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No Settling Allowed

"He must really like you."

Huh?

Some saleswoman came to the door trying to get me to switch cable companies. When I opened the door, the scent of the food New Boo and I were preparing hit her square in the face. She said, "Oh wow, something smells good. What are you making?" I told her we were doing pork chops. She was like, "Are you cooking or your husband?" I said, "We both are." The girl -- she couldn't have been more than 25 -- looked impressed as she said, "He must really like you."

Mind you, she'd called him my husband and I didn't bother to correct her. So in her mind, the man I've chosen to spend the rest of my life with has to really like me for us to be able to cook together.

As I thought about what she'd said, I got sad. What has this child seen that would make her think it was okay to marry a person who didn't like her? Was her life that devoid of love? It bothered me at first, but then I had to consider my life.

When I first got with The Man Formerly Known as the One, I honestly thought he was the best I could do. As a woman of a certain age, I thought that his brand of abuse-infested love was all I could hope for. I figured I'd just find a way to work around it and hold on to the fleeting moments of happiness I could find.

Then New Boo came into my life and changed everything. He made me see that it was possible to love someone and have them love you back. He's shown me the true meaning of reciprocity in relationships, and for that I'll be forever grateful.

Thanks to NB, I now know what it is that I need AND want. And even if we don't work out, I have to be forever indebted to him for the way he's expanded my horizons and made it impossible for me to settle for for foolishness.

If I could speak to that girl again, I'd tell her, "Yes, he does. Don't marry anyone who doesn't like you."

In other words, no settling allowed.

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I knew that tonight would be a pivotal moment in our history, and you did not disappoint. No matter what I thought before this evening, you addressed everything I needed clarification on. Thank you for that.
I had all kinds of fanciful thoughts in my mind about what this evening would be. I took every scenario I could and played it out to its end. Each and every one of them. And when I got to the one that actually happened, I thought to myself, surely he won't let this happen. Surely he cares more than that. If he reached out, surely he'll follow through.
But no...not you. You did what you always do. You stood me up, and you let me down. Again. 
I shouldn't be surprised. In fact, I'm not. No matter how much faith I try to put in you, you constantly prove that you don't deserve it. No matter how much I try to see the good in you, you always manage to bring the worst to the forefront. And if my feelings are hurt, it's my fault for trying.
You don…