Christmas is coming and with it, two weeks of staycation. So excited to stay home with my eldest and not do anything! I have been feeling burnt out just trying to get traction and order instilled with my multiple projects at work. I’m still working on being more effective. But because I have been excited and anxious about work, my life has been grievously out of balance, so it’s time to retune that with the new year.
Back in August, when I went to that workshop on living a conscious lifestyle, it brought up an interesting point concerning relationships. That people often screen others on the wrong kind of things. Everybody wants honesty and kindness, intelligence and humor – and most people consider themselves to have all those things. So that’s not enough. We know that not all matches have a good prognosis for success, so we screen for markers that means we think we have a good chance of success, whichever way we define it. We look at political views, religious views, food views, vice views, etc. Physical markers like height, weight, hair, physique. Status like money, possessions, job title.
One of my friends was asking me if I was back on OKCupid. He’s been married for awhile so he likes to hear horror dating stories. Alas, I currently have no horror stories to amuse him with. He has some other single female friends that are dating and he said he’s always amazed about they put their hopes up way too fast and try to see if this could be something “serious.” He asked me, “Why do women do that?” I told him that some women are lonely or want to be married, or want to have kids, and they’re screening for that compatibility. But personally, I look for a lifestyle match.
I may not know everything about my future life, but I know what I’m shooting for. I’m going to live my life no matter what, and the time will pass whether I’m single or not. I told him, “You know what it’s like, you’ve been married over a decade. When the infatuation of the beginning dissipates, your life ends up pretty much the same whether you have a partner or not. If you were fairly happy, you will probably still be happy. If you weren’t, you won’t. The things you would do to pass the time, your hobbies, your passions – there are all still there. So it really comes down to whether having someone in your life improves, has a net neutral effect, or makes your life worse.”
I agree that it’s very easy for women especially to fantasy about a future that doesn’t yet exist. Probably some of that has to do with our culture and an ideal fostered on women to get married and have kids, as though somehow that makes you a success or a better person. But when I was growing up, I fantasied about my funeral, not my wedding, so my take on it is a bit different. (Artisan cocktails and my favorite foods will be a must to toast my passage from this world. Enjoy what I enjoyed, folks! Scatter my ashes and get drunk!)
I can know what I want for my future, and of course, it would be great if there was a partner in there. There are still many things I want to accomplish and many experiences I would like to have–some of which would be better with a partner. There’s a balance, isn’t there, in being self-sufficient yet being open to love? Wanting to take responsibility of your future, yet knowing there are always things outside of one person’s control, whether in love or in life? And trusting that no matter what happens, you will be okay.
One of the best lessons in love I’ve ever had was when I was making friends in college. In high school and before, I bemoaned how unpopular and alone I was. In college, I just decided to be me – and I made friends that I still have today. The people who wouldn’t have liked me anyway, didn’t. And the people who I could share a deep connection with found me. But often, it was not the people I would have expected from the beginning. The ones that have lasted over time were not the ones I would have predicted in my freshman year – but by being open, by flowing with what time unfolded, I found and grew with some beautiful people.
I am setting out my intentions on what I want to find in someone, and I am also putting out there what I have to offer someone. My deal with the universe, if you will. I know that someday, as some undefined point, I will find the loving relationship I seek. Why? Not because I deserve it, but because I am good at giving it. If you could feel my heart, you could feel it too. I love to love people. I love to feel my heart blaze up like a thousand blazing suns. And I know, somewhere, there is a great man that needs that light to fulfill his potential. (Probably more than one, statistically. I don’t believe in soul mates, but I believe there are many that could complement any one of us.)