A Second Chance at Love Denied

Not too long ago, I ended a relationship that nearly turned my life upside down, and then I met a woman I connected with on a unique level. Then, I ended it on Christmas Day. Contemplating, I wondered that if she was everything I was looking for, why had I denied myself a second chance at love, one with my daughter’s teacher.

Keeping up with this blog and taking on a promotion at work has been challenging, and healing from a years-long relationship turned sour isn’t easy to deal with; my time is restricted and limited. Serious relationships take time and attention, and they come with their own pressure. Between the three days in over which Olivia sent me multiple messages I didn’t reply to, I considered all these things.

What didn’t attract me to her was her looks.

Honestly, I had been a little hesitant to date Olivia because she was my daughter’s teacher. I cringed when I wondered if the relationship was appropriate. Every day, this woman interacted with my daughter for hours, and yet my daughter didn’t know anything about what was happening. That thought left a bitter taste in my mouth.

When Olivia and I began a romantic relationship, the fact that she was educated, feminine, friendly, family-oriented and easy to get along with attracted me to her. What didn’t attract me to her was her looks. I judged my own judgments as shallow; it shouldn’t be about her looks, since she met every other qualification of mine. But it was about the looks.

I had to respond, or this situation would be on her mind the whole Christmas Day.

If you ever want to be happy, you have to be realistic about what you want, or you’ll end up in a miserable situation. I don’t expect every woman to be Kelly Rowland or Christina Milian beautiful. But there has to be something there to keep my eye, no matter how small or big. It can be her slanted smile, confident strut or curvy frame. In this case, I found none. But Olivia was a nice person.

What I’m saying is, every moment in a relationship won’t be a party, but the natural tone shouldn’t be boredom. She and I both found entertainment in Anime and worked in the same general field. We even spent our childhoods in the same areas. Her jokes always earned a laugh from me. As I said, she was nice. It wasn’t enough because she was easy to read as a page without lines.

I felt like telling her I wanted to end things.

Basically, you could learn Olivia in a day, being left with no desire to know more. With her nightly hours-long conversations, I felt the attraction that comes with mystery fade away. After contemplating all these dynamics, on Christmas Day, I ended it.

Since the Thursday night days before Christmas, I hadn’t returned Olivia’s calls or texts. I felt like telling her I wanted to end things, but I wanted to wait until after Christmas. My chest hurt every time I thought of telling her this. But on Christmas morning, she refunded me $97 for Uber rides I had purchased for her.

I found we can be primal people in our attraction.

So, I told her I wanted to things and wished her the best. She told me she felt I didn’t want to be hurtful but that I had been. With a follow-up text, she accused me of having “unfinished ties” to my daughter’s mother. This took me off guard because it was such a wild, baseless accusation. She also told me to stop dating and that she wasn’t “mad”. I guessed the opposite was true.

Overall, I found we can be primal people in our attraction, including me. Sometimes, that primal-ness is linked directly to our long-term happiness. You may be able to drink your tea without sugar, but what if the sugar is the reason you like tea in the first place? Attractive physicality for some is like sugar to dating long-term; without it, it’s too plain to enjoy.

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Published by J Reed

J Reed is a Chicago-based fiction writer. When he isn't making a pretense of writing, he's making a pretense of working.

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