Let me start by saying this, I do care for the man who is no longer “mine”. I don’t want him getting hit by a train and I won’t make myself the victim in this situation. We (he & I) are where we are, because of who we are, not because of anything else. I have my perspective, he has his, I think we both wish the other well(ish). No breaking news here, just a break-up. Do I love him? Sure, a part of me probably always will. Does he love me. I think so. Is that enough? No. We don’t work, we won’t work and in trying to make it so, we have officially reached the point of no return. I’m a bend until I break kind of person, (insert the sound of something breaking). Done.
Why blog about this? Two reasons, 1.) If one more person asks me if “we’re together” I’m going to lose it. 2.) Writing is where I go to “center myself”, so here I am. I am able to put things in perspective, I can step outside of the box but somehow still see myself in the picture. I promised to be authentic as a writer, in this space, and that is what I intend to do, always. A couple of weeks ago I posted beautiful pictures of my boyfriend and our children, these pictures are no longer in frames or displayed in my home or office, because they are no longer my reality. It was one day, a beautiful day and we happened to get some good pictures but that isn’t my life.
Not every day is beautiful! Break-ups suck and what’s sometimes worse, letting the world know about the break-up. I’m doing this band-aid style, just ripping it off. I can not stand living for what others will think or worrying about what my life will look like on Facebook, images are snapshots, not reality. I think I’m a pretty good example (images two weeks ago, breakup after) but I can’t solve that issue, social media is what it is. I can only do my part, I can write, be honest and hope that my story will resonate with someone else. I know I’m not the only single, 30 something “starting over”, but when you are that person, it is easy to feel like you are the only person. Hi there, you are not the only person. So, here it is, a big dose of honesty.
Opposites attract, sure (if he and I were anything, we were opposites) but opposites can also be a shit storm waiting to happen. Enter shit storm. I love hard, I am a giver and I’m a caretaker by nature. I’m a bit high-strung, I like order and plans. Some people are wired differently, they may love just as hard but might show it differently. Maybe they live their life with less order or simply don’t have space for a relationship. Some people are natural takers, we all have different expectations, different kinds of crazy and let’s be honest, you don’t get to 32 without baggage. Ideally, you meet someone and this person helps you carry your baggage, and you help them carry theirs. Life gets easier because you’re not doing it alone…happily ever after, etc. Ha!
The equal carrying and happily ever after crap is for when life is perfect, there is no conflict, no stress, just smooth sailing. Does anyone have this life? If so, please message me, I have some questions for you. Let’s be realistic, no one has this “perfect” life. Perfect is an idea, a concept and it’s different for everyone. Conflict, stress, imperfection are all natural parts of being human, I think they call it life. It’s not always going to be a 50/50 situation in a relationship. Sometimes you are the partner who has to give the extra 70% or 80%, but sometimes you may be the one who needs the extra. The theme being, it has to be reciprocal. Both parties have to be willing to carry more than their half when their partner needs them.
When life gets too heavy for me, lately it’s been very heavy, I put everything down. I actually visualize and write down what I feel like I’m carrying. I have a terrible habit of carrying things that don’t belong to me (Mom, you’re right). So, that’s what I did, I put everything down, I laid it all out and I only picked back up what was truly mine to carry. Guess what? There was a lot of crap left on the table, a lot! For a chronic “fixer” it felt pretty good to wipe all of that metaphorical crap off the table and into the garbage. I’ve left space for me, my stuff and my A-team (the people who show up for me).
At this point in my life, I’m not dating just to date. I honestly hate, hate dating. Have I mentioned I hate dating? I literally have to talk myself into getting ready for a date, I wait until the last-minute, all the while, thinking of possible reasons to cancel. Not to be rude, I just don’t like the awkwardness of it, the unknown. Is it worth it? The makeup, the effort of curling my hair or straightening it, wasting a good outfit..it just doesn’t seem worth it. I am looking for a partner, not to “date around”. I want someone I can count on, I need a spark (you must have a spark) and someone who will show up for me & show up for J. Sounds simple enough, right? I don’t feel like I’m shooting for the moon, but here I sit, 32 & single (chocolate may be in close proximity).
