“I want to be single, with you.” That’s what the post said. I was browsing Facebook yesterday and came across this post so I read it out of curiosity. What it described was a married relationship with a bit of “me” time thrown in. No real “I want to be single…” at all in my opinion. This is the opinion of someone who was married for eleven years and didn’t even do that until my late 20’s. I’ve now been happily divorced for thirteen and wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’ve been told a thousand times if I’ve been told once, you just haven’t met the right person. For the record, I’m not looking. Not looking for Mr. Right, Mr. Wrong, Mr. Upside down, Mr. Anything. In fact, if I remain single for the rest of my life I will be perfectly happy. Hard to believe? Not so much. Romantic relationships and I don’t particularly get along. I simply have a knack of attracting the narcissistic idiots of the world and being the flaming co-dependent that I am, I’ve often thought I could “fix” them. I don’t set out to do that but in the past I’ve found myself doing just that. It’s subconscious. A way of being that is so natural I don’t even know I’m doing it until I’m way too far in, and then I have to find a way out and as anyone knows, that’s never easy.
I know people who have good relationships, at least by their definition. I know people who have what they think are good relationships but the people around them know differently. I know people who are in crappy relationships and want out and I know people who are in crappy relationships and choose to stay. We all know people in these categories and I applaud the good relationships. I think it’s truly awesome when two people can come together and make it work because I’m not so sure that’s how it was intended. Religion will tell you that we are meant to pair up for life, but I look to science and the truth is, men and women are just made differently. Granted, to reproduce you need one of each, or at least components of each. But on a very fundamental level men were created to spread the seed and women were created to raise kids and nurture. Now before you go off and think that I’m saying we can’t have it all, I’m talking about a very fundamental level here. In today’s world same sex couples can re-produce but there is a lot more involved. They still need the male/female components as it were. I wonder though, if being together for life was really ever the intention.
I love being single, truly love it. When I’m asked for my marital status I generally say, “happily divorced” because I am. It took me almost fifty three years, one divorce, two kids, a trip to college in my forties and twelve years of therapy to love the person that I am, that I am becoming. I know more about myself having been single for a long time, than I ever did when I was looking for that one person to “complete” me. I learned that I am complete just the way I am, that solitude is a wonderful thing, that I don’t have to please everyone and most of all, I learned that I matter. What I want out of life matters, what I need on a daily basis matters, what I want out of my work and career, my relationships to friends and family…all of that matters. I’m not constantly trying to help someone else matter anymore. It’s not necessary and in my opinion should have never been. This is not because they asked me to, but because somewhere in my warped little brain, I thought that was my role. I thought that it was what we do in relationships, validate the other person in some way, shape or form. As cliche as it sounds when I finally learned to validate myself instead of someone else my entire world opened up. It was very liberating. It also helps that I don’t have to clean up after someone else anymore either.
I’m not totally against relationships. I think if you have one that works, more power to you. What I’m against is really more for me. What I don’t want to do is become someone I don’t recognize to have a relationship. Both of my kids told me at one point when they were in high school that they hated when their friends got girlfriends because they inevitably “became” the girl, they turned into the person they were dating. That is what I don’t want to do. I have trust issues, but it’s mostly that I don’t trust myself. History shows that we always repeat the pattern and that is true emotionally as well. When we know better we’re supposed to do better and now that I know better it could be different but my experience tells me otherwise.
Everyone I know says you have to work hard, and there is a certain amount of work involved in any relationship, whether it be family or friends. It just seems to me that intimate relationships are way too much work. They don’t have to be so hard in my opinion. It should be easier, or at least that’s how I see it. Who knows, there might come a time when I feel differently but at this point in my life I’m content to be right where I am emotionally, and looking forward to what comes next.