What's Been Going On

With the recent announcement of my engagement, I feel like now would be a good time to talk a little about what's been going on with me on a more personal level. This news has come as a surprise to many people...with good reason. I have kept my relationship to Jon on the down low for quite a while out of respect for certain loved ones. After all, it has only been 7 months since my previous serious relationship.

The whole thing is kind of crazy. After separating from my ex, I had no intention of jumping into another serious relationship. But it happened. And the even funnier thing is that it is so not in my nature to do anything like this. My ex was my first serious relationship, just for the fact that I have always prided myself on not being like most every other girl: needy, desperate, falling easily and putting up with things that they shouldn't. And I didn't. A guy had one chance and one chance only with me. If he messed up just one time, it was high-five and see ya later! I had no problem walking away from any relationship. I never let myself fall too hard and I always kept a guard up until the guy I dated put in enough effort to take it down.

Well, that's all changed. My last relationship was different in the fact that we had a baby...we were a family. So you make sacrifices and work harder in the hopes that you can keep the pieces together. But sometimes, no matter what you do, things just don't work out. So, after another failed relationship, I was perfectly happy to go back to my old way of thinking. Even MORE so now because I have my daughter to think about. If she's not happy, I'm not happy. If you can't love and accept her, then you sure as hell can't love and accept me! Forget how I get treated, how is SHE going to be treated? And did I even want to take that chance? Then I met Jon. We started dating and even though things were moving a little faster than I had anticipated, I went with it. For a few reasons...

The first (and most important) is that he takes care of Haley as if she were his own child. It's never easy to get involved in a pre-existing family that had already been started and that is why, as a parent, you have to really be smart about things and the decisions you make. As I have said before, my daughter comes first in anything and everything so if I ever felt like she was being treated in a way other than how I think she should be treated, then high-five and see ya later! I make sure her needs are met before my own so if I ever felt like this wasn't the case, then high-five and see ya later! I have no problem walking away. No matter where the relationship may be...married or not. Jon has a three-year-old son of his own, so I think he knows just how important it is to find someone who cares for and loves your child as much as they would their own.

For some reason, I have approached this relationship differently than the rest. I am letting myself be vulnerable, emotionally. And you know what? It's a good feeling! I am truly happy right now (despite all of the other obstacles!) and I feel really good. I get treated like a queen. Never has anyone felt the need to remind me every single day how beautiful I am. Never has anyone told me that they love me at every opportunity. Never has anyone treated me as if I were the only woman on this whole planet. Never has anyone treated me as well as I am being treated right now.

Now I know everyone is thinking "of course, it's always like that in the beginning". Well, I have never had a beginning like this. So I am enjoying it, however, I am also not stupid. Of course things will change, of course things will get harder. And do I know what the future holds? No, I don't. But does anyone? All I know is that it feels really good to be doing it the right way. To be engaged and making the commitment not because I am pregnant and I have to or because I have lived with this person for years so it's the right thing to do, but because it's what we both want. Another concern that I am getting from people is "well, how do you know what kind of person he is? You haven't been with him long enough to know all about him!" Well first of all, people need to calm the heck down! We are not tying the knot this weekend! Second, what is considered long enough these days? Some people get married after knowing each other for two weeks, others get married after 10 years! Some people think that you should live with someone for a while so you know what you're getting yourself into, but in a religious upbringing like mine, that sort of thing is considered not okay. So is there an actual right and wrong way to doing things? Whatever happened to just following your heart and trusting in the Lord? I read a book a while back written by a retired FBI agent. It was about the case files he had, and they were all about people who found out their spouse or partner was not who they thought they were. In some cases, they didn't find out until 15-25 years later that their significant other was a thief, murderer or even a rapist. Now while this is a little extreme (most people just find out that their significant other had been lying to and/or cheating on them throughout the course of their relationship), I am merely using it to prove a point. You never know. Sometimes, even after 20 years, the person who you have chosen to share your life with might not be the person you thought they were. And if that turns out to be the case here, then I go back to being a single Mom. Now that I know just how hard it is and that I am able to do it, it doesn't scare me in the least bit. At least I know Punkin would be in good hands. However, HE would have a lot of people to answer to, and that's not something I wish on anyone! :-)

I do understand and appreciate everyone's concern. I know that Haley and I are very lucky to have the love and support that we do from many people. I try to leave everything in God's hands and I trust that He will guide us on our way. And for the time being, Jon does a good job trying to take care of us (considering the circumstances) and I am happy. So on that note, I leave you with a picture of my engagement ring...

A heart-shaped emerald...because that is his birthstone and green is my favorite color! :-)

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