Tuesday, March 29, 2011


My feelings about being alone are complicated.

When I was married, I was alone a lot. Tyler would travel at least once a month, and was gone all summer, every summer. We didn't usually talk on the phone while he was gone. Emails, once in awhile... that was all. I hated it-- because we were married. I wasn't supposed to be alone. I was bitter and I resented that I always had to care for Caroline alone.

He would eventually come home, and there was always a period of... adjustment. Our apartment is small, and it seemed so much smaller with this big other person suddenly in it all the time. I would be used to my quiet evenings of doing whatever I wanted, and he would come back and intrude on those. We would annoy each other. He would retreat into his work, sit on his laptop. And I would be lonely again... except we'd be sitting in the same room. I would wish that he would go away again.

Maybe I just wasn't very good at being married.

Now I'm alone for real, and I'm supposed to be alone. I have to admit that I really enjoy it. I like keeping my apartment, my space, exactly the way I want it. I like putting Caroline to bed and spending my evenings getting ready for the next day, relaxing, chatting with friends if I want to or just being quiet and not having to cater to anyone if I don't feel like it. On the evenings and weekends she is with Tyler, I spend time getting work done at school or out socializing with friends. I thought I would get lonely eventually, but I really haven't. I've built this new life where I've become closer to my friends and my parents and my child, and I don't miss having that husband, that partner. This is surprising to me. I'm more of a loner than I thought I was. The realization is almost a relief.

I have zero desire to go looking for a new partner. I have zero desire to accept any of the offers I get from any of the men I meet or know, and I am not trying to be conceited but simply stating a fact when I say that I have had many. I am just not interested; I am content. I've never been single like this, and now that I am, it's kind of addicting. There's no drama, no anger, no uncertainty, no expectations, no disappointment.

Long-term, who knows? Maybe I will get lonely. Or bored. Maybe I'll meet someone who makes me want to change the way I live. Sometimes I ask myself if I want to live like this forever, and I cannot come up with an answer. I don't know yet. Maybe I do. But right now I am in no rush to change anything-- I'm just... living. I don't think I have ever been able to say that about my life before. I've always been missing something, wanting something else. It's such a strange feeling, to be content, to be at peace.

I think I'm onto something, here, for me. And I certainly don't want to change it anytime soon.


MJS said...

I love this post. I hope you'll remember to go back and read it now and again to remember this great expression of peace and contentment and not wanting for anything. It's a verbal expression akin to a beautiful sigh of relief. Thanks for sharing this feeling. :)

Johanna said...

I totally sympathize. When I ended a long-term (and long-distance) relationship many years ago, I wasn't even interested in dating for 2-3 years. I was so happy just to have friends and focus on grad school. (I've been lurking and reading, so was glad to see such an contented posting!)