Monday, January 25, 2010

The Dilemma

So, I don't talk too much about my personal life away from Miss M here but today, I need some feedback.

Hot Girl and I have been seeing eachother since two months after my divorce (with a 2 month break last summer). She's a great girl in a lot of ways: smart, family oriented, pretty, good sense of humor, and was really good with Miss M when they were spending time together. We broke up for a few months because among other things, we had trouble communicating. She felt I didn't take her feelings into account which frustrated her, and I felt that in things that I needed her to accept the way things are (in regard to Miss M and my Ex) she was putting too much pressure on me. I'm sure the truth is somewhere in between.

We've been back together since this past October and communication has gotten a ton better. I've yet to do the reintroduction to Miss M, however. It just doesn't seem like a good idea to me unless I'm totally sure (as much as I can be) that we're committed to the relationship long term. This means that Hot Girl has to work around the custody schedule which I admit would be difficult for anyone. We do see eachother at least twice a week and every other weekend though.

Over the last few weeks, Hot Girl has been getting frustrated and has been expressing this. She wants to see me more and to be reintroduced to Miss M. I'm hesitant. It's not because I don't think Hot Girl wouldn't make a good "friend" for Miss M or that she wouldn't be a phenomenal step mother to her if we get to that point. On the contrary, I think she'd be tremendous and I've told her so. It's the relationship between Hot Girl and me that I'm worried about.

Most times, we get along great. We love to go to movies and watch sports together, she gets my sense of humor, we're physically attracted to eachother, the sex is phenomenal (I really mean that), and we think the same way about family. Our political views are different (she's kind of a rightie whereas I am totally left). She's a "fancy" girl (which takes an entirely different meaning in NYC than anywhere else) and has trouble not being fancy. I can do either but prefer unfancy. She grew up in a wealthy Boston WASPy family that didn't talk much about feeling or express emotions. I grew up in middle class Italian family that is all about talking about EVERYTHING. I'm a mountains guy, she's a fancy beach girl. These differences can probably be worked around though (I think).

Here's my major dilemma(s):

1) Hot Girl is a high stress person. From big things like not having a job right now (understandable) to little things like not being able to get a cab on a busy day, she gets stressed out easily. I am totally the opposite BY CHOICE. I've worked very hard over the last 10 or so years to not let things get to me and someone who can't do the same causes me stress. She claims that the stress is hers and not mine to fix (I agree) but just being around it makes me uncomfortable. I have no idea what to do with this, especially since if we stay together, we are going to have stressful periods together which will mean I'll have two problems: her stress and the problem itself. Most of my life I've ended up in relationships with high stress women (it all starts with Mom), but I'm tired of being the steady calm guy who has to hold things together. It makes me tired. I want a partner who deals with things like I do by remaining calm and having faith that things will work out. Is that reasonable? I'm not even sure that women like that exist (no offense, I've just never been with one). And,

2) I've alluded to this before, but Hot Girl grew up wealthy (no big deal) and sometimes can act like a spoiled child (most times not, but sometimes). All her friends are the same way. I don't like them (at least the ones I've met). They seem like the entitled rich spoiled kids I didn't like growing up. Don't know how you all feel, but regardless of how much money a person has or how they came about getting it, I don't believe this makes one person better than another. Hot Girls says she agrees with this yet she spends her time away from me with these people who clearly think this way. Am I crazy to think that there's a strange disconnect here? My friends certainly aren't exactly like me (how boring would that be?) but we do have mostly the same values, which is a HUGE thing in a long term relationship. Is Hot Girl more like me or more like them? I just don't know how to think about this one.

She hasn't given me an ultimatum but I know she's very frustrated and wants to be with me more. That's a good thing. She keeps asking me what else does she need to do to get us to that point and I don't know the answer and have told her so. Of course, this only stresses her out more which makes me more unsure. Problem, right? I'm at a loss and things are coming to a head. I've asked her to be patient and she's trying but it's looking like that will end soon. My fears are 1) introducing Miss M to someone who will leave her life (again), and 2) ending up with someone who wasn't what they seemed to be (in my eyes) and having to break up another family. I just don't want to go through that again.

I'm not a commitment phobe nor do I expect my parter to be perfect, but these two things seem important. Feedback please??? Most of you have been doing the single parent thing longer than me. I'd love to know what you think.


mhjozwiak said...

