Exit Biff, Stage Left.

I don’t know how much I want to blog about this, and I guess part of me wants to and needs to, and then part of me doesn’t. The thing is: I made a promise to myself to try out a year or so of blogging honestly about my life, and I’m going to stick with that.

So if you read my blog even semi-regularly, you know that I’ve been dating Biff and we’ve had great times and horrible times (steak anyone?). Lately, though, it’s been getting tougher and tougher (not talking about steaks anymore). Last week I struggled with a checklist I had in my mind and heart and the realization that I was justifying away every quality that was important to me. I wanted to date a man who was independent, employed, had transportation, was motivated, supportive, liked my cooking. Biff had some of these qualities…and I don’t just want to bash him. It doesn’t really matter what happened detail-wise with Biff, except that I started out having things that were very important to me in a relationship and I talked myself out of their importance. Why? Because I met Biff and we connected and he had very good reasons for not having some of those qualities. It’s a tough job market. He moved from Chicago so didn’t have a job. He loved me and wanted to work on the relationship and if I were just a little more patient, etc. etc.

Here’s my conclusion though. Those things were important to me. They never stopped being important to me. It may seem shallow to want a boyfriend who has a steady job and transportation, but it’s more than that. (And I don’t think it’s shallow.) I’ve decided that I don’t even want or need to justify it to myself anymore. I want a man who has his life together. I want a partner. I want someone who is as focused and motivated as I am. I want a man to treat me and my kids kindly. I want a man who can talk through issues without attacking me or defending himself.

I saw some scary things this weekend. Hints of deep, residing anger. Biff said some mean and threatening things. I went to a girlfriend’s place until I felt safe. And I understand that it came from a place of fear on his part of having to look for a place to stay and to take care of himself, but the things he said to me were not okay. I’m only glad that it happened when my kids weren’t around. It was a tough weekend and I feel sad and confused and mad at myself for letting it go on as long as it did. I’m not sleeping. I’m still scared. But I have friends looking out for me.

I learned a lot. I learned that it was great dating someone creative who understood that part of me. I also learned that my needs are important. I can feel sympathy for someone going through a tough time, but I can’t fix them or support them or take over their life. I’ve got enough on my plate. I’m trying to look at this as an empowering experience. I think the longer the relationship went on, the more dangerous things would’ve become. That huge fight we had this summer wasn’t an anomaly; it was a pattern.

Biff is, at the heart, a good guy. At least I think he is. I think he’s deeply wounded though (aren’t we all?). He’s lost, and hurt, and wanting someone to make his life easier. But he’s got to do it for himself. “Out of ruin comes transformation” was a line in “Eat Pray Love” I connected with. I’m not ruined by this. Biff might be for a time and either he’ll find someone else to support him, or he’ll finally land on the ground and take care of himself.

Am I angry? A little. But just at myself. I’m moving forward. And I’m moving forward a little bit smarter, a little bit stronger, and a little more sure of the person I want to share my life with. He’s a great guy. Kind and funny and warm. I just haven’t met him yet. Or maybe I have met him, but the timing has been wrong.

I’m certain of this.

And I’m certain of this for my girlfriends too. It’s not about finding the love of your life. It’s about finding your self. Be strong. Listen to you heart. Know that what is important to you matters…no justification needed. If you need a man who likes waffles, you need a man who likes waffles. Wait for it.

Sorry to wax self-help here…

Actually, I’m not sorry about it at all. Not one bit.

(Insert smiley face or warm, happy smile here. I’m going to end up somewhere wonderful. Even if it takes a bit longer to find exactly where wonderful is located.)