I find myself in the position for the first time since I was 16, “in-between relationships”. Truth is, I’ve always had a “person”, until 8 months ago. A long term boyfriend, a 19 yr marriage, “last first date” long term relationships following. Never in my life have I ever felt comfortable just “being”, until now.. and it feels pretty empowering truth be told.
What I have noticed as of late, others are somewhat mystified by my attitude regarding this current “status”, “Why are you single”, “How are you single”, “I have a really great guy for you”, “oh, … well, thats ok”… I can appreciate now how my other “single” friends must have felt all the times I couldn’t fathom HOW they could possibly be happy alone, suggesting they join a dating site or jump back into the dating pool. I’m being treated like I need to be wearing a black dress and veil like an Italian Nonna, after losing her spouse – #labelled. Why is there #shame attached to being a single adult female? When I first moved to this house.. I was the “single girl”. Imagine.. I can look after an entire house completely on my own… oh my goodness. I own a chainsaw and a big ass snow blower.. have looked after other “COUPLES” driveways during the winter too, you know, the women, who have a man to “take care” of THOSE “manly” jobs. Heres some insight.. I looked after the same while I was married… due to circumstance, husbands on the street admired it, wives, asked me to stop because their spouses asked them why they didn’t do the same. So clearly being independent is a true rare trait, or so it seems.
I’ve always preferred the company of men, much stems from my childhood I assume as being a country girl, my only neighbours were boys. I had two twin brothers…I had a dirt bike, a tractor and could drive a stick by the age of 14. I gravitate to the “real”, the zero BS, always have. Gossip, cattiness, jealousy and criticism, I’ve always associated these behaviours with females in general – which is why my social female “circle of trust” is very small. Men, can be single, single for years… hanging with the guys, rec. sports teams, just being, but unattached. Nobody bats an eye… For women however, I’ve now experienced the “stigma”. Its both concerning and pathetic. We somehow NEED a man or there must be something wrong… wtf, is this 1960? I’m only 8 months new to this, but its blinding evident.
When my marriage initially dissolved 6 years ago, I had lived my entire adult life at that point, playing a role. I was 100% a “Stepford Wife”. The “happy” homemaker who was there to keep up appearances, raise the children and look after her man. I own my choices, and what I allowed.. but regardless, with this, I gave up everything about me, that was authentic, as was advised it was “wrong”. As soon as it was official we were separated, I rebelled, and totally own this… didn’t make the best choices, I became selfish and did as I pleased on my new “free time” when he was now responsible for our daughters. Two BIG rebellions that were always forbidden, I booked my motorcycle licence and got not one, but two (tasteful) tattoo’s. G A S P . I finally spent time with my best friend who was also single, that was never “permitted” prior.. never going to bars, or meeting men, just girl time… movies, dinners, talks that lasted for hours… I needed it, never having a sister, my girlfriends are treasured bonds. I remember going out for dinner with a friend, I considered a really close girlfriend at the time. We were chatting away and she became serious ” Listen, so the whole “bike thing”, the tats, spending time with ___… have you switched teams”…. I was both shocked and felt so completely judged by this. Because I’m doing what I WANT to do, because I’m single now and spending time with a girlfriend that I was never able to do prior… this, puts my sexuality into question?… was she kidding.. ? Nope.. “Oh, just wanted to check”.. needless to say.. that placed what I considered a good friendship – into a bare acquaintance position. I can honestly say, I’ve never judged anyones simple basic right to be single -by questioning their sexual preference. I personally wouldn’t care who anyone decided to love… but because they’re single, choosing to be, are they suddenly gay? This mentality was foreign to me. This was going back just shy of 6 years ago.. so lets bring us to current day.
I’ve been single now 8 months. ZERO interest in dating as I’ve taken much needed time with self-care and awareness, which I can’t stress enough, is the best investment I’ve ever made. It seems almost constant now, “are you dating”, “Have you met anyone special”, “Are you on a dating site”, “You NEED to get yourself out there again”… I have zero interest, and yet feel the need constantly to validate this to others. I was at a friends, end of summer party last weekend… I went by myself – which is a big deal for me, as I struggle with social anxiety, but made a promise and HAD to commit to this, for myself. The party was incredible, loads of people, a live band (which I adore), some old neighbours of mine.. I was slowly feeling comfortable. My girlfriend who owns the house, brought me to a table to get to know a few other women, one, she mentioned “we really should connect”. Now, being who I am, I knew it was likely because she had recently gotten out of a toxic relationship and maybe needed a sounding board… I’m kind of known for this role, so I sat, introduced myself. The other women there, immediately spiralled into “why the need to connect”… hmmmmm “hey, maybe the host wanted you two to meet as a set up”…. my poker face sucks. I’m certain confusion was immediately surrounding me… “ummmmm, I may have had “bad man”, however… I don’t feel men are bad – sorry to disappoint ladies… no lesbian here (NOT THAT THERES ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT)… but I am confident, that in my 48 years.. my sexuality has never been in question. These ladies were pretty “solid” if I’m being honest, I enjoyed talking with them.. but it still left me feeling pretty conflicted.
So, I’m left wondering… why is it so difficult to grasp or comprehend that a seemingly, well put together, independent, confident, intelligent single female, would or could possibly “choose” to be single, unless of course – she’s a lesbian. When I was (unhappily) married, I looked at my (few) single friends as so lucky to be free to just “be”.. but admit, I too, was the first one to bring up dating to them, finding them a man… so for those friends… I can say, from the bottom of my heart.. I am sorry.. I completely get it now.
I don’t require a label to define who I am (anymore), I AM HAPPY, CONTENT, AT PEACE – just “being” … in a relationship, with myself… and for the first time in my whole life, I finally feel like I truly “belong” here. If and when the day ever comes where eyes meet, and he stops me in my tracks… I know without question, life is about to change… I’ll be open and excited for that, but until then… my relationship status will remain “between relationships indefinitely” and as shocking as that may be to some.. it truly works for me.