Good Timing…or Just Good Times? — by Jamie Levine
I recently reconnected with a former boyfriend, via email. We dated about 4-½ years ago, when I was secretly contemplating the idea of single motherhood. He was going through a divorce, and was a devoted dad to his two kids, and I loved that about him. I told myself I just wanted to have fun with him—because now that I’d finally decided I was going to have a child on my own, I wasn’t desperate for a commitment anymore. But I was kidding myself, and deep down, I wanted more than this man could give me. He was a great guy, and seemed to like me, but he was definitely not ready for a relationship. He was too angry at his ex, consumed with his divorce, and way too busy with his business and kids to focus enough attention on me. We parted ways, and I was very sad about it for awhile.
Fast-forward to the present, and our recent email exchange. After doing a bit of catching up, and a whole lot of flirting, I apologized to my ex for trying too hard in the past, and admitted that I’d liked him a lot, and had just been “relationship desperate.” He responded that I’d done nothing wrong and that he’d liked me a lot, too—but he’d been in a bad place. So, I remarked, “it was all about timing, huh?” And he responded, “It always is, Jamie. It always is.” But is it, really? After numerous emails, I came to the conclusion that this guy is simply not right for me—and probably never was. As I’ve come to realize a lot lately, my exes are all exes for a reason. There are lots of factors at play in a relationship, and if a guy is (or isn’t!) right for me, the timing doesn’t really make a difference.
A couple of weeks ago, on a rainy day, I took Jayda to the children’s room at our local library after school. Across the room from me was a man entertaining two boys of his own, and as his children began to interact with Jayda, he started to chat with me. By the time Jayda was ready to leave, I’d discovered that he was going through a divorce and was the primary custodian of his kids—but he did have Friday nights off. And as we all left the library together, he took my number and promised to take me out the following Friday.
“Library Guy” called the very next night—and had a funny story to tell me. He said he’d been talking to his neighbor about meeting me, as he’d been very excited over the connection we’d had, and this woman blurted out that there was someone she had been wanting to set him up with. He continued to describe me, and all that he’d learned about me, and she described the woman she’d planned to match him with, and they soon realized that they were both touting the same woman! His neighbor is someone whom I met at the gym months ago—a woman who married her husband later in life, and knows my single mother by choice story; she also claims to be a very good matchmaker and said she’d keep her eyes open for me. Talk about serendipity!
When I think about my first encounter with Library Guy, in some ways, our timing was ideal. Library Guy has been in an unhappy marriage for awhile, but only recently has taken the steps to move on and date; that’s when he bumped into me. And I, on a day when I could have just stayed home with Jayda and let her watch TV before dinner, instead took her to the library to play. However, if we’re talking about timing, this is definitely a bad time for me to pursue a relationship. Between school, work, and my number one priority, Jayda, I’m already spreading myself too thin. And Library Guy has been quite a distraction from all of my responsibilities: We’ve spent a lot of time together this week—at the library with our kids, and through phone conversations and texting—and we just had an amazing first kid-less date on Friday night. Things are looking good, but it’s way too early to tell if we’re a true match. And I’m not worrying about that now. Most importantly, I’m not focused on having good or bad timing. I’m just taking everything one day at a time…and hoping for some good times first. Lots of them. And if he’s the right guy, we’ll never even have to think twice about our timing.