My Blog Motto

"Good judgement comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgement"

~Rita Mae Brown

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Single, Widowed, Divorced Female Seeks Self

I tend to be one of those people who posses the innate ability to make other people feel good about
being single. I can effortlessly produce the rationale for utilizing time alone to truly know and appreciate ones self. I tell people, and I truly believe, that when the time is right the right person will appear and that until that time forcing the issue is likely to upset the delicate balance of the universe and result in a mismatch that is doomed to fail. On my moodier or my more manic days my advice may arrive more crudely packaged, swathed in darkly cynical humor but the general idea is the same: just don't sweat it-enjoy the present as it is-someday your prince will come and if not you'll be so busy enjoying the present moment you'll never notice. I don't just say this stuff to make people feel better, I really believe it.
It's so much easier to reassure someone else that to grace ones self with the same comfort.
Most times I am reasonably happy being single...although I must admit the word 'single' kind of makes me cringe. There's something about it that implies that it is a temporary condition, that one is either actively seeking a permanent partner or is out to get laid as frequently as possible. "Swinging singles", a dated phrase from my youth, is indelibly etched in my mind. Although I have to say when faced with the options on identification forms, it feels better to say that than it does to say 'divorced'. My divorce happened so long ago I feels like it shouldn't count, like there should be a statute of limitations. I've considered "widowed", the sympathy it would garner is tempting and it sounds far more intriguing than the other two, especially at my age, I would simply have to over look the fact that my husband passed away over a decade after our divorce so that's kind of a white lie as they say.  "Never married" is a nice option they sometimes offer. It carries an air of mystery....why would a woman of her age never have married and what kind of exciting free spirited life did she lead? hmmmm? But that would be more of an actual outright lie, not so white.
No matter how you slice it or what you name it I am indeed, unpartnered, single, divorced and in a way widowed (but not really) and all of a sudden it's starting to feel lonely. Maybe it was exciting for a while because it was different. After all I have been in some sort of relationship for most of my adult life. I tended to go rather quickly from one to the other and in some cases had that little overlap just to make sure I didn't have to wonder what to say on those information forms. Now, in the past decade or so, the stretches between relationships seem to grow longer, quieter, more comfortable. And in those stretches of time, my requirements to change that status become more refined. Over time they have 'refined' to the point of being almost absurd in their specificity as my life becomes more settled in routine and quirky habit less welcome to change or disruption. There are fewer points that are negotiable. The dog sleeps on the bed. The butter stays out on the counter. I'll pick up my underwear when I damn well feel like it and maybe I do want to be up at 3 am reading. On the other hand there are so many areas where I am extremely flexible and/ or easy maintenance. Never forget that you as the potentially partnered, are half the equation.
Just for fun I started a list of characteristics that I would want in a mate. This is a pretty common exercise in counseling or other self help type programs. Optimally the list then gets divided into negotiable and non negotiable traits at some point, but I figure why bother even messing round and including non negotiable in the first place right? Just cut to the chase. So anyway, I started my MANifesto, got about a dozen items into the list, realized I was describing myself and that's when I left off. Haven't touched it since. It's still there of course and like all good manifestos it probably should sit and stew in between additions so that's what it's doing now. At least until I can come up with some non physical i.e. obvious trait that would differentiate this person from myself. Otherwise I may be stuck being my own dream date. Maybe I'll just start filling in my own name in that space that says "spouse", it probably wouldn't be the worst fib on the form.

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