I wrote this a few years ago and reran it last summer. A reader sent email asking me to post it again.
I remember when I ended my last long-term relationship. I had been involved with someone who would just disappear in order to gaze at his navel or some such thing (that was his official story but I think there was something or someone else).
I remember distinctively cleaning the kitchen and deciding that I would rather be alone than put up with one more minute of wondering about this person or playing his stupid games. I had no idea if he really was as depressed as he said he was or if he was screwing around. All I knew was that once I was head over heels in love with this person but lately he had not treated me well and I had had enough of waiting and wondering about it.
So I decided that if I had to put up with any more nonsense in relationships, I’d rather be alone. No more drama. No more “I’m so confused.” No more “I feel depressed.”
It was hard and it hurt and I had NO IDEA what was going to happen when I let go of this. But I was fully prepared to stop and pay attention to my own life for once. I had done it in between relationships but I tended to get caught up in someone else’s feelings once I was IN a relationship going south. I was fine when the relationship was fine but would fall apart when trouble came knocking on the door.
I had to decide his stuff didn’t matter and I had to let go of anyone who required so much emotional energy. I had had enough. Love does not have to be this difficult. Love does not drain every ounce of YOU out of you. Real love, true love, allows you to be you because it ADDS to your life, it does NOT take away from it.
You NEVER know what is in the future for you.
I took a rather light attitude towards dating. Met some nice guys. Met some creeps. Was able to listen to my RED FLAGS when it was telling me this guy is a creep.
Spent some time alone. Worked on me. Traveled. Developed some new hobbies. Wrote the ex an awful lot of letters I never sent. Worked on me some more.
Then when I was pretty much done with dating because I wasn’t even into it enough to feign interest in the person sitting across from me, I met Michael. Now it seems that easy but I know it wasn’t. He was the last thing I was expecting.
There was no way I could know that was coming. But if I was still spinning around on the floor like Curly going woo woo woo, I would have never met him. I only met him because I was BUSY paying attention to my life and had stopped moping around my house about this nitwit ex boyfriend.
And to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t even sure, at the time, that I would be ABLE to sustain a long-term relationship. I had gotten to the point where I was wondering if I wasn’t the problem. And I started to believe that I was simply incapable of sustaining a long-term relationship and therefore no healthy man would be attracted to me. But that wasn’t the case.
You have NO IDEA what is is not yet in front of you right now.
Life is full of surpises. It brings us new and different things all the time.
Believe that I believe.
And don’t give up the day before the miracle happens.