Thank you for so many thoughtful replies. I just re-read and am embarrassed to admit I didn't even see some answers before, making it appear I ignored them. It's been a hectic week here with major home projects going on.
I'm thinking a lot more about why this is causing upheaval in my mind. To put this in perspective, I'm usually pretty clear-minded. I know my path, I can look at possible futures and know what I want, I set goals, I pursue them. My emotions, too, are usually quite clear to me. To me, it's very unusual--and very unsettling--to not even know what I want.
And I realized I don't really know what I want. I do
know I don't want it to end. Not right now. Not next week. But I'm seeing there's a big leap from "I don't want it to end any time soon" to "I want it to last forever." I'm pretty happy with it exactly as it is, but I have no idea if I'd want it to stay like this forever, become something more traditional and/or lives more deeply entwined, or just be a temporary thing until (cough) 'a real boy' comes along.
You have something NOW that makes you happy but you are worrying about something you are not even sure that you WILL want. Why spoil one bit of today for an uncertain future possibility of a desire?
Yes, you're right. Is there any point in psychoanalyzing ourselves and understanding where some of this stuff comes from? I was raised by a power-career type father to always be very action-oriented, always pursuing a goal, something bigger and more.
For what it's worth, I've always gone my own way in life regardless, and really pissed my dad off by doing it, but maybe this is something I still came away with too big a dose of. I have long thought that BF may have a lot to teach me about enjoying the moment. In many ways, I do, but I'm always looking to the future as I do, and this time, I can't. I can only
enjoy the moment.
Regardless, it bothers me to--for possibly the first time in my life--not even know what it is I really do want.
At nine months, you're likely still very much in NRE, too.
I think this is part of what bothers me. I talked about it more in the thread I started about love. When I first knew BF years ago, I knew there would be an attraction between us if we were both available. He's told me he noticed me immediately, too. Being who we are, we weren't
available, that was that, neither of us pursued so much as thoughts about it. Now that I'm divorced and it turns out he is
available, I'm not feeling what I expected to. I don't feel
that head over heels 'in love' stuff, although I like him, respect him, admire him, am amazed by him, love every single minute I spend with him, never want to leave, and am already counting the minutes till I see him again.
But I don't have that I'm going to die if I can't be with you
It may be that I'm older, as suggested in the thread. I think it has a lot, possibly even everything, to do with him being married and being afraid to really feel too much for him.
It makes it hard to know what I want.
Is there a reason he can't be there for the kids?
He's very worried about how my kids would react to me seeing a married man, what kind of trouble my family would make over it, if it would cause my kids to get upset with me. Also, he has virtually no experience of any sort with children and jokes (though I think he means it) that his swinger lifestyle and all the things he's done make him a little unsuitable to be around children.
By contrast, I
see a person who's kind to and thoughtful of my kids in many ways: in thinking about how the presence of a married man in my life would affect them; in respecting my time with them (I just had a friend tell me how her boyfriend was always pressuring her to leave her kids alone to go out with him--BF has NEVER done that); in the way he treats them the few times he's been around them (they've all met him a few times, before he and I were seeing each other, and a couple of times since, but without knowing he's anything more than a friend.)
I actually can see him as a very
good mentor, and friend to my kids sometime in the future. I think the real stumbling block, apart from his own beliefs about himself, is that they would not know how to handle the concept of their mother seeing a married man.
I think that relationships change and grow in their own time and their own fashion if you let them. Trying to force a relationship into a pre-set pattern because that is how it "should" go, to me, seems to add an unnecessary stress that could be avoided (and may be harmful to the current relationship). My relationships with friends are allowed to stay "just friendships" without pressure to be "more" - yet those relationships also change and grow.
Thank you. Wise words. I have thought about the fact that I don't expect platonic friendships to grow into anything in particular. Of course, we live in a society that has very different understandings and expectations of platonic and romantic relationships.
Again, could be NRE. All that yummy stuff you want and your brain naturally goes to, without considering practical realities.
I think maybe this is part of what is beginning to scare me--afraid that it is
NRE on his part, afraid that he'll wake up one morning, see all my flaws, come to his senses, and suddenly not be that into me after all. I think some things that happened with my ex-husband particularly make me fear this.
Again, thank you all for your thoughtful replies. I can't tell you how much I appreciate having someone (many someones!) to talk to about this.