Previously on Sex Love and Obesity – Part 11 we left of with me falling in love with Peter. Love happens when you least expect it, it’s not something you decide to feel, it’s just suddenly there and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about.

I lied to everyone around me. I didn’t tell my closest friends that we had slept together. I didn’t admit that I was in love. At the time I thought I was doing it because I was ashamed.  I still hadn’t filed for a divorce. It was complicated, the financial ties made it nearly impossible. I was still living with Clark (Superman) and not telling him the truth about how I felt or how things had changed.

I realize now that I was lying because I was looking for validation. I was sharing only the pieces I wanted people to know because I wanted them to help me convince myself that loving Peter was a good idea. I wanted them to help me make myself feel safe in giving my heart away.

I got back on a plane two weeks later and went to see Peter for Christmas.

That trip was as wonderous as the last one had been. It was magical. The grandiose gestures of romance continued to impress me. The yellow roses were there waiting for me again.

A few weeks earlier we had a conversation while I was cooking, we had discovered with both hated cilantro. “I hate Cilantro too Pandora, will you marry me? We’re perfect for each other,” he, I realized later only half way joked. I had countered with, “Before I ever considering marrying anyone else they are going to have to give me a list of 100 reasons why I should.”

On this trip I was gifted with a beautifully hand-written journal of 100 reasons why we should be together. It was these sorts of thoughtful, above the top gestures of love that kept winning my heart. Nobody had ever tried so hard to get my attention and affection. I had never been courted like this.

The more we together the more certain I was that he was Prince Charming and that “happily ever after” wasn’t some mystical unattainable fairy tale ending.

When I left Peter that second time, I was convinced that I would be moving there.

Two weeks later we were at Disneyworld for a magical 12-day Disney Vacation. I had 6 days at Disney planned while I did the Dopey Challenge, he had an Anniversary/Birthday trip with his soon to be ex-wife that hadn’t taken place that he decided to add-on to my stay so that he could come cheer me on as I took on my first marathon. “You’re always supporting others for their first big finish line, someone needs to be there for yours,” that’s what he told me when he suggested that we combine our trips.

You can’t spend 12 days in the most magical place on earth with a new-found love a NOT feel like a princess. That trip was amazing. Again, everything was perfect. He stood at my finish lines with race signs that made other ladies stop at take pictures. “On a scale of 1-10 my Princess is a 13.1.” He tapped my ankles, he gave me an ice bath to help my muscles recover from running 48.6 miles in 4 days.

By the time it was over, I was 100{6e74c841b8f362d8aea590534016dc569fd3035eeb9e530df8846b42682c6656} convinced I was going to move to Massachusetts to be with him. In fact, we planned another trip so that I could start looking for a job. I was so smitten, so in love, so lost in all the romantic gestures. I really wasn’t paying attention or looking for any early warning signs that things might not be as perfect as I thought they were. You know what they say, love makes you look at things with rose-colored glasses.

We had our first fight right before that Disney trip.

It was an argument about money. He was annoyed that I complained about finances so much. In fairness, so far, he had paid for nearly everything we had done together. I struggled to save money for the things I really wanted but prioritized them. He didn’t agree with my priorities. He questioned whether I really needed another $75.00 running skirt or another $25.00 tank top to match it. I questioned why what I did with the money I had set aside as spending money was any of his business.

The argument had started because I had complained that I had to pay more than I had expected toward the household grocery budget when Clark was a little short that month. It meant I would have less spending money than I had wanted for the trip. It got a little ugly when Peter started to tell me how I needed to tell Clark how to budget and spend his money and I dug my heels in the sand and said that what Clark did with his money was no more my business than what I did with my money was Peter’s business. None of us were married, none of us were in relationships where our finances were combined.

We’d gotten through the argument unscathed.

Couples have arguments; it’s natural. We worked it out. I had chalked it up to a new relationship and learning how each other view things, what the expectations are. My expectations were that until we moved past “dating” and “living together” and got to the point that he was changing my last name, my finances were just that, my finances. If I could pay my part of the bills, hold up to any financial agreements we made together, what I did with my money was my business. His expectations were different. I’m not him, so I can’t say for sure what his expectations were, but to me it felt like from the moment we decided to start dating I was suddenly expected to combine our incomes into one big pool.

When I got back from Disney I found out that things at work were going to be changing. My hours were going to be getting cut in half. It made the prospect of relocating to Massachusetts even more appealing.

We started bickering more often. I couldn’t really tell you about what. Little tiny arguments here and there. I blamed most of it on the distance between us and an unspoken insecurity I felt existed but would get better when we were together on a regular basis.

It was enough that when I went to Massachusetts to look for jobs and realized that I wasn’t really at a place in my career where I could get the sort of job I really wanted, it made the thought of leaving a place where I was a big fish in a little pond instead of a little fish in a big pond much less attractive. The tiny little arguments gave me a reason to pause, to dig my heels in the sand and reconsider the leap of faith I was about to take.

Of course, when I was in Massachusetts, when I was with Peter, all the magic was there. I didn’t want to give that up. I was convinced we were in love. I really had no doubt about that. But, I thought we were moving too fast. Making big life decisions that I wasn’t 100{6e74c841b8f362d8aea590534016dc569fd3035eeb9e530df8846b42682c6656} sure we should be making. I wanted to press pause, wait a year, see how life played out and make sure we were making the right choices for the right reasons.

Peter refused to do that. He didn’t want to wait. He most definitely didn’t want to be in a long-distance relationship. Even more he didn’t want to be in a long-distance relationship with someone who was living with one man, married to another, trying to tie up the loose ends of her life. I was nowhere near ready for a big commitment, but he was pretty much demanding all or nothing and choosing nothing and risking losing that magic chemistry we had when we were in bed together wasn’t an option I was willing to consider. Because in case I didn’t make this clear before, the sex was amazing.

Instead of me moving to Massachusetts he decided to move to North Carolina. I asked Clark to move out when our lease was up at the end of May and Peter and I started planning happily ever after.

Only happily ever after didn’t end up being happy at all.

Stay tuned for Sex Love and Obesity Part 13 – Happily Ever After Took A Nose Dive.DSSPostSig

Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and Cooper Institute Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies. Her training and coaching services are offered exclusively through GoGirl Fitness Studio.