Tinder Surprise – Part 4
In Part 3 of the Tinder Surprise Blog Post series I wrote about how great everything was going in my last relationship (until it ended), and I’m going to pick up where I left off…
Date 3 continued…
Everything was going really well in our relationship. Our children had become firm friends, and we started to blend our families together. We would usually spend at least one day of the weekend together and would do dinner with the kids during the week once or twice too.
It wasn’t all daisies and roses, and it could at times be challenging. No relationship is perfect, and when you bring two single parents together, who both have their kids all (or most of) the time, it can be hard. One thing that could be challenging for example was alone time with each other. When children get involved, it suddenly brings the relationship of two people dating to a whole new level. It becomes all family family family. It is easier to do something with the kids, and date nights really have to be prioritised which is expensive to do on a weekly basis.
Then there was the dynamic with the children. Because I only have one child, it is usually (relatively) peaceful in my house. When there are another two kids thrown in the mix, it could get quite chaotic. Actually, I’ll be honest – it was a circus at times. His two children (delightful as they were) fought at times (as siblings do) and my daughter usually got involved too. I won’t lie, I sometimes found the fighting and chaos a little overwhelming. There was also usually one child feeling left out. Sometimes it was my daughter (because she was not one of the siblings), other times it was his daughter (because his son and my daughter were closer in age), and other times it was his son (because he wasn’t a girl). There was usually someone upset, and it’s understandable. It’s hard on children too. Other times they all got a long great, and that was really heartwarming. As much as they fought, they bonded very very well and became great friends. My daughter just loved his kids and was always excited to see them.
Another challenge was the parenting styles. Although we had quite similar parenting styles, there were still some differences. Generally we communicated about issues or disagreements with the children quite well, other times it was hard. I found it very difficult for example when his son would call my daughter a poo poo and he didn’t say anything. Especially when my daughter would get really upset about it. I didn’t feel it was my job (or right) to tell his son not to do that when he was standing right there too. I’m not pretending my daughter is an angel, because she can be difficult at times too, but we weren’t always on the same page.
It was mostly very good though, and (for me at least) the positives outweighed the challenges. Something that a lot of single parents struggle with when dating is the scheduling clash (if both parties have children). It doesn’t make it easy if you both have your children on opposite days. For us that was never an issue as he had his children all the time and I have my daughter 99% of the time too,
We had a weekend away together with the kids, we had planned out what we were doing on New Year’s Eve with the kids, and he was very supportive of my work with single mums, and my blog and podcast. We had even started talking about moving in together at the end of the year and discussed how it would work with the children. We had also discussed how we both wanted more children. We were talking about building a life together.
There was one hiccup about a month before it ended where we had an argument and he gave me the silent treatment for a few days. That was the only time when I thought that perhaps the relationship might not work out. But he seemed genuinely sorry about it, and we had moved past it. At no point toward the end did I suspect that it might not work out.
So when he suddenly ghosted me, I was utterly shocked and confused.
If you haven’t heard of ghosting – it’s when someone ends a personal relationship with someone very suddenly, and without any explanation. They just vanish into thin air. Poof! No conversation to tell you the relationship is over, no phone call, no email, NOT EVEN A TEXT. Nothing. Carrie Bradshaw was lucky for getting a post it note!
According to my research a whooping 50 percent of men and women have experienced it and an almost equal number have done the ghosting. I find this quite an alarming statistic. Whether this was done after one or two dates, or after one or two months is unclear, however if the latter, then that is truly terrible.
We had been together for almost 6 MONTHS before he vanished into thin air!!!
The last time I saw (or spoke to) him, we had had a disagreement (I wouldn’t even call it an argument) on something parenting related. When I didn’t hear from him for the rest of the day I suspected he might be annoyed at me. I was annoyed at him too so I had no immediate desire to call him that day. But we used to speak a couple of times a day and text regularly, so when I hadn’t heard from him a full 24 hours after I’d seen him last, I decided to swallow my pride and call him. It rang, but he didn’t answer my call. The next day I tried again. The same thing happened.
After being on the receiving end of his silent treatment earlier in the relationship I decided not to chase him up. He knew I had called twice, so I wasn’t going to continually harass him. And this wasn’t the sort of treatment I want in a relationship.
Then I started to worry… Had he been hit by a bus? Was he in a coma in hospital? Had something happened to one of his children? I discovered that he was (luckily) alive and well and (I assume) had just chosen to no longer communicate with me.
I never heard from him again after that. And that was almost 6 weeks ago. To be honest I found his behavior appalling. Especially from a 36 year old grown man. I sent him a letter (yes snail mail style) a week later wishing him well and an email a few weeks later asking if he could please send my daughter’s favourite hat back (as she had left it in his car), and I never got a response to either one.
What upset me the most was the affect that this has had on my daughter, and I suspect his children. My daughter was very confused about what happened to them and she misses her friends. I am quite honest with my daughter and told her that I had tried to call him and email him and he had not got back to me, to which she responded It sounds like he doesn’t want to be our friend anymore to which I had to agree. I felt sad that his children probably think I abandoned them. His daughter told me she loved me all the time and said that she hoped I would become her step mum. We had a great bond, and I loved her (and his son) a lot.
I got past the anger and sadness but I’m still struggling with the confusion. It would be nice to have had a conversation about what happened. I feel I do deserve an explanation. But I have to accept that that is not going to happen.
I will never know why he ghosted me, but what I have realised is that this has nothing to do with me. Some people have unusual ways of going about things. It doesn’t make it acceptable in my eyes, but this is not my fault and not something I can control. What is scary is that I am VERY alert to red flags and I really did not see this coming. At all. What I have also learnt is that the silent treatment is not a good way to treat someone in a relationship, and if it happens to me again in a future relationship, I will not be so forgiving. I am glad I saw this man’s true character six months in, and not six years in. I consider myself lucky for finding out sooner rather than later.
So I shall continue on with my dating endeavors and see what happens. Stay tuned!
Lessons Learned Along the Way
- ALWAYS tell the truth about important things to dates because you never know who they know and it might come back to bite you.
- Do not under any circumstance give anyone your number before you’ve met them, because you may be sent dick pics.
- If they send you a link to their Facebook page, don’t accidentally like something on their page; they’ll know that you have been (not so subtly) stalking them.
- Don’t give anyone ANY private information until you have met them in person and got to know them. In addition to your phone number, this includes your last name, Instagram, address, Facebook etc. This should go without saying, or maybe I’m super paranoid, but some people are crazy or creepy and you need to protect yourself and your children. It’s quite scary what you can find out about people online. Even if you give someone your phone number, they can find out your full name, and from there, whatever else they want to know about you that’s available on the internet.
- Always meet in a public place and tell someone where you are going.
- Just because someone is a parent, it doesn’t mean they are normal.
- I repeat – just because someone is a parent, it doesn’t mean they are normal.
- Before you go on a date with someone, speak to them on the phone. They will definitely ask for your phone number if they want to meet you, or talk to you. Politely decline and ask for their number instead. You don’t want to waste your time going on a date if there’s no connection whatsoever. Just dial #31# before entering their number, and your phone number will come up on their phone as a private number. I have to thank one of my single mum friends for that tip.
- Some people are just peculiar. It is no reflection on you.
- The silent treatment is not acceptable and may lead to ghosting down the track.
- Even when you think you know someone, you may not.
PS I have been nominated in the Mummy Blog Awards. If you enjoyed my blog post, I’d love your vote for Single Mother Survival Guide.
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