A couple months ago, I took a quick trip down to San Diego to visit my good friend/ex-boyfriend. We dated from the summer of 2008 to 2009. The reason why we ended our relationship was simply due to the distance and sporadic visits to each other. Since then, we've created a strong and healthy friendship from our romance. I consider him part of my personal family. We speak often and still make plenty of trips to our respective cities for big occasions and mini-getaways. This story takes place during my last visit down -- which also was my five year anniversary being a Los Angeles resident.
I land in San Diego later than I planned, as usual. I get greeted at the door and with a quick turnaround, we are at an Italian restaurant with all of his close friends in Little Italy. I've come to the point of referring to this group of people as my "San Diego Fam". We ate and drank great wine. The party moved to the newly-renovated house of one of the married couples. It looks fantastic! They are so proud of the progress; as they should be! More wine is consumed and more laughs are had. The night winds down and we head back to my Ex's apartment. We fall into our usual ritual of catching up on the back porch overlooking the San Diego Airport. At this point we had consumed enough wine for the evening. We were both feeling warm and enjoying each others company. As the conversation progressed to our current dating lives, I thought it would be the perfect time to pop MY question.
"Have you ever thought of us getting married?"
He stops. He's caught off guard.
"I'm not proposing, I'm just inquiring", I say...
You might be asking yourself, "why is he asking him this?" Here's the answer: I needed to get clear on it for myself. Thinking of marriage and my future, my Ex would always show up as the perfect fit for what I wanted. Seriously, if you met the guy, you'd be taking a knee with a Tiffany's box preyed open. It looked right, it sounded right, and everything else -- we could make it work. In a way I almost used it as a crutch. Like he started to become my "fallback plan". What was missing was knowing if he was even interested in being that guy! I was arranging a future without knowing if it was a possibility. (This is a good place in my story for you to ask yourself "who am I unclear with in our relationship?")
Without fail, I had another amazing time in San Diego with him. We spent time with another ex-boyfriend of his who I had the pleasure of finally meeting. Spent Sunday morning at his nephew's birthday party. Before we left for the party, I asked my Ex to take a seat with me in his living room. "I don't want to leave without finishing this conversation", I say. "Understandable", he replies. He had questions. Why now? What does this look like? Does this mean we start dating again? What about where we live? Overall, his biggest concern is that I still hadn't had enough time in the dating world. He is 9 years my senior. He thinks my future husband is still out there.
Well...he very might well be. He also may be in the living room with me.
We answered each other's questions and got really clear on our intentions. During the whole conversation I kept finding myself trying not be vulnerable or edit my speech so not to freak him out. He's not freaked out, that's all in my head. Within an hour, we completed that weekend's conversation. He was embarking on a new relationship and really didn't have the space to give me any sort of real answer. I was cool with that. I felt like this was potentially an ongoing conversation and didn't need to be wrapped in a bow by the time I hit the I-5.
Here's why I'm sharing this story with you: I got results I wasn't initially looking for. I went down to San Diego with the intention of asking him that question. What I left with was peace of mind. I ACTUALLY know where he stands on this matter now. Instead of it being this fantasy I was building a future on, I gave myself some head-space to date again. Since that weekend, I've been on a few dates, met some great guys and my Ex is in a new, great relationship. Having my dating life accelerate was not a result I thought I'd be getting out of our conversation. Also, I got related to giving someone some space. I wasn't attached to a certain answer from my Ex. I was committed to getting this way of thinking clear for myself though.
When you get clear on what's real or what the facts are in certain areas of your life that are gray or blurry, you make space for the things you want in life. We get nervous about "rocking the boat", but we find ourselves getting mad at things that weren't real in the first place. If you stand back for a moment and look at areas of your life (job, relationships, travel plans, etc) that are kinda gray or you're unsure of what's expected from you or others, you can see where you can intervene and prevent future upset. The more dirt you sweep under the rug the bumpier it's going to be walking on it.
Thank you for allowing me to share this personal moment with you all.
With love and gratitude,