I was married for 17 years while raising my three kids, and I decided to divorce my husband two years ago. The dad and I have a good system that we worked out where each parent gets to spend equal time with the kids on a regular basis and the kids have adjusted to the divorce in a healthy way. For the last six months I have been feeling finally ready to start dating again and I have even tried some online dating sites. I actually met a very nice man through one of the online dating sites. He is kind, good-hearted, and family-oriented and seems to care a lot about me. I have a lot of fun with him, my kids seem to be warming up to him well, and he makes me laugh. I feel as if it could be a very healthy relationship for me as we recently labeled our dating into an official “relationship.”
A week ago, however, I had to fly back home for a reunion which was out of state. My boyfriend wasn’t able to make it, and the kids were with their dad, so I went solo. While there, a man that I had always had deep feelings for but never dated showed up unexpectedly. He was the man I always wanted to be with, he knew my family real well, and grew up where I grew up. We always had this deep connection, but the fact that we both lived in two different states always stopped us from trying out a relationship. I haven’t physically seen this man for the last five years so when I saw him, my heart instantly melted. Feelings I had for him before I was ever married came back to slap me in the face, and as hard as I tried, I could not get this feeling out of my system, nor could I control it.
The reunion was only three days and so we spent most of our time catching up with each other. Although “nothing happened,” I literally cannot get him out of my head. Before he left, he told me how he was thinking about moving back to our hometown, something we always said was the reason that was holding us back from being together. Now I don’t know what to do. I am trying not to have feelings for this man because I just started seeing this other guy from the online dating site, but now I feel torn between someone who fate introduced me to, compared to who I found while I was “shopping for love.” What should I do?
-Torn between Fate and Online Dating
Dear Torn between Fate and Online Dating,
You are in a predicament that is classified to be a matter of the heart. On one hand, you have just started dating a wonderful man that you have felt secure enough with to finally give dating a second try, a man that you just happened to have met on the Internet. On the other hand, a man that you have always had feelings for has re-surfaced on your radar, or has he?
You mentioned that you were attending a reunion and that you did not know that he was going to be there. When you saw him, you felt a spark that you once felt for him which brought back all kinds of old feelings for you, and chances are, for him too. You guys were able to catch up and at the end of your time together, he decided to tell you something you probably have wanted to hear for many years, that he wants to move back to your hometown, which is the very reason that kept you guys apart in the first place. That is great if he meant it, but there are a few issues I see that are going to be a challenge for you.
First of all, you are in a relationship with another man! An innocent person who probably trusts you and cherishes what you two have started (I gather that because you mentioned he is a good-hearted man). So the fact that you are even thinking about the “reunion man” or considering being with him is not fair to your boyfriend at all. How would you like it if the person you were in love with was doing the same thing to you? Thinking about possibly being with another woman?
Secondly, currently you and your “reunion man” are still living in two different states. Who’s to say that he wasn’t all talk about moving back and just said that because he has heard that you are officially in a relationship again? Perhaps he also heard from someone else about how happy you are because you just started to date someone new, and by mentioning that he may move back to where you guys have always had your “connection,” your “reunion man” knew that would stir feelings up for you to where you might second guess your current relationship.
Here’s another thing to think about. You have one guy right in front of you, as your “actual reality,” while the other guy is your “maybe reality.” Your current boyfriend has figured out something out about you that your “maybe boyfriend” has not. Your “maybe boyfriend” has had years to figure it out and maybe just has last week, while your current boyfriend figured it out in just a matter of months of getting to know you over the Internet.
Why go after a maybe in life when you can have a definitely?
If you continue to think about “reunion man” then you need to make a choice. It is not fair to your boyfriend that you are thinking about someone else. If you reach this point then you need to just decide. Don’t decide who you think you would have more fun with, or who you have more history with even — instead, choose which one will bring out the best person in you. Be with the one that will make you a better person. The one who will lift up your strengths, and challenge your weaknesses only to become the best person you can ever imagine being.
While making your decision, just remember that you can’t have your definitely while having your maybe at the same time. It is not fair to all those who are involved because someone is bound to get hurt feelings. Whatever is meant to be will be, and since you are currently already in a relationship, don’t you think you owe it to yourself and your boyfriend to let your relationship run its course?
Ahwatukee Foothills resident Michelle “Mikey” Arana is a 2003 graduate of Mountain Pointe High School. She offers free peer advice, however, Mikey is not licensed or trained, just a fellow friend to the community. All inquiries made to Mikey will remain anonymous unless legal issues occur. She can be reached at www.myaskmikey.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.