If it doesn't feel right to you, don't rush it. I got pressure from all sides and honestly laughed at because my pace was a lot slower than most...but it was right for US. When/if the time comes, it will feel natural for the two of them to meet. If not, then you'll feel better for sparing Miss M the stress and hurt. I applaud you for being so thoughtful about it all. So many seem the opposite--thoughtless--when it comes to dating and their children. Good luck, sir. :)

Debbie(singlemom;complicatedworld) said...

I believe that a relationship with the right person should not be hard work!! I learned this lesson the hard way! 4 months after my divorce I met someone who had their own time table! being vulnerable and lonely I went with it and was married a year after my divorce! I had 3 kids and they went on this ride with me! It turned out to be the biggest mistake I ever made! The signs were all there while we were dating! and now as I start over, and know one day I will date I know that I want someone who understands that a divorce means there is baggage! and there are complications! and they will need patience! and I hope that person is willing to wait and if not I believe maybe I will need to move on!

Senorita said...

I can see your point of view regarding reintroducing your daughter to her and you should do what you feel is right. But no matter what you say or feel all she will see is that "I don't trust you, so I won't bring you around my daughter" or " I don't know if I want to keep you, so I won't bring you around my daughter. But we can still hang out, go out and have hot sex." She wants to connect with you and experience what is most important, which is Miss M. If you have to think about this any longer, after you've gone out with her for a while before, then the answer is probably "no."

I would feel better about this if you never introduced her to Miss M. But you already did, and now you are witholding that ? I can see your point, but this can really mess with a girl's emotions. You have to put your little girl first, but at the same time for a successful relationship, you can't alienate your partner. She is either there with you sharing what is most important, or she isn't.

Ultimately, from the vibe I am getting from this entry, you two aren't right for each other in the long haul. I don't think it's because you two did anything wrong, it's just that you two are different in your own ways, and ultimately want different things.

A person's friends says a lot about the person, and when I read that you don't like most of them, that was a huge red flag. Birds of the same feather flock together, so to me that says that after she is done hanging out with you and goes back to her friends, she becomes more like them ? Someone you don't like ?

Also, you made an important point, that you get tired of fixing everything or hold things together. And for that reason alone, you should find someone who is less high stress.

I think if you re-read your post that you will see that you've kinda answered your own questions.

ShellSpann said...

Don't push it because she's impatient about it. Ultimately Miss M is the most important person in this equation. If you feel that there are issues that you can't figure out just yet, now is not the time to bring Hot Girl around Miss M. Go with your gut.

MindyMom said...

Hmmm, interestingly your issues sorta parallel some I had with my (very recent) ex b/f. So here's my .02:

1) Is she really high stress or does she just neeed to vent every once in a while? From experience I know the venting we women do can make guys uncomfortable so I try to curtail it but sometimes it just needs to get out (and I'm not a high-stress person although I deal with a lot of high-stress situations). During these times all I want from him is to listen and show some understanding and empathy. I don't want him to try to fix it, just be there for me. And then after it's *out* I usually feel better (especially if he did his part *right*) and we can both move on. So I suggest to try not to let her stress, stress YOU out. Then again, if she over reacts ALL the time, well, you must make a choice because that speaks to her personality.

2) Do you read The Naked Soul? He had a post last week (I think) about birds of a feather. It's great and you should definitely check it out. This issue ended up being the very reason my b/f and I split. He had a group of friends he would hang around regularly and when he spent time with them he almost always made poor choices - choices that negatively impacted our relationship and ultimately that was a dealbreaker. He, like your g/f seems to be, was interested in personal growth but that group always dragged him down. It was a bad habit he couldnt (and didn't want to) break.

I wish you luck and hope things work out. I agree with the others that you should not rush this with Miss M. and if THAT is a dealbreaker for Hot Girl then you have your answer.

T said...

Hmmm.... there are lots of good comments here.

On the one hand, a "high stress" person is by definition an impatient person. If this means forever, then you still have time to introduce her to your daughter. If she cannot be patient about something that is this important to you, then how will she react with other things down the line.

Then again, I can see her point too. She wants a sign of security in the relationship, which seems to be still undecided. No one can decide that for you. You do have to go with your gut.

Things *can* be worked on in relationships if its worth it to you. These things that you're unsure about, are they worth going to counseling over or accepting because you do feel that she could be 'the one'. Or is this a relationship where you're simply enjoying her company and want to breathe, live, relax and have fun in the meantime and see what happens later?

If you did introduce her to Miss M and you broke up later, would she remain in your life as a friend?

Just a few things to think about. Its tough... but then again, people do come in and out of our lives... both as children and adults. We all have to learn to adapt to it at some point.

