I got divorced on July 4, 2018 – Independence Day. My ex-husband is American so it really was Independence Day. Two and a half years later I’m buying a house with my new boyfriend, who was my boss until a few months ago, so yes 2020 was QUITE THE YEAR! We had our first date in March, our first house viewing in July and we completed a week before Christmas nearly exactly 9 months after our first date and first kiss. In 2020, anything really can happen…
So what’s my story? I got married in June 2012, my daughter was born in November 2014 and my husband moved out in February 2017. I won’t go into the “why” because I’ve agreed to keep it confidential but let’s just say that some relationships don’t cope with going from couple to parents. 2017 was my annus horribilis: my dad died, my marriage broke down and I became a single mum.
Nobody can prepare you for the mental and physical load of being a single parent. Suddenly you have to decide everything on your own, and while it’s great to be able to choose what you want on telly, sometimes all you want is for somebody else to organise something, for somebody to plan something, somebody to cook you dinner and most importantly for someone else to take the bins out!
Why I say there is always hope though is because three and a half years later I’m moving in with my boyfriend, I’m more in love than ever and it’s clear that you must never give up on love, nor on yourself.
However, life is never simple. I’m not only moving in with my boyfriend but also his two teenage sons, one of whom will live with us full time. I really underestimated the complexity of suddenly becoming a step mum to teenage boys – who knew an intense 6-year-old was NOTHING compared to teenagers!
I’m also leaving North London to move to South London out of love and if you’re a Londoner you’ll know that says a lot!
So when did I introduce my daughter to this boyfriend? Literally the second time we met up after our first date because I knew straightaway that this was not a short-term thing, that this really could be it. I know it sounds crazy to be that sure after a first date but we had no doubts. We had known each other for a couple of years previously so he was not a stranger, which makes a massive difference. He already had two children and I knew what he’d done for his sons, so I knew that not only did I find him super sexy but he was also a great dad.
Let’s rewind to this first date – how did I even come up with the concept of asking my boss out for a date?! Two things: my aunt telling me “just ask him out of you fancy him!” and realising that we might not be in the office much over the coming weeks. I panicked at the idea of not seeing him anymore and had a feeling he might be feeling the same. So on a Tuesday evening, off we go to The Ned (my favourite bar in The City), have two drinks, and as he said to me “do you want a last drink” this happened:
Me: “This might be the most embarrassing moment of my life but I have to tell you that I really like you and I think you might like me”
Him: “I have been dreaming you would say that, I feel exactly the same”.
No, you’re crying 😊
At first I introduced him as my friend and my daughter, being quite inquisitive and clever, quickly asked if my friend was going to have another sleepover… I don’t remember exactly when I told her he was my boyfriend, but it didn’t take me long. This might seem crazy but I just knew that he was going to be in our lives for a long time and now I know he’ll be in our lives forever.
What also happened quickly is that my boyfriend and I came to the same conclusion – that we were meant to be together and that we wanted to live together as soon as possible. Once it was allowed we started viewing houses together and he put his flat on the market at the beginning of the summer. We had made a list of what we wanted in a house about six weeks after our first date and somehow, in a twist of 2020 crazy fate, we now live in a house that ticks all the boxes – it even has a palm tree in the garden which is always been one of my dreams. It’s completely surreal. I’ve gone from living alone with my daughter in a flat I bought with my ex-husband when I was pregnant to living in a house with three men south of the river.
We got lucky that’s for sure… when you want XYZ and you meet another person that wants XYZ and you’re super attracted to each other and they have all the characteristics and values that you look for in someone, it just fits together straight away, it just clicks, it just works, it just makes sense and there is no doubt. We still can’t believe our luck to be honest.
So my life as a single mum officially ended on the 17th of December when I started owning a house with a man who wasn’t even my boyfriend at the beginning of 2020.
People have said to me “Are you still a frolo?” in my mind, “once a frolo, always a frolo”. I’ve made amazing friends from Frolo and had I not become a single mum I wouldn’t have met these people and I would’ve had the fun times we had. Divorce was not fun nor easy, it’s been pretty difficult and it still is in some ways, but that was my path and now I know I’m really one of the lucky ones who’s hopefully found an amazing second husband.