Yesterday, I saw one of my clients from the very first class I taught almost 8 years ago!
She works at a diner in my town and I was there meeting with other business women in a mastermind group. Betsy, came over, greeted me and then whispered in my ear – I have a boyfriend now. Then she giggled. How cute! Betsy has been divorced and alone for 29 years. She didn’t want to put much time into looking for a man or getting out and claimed she was tired a lot. Betsy didn’t have the energy or spirit to really put all of my strategies into play.
But something different must have happened because now she has a boyfriend!
My friends all started commenting about how much better Betsy was looking. "She has makeup on." "She looks happy." "She’s smiling and seems to have more energy." They observed many positive changes in Betsy. I told them she has a new boyfriend.
At one point I got up to look at something and Betsy flew over taking advantage of me being away from my friends. She said that she didn’t know if this was the right thing because he wanted to be with her more often then she wanted. "I really only want a man for Saturday night. The rest of the time I’m used to being on my own. John wants to come over, sit on the coach and watch TV with me. I can’t be bothered. I miss my alone time."
Honestly, I was floored. Betsy used to complain how she had nothing to do and no one to do it with. And now that she has companionship available to her, she misses her free time?
Maybe Betsy likes to complain…
I totally understand what a change of lifestyle this can be for someone out of practice in the relationship department. It’s hard when you’ve been alone for a while, I know. Everyone is entitled to live life the way they want to. But I couldn’t help myself. I had to say something.
So I said, "Betsy, you have finally found a nice guy who wants to spend time with you. Please stretch yourself and find a way to compromise. Let him know you can’t spend all your free time with him, but for heaven’s sake, if you want to keep him around, once a week is not going to work." She admitted that she knew this is true.
You can feel free to negotiate the amount of time you want to spend with your partner. Not everyone wants a 24/7 relationship and that’s cool. But if you want to be in a relationship, you have to BE IN IT! And that means spending time with the person. Otherwise, you don’t really want a relationship.
For some women who have taken themselves out of the loop for a long period of time, they get very used to and feel satisfied with going to work and coming home at night. Often there isn’t much of a social aspect. If this has happened to you, please ask yourself these questions and answer honestly, "Am I really OK with being alone so much, or have I grown accustomed to it? Have I become socially lazy?
If you can honestly answer yes, you enjoy all the alone time, more power to you! Being content with where you are is an amazing achievement. But if you are pushing down feelings of loneliness by saying you don’t want to be bothered, this is limiting your life and your opportunities for growth and joy.
I encouraged Betsy to talk with John and negotiate a schedule that can make them both happy. She said she would do that. I pointed out that if she doesn’t find a way, she’d be right back to where she was before, lonely and sitting on the couch with her feet up watching TV every night.
I sure hope she stretches past her comfort zone to find the room in her home, in her schedule and in her heart for this man. A man isn’t the answer for everything, but it sure can be nice to have a good man around.