Danielle said...

Is she the first person and only person that you have really dated since the ex? If so, maybe you should take a break and see what is out there. I kinda get the feeling from some of your posts that it is great, but maybe not "the one".
Your facebook flirting post tells a little. :)
Only you know how you feel deep down. One thing that Mindy has taught me is to really listen to the things that are not so obvious. If something feels a little off, don't just over look it. That is hard for me, but I have been doing it and it is amazing what signs I have been missing.

Michele said...

Well, if you want my honest and blunt opinion... the fact that you are even writing this is probably a good indication that you already know the answer to your question about this girl.
I dunno, just sayin'

For me, in my experience, if I question whether the person is right for me, it usually means they are not.

Nobody is perfect, relationships aren't perfect either, but values and personality types do have to match up.
Highly stressed people are stressful to be around. People who claim a certain virtue, then spend time with people that are the opposite are usually not being truthful, either with you, or themselves, or both.

Hot chicks are everywhere.
Trust your gut. Seriously.
Does it mean you can't commit, or are being too picky? Absolutely not.

I have left a relationship or two for exactly the same reasons you are speaking of, despite the fact that I loved everything else about him. But, something just didn't "feel" right, something wasn't fitting on the page.

If you're not completely comfortable around this girl, or if she makes you feel stressed out... then it's just not worth it in the end.

Good luck to you, Darlin. ;)
You sound like a wonderful, thoughtful man... the right woman will come your way, and you will know it ~ without a doubt!!! ;)

Lindsay & Emma Bartholomew said...

If you are doubting things I would FOR sure wait to introduce her.
As mentioned in some of the comments above if you are writing this and having these dilemas (some of them are pretty significant!) than I think you have already somewhat decided.

An answer to your question about high stress women... not all of us are like this!! Some of really can roll with the punches!

Good luck! You are the only one who knows whats best for you an Miss M!

Momma_Sunshine said...

I think you have to take some time to figure out what your "deal breakers" are when it comes to Hot Girl - what parts of her are you willing to accept and live with? Because you're right, no one is perfect, but we do have to draw a line at some point.

As far as compatibility goes, I can only speak from personal experience. On the surface, CBG and I sometimes look like very different people with different interests and lifestyle choices. But down deep, when you strip all of those things away, he and I have the same heart. That's what REALLY matters. Anything else can be worked around.

For me, speaking only from my own heart, it would cause me concern that she's being so impatient about this. She has to see that this is a huge deal for you, and not something that you want to rush you (or your daughter) into. I can understand wanting to spend more time together, but if you two are looking at the grand scheme of things, taking your time right now should only seem like a drop in the bucket compared to "forever", know what I mean?

In any case, take your time and listen to your heart on this. I know that you have Miss M's best interests at heart in all things...and so your heart will tell you what is best here.


Anonymous said...

Everyone here has made some really great points.

For me, the bottom line is your gut feeling. If there is something inside you that is saying it may not be right, than you shouldn't let your guilt over someone else's feelings sway you.

You know what's best for Miss M. My biggest parenting mistakes have come as a result of going against my gut.

I hope things work out for you and Hot Girl. But if they don't, would you rather feel an enormous sense of relief at listening to your inner voice, or a tremendous amount of guilt for going against your gut?

Just a thought. Good luck!!!

Anonymous said...

Trust your instincts. If it's not time, it's not time. I agree with LittleMama714. My biggest parenting mistakes come from going against what I sense is right. There is no harm in putting something off for a month and approaching it again.

Good luck!

Nicki said...

Well, I've gotta tell you...after reading what others have said, I'm not sure that I have anything terribly original to contribute, but when has that stopped me from voicing my opinion. (And this is my opinion.)

1. People pass through our lives all the time. We are the ones who offer stability. And it is also our job to teach kids how to deal with loss and inconsistency. So, I'm not sure that it's such a terrible thing for Hot Girl to be re-introduced. On the other hand, maybe the real reason for your reluctance is that you are doubting the relationship.

This brings me to my second point...

2. I'm just now learning that the relationship with the right person is easy. Finding them is hard. With the right person, things flow much more smoothly, differences are ironed out so easily, and things that seemed like issues (lack of time together) doesn't seem like such a big deal because of the efforts made. For some reason, with the right person, there is no ticking clock in the background that looms over the relationship like a bomb threatening to detonate. So, even though you have a lot in common and the sex is phenomenal...maybe the other issues outweigh that.

