how to feel – when your dad starts dating again

two people walking on pier
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My dad has started dating again, after a recent divorce from my mum and I have to say that I have some mixed feelings.

I do need to start by pointing out the fact that I’m an adult and the divorce from my mum was very painful for the whole family – she now doesn’t speak to me or her grandson and we haven’t seen her for over two years. So with that in mind, I’m not going into this new chapter stamping my feet and throwing any tantrums over the fact that dad is dating again. I am happy for him.

However, I wanted to write this post because, even though I’m happy he’s getting out there and meeting people, it has strangely made me feel a little unbalanced. I feel as though we have been ticking along as a nice little unit of three, and the possibility of someone else ‘interloping’ is a bit unsettling.

He has been on a few dates with this one woman and although it’s very early days, it has that feeling to me that it could get serious. And I’ve spent this week considering how that would make me feel.

I’ve had friends who have seen their parents start dating again and in the two situations I can think of, it didn’t go well. There were family arguments and a lot of animosity between them and the new person coming into their bubble.

I suppose my situation is a little different because I don’t know where my mum is so I don’t have to feel like I’m defending her or that she is being replaced. She has effectively disappeared, so I just want to see my dad feel good.

Given how things went down with friends, I’m interested to meet this woman and see what the dynamic will be. I want to welcome her in, but what if I don’t like her? What if she takes a disliking to me? These things can all end in tears and I desperately don’t want that to happen.

I only wanted to write this because I thought it was interesting that I could feel a twinge of emotion when dad didn’t call tonight because he was out with his lady friend. I don’t think I can even identify what that emotion was, but something touched a little nerve. It just goes to show that even as an adult, we have very emotional reactions to these changes and I just wanted to remind myself that that’s OK – that makes me a real human, not a bad human.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the dating show

There’s an abundance of those shows on TV,

The ones where strangers meet in circumstances

Different to the normal ones that hold the world in place.

One day, I applied for one. The type with food,

Cooking to be precise.

I made it on.

He cooked for me in his London flat, with camera crew

Packed into the space. Hardly romantic,

And I found myself perspiring, needing a drink.

I downed a gin and tonic, before he served a starter.

Soup, velvety and smooth,

Then chicken with a white wine sauce

And chocolate sundae for dessert.

He didn’t pick me as his favourite,

He went for Becky, a gorgeous blonde who laughed

At all his jokes and touched his leg, underneath the table.

I shouldn’t care, but I do,

Rejected on TV, an audience there

To watch my red faced shame. I’ll never go again,

On a dating show.

surely love deserves a voice?

glass of rose wine
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We don’t stare at the bottle of wine

When we need to unwind

We pop out that cork

And drink in the fumes

Pour out a glass of cabernet red

And drink in the richness

Of a spell cast for us all alone.

Now, I don’t drink anymore but I still remember that feeling of the first glass slipping down after a long day at work. And I certainly wouldn’t have just stared at the bottle. I’d have sometimes been in there before I’d even left the car.

And I’ve found that love is pretty much the same. You can look at it all you want, but until you say the words and admit your feelings, you can’t really enjoy the effects.

I am unbelievably unlucky in love but there was this one guy. We worked together and I would feel my heart hammer every time he came into the office. And then we started to hang out outside of work and I started to fall deeper and deeper.

I would go over to his house every Saturday night and we would sit on his sofa and laugh until 2am. Every time I went over I would tell myself that I was going to say something to him. And all my friends knew that I liked him, but I didn’t say anything to the one person who mattered.

I found out on Facebook that he had gotten himself a girlfriend and I was heartbroken. I was angry at him and I lashed out and never saw him again. I lost a friend and somebody that I loved.

I didn’t tell him how I felt because I was scared to be vulnerable. I couldn’t bear the thought of him rejecting me, but the alternative was worse.

Don’t be like me and just stare at the bottle. Enjoy life and take the risk.

Much Love

Rachel xx

i expected it to be….ummm….a little bit longer

adult art batis bhfyp

He fell for her the moment that he saw

Her red dress that matched her lips

And the way she laughed at a joke

He knew wasn’t funny.

For her it took years

Of sleeping beside him and staring

At the ceiling at night, wondering

If he was the one.

I’ve been having a little think about love recently, particularly how we fall in love. I’m a long time singleton and although I’m happy in that I sometimes wonder how I’m supposed to make that leap.