So, what’s my point? Is this just a rant? No. This isn’t a pity me post. This is me saying I’m 32, I’m single (again), and since I’m okay with that, I would really appreciate everyone else being okay with it, too. I don’t want to have the “what happened” conversation 100 times because those details aren’t really anyone’s business. If I wanted you to know more, I would tell you. I’m already being pretty transparent here. There is enough pressure to be paired up and right now I’m a single. Again, I really need the world to be okay with that. Feel free to send me funny cat lady memes, old maid cards or other witty comments but no condolences types calls, texts or messages. Seriously, I will punch you, don’t say sorry.
Let’s say I try this again, I actually make it to a date, I like the person, we start dating exclusively and then I start to make space for them in my life, I’m done, right? No! Now I’m tasked with trying to decide if I can be happy with this person FOREVER!? I can hardly pick out my clothes in the morning! Let’s be honest, at 32 people are for the most part, who they are. So, dating past high school/college means trying to sort through what annoying instances are circumstantial, what instances are true personality traits. Is this a bad day, a bad week or is it a preview of who this person really is? Is this the life I’d be signing myself up for? How many circumstantial instances, how many “bad days” do we give someone before we decide I can’t live with this forever, this isn’t the life I want, this is who they are? I’m not saying all of the qualities even have to be “bad” but if they don’t mesh with who you are, or they rub you the wrong way, run. You can’t flip yourself inside out to suit who they are, that’s icky. I think at 32, there is only a small amount of room for change, both parties should be making space for the other. We either accept people, or we don’t. The space suits us well, or it doesn’t. I don’t have time for willy nilly-ness.
Another really sucky level of this dating at 32 deal, when the kids get involved. They get attached to one another, to “us”, to other family members…they have to go through the break up, too. I have more Mommy guilt than you could ever imagine but I realized something today (with a little help from my sister). Once you get to a certain place in a relationship and you see the potential for a future, you have to involve the kids, because they’re a part of the package. If those pieces don’t fit, the puzzle is no good. You don’t know if the puzzle pieces fit until you try to put the puzzle together. This may be the worst part, feeling like you’re letting the kids down. The flip side? I am setting the bar high for Jack, for how to be treated, what to accept, how to be independent. I will always be careful and cautious with who enters my son’s life, I’ve always brought people in with the highest of hopes and the best intentions and sadly that hasn’t panned out but we’re still trucking right along.
Also, we always talk about how important is to teach our children about relationships, about how they should be treated, and we set that standard for them through our own relationships. Yes, I agree with that but I’d also like Jack to see and learn from the relationship I have with myself. I am strong enough to walk away from something that isn’t healthy for me. What kind of relationship will he have with himself? Will he be strong enough to say no to relationships that don’t serve him? I hope so. I’m also extremely proud of the fact that he knows Mommy doesn’t need a man to take care of her. Jack’s not worried about who will pay our bills, or buy our groceries, who will take care of us…he knows Mommy can & will. There isn’t a fear for him when a man isn’t in the picture, he doesn’t worry his needs won’t be met, he’s just sad when relationships end and he doesn’t get a say. I understand that, that’s fair and we’ve worked out a new system for if and when I ever try to do this again (add make a list of excuses to cancel dates to “to-do” list). Yes, I am letting Jack make some of the rules. He deserves a say, this is his life, too. I can’t & won’t be selfish at the cost of my son’s feelings. The right man will understand, respect and abide by the rules J and I have set as a family, because we are a family, just he & I (well, & Lucy). I love our little family.
Again, this isn’t breaking news, it’s a break up. I know people will talk (gossip will never go out of style – sarcasm), you will make your own assumptions, about me, him, about this post and all of that is just fine with me. I am single. Let me be just that and don’t treat me as if someone has died or like I’ve been diagnosed with some plague. If I want to talk about it, I will. If I don’t, I won’t. This isn’t an open invitation for you to ask me questions. It’s a statement, not an invitation. Please don’t confuse the two. Again, don’t say sorry. I really will punch you. 🙂
Special thanks to my tribe for getting me through another one. I love you. ❤