So here’s the scene:

Last week, a pit bull at the dog park lunged to attack our sweet Randy (a large, white husky who resembles a dire wolf).

My boyfriend got between the two dogs and the pit bull chomped down on his arm.  

He released right away so no terrible damage, but definitely needed a trip to the Urgent Care.

So there we were, sitting in the room waiting for the doctor.  

Now I am a mom to the core. I have three teenage sons.

I was an ER nurse for 15 years too so I’m a natural caregiver.  

I try not to control situations, but by nature, I usually take the lead with stuff like this.

So in walks the doc, he appears to be 80-ish  years old.

He greets my boyfriend and then turns to me and says “and you must be mom?”

I pride myself on being a pretty mild-mannered human being.  

I have been called many horrible things in my life and in my career, but I can usually just shrug things off.

That little statement seared into my very soul.  

I had a visceral response. Heat rushed up to my face and I immediately felt nauseated.

What in the mother of all that is holy is happened to me right now?

I was able to maintain composure and respond that I was in fact his girlfriend.  

The visit wrapped up and we left.

I was traumatized.  

Of course there have been jokes here and there over the years that we have been dating.  I get the cougar reference and laugh it off.

I realized on the drive home that this felt different.  I felt different and I needed to investigate this within myself.

I never sought out a younger man.  

This, in fact, is the first healthy relationship of my life and I am 43 years old.

I got married to my first love at 22 and we spent 16 years together that was riddled with infidelity (his) and codependency (mine).  An emotional holocaust for both of us.

I definitely own my part in the destruction of that relationship.

We made three amazing humans together who are thriving.  So we did something right.

My next relationship was with a man who was tall and strong but completely emotionally bankrupt.  

This was about three years after my divorce and I had done zero work to heal any part of my broken self.  

He drank. I started drinking.

I left the relationship, continued the drinking and subsequently decompensated into an alcoholic disaster with a very hard bottom about two years later.

At 39, when I got sober, I began to unravel my life one layer at a time.  

So much deep healing work.

I literally had no self awareness or insight into emotional intelligence.  

I spent years learning how to do life from a place of self love and spiritual connection. Glorious stuff.  I highly recommend.

So when I met my current boyfriend, I was in a completely different space.  

I had been casually dating, but was not actively looking for a relationship.  

If I’m being completely honest, I was loving being alone very much.  I had fully stepped into my personal power and felt totally complete in every area of my life.

But dude, he was so wonderful to me.  

Just being in his presence made me feel peaceful.  

I’m a very driven type A lady and I had been working very hard on slowing down.  This fella was like the yin to my yang.

I am a major introvert and I love time alone.  

This guy was someone who I could be alone with.  I didn’t even know that was a thing!

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that he’s emotionally self-reliant.  That is an accurate description.

I consider myself to be that as well. So maybe that’s why we work?  

He also loves me for all the reasons that I love myself, so we have that in common too.

I also don’t need him to BE anything for me.  I don’t need him to finance my life, I have all my shit handled.

I don’t need him to parent my kids, their dad and I are badass at co-parenting.  

He can work in any career he wants, I support him in whatever.

I don’t care if I ever get married again, so I’m not sitting around daydreaming of diamonds and honeymoons.   

I was very clear up front about being done with having humans, three is plenty for me and he was cool with that.

He just wanted a dog (hence the fur baby dire wolf that takes up a third of our bed).  

I don’t know if it was the timing of my life, the Universe stepping in, or what magic brought this amazing human into my world, but I’m so glad he’s here.  

The last few years have been superb on the relationship front.

I often describe my relationship as being easy.

Some people take great offense to that statement, but it’s true for me.  

Of course we have had arguments, duh, we are human, But we don’t have drama, jealousy or cruelty. We are loving and supportive to each other.

He has never made me feel small or insignificant.  

I honor the great man that he is. His mother raised an amazing human and I’m grateful to her for that.  Meeting his family made me a bit nervous, but I knew once they spent time with us together, they would understand our connection, and they did.

And then there’s this…

I just need to add the one thing that needs to be added here.  

It has been said that a woman peaks in her sexuality in her early 40’s (totally effing true for me) and being with a man who is able to keep up with the demand is heaven on earth.  

Did I mention that he’s 6’2” with the body of a greek god?

Yaaasss Queen!! It’s a total bonus.

He has built a relationship with each one of my boys completely on his own.  

They love and respect him and he is also a beautiful example to them by how he treats their mom.  

So after some serious self-reflection, I can send some love to Dr Sassypants over there at the Urgent Care.  

Maybe he was getting senile?

Maybe he was intentionally trying to take a dig at me since in his day and age it was not the norm for a lady to date a younger fella?  

Maybe it was just assumed because I’m just a “motherly” person?

Maybe I look waaayyyy older than I think I do and I’m oblivious to it?

Whatever the case maybe, I’m letting it go.

I won’t be running out to get some plastic surgery or a convertible or (insert common mid-life crisis misconception here).  

I had a true mid-life crisis before I got sober and I think one of those is enough for a lifetime.  

I choose to live my life on my own terms and that currently includes a healthy relationship with a younger man.