as strongly as I did. I am guilty of being selfish, and I probably wouldn’t have brought it up if he had been the one with kids.
Before him, I was happy to be separated. To be living alone. I had been preparing myself for this for a while – freedom I didn’t have anyone to answer to, and I didn’t have anyone’s needs except my own and my kids to think about. Then I met him.
Eight months was all it took to turn me from being pessimistic about the idea of love into a believer of passionate love. The kind of love that makes you work to catch your breath in their presence. The kind of love that makes it hard to focus on anything other than seeing that person next.
I had no plans to involve my kids, so I thought what I was doing was okay. It wasn’t affecting them. I didn’t listen to my mum’s warnings. Or to my friends. They said to protect my heart because it would get broken. I thought after the initial infatuation we could just stop seeing each other. I am not someone who would enjoy living with someone else’s children, it was hard enough making it through the early years with my own, and I don’t know if I could do it with someone else’s. We were very alike in that way.
My mum warned me if he loved me he would realise this wasn’t a big sacrifice, compared to the sacrifice of a life without me. I tried to defend my reason for staying. I said it was because I had a feeling I would never let myself feel love again the way I was now.
My mum said if he was the one I was meant to be with he would not ask me questions such as: “Do you expect me to buy them cars when they turn 16? Or to help pay for their college? You do know that they could never come first to me right?”