This week, a recently separated mom has an emotional turn of events in her dating life: 40, in a relationship, Westchester.
5 a.m. I’m woken up by my twins. They are 4 years old and sleeping has never been their strong suit, to say the least. I try to have nice cuddly time with them for a solid hour or so. I want to know if my new boyfriend, Alex, is texting me good morning, but I resist the urge to look at my phone.
6 a.m. He texted! We’ve been together for about two months and I’m in this constant state of giddiness. Alex is the most thoughtful person I’ve ever dated — case in point, he sets his alarm at 5:30 a.m. to send me a good-morning text almost every day (because he knows how rough my mornings can be with the twins and wants to send some love and support). Suffice to say, I’m very happy with the new relationship. We were set up by a mutual friend, and I feel like I owe her my life these days!
8 a.m. I don’t text Alex back, or text anyone until my kids go to preschool. I want to be present for them on the mornings I have them. My ex-partner lives nearby and we have a pretty good custody agreement: We see the girls equally and no one struggles with it. We’ve been split up a little over a year now.
11:30 a.m. Text Alex and finalize plans for tomorrow. He’s picking me up to have dinner near his place; it will be the first time I’ve actually seen it. He’s always come to my house. We both live in Westchester but his town is a bit of a drive from mine, almost an hour away.
3 p.m. Getting ready for my shift. I’m a part-time chef at a local restaurant, so I only work a few shifts a week.
10 p.m. Work was slow, which makes it more of a grind. My girls are with their dad. I’m ready to go home and fall asleep.
11 p.m. Talk to Alex on the drive home. He’s tired and I’m tired but it’s extremely comforting to hear his voice. Everything feels so right. He says, “I can’t wait to taste you tomorrow night.” I giggle and blush while driving. The dirty talk is new for me, and I’m still a little bit shy with it, but I love it.
6:30 a.m. I get to sleep in late, for me!
8 a.m. Pick my girls up from their dad and take them home to prep for school. He’s getting them after school today and that means I’ll be away from them for two nights in a row. I try to make this morning really fun for us!
11 a.m. Fun time over and they’re at school. Now Alex and I can make a plan. He’s going to pick me up at three, and we’ll drive to his place and I’ll check it out, then we can go out to dinner somewhere. He says he has everything planned out.
3 p.m. He’s here. We kiss hello. Have I mentioned he’s the best kisser? Seriously, I’m 40 years old and have kissed probably 30 men, and he’s easily the best kisser alive. I melt. I’m wet just from making out in the car a bit. This is the best feeling.
4 p.m. We get to his house. He’s warned me about it. Alex is also divorced and all his money went to his ex and their kids, and so he lives on a shoestring now. I know he’s embarrassed by his little apartment but I think it’s adorable. I really like it. I reassure him that his place is great by giving him a blowjob on his couch! He wants to turn this into sex but I just want to give him pleasure right now. He’s such a giver and not a taker, and I want to reverse that for at least the next three minutes! That’s all it takes.
Then we hold each other, which is something we do a lot. We’ve both been through hell and back with our exes and custody stuff and financial stuff and I think the solace we find in each other is truly the most beautiful and romantic thing.
5 p.m. We head to a restaurant. On my way out I notice he’s stocked his fridge with all the food and drinks I like. Diet Cokes, iced lattes, fresh fruit, a big milk-chocolate candy bar. It’s so sweet.
6 p.m. Dinner is at this charming little diner. I love it there immediately. We’re holding hands and just smiling at each other. He tells me about his work (he’s in commercial real estate). We talk about our kids. It just can’t get better than this …
9 p.m. And then it does! We’re having mind-blowing sex on his bed. He’s the most sensual person. Open and expressive. I’m too shy to even repeat the dirty talk but it’s hot, trust me! We both come and fall asleep with huge smiles on our faces. We haven’t said “I love you” yet but I have to bite my tongue to hold it back … I get the feeling he does too.
8 a.m. He makes me breakfast in bed. It’s so nice to be spoiled by him. My ex would never have made me breakfast in bed. He’s a complicated person with many great qualities but also had a problem with telling the truth. At the end of our relationship, when things with us were very combative and unloving, he wasn’t faithful. He lied about it. I realize that life is not black-and-white, and I’ve tried to understand where he was coming from. I’ve blamed myself for pushing him away and pushing him to sleep with someone more adoring of him. I try to look at him with empathy and honestly, I still love him in a way. But he was the opposite of this man right here.
9 a.m. Quick hookup before Alex has to drive me home and run off to work. It feels so good. Our bodies fit. His dick is huge and amazing and he fits inside me like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.
10 a.m. When I get home, there’s a note from my ex. (He came over to get the girls ready for school because everything they needed was here). He asks if we can talk when the day is done. It’s weird that he wrote it on paper and not via text …
12 p.m. I text my ex that I got his note and that I’ll be home with the girls all night. He texts that he’d love to bring dinner home and talk to me and put the girls to bed together. I normally try not to cross the line with him. Boundaries are important. But what’s one time blurring the lines? I write back “okay.”
1 p.m. I need to put a few hours in at the restaurant and my kids are at school until five today.
6 p.m. We’re all home and my ex is at the door with a ramen delivery. He’s being so nice and sweet. What is up with him? He is never this over-the-top warm.
