happiness is...

happiness is...
kenya 2010

Friday, February 3, 2012

dead guinea pigs, and other reasons people break up

in case you are wondering how things are going with "4 dates guy", you can stop. they aren't.

after my nightmare of a new year's eve date, the next man i found myself out with was a breath of fresh air. he was smart, funny, sweet, spiritual, genuine, and warm- and best of all, he was into me. at the time of that blog post, he and i had been out on several dates, had a few more planned, and there was no end in sight. i should have known better.

maybe it was wishful thinking. i haven't had an actual boyfriend in 3 1/2 years (if i have dated you in the past 3 1/2 years and you are just now finding out that you weren't my "boyfriend", i am sorry you had to hear it this way. haha...kidding!). those 3 1/2 years have been good years, but they were often lonely years. i have learned to be happy by myself, and have also learned the art of simply d.a.t.i.n.g. without having to lock into a relationship, but i won't pretend that there isn't a part of me that has longed to find someone exclusive. someone to get excited about. someone that i actually want to talk to, or see, daily. someone to not only go do the fancy things with, but also the mundane. the share-a-cup-of-coffee-and-read-the-paper-on-sunday-morning-with guy. this guy reminded me that i was looking for that. this guy made me believe that i hadn't exhausted all my possibilities. this guy was possibilities.

all of our dates were good- including the one that caused the crash and burn. maybe especially the one that caused the crash and burn. how odd, but how true. we had a super packed, super fun afternoon/evening planned. we started with the mundane which included a hike in the woods near my house with my dog and thrift store shopping, and ended with the fancy- drinks and appetizers downtown, a couple's massage (which just means we both got a 30 minute relaxation massage at the same time), and a sushi and ramen dinner at yokohama. we laughed, we held hands, we wandered, we gazed into each others' eyes...and then it happened.

he got the call- or as i like to think of it, "The Call". it was a call from his 12 year old son, sobbing, and saying that their guinea pig had died. tragic, yes. life changing? it was for me. you see, that call destroyed our possibilities. to me, it was a sad call but part of life. pets die. kids cry. life goes on. to him, it was an accusation of failure. failure as a husband (ex), father, human being. it saturated him in guilt and shame. it plunged him into the realization that if he could have kept his marriage from crumbling he would be there for his children in this, their time of need. it brought with it a conviction that if he wasn't with me, 2 1/2 hours from home, on a date, he could have driven home to comfort his children. it magnified the truth that there isn't yet room in his heart for his children and a new girlfriend. when he left me after our date, i got the sense he was leaving me for good.

i hate being this intuitive...sometimes i hate being right. today i got the "you are an amazing woman with a wonderful spirit" email. oh how i hate that email. he was kind and gracious and said all the right things- except "you are wrong, i am not ending this." that was the only thing i was hoping to hear. in fairness, i already knew this wouldn't be permanent because last night made it painfully clear that he is not, ever (no matter how old they are), going to move away from his children to some remote village on some far away continent, to do mission work by my side.

but a girl can dream.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Karin, I'm sorry for you, because this really hurts, and hurting hearts are so painful. However, I think it's great you had this opportunity, this "taste" so to speak, of what is waiting for you at the end of this long dark tunnel.

    I wish it were easier, but... when God is finished molding Mr Right into YOUR perfect man, HE will see to it you find each other! You are such an amazing woman, and you have impacted so many people's lives already, God's got a lot of work to do molding you that perfect man! He's going to be something very special!

    In the mean time, I hope you continue to blog your life away, because I am truly enjoying the ride! :-+

  3. George W from Cary, NCFebruary 4, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    for a fact, Karin, it is asking a lot of a man to drop everything and live in a hut in a third world country. you are setting the bar pretty high.

  4. George W from Cary, NCFebruary 4, 2012 at 12:37 AM

    but that doesn't make the pain any less.

  5. As I have grown through this year of reclaiming my own life after my divorce in may, I have to say I have at times felt the way "beau" does. I'm sure the circumstances of his divorce are different than mine, but that fact is that there are always times in everyone's life when we say "what if". I'm sure that this sad time in Beau's life will pass & he will realize at some point, as I have, that I'm better off now. This this unfortunate life lesson is exactly that. He can't be there for his kids always. Even if this happened while he was a half of an hour away, he still would have felt guilt of some kind, & it would have been that way whether he was with you or his buddy or his coworkers. This WILL pass. If he feels the same way about you as you feel about him, he will be back. Just be careful with dads. You can't expect to ever occupy the ENTIRE heart. There is only so much room. It's the balance between his love for his kids & his love for you that is important. That is something that comes with time & a lot of figuring it out & patience. I don't know how long it's been since his marriage ended, but if it's within a year, there's a lot of f'd up thoughts that go through the head. The extremes really come to light. One day you want to end it all, the next you are filled with so much joy that it hurts. As enough time passes, these extremes lessen. Life begins a new routine. The dream you have is asking a lot, but is possible. Good dads won't give up their kids to live in a hut when they are too young but as these kids age, and leave the nest, the possibilities are way better, but can you wait that long for Mr. Right?

