It’s true. I was a mess when I met Jason. It shouldn’t have worked out. On paper, this whole situation was the wrong timing. Here we are though, years later. Together. Sometimes the best things come from the most unexpected places and not following the rules. Read on for some encouragement for your relationship, even if you met at the wrong time, there are signs that you are meant to be together. So, it’s true, you can meet your future partner while you’re still in maternity pants and have a thriving marriage years later.
His recollection is that I was also wearing a polka dot headband the first time we met. I don’t remember that, but I do remember that I had maternity pants on because my skinny jeans didn’t fit and I felt self-conscious. I was 18, and I was now a post-partum mom. I had just given birth about 3 or 4 weeks prior and placed my son for adoption. I wasn’t looking for a relationship for that reason, and I had no plans to start one any time soon, or ever. Jason wasn’t looking for a relationship either. He made a pact with friends that he wasn’t dating for a year.
Interestingly, Jason was wearing a suit when I met him. This is a whole story in and of itself because he doesn’t wear suits. Ever. Not now, and not then. It just so happened the event we were at required him to dress up, and I think his clothes were all new, just for that night.
I guess you could say we were both bringing versions of ourselves that day that were an interesting first impression.
We were both at a college event at Jason’s school that night. I didn’t know he existed before then, and I was there to see some friends perform. I wasn’t a student, I was still just trying to figure out what you do after you have a baby. Very few people at that event even knew I was recovering from birth and truly, I didn’t really even want to go. I was depressed and still having postpartum recovery issues on top of an adoption and grief. It was simply a need for me to get out of the house, so I went.
I was talking to a friend that night after the concert was over when Jason showed up on the scene.
One thing you should know is that Jason is an extrovert. He’s a self-proclaimed introvert, but it’s so not true. He makes friends with everyone he meets. That night was true to form for the man I came to know and love. He saw me from across the room, and came to say hello because he liked the polka dot headband I guess. I, on the other hand, am an introvert. I definitely wouldn’t go out of my way to introduce myself to anyone. When Jason showed up, we all talked for a few minutes and then said our goodbyes. It was a pretty innocent meeting that night, and neither one of us thought much of it.
We ended up running in to each other a few times over the next few weeks, which was odd. It was really random occurrences, and every time I saw him, I enjoyed talking to him. I thought he was so cool and it seemed like our paths just kept crossing. We hit it off in every interaction, and I always enjoyed our conversations.
As our friendship grew, though, my anxiety grew too.
I knew that he was interested in me and I was definitely interested in him, but obviously, having just given birth a little while before, I was really a mess. I was in therapy, working, and just trying to put the pieces of my life back together. All my high school friends were in college and thriving, and I was just trying to get through the day in maternity pants and fit back in to my skinny jeans.
Neither one of us wanted a relationship.
It was the wrong time for me to meet someone to date, that’s for certain. I had told myself that I would be single and just figure things out – indefinitely. So as I began to like Jason more and more, and I knew I’d have to break the news to him about the pregnancy. I figured that I would just tell him and then he could go on with his life, and not have to deal with any unnecessary drama. I also felt like a broken person at that point in life. I didn’t think I was really worth talking too, and I just needed the space to heal.
One night we were on a walk together and I got up the courage to tell him. I could tell that our friendship was changing and I just needed to end things before it got too far down the road. He didn’t know all my dirt, and that night it just felt like the right time.
So I told him about the pregnancy and adoption. I laid it all out there for him, no holds barred. I wasn’t scared to tell him, I was resigned to the fact that this would be the beginning of the end of our friendship. I knew he would listen because he was nice, and I figured that he would slowly disengage after that and go on his way. It was a trust exercise and I assumed I knew the outcome. I didn’t want him getting bogged down with me, he had a lot to offer the world. At the time, I didn’t think I had anything to offer.
A funny thing happened though. He didn’t leave.
He didn’t slowly disengage. He leaned in. In the following days, he didn’t act any differently toward me. We were still friends and our friendship grew even more. We had so much fun together and I could see that he wasn’t rejecting me. That felt very good and it told me exactly who he was as a person and it spoke volumes for his character.
Then my first Mother’s Day came.
On the Friday before Mother’s Day, I came home to my apartment and found a card waiting. I knew Jason was leaving town to go home to visit his family for the holiday, and I already knew I wouldn’t see him because of that. We hadn’t talked much about Mother’s Day, I wasn’t considering it a holiday, I knew it would be a tough day.
I opened the envelope, and it was a Mother’s Day card. Jason was the first person in my life to acknowledge me as a mom, even though I didn’t have a baby with me. He got it. I knew right then that he understood and acknowledged my situation without judgment and with care and acceptance.
He saw me. If your partner really sees you, they are gentle, kind, understanding, and accepting of all of you. That’s the clearest way I’ve known we are meant to be together. I hope that is true for you too. He’s been by my side ever since. We’ve had the good, the bad, the ugly, and the very very very ugly. We are still here, and we still see each other.