GF 1 (a lion tattoo)
I understood the impulse. Divorce. Triumph. Get a tattoo to celebrate. But, I wasn’t into it.
She was lovely. She was my first real attempt at dating post-divorce. She had two older kids. We laughed and talked a lot about kids, love, divorce, and romance. We were both graduates of the same local divorce recovery class. It was almost a cult. Each “semester” a new crop of healed graduates would be anointed and we’d share a party together. All the damaged and now healed people in one room, to sniff around, chat up, and consider the possibilities.
We didn’t meet at a “reunion” party. We met over a beer after a few chats on Match.com. As we started talking the language of the recovery model came out. “You’ve been to the WYRE class?” (When Your Relationship Ends – I highly recommend the book) After that everything was easy. Our “language” matched up.
As we were chatting on the back porch of my house a week later, she said, “I could be the healing relationship for you, and that’s okay. I’ve already had mine. But, I could be that for you.”
What she meant was this: usually, the first relationship you have after divorce is called a “healing relationship.” When you start out, you’re a bit damaged, perhaps not feeling particularly loveable. But as the relationship matures and you begin recovering your old self, your vital self, your loveable self, you often outgrow your healing relationship. You are reconstituted. And, it becomes apparent that this first relationship is not going to be the long-term relationship you are seeking.
Turns out she was spot on. And, I’m not going to blame it on the tattoo, but it was a hurdle at first. It was an 8-inch lion’s head across her tummy. Hard to miss, impossible to ignore. But it wasn’t the tattoo. We grew together, played together, and I learned that I wanted something different. She was lovely. She was my first. And she is still a friend with a lion tattoo. GF-1.
Read more Short-Short Stories from John.