I was thinking earlier about how of late I keep saying, “I actually love being single most of the time!” and how that probably comes off as a defense mechanism. I mulled it over to see whether I really do feel this way or whether deep down I still think a solitary life is useless.
Trying to imagine someone else living here with me is almost impossible. I’ve been basically single for ten years now, with a few minor quasi-relationships along the way. The last thing I had that could have been called any kind of relationship at all ended the day before Thanksgiving in 2006, so it’s been a long time. And barring a couple of long-term houseguests, I’ve lived alone for a decade now (literally; my ex moved out in March 2002). I try to think what it would be like and I just can’t feel it, even though when I got together with my ex-husband he did indeed move in with me in a place where I was already established.
I can’t really adequately explain how I feel internally freer without a partner; I would say it’s because of my own psychological or emotional weaknesses that I prefer to be own my own, mostly. For instance — religion. When my husband I got together, I was in the process of joining the Episcopal Church. He moved here in August and I was confirmed in October. We were married in that church the following August. In the last year of our marriage I was in RCIA and I was received into the RCC a couple of weeks after he split. (That was not a joyous Easter, regardless, I must say.) Obviously, I kept him in the loop and tried to explain my wandering ways to him, but that was sort of uncomfortable for me. And it would have been even worse if, say, he’d been a devout Anglican. Right now, as I float around churchwise, not exactly sure what I’m doing or where I will end up but doing a lot of reading and praying and thinking, I find it so comforting that I don’t have to explain myself to anyone, or feel guilty if I don’t explain myself to anyone.
(Actually, I kinda dread religious conversations with my family, as well, but I can avoid them a lot more easily.)
So that’s an example of a way in which I find it so much less stressful to be on my own than with someone. It’s not just the sharing of space or the negotiating about money or other logistical, practical things, but the bigger, deeper, more sweeping things as well.
Annnnnnd this probably just again points to how I never found someone I was in enough sync with to want to share that much with all the time. Or else that I just am not cut out to do it. One or ‘tother.
But in any case, I think the reason I keep saying “Wow! I really quite like this!” is “no zealot like a convert.” OMG I HAZ SEEN THE LIGHT! Also, it’s an immense relief after about thirty-odd years of pining after boys/men who didn’t like me “that way” (I was everyone’s friend and that is just about the most frustrating thing ever), of being anxious when I was in a relationship (because of the never-finding-my-soulmate business), of being heartbroken after a relationship… now it’s like my God, I’m free, oh thank God.
Of course it doesn’t help with the sharing of bills or chores or having a built-in date (I was so grateful for the automatic buddy when I was married and thankfully I was actually aware of and appreciated it at the time) or someone to drive you to the hospital or caretake for you or anything like that. But everything has a trade-off and since this is where I am and I believe likely to remain, I just need to figure out ways to cope with that and continue enjoying the good parts of it.
It’s sort of like the question, “Well, I’m X years old. If I go back to school and get my degree, I’ll be X+4 years old! What do I do?” to which the answer is, “You’ll be X+4 years old anyway. Do you want to be X+4 years old with or without a degree?” I can be single with or without enjoying it and with or without doing the things I want to do irrespective of my relationship status. I’ll be 60 and single one day either way. Do I want to be 60, single, and having spent the previous 15 years doing interesting things, or not?
“Not” doesn’t sound so great.