Only you can decide. Just know that no matter what, you have a built in support group to offer feedback whether you like it or not and advice that you can choose to take or ignore. And we'll still be there no matter what.

Anonymous said...

also... off topic, but wanted to share this with you-

I did it in December and Rose loved it- they turn the club into a kids' dance party. They have food and drinks and raffles and toys-you name it. We're going to make another day of it in February.

JennyMac said...

what a tough situation...but i will say, if she is high stress now, that isnt going to go uphill.

dadshouse said...

I'm with you that you shouldn't put your little one on a dating roller coaster. And I'm with Hot Woman in that she doesn't want to feel like she's second fiddle. You hold all the cards right now. Why not up the ante and make Hot Woman a major part of your life? If you don't want to do that, I think you have your answer.

BigLittleWolf said...

First off, I find it fascinating that you had all women responding, and no men (until DM). Guys?!? No input? Why walk away from phenomenal sex?

By the way, women walk away from phenomenal sex as well. Or, want to leave things "as they are" and not try to make them into something they are not. When your gut tells you something isn't right, it usually isn't.

You've listed the two areas that are of most concern to you. Her position is understandable, but you are a dad, and it hasn't been that long since you divorced. You still have plenty of time, and shouldn't feel pressed to do anything if your gut is hesitating.

I'm curious - could you write with as much eloquence about why you adore Hot Girl? If you were ready for her to take a starring role in your (and Miss M's) life, I suspect you wouldn't be asking for input here.

Brittany said...

Well first of all, thank you for stopping by my blog. Flattered. I just want you to know that outfit IS hanging in my closet. I only take it out for special occassions.. because you see, I'm not "fancy" like that..

As for the girl.. Gol' I know how it feels to be wishy washy about someone. I have met so many wonderful men who, had I been childless, would have made great boyfriends.. BUT (and this is a big but...) once I had my son my priorities changed. Either it feels right or it doesn't.

Its nice to see a father who is protective over who they bring into their childrens lives. Aidyn-man has yet to meet any guy i've dated. I just wont do it unless i'm 100% positive. Don't let her change your mind on this one. Only re-introduce her when you feel TOTALY ready!

Can't wait to get to know you better through your posts! :)

Just telling it like it is said...

These situations are very tricky...I am assuming that she doesn't have any children...I myself have a boy that is the love of my life and from my experience. It is a difficult situation...I always put my son first 9not that that is right or wrong) and for that I have had significant miss communications...If she loves you she should understand...listen to your heart it will never fail you... wishing you the very best! darn girl

Amira said...

Are you at a point yet where you can imagine Hot Girl and answer the question, Can I bear to live without this woman for the rest of my life? It's a gut check question. But with only two months between dating her and your divorce, your view may be foggy.

See how she responds to you asking for a week of no contact to just think about things. If she flips out badly? Not a good sign. If she flips out a little? You'll expect it. If she is okay with it? Use the time, then try to get back to her with the most honest answer that you can give. My .02 cents.

jason said...

what is the hurry?
what is her hurry?

take your time, have fun, but if it is not right, let it go

Anonymous said...

Dude, I don't mean to be rude, but you're taking two people from two entirely different backgrounds here and you're essentially trying to make a relationship. Of *course* she's going to be different than you are, and how you grew up. Otherwise she'd be your sister.

I dunno, your points, while valid I guess, seem to be ... that you're nitpicking. This is my two cents. I mean, you're criticizing the people she spends time with - her FRIENDS? I don't get that. Just cuz they are wealthy and behave that way?

See I think, that you're hesitating and nitpicking cuz you already know the answer. Either that or you are just sticking around for the sex. Cuz these "issues" just don't seem like ... issues.

Sorry dude.

jenn said...

In my experience, people usually are attracted to opposites in personality, whether friends or romantic relationships. I think there is a reason for that, and it can be a good thing, but it also can cause some stress. So as far as her being more high stress than you, it may be something you have to learn to deal with. But then I don't know her, and it's possible her stress level is extreme. Only you know that for sure.

I do want to tell you that I think it's good that you worry about protecting Miss M. I don't have the answers for you - heck, I don't even know if I'll ever be ready for another relationship, because I am too picky - but I wish you the best of luck.

The Pipster said...

Being with someone should be easy not hard - stress is bad too. Just be yourself and do what feels right for you and Miss M. Hot Girl will either rock the boat until it flips and she falls out, or she won't. Gut feel is there are many more fish in the sea for you. Best, Pippi

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