Do you fall in love in an instant? Or is it a slow building of trust and love? The logical part of me understands that to a certain extent it is a blend of the two, but there must be a spark somewhere, mustn’t there?

I’m starting to worry that maybe I’m a person with no spark that anyone can see. I hope it’s not the case but I could be intolerably dull, or really offensive, or maybe I smell really bad.

I think a lot of the problem for me is that I’m scared and it makes me hesitant, and I think that men can detect that. I think if I’m to have a hope in hell of having ‘that spark’ I’m going to have to let go and take the leap.

I have also spent a long time feeling like my life will be something out of a romcom and I will eventually fall in love with my best boy mate who I’ve been friends with for years. The only problem there is that I don’t like to leave the house for anything other than work so I don’t really have any boy mates.

Oh well, I’m sure someone will come into the petrol station where I work, order a flat white, and realise that I’m the one. And then maybe we can be friends for a decade so that I don’t get scared away, of course.

How have you all fallen in love? I love both long and short engagement stories, either way, it takes guts to make the commitment.

Much Love

Rachel xx

The dating pool

So I started dating again and it’s not really going to well.

I didn’t really know what to write about today because I want to be positive and things are a bit shitty at the moment. So I thought I’d write a bit about my romantic life because it would probably give people a bit of hope. And when I say that, I mean that it will give them hope because at least they’re not as tragic as me.

So, I never had a boyfriend while I was growing up. I was seriously into swimming so every moment of my free time was spent at the pool training for my next competition. My first boyfriend (and only one) was my now ex-husband who I think only married me so that he could come to live in the UK. But I did fall in love with him and I fell in love hard. It’s a common theme in my life that whenever I fall for something or someone, I go a little bit crazy. I liked swimming and I ended up swimming the Channel, I like running and I ended up running 100 mile races. I think that you get the picture; I always take things to excess.

Anyway, I was with him for two years and when I found out that he was having an affair it crushed me to the point where I picked up a drink and never put it down again. Fast forward ten years and I still hadn’t really gotten over the pain and the destruction that it caused but I slowly started to dip my toe back into the pool again and I tried that wondrous thing called online dating. Wo! That shit is crazy.

My first attempt was one date and then he disappeared. I think I may have got really drunk and I could possibly have been sick in the bathroom so I’m sure that could have had something to do with the radio silence from his end. The second round, I made it to the second date. This time I think I had an existential crisis on him and started banging on about my bad career choices and how I didn’t know where the fuck I was going in life. Oh, and I took him for the second date to the place where I worked so I was asking for trouble there.

There were also hopeless crushes on horribly inappropriate people that all ended disastrously, mainly because I would drink and then get on Facebook and be a dick. I found that while I was drinking I had zero humility and, of course, I was always right.

Since getting sober I really hope that I’m a nicer person and so I decided to try again and still I just can’t seem to figure it out. Again, I managed to get to the second date and again I had so many expectations in my mind. I obviously didn’t tell him any of this but I had already picked out the dress and the venue for the wedding and I knew where we would live. I think that perhaps I send subliminal messages because they all seem to run away from me as fast as they can. And it’s really crushing.

And that’s where I wanted to take this post. I’m absolutely hopeless with men, but does anyone else struggle to mend their aching heart after two whole dates? This guy turned me down in the nicest possible way and yet I felt like I had gone through a divorce. The sense of rejection was so enormous that I thought I might buckle under the strain. I have even said that I will have to give myself another six month break before I have another go, or else it might lead to some sort of mental breakdown where I end up running through the streets in a state of undress.

Online dating has become like shopping on Amazon and it’s so cold and clinical. We click the person, agree to meet, and if we think we can do better we send it back. There must be other people out there that have struggled with this too. It’s literally too much for me to take. But then what is the alternative?

I’m going to propose that us sensitive singles unite and form some sort of group where we can all just talk about our feelings after a date and build each other up. Perhaps we could have a group on facebook to help with the crushing disappointment. We’d be like the antidote to online dating; the band aid that needs to be slapped onto that wound when he says that he thinks he could do better than you.

I think that building each other up is the only way to get over a disappointment. And dating creates the messiest of disappointments because you’re letting someone in so close that it can feel like they have burnt your skin when they pull away. I need that closeness of someone but not the pain so I’d like a group of happy people around me so that I can get caught next time I have no choice but to fall.

Much love

Rachel xx