I am flooded with memories today about my Dad who passed away suddenly yesterday. He was 90 and lived a good long life and left this world without any drama or suffering for which I feel very grateful.
In any case, when I was dating my husband Paul, we got to this place where I was ready to be engaged and he…was not. He felt rushed and not ready to commit to marriage, although he was totally committed to a monogamous relationship with me. But I wanted more. So I broke things off with him, truly the hardest thing I ever did.
I did tell Paul that when he was ready to move forward to please let me know, otherwise I was going to find a man who was ready. He called me to negotiate again, not wanting to let go. He made some big points here in my book. I told him I had to travel and we could talk again in two weeks.
So much of what I share with you today is based on the hard lessons I learned on my own. I don’t recommend the ultimatum course of action to anyone unless you are sure you can really walk away if your man doesn’t come around. I was prepared to do just that.
I went on a business trip followed by a trip to Florida to see my parents. I was torn about what to do. Should I really walk away from a good man who wasn’t on the same time table as I was? I went to my Dad for guidance not knowing what he would say. I did know my parents really liked Paul.
Here’s what my father said to me that changed the course of my life:
“Ronnie Ann, you are already 41 years old and still single. Paul is a good man. He loves you and you love him. If it takes him another three months to get ready, wouldn’t it be worth it to give him that time? What do you have to lose at this point? Its just three months. I suggest you give him a few more months and see if he comes around. You can always leave and find someone else if you have to right?”
I’m not sure how much true wisdom there is available in today’s world. But my father sure shared some wise thoughts with me that day. And as I sit here typing this I feel unbelievably lucky for so many reasons. But I wanted to share this one in particular with you.
With his wise words in mind, I returned to Connecticut and got together with Paul. He had two weeks to think things through as well. He didn’t want to lose me and I didn’t really want to leave him and we talked about that. I told him he had a little more time (although I didn’t tell him how much).
Paul moved in within the next 6 weeks and within two months, he asked me to marry him. Paul had some previous relationship issues that he had to make sure wouldn’t get repeated with me before turning the corner.
Thanks Dad for reminding me that time is everything. Use what you have wisely. When you have time to spare, do share it. When its limited, think carefully about what you are doing. I might have ruined everything in my hurry to get what I wanted if it weren’t for my Dad.
Thanks Dad – you will be missed.