Friday, October 10, 2008

No Men

I've said before that I won't talk about dating - and it's not like there's been much to talk about there, but I've decided that there won't be dating in my future for quite a while.

This is a decision that was sort of made for me, so it's kind of like saying "I quit" after your boss said "you're fired," but I'm still taking ownership of this. And I'll tell you why.

For the past 5 years, I've tried to remain on the "look-out." While I've always said that I won't get married again (because no man is worth that sort of legal commitment), I've put myself out there, and it's just never worked out. Sometimes it's been my decision, and other times, not. There's been no one that I've really truly cared about that has come close to breaking my heart, so it's not that.

It's this: I've been missing my life. In feeling sorry for myself for being alone, in wondering whether or not I should or shouldn't tell "him" how I feel, in bemoaning spending yet another national holiday without a date...I've been missing what I do have.

I have some truly amazing friends. I have some great family. I have my newest community here of all my bloggy friends. I've reconnected with old friends thru Facebook.

And, most importantly, I have these two girls.

One of them is pretty darn close to adolescence. She is already experiencing some changes in her body. And her mind and her heart. One of them will be a child just a trifle longer. And no one on earth comes close to making me feel what I feel with them.

Oh, I still truly believe - know, actually - that I'm a better mother to them when I'm a better person. And that's another place where I've been missing the mark.

I still have so much to sort out about me. I want to gain more patience. I want to read more. I want to enjoy my own company more than I do. I want to get over my fear of sitting in a restaurant by myself.

I may have been alone for the past 5 years, but too much of it has been spent being lonely. And I've done that enough to know now that it's the same as any other emotion - it comes and goes. It has a peak, and then a valley where it's nearly non-existent. I want to stretch those valleys out by accepting the reality of being alone. By choosing to be alone.

Last holiday season was rough for me. I had a breakdown of sorts. I hated the fact that it was my 5th holiday season with no one to kiss on New Year's (not counting all those holidays where I was still married, but still somehow ended up spending them alone). I skipped New Year's last year.

This year, I will not be the Scrooge of the family. Or the office. I will revel in what there is to enjoy. I will not be wishing that there was someone else there. I will enjoy who is there.

So it may not have started off as my choice, but that doesn't mean that I can't embrace it, right?

18 comments:

MoziEsmé said...

You go! While I'm still an advocate of putting it all out there for the people you care about - not holding anything back, even if you don't get the results you want - I think your perspective here is great! Don't wait for that perfect future - enjoy the moment . . .

liz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jen of A2eatwrite said...

You can totally embrace it... Cathouse Teri wrote a brilliant piece on this yesterday:

http://cathouseteri.blogspot.com/2008/10/beggars-would-ride.html

Kate said...

Good friends and a loving family are worth more than a mediocre man any day.

Ms. Single Mama said...

This is exactly what you need to do. And I have a hunch, just a hunch, that when you finally don't feel lonely someone may pop up and knock the wind out of you - NOT that you want that or need that.

The reason this happens - because it's been happening to me for over a year now - men falling from the sky - is because you aren't lonely - you are happy, content with yourself and who you are. Other people are attracted to that.

So all of the men, I am pushing aside - they are secondary to myself and my son. An after thought. Recently I've been thinking of eliminating them all together as well, but they keep popping up - asking me out. So funny.

I try to express this on my blog as often as possible - that dating doesn't work if you're not happy being single. It just doesn't.

Stick with it!

littlemansmom said...

I've gone 8 YEARS of going stag to functions.holidays/gatherings...etc and believe me....it's MORE than ok. It made me strong, it made me know what I wanted, it made me feel confident about me. You do what's best for YOU and never let anyone say/do anything to make you feel otherwise.

Great friends and a wonderful family are an amazing thing to have and embrace. Enjoy your time with them as much as you can :)

pisceshanna said...

Hey girl, I've been down about dating too. Last night my daughter was brushing my hair with her My Little Pony brush, and I got the tingles. Then I realized my hair hasn't been touched by another person in 2 years! It was scary.

I totally feel you.

Kori said...

You know how I feel about the whole thing, and sorry, I am basically content and am not looking but I don't have men dropping out of the sky for me, either. It is all a matter of living instead of existing,and accepting that things just aren't the way we thought they would be.

Florinda said...

Good for you! It was three years after my divorce before I was even ready to THINK about dating, and if I'd had younger kids, I'm pretty sure it would have been even longer. No doubt that it was lonely at times, and other times when being a fifth wheel got very old, but I really think I needed that time to learn how to be ME.

I think men are different about this. My second husband went back "on the market" shortly after his divorce, and we got married just two years after his first marriage ended. I think they just don't handle being on their own as well as women do :-).

Laura said...

Life is always lived with others. I guess we need to respect all manner of love, and not focus on one kind, though it can be hard. I vacillate between enjoying "stress-free" living and wanting the passion of a mature boy-girl relationship (whatever that is). Revel in your girls and your life, every day.

Natalie said...

Ah, but by embracing all of what is YOU, love will come. Confidence is everything. You are so incredibly level headed and smart and that is why people are inspired by you. Your approach to love, or lack thereof, is a perfect example of a strong woman who is a fantastic mentor to her daughters.

" I want to get over my fear of sitting in a restaurant by myself."

I've BTDT and it is a wonderful feeling knowing that you can feel that comfortable with yourself. I actually plan on taking it back up on those nights that Jacob is at his dad's. Maybe we can non-double-date across the miles some Saturday night? Maybe you'll feel better knowing somebody you know is out there eating dinner by herself, too?

Dingo said...

Embrace it. Squeeze it. Squish out every good thing from it.

OHmommy said...

April, this is a great attitude to have. And your girls ARE the most important things ever.

Karen MEG said...

April, I love this post. You take care of your girls and YOU ... you deserve it. You have plenty to be proud and happy about.

And honestly, I believe this... when you're not looking and least expect it, you might just expect it ;)

Tara R. said...

Excellent decision. There is a huge difference between being lonely and being alone. Take care of you and your girls, and anything else is icing on the cake.

Huckdoll said...

I'm so proud of you, April. My own mom remained single and not looking through my entire childhood, however, I don't think she ever embraced it like you are planning on doing and she's really not a happy person now that my brother and I have grown up and moved on with our own lives. Your outlook is so positive...something so many people can draw on.

hotmamamia said...

It is so important to be happy and content with yourself. We are so conditioned to believe that we can't possibly be content unless there is someone else in out lives (like a mate). As soon as you do embrace the wonderfulness of YOU, all those yucky feelings will vaporize....in DBT lingo...I am a wonderful person TODAY and I will continue to be a WONDERFUL person each day that I wake up...I am, who I am and I am wonderful.

~Shiona~ said...

You are spot on. I've been thinking about some things myself so this is a timely post.