I’m not as bent out of shape as I was yesterday about things with Hayden for various reasons, including 1) I’ve had time to process, 2) He’s still coming over tonight to meet my mom even though he won’t be staying overnight, and 3) I am pretty sure he’ll be hanging out with his brother solo (I think his brother’s GF already went back to England).

I really appreciate all the advice, opinions, and support. It’s definitely helped me process.

When he texted yesterday telling me about his plans with his brother, I immediately felt better. He didn’t mention his brother’s girlfriend. Additionally, he said he was meeting his brother in a bar. Those two tidbits meant his brother’s girlfriend probably already left town.

I felt better knowing I wasn’t deliberately excluded. I don’t blame him for wanting one-on-one brother time, but I would be pretty bent if he was meeting both of them because, well, it seems weird to me that he’d meet up with another couple without inviting his own girlfriend.

When I responded that of course Sunday worked for a sleepover, he said, “I’ll be over Friday night, too.” I was both thrilled he really wanted to hang out with my family and a little incredulous he invited himself. That was pretty ballsy but, hey, no worries. My family is casual.

I loved all the awesome comments yesterday and today… and I think every one of you may have hit the nail on the head, i.e.

  • It is apparent Hayden and I need to define our relationship.
  • He is most likely being a silly boy and simply not thinking about how excluding me from his life feels to me.
  • He and his brother may have their own cozy relationship that I suspect involves a lot of drinking and “hanging out” without talking about anything of substance. He may rightly believe involving me would upset their dynamic because, frankly, it would. And, if they drink heavily together, he might be concerned how I would feel about that considering our recent heavy discussions.
  • His avoidance in introducing me to his family is increasing my anxious attachment side. It’s that crazy push-pull dynamic in effect again!

I also believe it’s possible he hasn’t introduced a girlfriend to his family yet so maybe he’s uncomfortable about it. Or maybe he had a bad experience last time.

Maybe he prefers to compartmentalize his relationships.

I don’t know. And I hate to surmise because the real reason is likely nothing I could imagine. “Truth is stranger than fiction.”

I do feel like he’s fully integrating himself into my life but is not allowing me to do the same with his. Granted, I don’t think there’s much for me to integrate into. He doesn’t appear to have any friends, and the only family he’s in regular contact with is his brother and one female cousin. I did meet one of his coworker’s recently but it was accidental.

In really thinking about, I’m not really that interested in meeting his brother. It’s not about that. I’m butt-hurt for other reasons, including wondering if his brother knows I even exist. I just want to know I’m not Hayden’s dirty little secret. I’m a divorced mom 15 years older than him, after all. Maybe he doesn’t want judgemental comments.

If he doesn’t want me to meet his brother, I’m okay with that. I just want to know the reason why. Wondering is the hardest part.

All said, I still don’t know what it is I really want. I don’t know if I ultimately want a “serious” relationship with Hayden or anyone else, now or ever. I don’t plan to get married again, or even live with someone again for that matter. But I probably would like to have a boyfriend that joins me for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I really enjoy making my own decisions without running them by someone else first. If I want to visit out-of-town friends or family, I don’t want to ask “permission”.

Long ago, when I was in my 20s, my sister and I used to joke that we needed to find boyfriends who were orphans so that we didn’t have to split holidays with their families. In that way, Hayden is ideal. Since he’s not close with his family, it’s likely he’d happily give up holiday time with his family to spend with mine.

It will be hard for me to have this discussion with Hayden because it’s hard for me to articulate what I want and what I want from him. And maybe it’s not so much about that at all, but actually verbalizing where we are and where we hope to go together.