When to walk

 

I was always shy and awkward with everyone, even my few friends. Boys, I thought about, talked about and dreamed about but never had the nerve to talk to. I daydreamed about dating, how amazing it would be to have someone want to spend time with me, to like me, to think I was as funny and to love me. 

 

Then it happened, my friend wanted me to join her and her new boyfriend on a double date, I was elated. John was her boyfriends neighbor, new to the area and very...cute. I was so excited I felt sick, but as the night went on, I relaxed and started to talk. We talked for hours, he was genuinely interested in me, looked me in the eyes, asked me questions, laughed at my attempts at humor and shared his amazing sense of humor with me. Wow, I thought this is everything I imagined it would be. 

 

We went out a couple more times with our friends then he asked me to join him for dinner at his place, just the two of us. I was excited and scared, all at the same time. Something inside me twinged just a little when he was talking to me about the evening plans he had. Frankly, I brushed it off, after all this is what dating someone is all about, and I had no personal experience to compare this feeling to

 

He gave me a tour of his place, a glass of beer (Yes, I was underage and so was he.) I sat at the table and talked as he cooked, it was wonderful. He asked about my dating experiences, of which I had none and he shared about his. Again, that little twinge when he talked about those girls. It wasn't specifically what he said, it's how he was talking, his expression, his mannerisms, they were somehow off. Again, I wrote this off to my lack of experience and even leaned in for a kiss as he held my hand and offered me another beer.

 

As the evening went on, we wondered to the sofa to "snuggle" I was so excited and again scared. I knew how far I was willing to go, snuggling, holding hands, kissing and I told him. He laughed and agreed as he stared at me and pushed my hair away from my cheek behind my ear. Twinge again, it was how he was looking at me now. We talked and he stroked my hair, gently, sweetly, and started to sigh a little and make little comments about how pretty I was and how easy it was for him to be himself with me. 

 

I was a mixed bag of emotions, my body was telling me this felt right, my mind was telling me that something was not right. I sat there and wrestled, I just didn't know what to do. He was everything I had hoped and dreamed a boyfriend would be. He talked about commitment, how he thought this was vital to relationships, he "couldn't stand cheaters or teasers." I agreed.

 

Then he kissed my forehead and held my face in his hands, and kissed my lips. I was a ball of hormones and gave in to them, sharing his passionate kisses and touches...then things were going too far...too fast and I pulled away. He pulled me back and spoke gently, I gave in again and things went further so I pulled away again. I wanted to run but I liked this guy, this was crazy I thought, this is what is supposed to be happening...right? 

 

This went on for some time, and then his touching became too much, I knew what was going to happen and I said I needed to go. Twinge again, he started to beg me to stay and when that didn't work he started to chide me with comments like "I should have known you were a tease all along." I was shocked, what just happened, I was angry and told him I was leaving. 

 

I wish I could say that I did just that but I didn't. I let him talk me into staying, to "talk things through" because he was committed to this relationship, to me. I wish I could say that I didn't believe him and that I stood up and left but I didn't. I can say that I left his place no longer a virgin, no longer sure of my convictions and how relationships should be. He would not take "no" for an answer and I was unwilling to lose what I had waited so long to have, someone who chose to be with me, to care for me and love me. 

 

We continued to see each other a couple more times, each encounter he was more physically aggressive and if I spoke out in disagreement he chided me with belittling comments. Sadly, I continued to see him until dinner out with another friend. She noted by demeanor was off and as she prodded I opened up and told her what was going on. Her face grew red as she listened, "that's not how it's supposed to be, he's using you" she said. I was now angry at her, she basically told me I was weak. 

 

She told her boyfriend Dave what was going on and they came to my place to talk with me. Dave explained that how John was acting, what he was saying and how he was treating me was not love or commitment, it was manipulation and selfish. They shared their past dating experiences and how things were now in their relationship. I could hear the difference in what they were saying and I started to feel ashamed of being so gullible. Dave told me, "it's time for you to walk". 

 

I'm glad to tell you that I did, I walked out of John's life. I am still learning how to trust my twinges, how to know when someone is valuing me and how to find joy in my life now whether or not I have a boyfriend. I am learning how to WALK.                                                                                Rin  

 

 

Whether you call it dating or not, having a guide to where you want to go may help you find just what you're looking for. 

 

Before you go on your next date, the following information may help you navigate the terrain of relationships more effectively. Having a clearly defined road map will help you achieve your destination. 

 

Purposes of Dating

 

1. Get to know yourself and other's likes, dislikes, values, ways of communication, etc. 

 

2. Learn to feel more at ease in a relationship.

 

3. Feel acceptance from another person who chooses to spend time with you.

 

4. Developing your sense of independence. 

 

5. Choosing a marriage partner and prepare for a lasting relationship. 

 

CLICK HERE for the full article in the LOVE Well Magazine by The Center For Relationship Education - Want a FREE Copy? Click HERE

Visit the Center For Relationship Education for other dating and relationship articles and videos. 

 

Searching for Mr./Ms. right

 

family is not just blood

 

My family...or should I say the people I lived with when I was young, my bio parents hated me. I know hate is a strong word but who leaves their kids alone for hours or with the lady next door who locked us in the bedroom with a chair. I heard people say that was just neglect. Whatever - they didn't bother feeding us, sending us to neighbors houses and school to eat, and overall treating us like we were their property.

 

Child Protective Services came to our house when I was 9, my sister was 6. They took us to another home, a Foster Home in another town. We were very scared but the people were very nice, they let us share a huge bed and play in a bubble bath for hours. We sat a the table in the kitchen and ate dinner, and breakfast and they packed me a bag of food for lunch at school. I hated school, I got held back because I missed a lot, my sister was old enough but my parents didn't take her. I remember my Foster Mom going in to talk to the teacher about me, I thought I was going to be in trouble but instead she started trying to help me after school with my homework. 

 

I remember going to a big brick building a couple times to see my bio parents. They only came once, my mom yelled a lot and accidentally slammed my sister's fingers in the door when she left. Everyone was very upset but they were kind to us and gave us cookies and a juice box (I guess they thought I was a little kid). After a while, we didn't have to go back the building but we did have to go to court. It was scary, I remember thinking I saw my dad in the hall but he didn't say anything. When we got home our Foster Mom told us that we were going to be moving, I couldn't believe it, she didn't want us anymore. She said that was not true, they loved us but they were there to help us for a little while and then they would help another kid. 

 

We went to another home for a couple weeks, I don't remember much about it, just that it was very quiet and the people didn't talk much. They did take us to church though, that was fun, I loved to sing and they did a lot of that. I think it was the 3rd or 4th Sunday a lady came and sat by us. She had red hair just like me, and too much makeup. She smiled a lot and asked us a lot of questions. The next week she did the same thing, and her husband joined her. That Sunday they asked if we would go to lunch at their home. It was amazing! They lived in the country, with lots of trees, cows, and kittens. We had so much fun, talking and laughing, chasing the kittens around and talking to the cows (they didn't say much back). I hated to leave. 

 

A couple days later a lady came to our house with the red-haired lady and her husband. They told us they wanted to adopt us, for us to come live with them forever. They told us that they promised to love and care for us for our whole lives. I was not sure but it sounded cool. That was 11 years ago, that red-haired lady is my Mama, she was with me on my wedding day, and her husband walked me down the aisle. We have had an amazing life full of love, adventure, trials, and pains. They showed us what Family really was, and it's not just blood. P.S. One of those kittens now lives with me, she is super old but she loved me too and I promised to love and care for her, her whole life.