In a text conversation with one of my girlfriends recently, I made a comment along the lines of wanting to have someone in my life because it’s simply better that way.
Doesn’t seem like a big revelation, but it did help me understand my nuances and how I can be okay on my own while also hoping to find someone.
Here’s the thing. I see a lot of people who want someone in their life because their self-esteem and security is tied to having a partner. They need external validation. Faraway Lover was like this – he mourned the loss of his marriage and quickly found a replacement. Despite needing reassurances from lots of women, ultimately he needed one person who was always going to be there for him.
Despite all of the hurt and rejection I have experienced in the last 2.5 years, I do not translate that into doubting my value or my self-worth. I’ve used each experience as an opportunity for growth; I have a mindset which means I always think I’m capable of learning and maturing. I’m unhappy stagnant.
I also believe in internal locus of control – meaning I believe I can influence the events in my life. I’m not the type to sit around and wait for something to happen to me. I rarely wallow in self-pity for long. Which means when something doesn’t work out my natural inclination is to try again.
Plenty of men have rejected me in the last few years, undoubtedly for a wide spectrum of reasons. Let’s say I’m not sporty enough for someone – while it’s personal, I don’t tend to take that rejection as meaning I’m not sporty enough, period (although maybe that’s not a good example since I want to be more athletic). There are surely people who don’t like me for who I am, which is okay. I like myself for who I am (growth and goals aside) and I believe someday I will find someone I like who likes me as I am.
The distinction I should make is while I don’t internalize rejection based on things like external characteristics or attitudes and beliefs, I certainly spend a lot of time thinking about my behavior and whether it gets me the outcomes I want. Absolutely my behavior has contributed to rejection and I own the shit I’ve done.
But those are my choices. I can always choose how I respond to situations – it’s not easy but I believe I’m capable of behavioral change. When I look back on past relationships and decisions I made relating to men, going back to my early teens, I have come an incredibly long way in the last three years. For example, I used to focus more on whether someone liked me than whether I liked them and found myself in relationships well past their expiry date. My marriage being the prime example.
I absolutely want a boyfriend. There is no doubt in my mind. Yet I somehow feel I should caveat that statement – because so often it’s seen to be indicative of neediness or insecurity.
Here’s what has become clear to me recently – having a boyfriend will make life even better than it is today. There is no other part of my life where I think “oh that’s just fine, and that’s enough.” I want to exceed at everything I do. Why would I settle for anything less?
I can take a vacation alone, but it’s more fun with two. Same with sex. There are adventures I’d like to have which involve sunsets and adventurous travel and I’ve always imagined a man at my side. Not having one won’t stop me from making those plans, but I’d rather have a boyfriend with me for them.
This post has sat in draft for a couple of weeks – highly unusual for me. I suppose I don’t have the words to explain the nuances properly. There are times not having a partner sucks: when I’m sick or when I’m invited to an event with a plus-one. I don’t love it when I know I’m not included in a “couples evening” because I’d be the fifth or seventh wheel.
I’ve managed so far in the times I’ve been single and I’ve been filling my time with friends and family and time by myself. I’ve taken vacations on my own, sat alone with large bowls of buttered popcorn and old movies, and have written almost 800,000 words on this here blog.
But just because I’m fine on my own, doesn’t mean I want to be.
I have taken on the pursuit with the same planning, methodological approach, and intensity as I do in other areas of my life. It’s how I’m wired. Since the breakdown of the short relationship with HWSNBN (the one that ended with the police), I’ve been uncharacteristically uninterested and unmotivated to date. My two very brief stints on Bumble found me two men I happened to be interested in dating. I have put no other effort in than a few hours of swiping left and right, which feels weird to me, but I’ve needed a brief emotional break.
I think it’s a good time for me to say thank you to all of you who spend time here in my space. Writing here has been cathartic, but I also feel like I have many many therapists who challenge my thinking and call me on my delusions and most importantly, support me along the way.
I am truly blessed and remain humbled. Thank you.