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June 2, 2013

Prom, Dating, Knowing Your Worth

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/prom_dating_red_flags_knowing_your_worth/

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My son went to his Junior Prom this weekend. He looked so handsome and grown up that it took my breath away. As we took pictures I stared at this man and wondered where the time had gone.  He has grown up in what feels like a minute and I cannot wrap my head around it.  He is tall, handsome, smart, funny, gentle, kind, bold, brave, and has a tight grasp on his morals, faith, and his future.

He is very independent and the truth is that since he got his own car he is not around that much. I used to hate schlepping him everywhere and now I miss it because our time together in the car was a chance to talk and catch up.  We still talk of course, but it is different now.  He loves me and will always need me, but is becoming less dependent on me, which makes me both proud and sad.

My son has all the qualities I value in a man.  I have raised him to respect women, his faith, and himself. He is loving and kind and takes very good care of my heart. He knows this is an interesting time of transition for our relationship and he works hard to make it gradual for me, not a severe change. He allows me to let go slowly and I am grateful.

I love him and it occurred to me today that rather than compare men to my last love, I should  comparie them to the man I love most.  My son. I had a date this weekend and in talking to him to make plans, he told me he did not want his kids or ex to know he was dating. It was a red flag to me and though I did not say anything when he originally said it, it bothered me.

I asked my son if he would date someone who wanted to keep it a secret and he said no.  He felt that if someone was not proud to date him, he was not interested. I told him what my date said and he told me I was fabulous and that nobody is allowed to keep me a secret.  He was offended by the comment and so I did what I knew I should have done when he said it, I cancelled.

I wrote him to cancel rather than call because he was with his kids and since he does not want them to know he is dating, I wanted to be respectful and sent him an email.  I then texted him to check his email as I wanted to make sure he knew I was not coming, and also that I was being respectful of his choice to not involve his kids by not calling when I knew they were together.

He was defensive, but he never called, just wrote back. If he had been interested, and was not still somehow hung up on his ex, he would have called and explained. Instead he got mad, sent an email saying he did not love her, and sealed the deal for me. I was happy I cancelled, and happy my son reminded me of my own worth and to not settle.

It wasn't just my son either.  I asked a friend and he said if I was hesitating I should not go. I asked my Twitter followers if it was a red flag and the overwhelming response was yes.  I have lost confidence in my ability to make decisions since my last relationship ended.  He broke my heart, which will mend, but more hurtful is he broke my spirit and left me scared.

I am scared to trust myself, or trust others.  I need to get over that and canceling my date was the first step to getting there.  I went with my gut, and even though it was uncomfortable and took me a minute, I trusted my instincts. Judging by his response, I did the right thing.  In the words of my son, I am fabulous and if a man does not get it, and is not proud to be with me, he is simply unworthy.

My son is growing up and after all this time of teaching him things, he is now teaching me.  If I am going to expect him to value himself and be respectful of the people he loves, and those he doesn’t, then the best way to make sure he does is to do the same thing myself.  My son had a blast at the Prom, I dodged a dating bullet, and in the end learned a lot about myself.

I am a great mother.  One of the best actually.  I am a great friend, sister, and daughter.  I am a fun date, a wonderful girlfriend, and a kind and decent human being.  I am worthy of all the things I want for myself, and nobody is going to take that belief away from me. I am happy, I am healthy, and I am whole.  I had a great weekend, which happens when I keep the faith.

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