I recently shared a personal story that I’ve not shared with anyone before. A few of my closest friends and family knew that I had experienced some abuse in my last relationship, but it took me nearly two years to tell the whole story — I ended my relationship in June, 2012. My friends were shocked by the story. Gobsmacked.
One of the things that people keep asking me (and that I ask myself) is:
Do you think you’ll want to date or have a relationship again?
I think so. Probably. Maybe. Maybe not.
I’d love to have a wonderful relationship again. I think. But here is how that negative relationship — and perhaps most importantly, my long period of self-imposed solitude and celibacy (needed to get back to “me”) following it — changed me.
I will not tolerate one moment of confusion, one flicker of anxiety, one worry, one moment of doubt , fear…nothing.
Is this normal? Have I become too guarded, too impatient? Or is this what healthy, strong women do?
In the past, I’ve approached relationships much as I always have my work with at-risk youth. I’m very adept at identifying the good in people and focusing on that. I’ve made a career of helping people work around their barriers. But I’m just not willing to suffer for love again.
There’s a reality here that I’m honestly not ignoring and that is that certainly, every relationship has its challenges. That’s normal and expected. But why entertain an idea if something feels off? Why be willing to trade X for Y. If a man doesn’t have both X and Y (and Z), and is remiss about working on himself, I can’t help him get there.
Listen to your gut. Follow your instincts. They won’t lie to you. You just have to be still and listen. Don’t be blindly accepting. Be a bit selfish. You’re on your own journey and you only want to walk with travelers who are traveling in the same direction as you are.
Here is another reality: I truly understand that I’m totally fine alone. We all say that, don’t we? We’ve all always said that and I thought I meant it. So why are we willing to settle? In my two years of solitude, the “I’m fine alone” mantra has become more than just words. I thought I meant it before. I know I do now.
I don’t mind walking through life with someone and facing the challenges that life throws one’s way. Illness, issues with children, car troubles, tough decisions, money worries, etc…This is life and this is love. What I do not want to deal with is bullshit.
I’ve evolved. And I think it’s about time.