Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Finding My Happily Ever After

I'll go ahead and 'fess up. I'm no good at relationships. I screwed up any of the good ones, and stayed too long in the bad ones.

I would make that classic mistake of obsessing far too much over the relationship and not spend nearly enough attention on the other aspects of my life, even if they were more rewarding.

There's a moment that I always remember. I told a friend something that most people say at some point: if this doesn't work out, I'm never trying again.

Here's the thing, though. I remember that moment. There's a lot that I don't, but that moment comes back to me often. And I think it's because I regret not sticking to it. I think it was a moment of honesty that I'd been convinced to brush off.

Instead, I made that relationship my first failed marriage. And after that, my next failed marriage.

They say that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results, but most people don't think that applies to relationships. For me, it should.

Because eventually, I found more happiness and a stronger sense of fulfillment when I stopped trying to make dating or relationships work for me.

As has been said before, I exhaled. I felt free. I felt at peace. I felt comfortable in my own skin. And I still do.

All journeys have their ups and downs and mine is no different. I won't pretend that I'm at peace every moment of every day. But I will say that, just as some might say their lives took a turn for the better when they walked down the aisle, mine got better when I embraced my single status as a permanent one.

Written in celebration of National Unmarried and Singles Week 2012. The fabulous Eleanor Wells is hosting a giveaway with prizes *almost* as fabulous as she is!

1 comment:

BigLittleWolf said...

I can't help but think that if everything in our culture (media, churches, etc.) weren't pushing us toward a particular view of life (ie, you should be a couple - a straight couple, a gay couple, then a married couple, then a couple with 2.5 children and/or pets) - well - we might actually put the whole Relationship Gig into some sort of perspective.

As in, wow, cool, met an interesting person... and life unfolds... Period.

Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm dreaming. But it sure seems like that would make more sense, prehistoric though it might sound.

I don't think I explicitly was looking or not looking when I "found," but I certainly have felt pressure at various points when having to field the "why aren't you married?" question or, years later, the "why aren't you remarried" or "when are you going to remarry" variations.

All in all, I like being alone. I especially like being in a relationship, and still being able to be alone. For some people, that sounds strange. It's not "conventional." I think it may be my happy place. Or happier, anyway. Certainly for now.

Did you ever see "An Unmarried Woman" with Jill Clayburgh? Late 70s I think. Still relevant. Fantastic movie. More relevant after you've done the marriage / kids / divorce thing - and realize you like yourself on your own.