  6. true enough, george...that is what make the pain even greater- the fact that there is such a limited pool of possibilities. it would be hard enough to find someone that would be willing to pick up and move to denver, much less africa or nepal. as called as they feel to stay and attend to their lives here, i feel even more called to go where i'm needed most- and i doubt that's denver. i trust god will honor my desire for someone to stand by my side... but i don't yet trust him every minute. and i wish he'd hurry up. haha. likely, "hut guy" is already in the mission field somewhere waiting for me. :0)

  7. belinda- thank you. your words are always comforting and inspiring to me. :0)

    mike- thank you for the insight. i know you've been through a lot this past year (longer, really) and have grown so much in that time. he is still somewhere on that journey. i don't think he would have ended up taking the full journey with me, though, no matter how much he heals. i knew it was probably time-limited, but i was hoping that at the very least i had found some companionship to help fill up the time before i go. i should watch what i wish for...because i am sad enough after a few weeks together. i don't think it would have felt better at the end of 2 years.

    i will disagree with you on one point. there isn't "only so much room". that's the great thing about love- the more you give, the more it expands and grows. it isn't something with a limited supply, and once you give what you've got, you're out. the heart has plenty of room for everyone you want to love- it only us and our fears that limit that space. (now, a SCHEDULE may be a different story! lol).

  8. FWIW, Karin is absolutely wonderful and many of us here know that. I will never forget the day that I met her. It was magical. I felt like Fred Astaire afterwards and almost did a dance number! Yes, this is a very special woman. -Drew

  9. Karin,

    You look MORE GORGEOUS on the mission field with your hair in a ponytail than you do all gussied up for your NYE date. I URGE, ENCOURAGE you to read "Kisses from Katie" (if you haven't already. I want you to be the BEST KARIN that God made you to be (emphasis on the RIN) :).

    You are right about love. The more you give, the more you have to give. It's this world that lies to us. It's when we get selfish that we think we are "out of love." (Boy is this ever good advice for myself).

    Even though I know your heart was/is hurt: You are a beautiful woman placed where God wants you. EVEN if it is on the mission field. If a man can't understand that, then he's not a man of GOD.

    I pray you find a man of God to be by your side.


  10. Wow Karin! I am so sorry to hear about that. I'm not nearly as beautiful as you. So if you are struggling, I imagine a girl like me won't stand a chance!

    Mike, shame on you for warning Karin away from single dads! Men who are dads (and not sperm donors) are truly nurturing plus they probably know how to cook. I, personally, don't have kids but wouldn't mind having some that I didn't have to squeeze out and change diapers for. But you're a man and probably won't understand that. Just kidding!

    Karin, you're right about the love. Love is unlimited! However, if you went out with a single dad for a few weeks and never met his kids, sorry but you didn't pass a test. Did he even show you pics of them and tell you their names?

    Wow Drew! That is quite an endorsement. If you ever become available, please let me know. It would mean the world to me to have a guy think that way about me. I may not be Ginger Rogers, but I would love to dance with you- in high heels and backwards!

  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  12. I'm very flattered by your kind words Hilary. Since you mentioned how Karin is more attractive than you, I want to emphasize that looks isn't the only thing. Experts say men are visual, but the right woman has to be able to melt my heart. I have known Karin for a couple of years before I really started liking her. It was her personality, love for others, and sense of humor that got me. Now that I know her better, she has become very attractive in my eyes.

    I also have to criticize Mike's comments: "Just be careful with dads. You can't expect to ever occupy the ENTIRE heart." Sorry Bro, but the same thing can be said for single guys. A lot of them are addicted to drugs, alcohol, video games, cars, etc. My kids are a bonus. When I like and trust a woman enough, she gets to meet them and often finds them to be wonderful. In the right scenario, the woman and my kids tend to get along. This can lead to a nice happy family.

    Karin obviously prefers someone who will travel overseas and do mission work with her. That's not my gig. However, one thing is certain: I am great at keeping the home fires burning. Dinner will be ready and warm when my woman comes home- I'm a master at the crockpot. I have training in giving massages. I'm romantic- I write the sweetest love notes and even read/write poetry. I'm also in decent shape. So yeah, in addition to all of the above, I have other ways of keeping my sweetie warm.

    All that being said, please don't refer to me as leftovers. Drew is not chopped liver.

  13. wow, lively discussion! haha... hilary, i will remove your post at your request so your personal email isn't out there for all to see. i wish i could help you out- but i have long ago sworn off "matchmaking" for about a zillion reasons- not the least of which is that if i like him enough to recommend him, i probably don't want to share him and if i don't, then i wouldn't wish him on you either. ;) kidding! but seriously... any of the wonderful men in my life (either past or present) would be great catches- but they'll have to find their way to the loves of their lives the old fashioned way. i've had bad luck trying to assist god and/or cupid.

  14. and drew... thanks for the sweet words (although i am not sure some of that was a compliment! lol)... and you're right. you would be a good catch for a closer-to-home kinda' girl. :)

  15. Oops, just trying to say that I don't recognize a person's outer beauty until I first see their inner beauty. Trust me Karin, you are beautiful BOTH inside and outside. -Drew

  16. Ok. So I retract the statement that the heart only has so much room. I agree that it definitely can expand. What I was poorly trying to convey,and Karin you know me well, so I know that you know what I was trying to say is that NEWLY single dads, like myself, are full of confusion and relearning how to be single and a good person & a good dad. In the early months of my divorce, I felt overwhelmed many times. My comment about occupying the entire heart still stands, for I believe no one can occupy someone else's entire heart. There is room for your children, a girlfriend, you regular friends and of course GOD. There's even room for an ex. I was just trying to state that SOME newly divorced dads MAY find the balancing or portioning of their heart difficult until the heart heals & has enough health to grow. I hope your readers can understand that for a guy who has never been divorced before, this is ALL new to me. We all are unique and have to find our way through life's difficulties. With Gods help, you will find your way & I will find mine. Lots of love to you & if anyone else has a problem with my comments, sorry, my heart has yet to heal & grow.

  17. mike, you have a heart as big as anyone i know. :) that's why i know how much room it has. (hugs)