If you’ve been paying an ounce of attention here on LiveTravelMore you may have noticed me briefly mention the guy I’m dating. If you know me in real life, then you’ve probably heard or seen me talk about Mr. Glitter, as he’s affectionately called. I’m often, much to the annoyance of some of my friends, blabbering on about #teamglitter.
Yes, I’m sometimes that sickeningly sweet, vomit-inducing woman. I swoon. I gush. I float. I shine.
I can’t help myself. I also make sure I show and tell him how much I appreciate him. Most recently, I conspired with his family back in the States to create a surprise video compilation for him as a Christmas gift. To be clear, his family did all of the hard work. I simply edited their secret footage and made it look pretty. Anyway, the video was 7 minutes and 30 seconds of all his people showing him how much he is loved and missed. When I initially began the project I was very hesitant in regards to how I should proceed. We haven’t been dating that long and I wasn’t sure how to approach his family in a way that didn’t feel like…
I hadn’t met anyone in his family yet and didn’t want it to come off as me trying to force myself upon them. I worried that my contacting them would seem like me making myself appear to play a bigger role in his life than I actually did. After all, neither of us – well, to my knowledge – had really divulged any major (or minor) details about the other to our families. Eventually, I settled on an “I’m one of his friends” approach. But! I made sure that my intentions were stated very clearly. He was the one who helped me cope when I missed my family something fierce because I couldn’t be present for very important moments back home. He was the one who made little things special for me in order to show me that I still had people who cared nearby. He did this for me all while dealing with his own longings for his family as well. Given that, I wanted to do something to show him kindness in return, and this video project was it.
Two whole months of sneaking, plotting, Fac.ebook stalking, emails, dropbox tutorials, text messages, nail-biting anxiety, and paranoia were all worth it. The look on his face while he watched the video and long after it was done was EVERYTHING to me. He gasped, he gushed, he laughed, he grinned, he sparkled.
His family’s satisfaction with the finished product and his reaction were all that mattered to me. After the public folder on my dropbox account crashed from too many hits of the video, his family encouraged me to post the video embedded with his reaction on Fac.ebook so they could see it. What happened next shocked the hell out of me. The likes, the comments, the private messages, and the text messages we both received from friends and family were overwhelming. While most of the feedback was positive, a tiny group of people steered things into an uncomfortable (for me) direction. It started off as a joke from one of my friends.
“So he’s getting a ring… Shoot… I want to give you one after this .” Haha! *looks around nervously* I know she was joking. I thought it was funny, but I made sure to distance myself from that line of questioning because… AWKWARD!!!! And then a few messages appeared in our inboxes… And they all seemed to be centered around one theme…
I diverted and brushed it off as best I could, but one comment in particular really got to me. Someone sent him a message essentially saying that I did the video because I wanted a ring.
Don’t ask me why, but that one bothers me. Actually, it hurts. Like, I may or may not have shed a tear or three behind that comment hurts. Why? Because not once did anything like that cross my mind while I was working on the project. What kind of woman do others think I am? Apparently, the kind that campaigns for a ring. Somehow someone got the wrong impression of me and they felt the need to share their misjudgment with my guy. And THAT pisses me off.
After seeing how upset the comment made me, Mr. Glitter reminded me, “No one knows the parameters of our relationship but you and I. You’re good. It doesn’t bother me. Don’t let it bother you.” I know I shouldn’t let it get to me, but I think it’s time I address this once and for all because…
So, it’s my hope that, by sharing a bit of my past, you’ll get a better understanding of who I am and why I do things the way I do them now.
**Insert dream sequence music here**
Not so long ago, I dated someone for 4 years whose quality of
he-ain’t-shit not-so-wonderfulness changed me. I went into that relationship whole, confident, and bright. By the time I had the courage to leave him, I was broken, shell-shocked, unsure, and very dull. He had good qualities, but they simply weren’t enough to sustain whatever dysfunctional relationship we had or to build anything better. And, yes, I’ll admit that I wasn’t always my best self when I was with him, either… But that’s the point. We didn’t work. I’m very thankful for that experience because I’ve learned how to have healthier relationships with myself and others moving forward. Anyway, there are 2 very important lessons that have stuck with me after the Ex:
1) Know how to recognize and appreciate a good man.
When I say good, I mean a man who is good to and for me. Does he say nice words, but fail to act? Or, does he show you first and tell you again later as a reminder of his actions? Does he shame you for your quirks and shortcomings in order to make himself look better? Or, does he accept you for who you are and support you as you grow into the woman you want to become? Is he considerate, caring, and loving only when he has something to gain from his actions? Or, is he continually that way because he genuinely wants to see you happy and give you his best? Is he good? If he is, then how you should behave is simple… After all, good people should be shown goodness as reciprocation. At least, that’s how it works for me.
2) No amount of campaigning, begging, pleading, bullying, ultimatums, cooking, cleaning, horizontal mambo, fellatio, thoughtful Christmas gifts, or family approval will make a man propose unless he’s good and damn ready.
There was a time when I was so desperate for a ring and onesies that I deluded myself into thinking it would happen with the Ex and ignored the many signs that he was in no way shape or form fit to be my husband or a father to my children any time soon – despite being 21 years my senior with 4 (and counting!) children. I’ll let that one sink in for a bit……………… You good? Good. I wanted to be married and have kids soooo badly that I completely ignored the fact that the Ex really wasn’t interested. Yea, he talked a good game about making me his wife and me having his babies… But when it came down to it, one crucial action was missing. You know, the biggest one? After 4 years of dating (2 of which found us living together) he never asked me to marry him. At one point, I was all like…
Yea, that shit only works on TV. I slowly realized that my campaigning for a ring fell upon deaf ears. I was devastated, but I picked my face and broken heart up off the floor and happily moved on with a lesson learned.
I know this may be difficult for a few of you jaded people to accept, and…
While rings, weddings, and babies are all wonderful things to gawk at on social media, they are not what drive me to treat my current partner the way I do. Sure. I want to be married and start a family because I think fostering a loving marriage and family is probably the biggest and most important thing I could ever do moving forward. But, please don’t misunderstand. Though it’s my ultimate desire to be married and start a family, I’m simply not there yet. We are not there yet. In the meantime, I’m quite content living my very full and very unmarried, childless life. I am not, nor will I ever, campaign Mr. Glitter for a ring. I do what I do because that man is the business. And, as far as I’m concerned, he deserves EVERY. SINGLE. good thing in this world. I love him and when you love someone, you want them to feel loved. His reaction was my reward. His happiness is why I did it. The. End!