My break up is not something I will particularly touch on, other than to say we wanted different things, and I wish Brick the best in future. Me, I have been processing it as a series of feelings, largely as an immense amount of vulnerability, a bit of cumulative damage to my self esteem, and a few conclusions.
Whether or not I actually make use of these lessons is an experiment in free will versus disaster planning, but whatever.
One of these is that I absa-posa-lutely should not do any more rushing in anything, regardless of whatever my heart decides for me. Several choices over the course of my life have been made on the hinge of the closing door of my last relationship. These choices seemed temporary and laced with hedonism, only to morph very quickly into responsibility. That is a kind of love, but one where you end up singing Joanie Mitchell songs about Clouds.
Here is the gut truth, over several relationships: I seem to like high strung men, and the nurturing is a part of my attachment. I do not think I can change my type there. It does, however, cause certain trends that repeat over the last decade.
I am going to make a slightly more selfish and self contained path in the next six months. No relationships, lots of exploration. That isn’t to say I table the idea of settling down forever, but I want to experience being single.
Even if my heart attaches itself, as it is wont to do, nothing worth it requires me to cast off all balance to claim it. Dates, dance classes, flirting, fun. Busy, but aware.
6 thoughts on “New Year, New Me, New Rules”
You and I are at the same place right now. Except mine is I have went from relationship to relationship rushing into things and now I refuse to get in one unless its exactly what I’m looking for.
Best of luck on your journey
Learning lessons is fucking hard and it sucks, but YES on the ‘more writing please’.
I look forward to your not-relationshippy adventures and merry japes (just made myself laugh with ‘japes’. I started with ‘hijinks’ (is SO a word, STFU spellcheck) & was reflecting on how such an olde worlde word befits my vintage, but ‘look, I can do even better’ says my brain rocking away on my metaphorical porch telling imaginary kids to get the hell off my lawn. Also I might be drunk).
Going single has its advantages. We came into the world this way and we’re likely to leave it the same.
Giving advice is comforting for me so the following is not because I believe you need me to tell you what to do. It’s because I enjoy telling people what to do and then watching them do something completely different and have great outcomes. Which I am confident you will, if you aren’t already implementing everything I’ve laid down below. Which for all I know, you are.
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Companion animals can help take the edge off. Your arms aren’t empty and you have someone to take care of who needs you.
Antidepressants can also take the edge off, for what that’s worth. If that’s a tool that helps you maintain your independence through transitions, don’t dismiss it just because you aren’t suicidal.
Otherwise, set yourself up so that you are independent. You have your own income and own place. It means you can turn on a dime. You can know in advance that a particular relationship is likely to run its course in rather less than five years and be happy with that person for the present, but also know that you are not responsible for their emotions, that only you are responsible for your own well-being, and cut them loose when the time is right because you aren’t entangled.
It’s perfectly fine to have a penchant for difficult partners—at least I hope so, because I have one too—but then you need to be hard-ass about protecting your boundaries. Polyamory literature* is great for that, even if you aren’t interested in practicing poly.** The right difficult partner can be a lovely “husband three doors down.”***
Also be aware that not all ‘difficult’ is the same. I can do ‘difficult—depressed’ just fine.† I have a lot more trouble with ‘difficult—aggressive.’‡ I absolutely refuse to do ‘difficult—substance abusing.’
Happy new year!
*I found Eve Rickert’s More Than Two particularly valuable.
**Sasha Van Setten wrote a column decades ago about how horrible and anxiety-provoking polyamory is and how she needs copious doses of therapy to manage it. She only does it because monogamy is even worse. Know thyself.
†Tuck them into bed, assure them that they’ll get up when they get bored and bugger off to do my own thing; cook meals but not share food unless they are fully-dressed and sitting at the table; or kick them out to be sullen and morose somewhere they aren’t going to get in my way. These approaches are good for both of us. Partner doesn’t ruin my life and doesn’t have the burden of guilt of ruining my life because they very obviously are not.
‡It can be hard to just say No to aggressive partners generally when they aren’t aggressive all the time. But when they start acting up you can’t just leave them alone or kick them out either, because they don’t collaborate.
“more writing please, I miss that”
We here in internet land do as well, and I’m delighted to be reading your words again. Thank you for sharing them (and hence yourself) with us all.
I hope 2020 brings you joy and centeredness.