Facebook feed jealousy and regret

Over the past few weeks, my Facebook feed has been filled with pictures of my friend’s children graduating elementary, high school, or college. Going to the junior prom or the prom. All of them are accompanied by posts expressing pride in their children’s accomplishments or lamenting the fact that the years have gone by so fast. I admit that I look at these posts with both jealousy and regret. Jealousy that I don’t have what they have. Regret that I made so many wrong turns in my relationships that I screwed up any chance of having it.
Growing up, I believed that I would live the fairy tale, marry the love of my life, have two children of our own, and adopt one to provide a loving home to a child in need. But life, more often than not, is not a fairy tale. The character Sonny in Bronx Tale said – You’re only allowed three great women in your lifetime. I have had three long-term serious relationships in my life, each of which started with the thought that this might be the one, my soulmate, the woman I start a family and grow old with. Each ended with a broken heart and me thinking, well, here I am again. Each one was devastating in its way, but none more than the last one.
She was the first and only woman I asked to marry me and when she said yes I thought finally I had found the one, my soulmate, the woman I would grow old with. The woman I would post pictures of our children’s accomplishments on Facebook with, she came into the relationship with two children, and she was upfront that she wouldn’t have another child. Despite that, as time went on, I started to feel more and more as I finally had found the family I always wanted. I knew I could never take their father’s place, who was still very much in their lives, but still, it felt like a real family. Only weeks before the breakup, the oldest child drew four pictures. Her mommy, her sister, herself, and me and put them up on the refrigerator. Looking at those pictures brought a huge smile to my face because it was confirmation that not only did I see us as a family, but they did as well. When only a few weeks later, my fiancée informed me that she was now my ex-fiancée; it wasn’t just breaking up with her; it was breaking up with my family. I won’t lie; it was my lowest point. I had never been so depressed, and it took me a while to find myself again, but I eventually did. Despite that, I still wonder if my window has closed that I will never find that woman to grow old with. That I never will be able to post with pride pictures of my children’s accomplishments on Facebook. Not that I’ve given up hope, and I’m still out there swinging, but I still wonder and hope that my window is cracked open just a little bit.

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