Love. 'Tis a splendid thing. A wonderful feeling. A warm emotion. Something that people, for some odd reason, LOVE to play with.
This is the story of Joy. Joy loved love. She had dreamed of it since she was a little girl. She hadn't had many relationships but the ones that she had been in, she never really gave her all. She gave as much as she received but what she didn't realize is, she fell quick and she loved hard.
Around 1996, she met an unusually handsome guy through mutual friends. He had a smile that would melt the Arctic icecaps. He was a gentleman and had a young daughter. They had such a connection and both had been through crappy relationships that each thought the other was a breath of fresh air. They ended up sleeping together on the first night. That turned into a 2 year blissful relationship. Or so she thought.
They both worked two jobs but found time to see each other. They both had a child from a previous relationship. They would have lunchtime picnics, exchange love notes, they had their own text language. She would visit him on his jobs. He would visit her on hers. Weekly or bi-weekly, he'd pick up her car on her 2nd job and take it to get detailed and bring it back to her smelling all good. A year in, she gave him the key to her apartment. He got even sweeter.
He had the most passionate kisses, warmest hugs, funniest jokes. He would bring his child over. They all got along. He would leave her little sweet love notes and presents. He would get off after she'd left for work in the morning and if he saw that the garbage needed taking out or that dishes needed washing, he would do it for her. She cooked for him. She met his friends. He often talked to her when he was around his friends. He was around her family.
One day she didn't hear from him. One day turned into three, turned into seven. She panicked. She went by his job, no luck. She wasn't authorized to be in the areas that he was in. He often snuck her into his job so she didn't want to make too much noise. The mutual friends? That hadn't heard from him either. As Joy searched for answers, she realized that she didn't know where his friends lived. She knew about where his Mom lived but had never officially met. Just "tell your Mom I said hi" through the phone and vice versa. OMG!
Was he dead?
She stopped short of filing a missing persons report or checking the morgue. A lot of realities hit her. She hadn't met his Mom. Didn't have her number, didn't know where she lived. Didn't have his brother's numbers, didn't know where they lived. She didn't know where the friends lived. How important was she in his life? They were going on year number two of their relationship. How could she be so stupid?
Are you okay?
Then she got a phone call. It was him. It had been two weeks. She was relieved and angry at the same time. He was having financial problems and decided to move in with his baby mother.
He assured her that he was sleeping on the couch and not romantically involved with her. He said he wanted to be with her (Joy) but he knew he'd have to marry her in order to live with her. And he wasn't financially ready for that. The next day, he called her as he done the last two years. But this time, he called her as if nothing happened. It was as if a weight had been lifted off of his shoulders and they could just pick up where they left off. He was okay. She was numb. She was broken. She was done and she was over it. He was fine. He was ready to just dive back in. As if nothing had ever happened. Back like he'd never left. TF is wrong with him?
So if you don't learn anything else, take this as a precautionary tale and rule of thumb to know when it's not your man.
If you have not met his children, that's not your man.
If you have not met his parents and they are alive, that's not your man.
If you have not met his closest friends and/or any friends, that's not your man.
If you can't be seen together in public, that's not your man.
If his ex still calls regularly & they don't have any children together, that's not your man.
If he turns into Mr. Fantastic to answer texts and/or phone calls, that's not your man.
If he hides his face in pictures or refuses to be photographed, that's not your man.
If he does disappearing acts and he's NOT apart of the circus, that's not your man.
If he has more excuses than a man or woman going to jail, that's not your man.
If he only tells you how he feels in the throes of passion or he never says it, that's not your man.
If he won't date you, that's not your man.
If he won't spend time with you, that's not your man.
If you don't know where he lives, his family lives, if you have never been to his house, that's not your man.
If you only hear from him between the hours of 10 PM and 4 AM, that's not your man.
If you have to call him and he never calls you, that's not your man.
If he talks in code, that's not your man.
If he doesn't answer at least 50% of the time and/or it takes him longer than 24 hours to return a text and when you are around him, he always has his phone in his hand, that's not your man.
If you happen to be out together and he introduces you by your name only or some moniker like shorty, boo or baby girl, that's not your man.
If he untags himself in your posts and/or pix, that's not your man.
If he hits you with the "what's understood doesn't have to be explained" and/or you find yourself saying that when people question your relationship status, that's not your man.
If it takes an act of Congress to get him to do anything relationship like, babygirl, that's not your man.
Did I leave anything out?
Want to know what happened with good ol' Brian? He ended up marrying the baby mama and having two more children. They ended up divorcing and he re-married and had three more children. Sigh.
*Names have been changed to protect the blindsided