I’ve been chatting with various people, as I do - and the topic of relationships crops up and I've met the varied range of experiences over the last months.
I've met a few guys (on dates) recently who are separated, in the process of divorce - often with children; some happy about it some not so. Marriages that have split for different reasons; simply grew apart or infidelity of either side.
Then others (male and female friends) who are divorced, and have a terrible relationship with their ex - bad settlements and on-going stress.
Those who are married and whose marriage is in trouble, or not quite as happy as it once was.
Those who are divorced and never speak to their ex (no need if no children, even if children often little contact).
Then there are those who are in happy relationships/marriages, polyamorous relationships, open marriages, some who are unfaithful (and they think it works ok).
And then there’s my parents generation - those who have been together for 40 plus years (my parents are at 48 years now) - the generation that stayed together no matter what.
Finally us singletons who are in relationships - with ourselves...
As a single woman, who has been since I was 31 (I think) and not had a 'serious/long term" relationship since, who has gone through a phase of every man I met was ‘the one’ - I now find myself in a place where it’s okay to be on my own.
Now that’s not to say I want to be single forever, I occasionally have romantic daydreams of being swept off my feet in a passionate embrace and taken away to live happily ever after… I don’t dream it often but every now and then I indulge the daydream - it’s a nice one!.
When I speak to others and hear their more woeful tales, I feel grateful for being single. Doing things when and how I want, not having to consider another at all really, on the flip side this leads one to be quite self-centred, absorbed and inconsiderate!!!. hmmmmm - but then there are those in relationships like that too...!?!
When I meet those in relationships that are working, in which they openly communicate, share experiences and also have their own time and seem to have it ‘together’ - my heart swells as I love that those relationships exist and I wish it for all. Of course they have tough times, but they figure it out and move on; accepting there are more good times than bad.
I sat on my balcony the other evening and a sense of peace washed over me as I heard a child crying, grateful that I didn’t have a little person in my life to disturb my aloneness. Not loneliness, not at all, but those moments on my own in contentment - a place that I found hard to get to in the past.
I’m not saying it doesn’t get lonely being single - moments shared with oneself, cooking for one, travelling on ones own, making decisions with no one to discuss it with who really knows you and how life is - at times I do miss having a partner.
And therein lies the difference between loneliness and alines - loneliness is missing someone, aloneness is contentment on one's own. I generally keep busy, but not to avoid being lonely more because I enjoy the things I do. It might serve me well to have more times where I simply sit and do "nothing".
If I had met the person that was “right” to be with - well of course this would be a very different blog, or there may be no blog at all… What if I had had children then how would my life look?
There are so many unknowns and to stop and think about the ‘what ifs’ is a great place to go crazy and not be in the present.
I am where I am in life.
A friend directed me ages ago to Osho’s : Love, Freedom and Aloneness of which so much made sense and helped me settle into singledom and who I am and that alone does not equal lonely.
An excerpt I found: OSHO
We can be surrounded by people and be lonely.
We can be on our own and feel in the greatest of company.
How we decide to be in whatever relationship we are in is up to us and that includes the relationship we have with ourselves - which in my opinion is the greatest relationship of all...