8 p.m. The girls are in bed. He takes a big sip of wine and says, “I want to work on us. I want to get therapy. I want to do everything it takes to repair the damage. I want you back.” Let me tell you: I never saw this coming. He is not an emotional guy and here he is crying and essentially begging to get back together. He never did this even on the last and worst days of our breakup.
9 p.m. We’re both crying and I’m just stunned. I figure now is the time to tell him I’ve been seeing someone. So I tell him all about Alex. When in doubt, tell the truth right? My ex isn’t entirely surprised to hear I have a boyfriend. He’s not mad or anything, but his passion to reunite us is burning even brighter now. He’s making all sorts of promises. We can have more kids. We can move across the country to California where my family lives and where I’ve wanted to return for years.
I’m so drained. I tell him I need to process everything. On his way out, we kiss. It’s deep, passionate, incredible, and dramatic. It lasts for a minute or more, and then I push him out the door. I’m not that messy.
11:30 p.m. I will never sleep tonight. My head is spinning. I have not texted Alex in hours and I know he’s probably freaking out a bit because it’s not like me to not text back. I just can’t right now.
5 a.m. Girls are jumping in my bed and I’m just a shell of myself.
6 p.m. I see my good-morning text from Alex and fake a normal “good morning, sweetie!” back.
10:30 a.m. I have to work today so I get myself to the restaurant. Total zombie. Alex knows something is up. He can feel it. I hate that he’s anxious about us. He doesn’t deserve that. I text him to come over tonight after work. I want to be transparent with him. It’s the right thing to do.
5 p.m. Get my kids from school and pick up some wine. I try to enjoy the kids for a few hours, knowing that they always help me re-balance.
9 p.m. Alex comes over after bedtime. He takes one look at me and says, “What?” I tell him everything, including the fact that my ex kissed me last night and I did not pull back. As I’m telling him everything, I am struck by how everything can go from such a high to such a low. We were both feeling so good about things and now I know everything is fucked.
Alex is pissed that I kissed my ex. He’s confused by what I’m telling him — which in itself is confusing. I tell him, “I’m confused! My ex just said all the things I’ve wanted to hear from him. And I feel psychologically ambushed, and he’s the father of my children, and I’m just … CONFUSED!”
11 p.m. He wants to leave. He has serious trust and rejection issues from his past and he’s pretty much disgusted and horrified by all of this. After he leaves, I cry in bed, knowing I won’t sleep again tonight.
9 a.m. After dropping my kids off, I go to therapy. I tell my therapist that I tried to be honest and transparent with everyone but maybe I was wrong. Maybe I shouldn’t have told Alex anything until I had my head on straight.
11 a.m. FaceTime with my two big sisters who always know what to say. They live in California. Both of them feel strongly that I should not have laid all this on Alex. They say it was immature of me. I’m so mad at myself. Meanwhile, he won’t text me back. What have I done?
3 p.m. I text him and beg for him to see me. I tell him I’ll drive over to his work, or his condo later, whatever he wants. He ignores me.
6 p.m. My ex comes over again tonight to help with bedtime. I need to see him again to make sure he was being sincere. The girls love seeing us together and that fucks with my head even more. I’m really spinning out.
9 p.m. My ex and I end up in bed together. Old habits die hard, I guess. I’m just so vulnerable and confused. The sex is intense and we both have really powerful orgasms. I felt like connecting with him in this way might lead to some answers, some epiphany. But I feel like a total cliché sleeping with my ex, and now I’ve actually cheated on Alex.
11 p.m. Make my ex drive home. I don’t want to confuse the girls in the morning.
10 a.m. Alex calls. He says we should be friends. He’s made up his mind. He can’t be with someone who will play games with him. I’m sobbing because I know I screwed everything up. I could have lied to him and none of this would be happening.
1 p.m. Spend the day miserable at work. I deeply regret everything. I just want to go back to a few days ago when I had a new boyfriend and we were innocent and happy. Alex and I had a connection that doesn’t happen often.
3 p.m. My friend at work says I’m glorifying Alex, that we might not have made it in the long run anyway. I know what she’s saying but I’m not ready to hear it.
7 p.m. I put the girls to bed, and put myself to bed too. I’m exhausted.
8 a.m. When my ex comes over to take the girls to school, I ask him about the woman he cheated on me with. He tells me he hasn’t spoken to her in months and that she’s engaged and moved to Florida.
10 a.m. I look up that woman’s Facebook page. Nothing my husband said is evidenced there. She was posting pictures of herself in NYC just a few days ago. I don’t know if he’s lying, but it smells fishy. That’s enough for me. I don’t really have the energy to care or investigate, but I register that he might still be full of shit. No thank you.
12 p.m. I text Alex. He writes back that he wishes me well. He’s serious about us being over. I am heartbroken. I don’t want to get back together with my ex — I’m not getting back into the shady stuff with him. I know that after this morning. My gut just knows not to go there again. I had a momentary lapse of judgment and I will have to try to forgive myself for it eventually.
5 p.m. I’m crying on the way to pick up my kids. I want Alex. And it’s over now. What we had was pure.
8 p.m. Try to relax tonight. I take a bubble bath. I watch some TV. I know that only I can make myself feel special. Alex is gone and I only have myself. I will be okay … but it’s been a really rough week.