Several people have suggested to me that its time to get ‘out there’ and start dating, and I know they mean well and want to see me happy.
A while ago I would have said I definitely don’t want to be alone for the rest of my life, but now I’m not quite so sure ! Having spent the last 18 years of my life (pretty much) in one relationship or another, I have now been resolutely single for 18 months. I have been on a few “dates”; one with a nice chap who came to interview me about an insurance claim – we had a nice evening , but no real spark; and three dates with a divorced man who lives locally. I enjoyed his company, but had no desire for any physical relationship; partly because my alarm bells were ringing when he told me he had little contact with one of his kids, partly because I detected more bitterness about his marriage breakdown than I was comfortable with and partly because I just didn’t “fancy” him.
I have always wanted to be in happy relationship. And never managed it for any length of time. Indeed I have never been more miserable than in my marriage or in my last relationship. That awful feeling of being utterly trapped with no way out, the endless ‘trying to make him understand’ the unacceptable compromises (one way compromises) the self doubt, the questioning, ugh. Utterly soul destroying and made me much more unhappy than I have ever been on my own
There are a number of significant advantages to being single.
1. You can do what YOU want….
Now I am a bit limited in that I cant just decide to bugger off for a weekend because I have the boys and Lola the dog to consider, but I can decide to attend a cookery class or a mosaic workshop on a Saturday just because I want to. I can go for a walk, or meet someone for lunch without having to fit in with a partner’s needs. I can see whom I want, when I want. I can spend MY money how I want to. I can plan my life how it suits me … and although I have to consider my children… its a lot easier than considering the needs of a partner who never considers mine …
2. You can work on yourself.
It is awfully tempting to get complacent when you have a partner. Not only does change seem to take loads of effort when there is someone else to consider, they may have a vested interest in things not changing. At the moment I need quite a lot of time for ‘reflecting’ and developing my sober life. I’m pretty happy there is no-one around me pestering me to have ‘just one’ drink, or getting pissed in my space. Now I know a kind respectful partner wouldn’t do this BUT …
3. You can save lots of time.
Relationships take effort and time. Especially in the earliest days of dating. I actually don’t HAVE that much time, and whilst I could of course MAKE time if I wanted, such time as I do have is currently better invested in my children, my friends and family, my home, my garden, my work and developing my interests.
I Do really, really, REALLY miss cuddling. I miss someone to give me a hug. I miss affection and reassurance from an adult. But I recognise that being with someone does not always mean this will happen (no intimacy at all from ExP for 2 years really) and living with someone, sleeping with someone and NOT getting any cuddles is much worse than being alone. The boys can be persuaded to hug their mum, and I get to sleep alone. In my great big lovely bed with a new mattress. The room can be as dark as I like, I can listen to the radio all night if I like… no snoring, wriggling or duvet pinching. I can make the room warmer or colder as I choose. This is definitely a luxury !
5. You become more self-reliant.
My last breakup was so emotionally devastating that I couldn’t function for months afterwards. I’m really only just beginning to pick up the threads of my life and LIVE – and I know I am still very raw and vulnerable. This has scared me and reminded me that love is a chaotic force that can be both beautiful and terribly destructive. I’m not sure that the risk of falling in love again is actually worth it. The fall out from failure is SO awful. But I am coping alone. I’m lucky that I can pay people to do what I can’t in the house, and I can rely on myself for pretty much everything I NEED
6. You can build relationships with friends.
I have reconnected to quit a few people since I have been single. Old friends, who fell by the wayside when ExP blazed into my life, (He didn’t like ‘people’ around and wanted me all to himself) and a few new people.. such connections bring me pleasure. Its a quiet type of pleasure, but its genuine and honest… and it has potential
7. You can avoid settling for a bad match.
This is the biggest
More than 1/3 of marriages in the UK end in divorce. Of the remaining many, many are unhappy. People stay for ‘the children’ ; because its impossible to manage financially if they split; due to inertia; for religious reasons; for social reasons… still unhappy with no potential for anything to improve. Ugh. Being single is 500x better than being in an unhappy marriage/ relationship. I’ve tried both and I KNOW this is true!
It would take someone VERY special to make me interested again. There is a LOT to lose and someone one who have to offer something pretty amazing for me to consider letting them into my life …
So. I’m not ruling it out. I might meet a really nice person… but I’m not going looking. And if I don’t ?
Life is ok on your own.
It really is.