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The Whys of Love

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I have been thinking about relationships and being single a lot lately. I have been single for over a year. I haven’t had a date in almost a year.

It’s the longest I’ve ever gone without a date. I’ve been asked a few times, but I either wasn’t ready or wasn’t interested. I’m tired of wasting my time on people that want to play games with me.

At this point in my life, I need someone to offer me something better than what I am offering myself alone at home. Or, if not better, at least worth the trouble. And thus far, that hasn’t been happening.

I’ve stopped feeling a need to date someone. I’ve stopped wanting to feel wanted by someone. I’m not bitter or angry or sad about it. I have just been spending a lot of time thinking about relationships.

I know a lot of people that are in various stages of relationships. Just meeting, just getting serious, just moved in, just married, married for years and years. I only know one couple out of all of them that is happy. Just one. And they are a new couple.

I’ve never known a couple that had a relationship I envy. I’ve never seen a couple that made me wish I was in a relationship. I’ve certainly never been in a relationship that has given me something worth missing.

I do believe good relationships exist. I know happy and healthy is a possibility. It just doesn’t appear to be the norm. And I’m no longer willing to settle for less than that.

When I look at all these relationships I know, and I look at my own past relationships, I wonder what it is that makes me even want to be in one. In my own personal experience, they involve nothing but control, manipulation, games and abuse.

So why do I want one?

I don’t need to be with someone. I am happy being alone. I take good care of myself. I treat myself right. I buy me nice things. I take me out to dinner. I love me. I show myself care and concern and respect. I cheer myself up after a bad day. I make myself dinner. I run myself baths. I make me feel safe and calm myself down when I feel overwhelmed.

So why do I want one?

Society tells me that I need to be in a relationship. It tells me that I need to get married and have children. It tells me that I need someone to take care of me when I am sick and old. It tells me another person will make me feel complete and fulfilled.

But I am not having children already. I don’t need to be married (though some part of me would still like to be). I take care of me when I am sick. And I already do feel complete and fulfilled.

So why do I want one?

I am running out of reasons. I’ve stopped understanding why people get into relationships. My own reasons in the past were the wrong reasons and I have no right reasons to replace them with.

I will admit that I sometimes feel lonely. But that loneliness is much less now than it ever has been. There is no lonelier feeling than being with someone that won’t connect with you. Or being with someone that wants to abuse you instead of love you. I would rather feel the occasional loneliness of being alone than the constant loneliness of sharing a life with someone that doesn’t want to share.

And at the end of the day, I will be alone, no matter who I am with. I am alone with my thoughts before I go to sleep at night. And when I die, I will be alone. We all die alone. We all face death alone. And I am not afraid of that.

So why do I want one?

I am honestly starting to wonder if I do. I have spent so much of my life taking it for granted. That I am supposed to meet a man and fall in love. I have never fallen in love. I have never met a man worth loving.

I have taken it for granted that I am supposed to want a relationship. That I am supposed to want love. That I am supposed to be good at emotions by virtue of being a woman. But I’m not. And I’m not sure if I do want those things now.

I have spent so much time and energy in my life thinking about someone else. Thinking about a boyfriend. Thinking about a crush. Thinking about meeting someone. And I don’t know for what purpose. I have nothing to show for all that time and energy and effort.

I think I am afraid if I stop wanting a relationship that it will be like giving up. But in a bad way. Like the universe will never send someone worthwhile to me.

And I would love to have just one good relationship. Just to prove to myself that they can be good. And maybe also to help make up for all the bad ones I’ve been in (even though nothing ever really can). It might be nice to experience, just once. Even if it’s only for a short while.

And, I guess, that’s why I want one. To prove that I can have one. Maybe just to prove to myself that someone not abusive would want to be with me. And that I can have one relationship in my life that is good and worthy of my time and effort.

I guess that is also why I don’t want to give up. I want to know what it feels like to fall in love. Just one time in my life.

It’s sort of like a life experience I want to put in my collection that I haven’t had yet. Once again, in writing this, I figure myself out. Now I know how I feel and why I feel that way. It actually gives me a bit of hope.

Intimacy

I know it is irrational but I can’t help feeling worried and afraid. What if I am causing all my relationship issues? I saw a bunch of guys from my old office on Saturday. They all seem to be in relationships now. Everyone around me is getting married and having kids. And I am single. Still/again.

I know these guys are not necessarily happy. But I’d like to think that they are. I want to believe they are because it gives me hope for myself.

But I can’t help but wonder why I am single. I’m starting to believe I am attractive, so it can only be my personality. But at the same time, I have been picking awful men. And I need to stop doing that.

I could be with someone right now if I had stayed with JC or AT or AB. They would probably have never broken up with me. So, the first issue is dating a non-abusive man. I feel like that is somehow hard to find since that is all I have ever dated.

I didn’t find any of these men, they all seemed to find me. But my therapist is right when she says that by not choosing who to date, I am choosing to date just anyone. Which is exactly what I have been doing.

I had been saying yes to anyone that asked. If I was single and someone asked me out, I just said yes. I didn’t even feel like I had much of a right to say no. (Hooray for low self-esteem).

I thought I should just take what I was getting otherwise I’d be alone forever. And though I really, really don’t want to be alone (especially not forever), I’d rather be alone and safe than be abused.

I have got to stop dating whoever asks and wait for someone that is going to treat me right. Because I am afraid of what will happen to me if I don’t. I’m afraid that all this abuse and shit is piling up on my soul or something. I’m afraid that if it doesn’t stop I really will be broken.

I’m afraid I’ll wind up settling to satisfy this hunger I am experiencing for intimacy. I’m afraid I’ll get bitter and angry and think all men are abusive bastards. I’m afraid I’ll be one of those shell people that have nothing left of themselves. I’m afraid my PTSD will become who I am instead of just a part of who I am.

And, speaking of intimacy, I am afraid of how badly I want to be touched. I don’t know where it came from. I never recall feeling this way in my past. I think I just need to start having some positive touch experiences.

If it takes nine good experiences to overcome one bad one, I don’t know if I’ll live long enough to ever even break even. I’d need thousands of positive experiences. And I feel like getting that is really crucial to me genuinely healing and getting better.

I can’t do it alone, which is the most frustrating part. I need someone I can really trust to help me with this. I feel like this is some kind of deep, soul need. I don’t know how to explain it. It isn’t just a desire to have sex, though there is that too.

But sex wouldn’t be enough to cover it. I need physical intimacy in a way I never have before. I’ve never experienced much actual physical intimacy before, and I feel like I need to before it’s too late. And that is much harder to come by. I don’t know where to find it or how to get it. Or how to have it.