Sometimes you have to accept that those closest to you will not value you or see your worth. They will only see what it is that they have envisioned for you and how you are not living up to it. They will only see the negative and any positive will not be recognized. This may be a result of many different factors but none of them matter. It is not necessary to find out why they treat you the way that they do, if their treatment is not impeding your progress but just upsetting you emotionally then let go. These people may be your colleagues, supervisors, friends, or even family. In most situations it is someone that you cannot easily rid yourself of but that’s okay. It’s okay because you have a few options to remedy the situation.
Option #1: You can return their rude remarks with kindness and pray for them.
Option #2: You can let them know in a direct way that their words are mean, rude, and unwelcome.
Option #3: You live one life, cut them off.
Now, the last option is hard to do for most of us, which is why we are presently in these situations. If the person is your boss and you need your job, then you are operating about of a place of fear. If the person is part of your family, especially immediate family, you are operating out of loyalty and attachments. This is the same with friends. You may feel that you need these connections so you stay tied to them and miserable. When that misery starts affecting your mood, making you doubt yourself, and hindering you because you are feeding into their perception of you then it is time to stop operating out fear, loyalty, and attachments and cut cords. This doesn’t have to happen in a malicious way but once you have done this, you may be able to access your true feelings more clearly. You may either see that you now feel relieved and more self-assured or maybe they weren’t the problem to begin with and you have to work on yourself.
Either way, make a plan and get to living your best life since you only have one opportunity to do so.
With sites like POF, Tinder, and OkCupid, and living at such a fast pace, a lot of people have turned to online dating to find a friend, partner, or spouse. But, as I have seen recently with some of my own friends, this can be murky territory. People can present themselves one way online and be totally different once you meet them. It is important as single parents (which this site caters to) to be even more careful since there are children involved. Here are seven steps to help you navigate this terrain:
- Post a clear pic of yourself that is current (within a year) and without location markers in the background. This is important if you meet a future stalker, you don’t want this person to be able to look at your pic and figure out where you and your family lives.
- Cross-reference. Once you have found someone who interests you online, do a little digging on the Internet. Check them out using a Google search, LinkedIn, etc. See if they are being as transparent as they can online and truthful.
- Keep it online initially. The reason I say this is so that you can learn more about the person while you are still in the safe zone. Some feel the opposite and want to meet in person as soon as possible but, if the said individual is not safe, you have averted a possible dangerous situation.
- Believe what they say. While corresponding with them, they immediately mention that they are not looking for anything serious believe them. If after chatting with them numerous times and they are always making sexual innuendo but you want something deeper, let go and move on. Do not waste time living in la la land. Do not look at the pic or see them in person and let the physical override your common sense. Remember there are children involved.
- Initially meet them in public place. Do not have them pick you up at your home or even relatives house. Great first dates can happen during brunch time and early evening hours.
- Try hard to take it slow in the beginning. Sometimes people can put on a show for 3-6 months but usually it quickly unravels after that. If you move too fast, you risk the chance of becoming attached to a person and feel conflicted because you want to leave but comfort and emotions and overpower reason.
- Do not immediately have them around your child(ren). This one is self-explanatory.
Of course, there are other precautionary measures to take but, I thought these were the biggies. I would love to tell you, just have fun and throw caution to the wind but as single parents that may not be the smartest thing to do. I, myself, have been toying with the idea of getting on one of these sites in the future when my life settles down but in the interim I have seen through my friends and even colleagues, that serious consequences can occur. So, I’m sorry but not sorry for the heaviness of this post. Everything should be alright if we use our heads.
Well, I have moved back to my old neighborhood and I am glad because the kids are happy, their schools are closer, and it’s beautiful here. Along with this move came a reconnection to their dad. Our past is somewhat intense. We met in high school and knew then that we wanted to be together “forever” but as we all know, when kids get involved and only one parent matures, it makes for some heavy situations. Fast forward 14 years and we are both a lot more mature and it is time to act as such.
I have come to the realization that it is important for our daughter to finally see her parents interact in a positive way and our 3.5 year old son to have his dad around on a consistent basis (also in a positive way). So, I extended the olive branch and offered for him to spend time with the kids and then when they went to bed we could watch the first game of the NBA finals. Both of us are going for Golden State!
Anyways, he was surprised because I never wanted to watch sports with him when we were together in the past nor did I really want him watching sports alone. I’d rather have him watch a good Lifetime Movie with me. So, he accepted the offer and was pleasantly surprised when he saw that I had brought two different types of wings, chips and dip, and beer and wine for the game.
We watched it and celebrated the ups and downs of the game. As we sat there glued to the screen and the food, it suddenly hit me that there was a clear power struggle between him and me. I didn’t want to give up control and he didn’t either. We also weren’t keeping the kids and each other partner first. We were young and selfish. All he wanted was my presence sharing an experience that he enjoyed. Crazily I used to be so mad at him for other actions that I tied it to anything that he wanted to do and “didn’t do it”.
Needless to say it was a great experience sharing a positive night with their dad and since then he has come over more often to spend time with the kids, talk about our daughters grades and our sons progress in a new preschool, and just relax.
What I want to end with is the fact that there shouldn’t be a power struggle because those types of struggles don’t account for the children. We need to focus on healthy relationships, which sometimes mean sacrifice, for our kids.
I am not sure what your story is but I know that mine has to be similar to someone out there in the world. I met my children’s father when I was in high school and from that moment forward I saw something in him that he didn’t see in himself. I also noticed that over the years he became less pity-party and more manipulative, always using his good looks and words to get what he wanted. Long story short, it took me until recently to finally let go of the dream and move on. I am still in the process of truly giving up resentment and appreciating the hard lessons learned.
Through it all, I have seen that doors only opened when my focus was not on him and I did not let him back into mine and our children’s lives. New possibilities and happiness, and peace of mind cannot reside within if we keep holding onto the past. Although this is easier said than done for most people (including myself because I am a work in progress), it is a reality that we all must face.
The title of this blog came about when I first realized that I would be and had been a single mom for a while. The in and out and back and forth was not good for the children (or myself) but I was the only constant that they had. I am blessed to have family and friends that have always been there for us but, when you want to realize your dreams (writing, creating, owning your own business) you must make choices that place you in a state where you can move forward and open yourself up to the endless possibilities that exist for you. Those great things do not come when you are chasing after the wrong dream or stuck in a fog over someone or something that doesn’t deserve the attention that you are giving it.
I look back on the many opportunities that I missed out on because I was focused on the wrong thing. I can remember moments when I could have unwrapped the package that would have turned the tables in a positive direction for me but, I didn’t. Staying in destructive situations does something to your self-esteem, pride, emotions. These feelings can be transferred to your children. It doesn’t have to be a relationship that sets it off; it could be a failed job or project, dropping out of school. But, whatever it is, is what it ‘WAS’ and you must move on.
The life you want awaits you and you are never too old or too far behind to start all over again and make it better for yourself. I believe in you and I believe in me. So, let go of the past!