The Thread is Unbroken
August 30, 2021
Letter to a Friend
The writing at the end is from the new book I started about two weeks ago, after I got back from Louisville. So, you see why I was so upset with myself when R. stirred up all these feelings and made me feel like I was wrong to think I didn't want anything long term? Although now that I reread it, I see that what I've written still holds true. I haven't sworn off the idea it might happen. I'm open to it. I just don't chase it. I thought I didn't want it. But that's not true. I just don't chase it.
R. scares me. We talk every day, we share ourselves with one another every day, and he scares me every day. Just by being a super smart super nice guy, way more conservative than me, by the way, but we totally skirt that issue entirely so it's completely unconfirmed. And even that I didn't think was possible! To develop such deep feelings for someone so different from me politically. Clearly, I'm healing. I had so hoped I would. Alas. Another topic for another day...
R. just really woke up this realization that maybe it's not OK for me to decide I want to be single for the rest of my life. Because that's what I thought I'd decided. I thought that was the bottom line, that was what I actually wanted. And then someone comes along, last ditch Louisville one night stand R. of all people, and makes me question that.
Cool as a cucumber, red haired, red-bearded, good ol' Southern boy R., who is just living his life one day at a time, never imaging he's the catalyst for something BIG happening inside of me. I'm not in love with R. I'm not going to marry R. But meeting someone of his character, who has the qualities he has, reminds me of what I'd sought in a husband forever. When I still sought a husband.
Jeff triggered the same monumental transformation five years ago. The changes I needed to make back then were very different, but I was in desperate need of a wakeup call. And Jeff showed up. And Jeff woke me up. Right on time.
I should have known it was time for another Big Shift, and that the Louisville vacation would trigger a major pivot. Actually, I did know it, all along I knew it. But even when you know something big is afoot, when it actually shows up and slaps you up the side of the head with a fencepost, pummeling you into your next life phase and causing you to reexamine all you held as truth, it's terrifying.
I Persevere. And life goes on.
Excerpt from How to do Single With Dignity and Grace:
Up until just this last year, I held onto a thin thread of hope I’d fall in love and marry, but I’ve finally let that thread break of its own accord. It was hard to admit I no longer wanted to get married, in fact I was surprised by the realization. What kind of a person doesn’t want to be part of a couple? That’s just not normal! That’s extremely odd! That makes me extremely odd! Well, I’ve always been extremely odd, so why that came as a surprise is beyond me. Plus, it’s one of the things I like very best about me.
Now, my relationship goals are near polar opposite of those I had four years ago when I started online dating. Back then, my goal was to meet “The Guy”, fall in love, and get married. Preferably to someone my age, with grown children and perhaps grandchildren who I imagined would meet my unmet need to have a family of my own. However, my experience chasing after love and marriage led to nothing but disappointment.
I firmly believe the secret to my having found satisfaction being single has been to release my expectations for any particular type of relationship or relationship outcome and to focus on connecting with quality people with only the goal of developing friendships. The rewards for that shift have been immense.
“Lovers come and go, but friends stay.”