Single in my 30’s is not what I planned. I guess I always figured it would just workout. The guy, the home, the marriage and of course the kids. I didn’t expect to find myself 1 cat deep into crazy cat lady territory.
I have been single for more of adult life that I’ve been in relationships. I have seen my friends and of course my ex’s achieve amazing things, get married and have children. I have watched and wanted the same for myself. I still want the same for me. I’m not saying it won’t happen I’m just saying it hasn’t happened yet and at times it can be HARD.
Don’t get me wrong this isn’t a ‘poor me’ ramble it’s about what happens when the way we thought life would workout doesn’t workout. Fairy Tales, movies, TV Shows and books all lead us to believe life is meant to workout a certain way. From a young age we get this idea that we will meet our metaphorical prince/princess and live happily ever after. Despite the fact that this was not my physical experience I still didn’t get it. In fact I think I hung onto the idea even more. After losing my mum at 9 my life was insecure, uncertain and I desperately wanted someone to love me. I want to be encompassed completely in love, just like my mum used to make me feel. I spent my teenage years thinking someone would love me, my 20’s hoping someone would rescue me and I started my 30’s feeling pretty disillusioned.
I met lots of guys. Even when I knew those guys were never going to be what I wanted I refused to let go. Even if they were the biggest bellends going and I knew it I would still pursue them. It was like I wanted to get hurt. I couldn’t say no. My instincts, my heart and everything else would tell me right from the word go that this man is not right but my mind would say ‘let’s try’. My mind desperately wanted attachment and I really didn’t want to be alone. I repeated and stayed stuck in the cycle for along time. I didn’t know how to fulfil my need for affection any other way. It wasn’t just a want it was a need. I think that’s why I stuck out those brief relationships. Not because I believed they would workout but because I genuinely needed to feel close to someone, I needed to feel togetherness with someone and needed an antidote to being alone and those needs made me lose my sense, reason and ability to access situations. As you can imagine those encounters didn’t end well and the pain of the failing would propel me into the next one. Desperately seeking solace, distraction and the antidote to being alone. The cycle continued.
While many of my friends were settling down to marriage and children (if they hadn’t already) I had just had my breasts removed and reconstructed, my career wasn’t working out and I decided to go traveling! People thought I was nuts, although those who know me best didn’t. By society’s standards I was nuts. Giving up what I had worked for and not trying to stack money to buy the things I ‘need’ to be considered important, good and of value. I just thought ‘Fuck it’. I want my life to be epic not mediocre so I need to take a risk. I did and I’m glad I did. I learnt about myself and I learnt more about who I really was. Not who I thought I should be. Mostly I learnt that I didn’t have a very high opinion of myself and that I didn’t really believe in me. I realised that I was constantly putting myself down and being a bitch to myself. I knew this had to change.
Since returning from traveling 2 years ago I have been in a relationship which sadly and regrettably hasn’t worked out. However what has happen for me is that I have a different outlook on relationships, on myself and on how I want my life to be. Huge learning has come for me and from that learning has come growth. Society may want us to believe that live is meant to be a certain way on many levels for many reasons but when life doesn’t workout like that for us we are often left questioning our own validity and our own worth, when actually these situations are a great time for personal growth and learning. Now I can move forward free of my addiction to affection, I can make clear judgements on someone’s suitability and compatibility to me. I can say ‘no this isn’t right for me’. Most importantly I know what I want from a relationship and I know what I want from a partner. In the past I was so desperate to feel any kind of love that I didn’t allow myself to be selective because I didn’t feel I could be, I didn’t feel I had the right to be. I just felt grateful to not be alone. Admitting this and realising that my behaviours were out of control has taken a lot. However as I always say, until we start to take responsibility for every aspect of our lives we are giving away any control we do have.
Newly single in my 30’s feels good. I get sad sometimes when my mind tries to drag me down pity lane. Sometimes I go for a little ride but I am quick to turn around and walk out of there again. There is nothing wrong with indulging, feeling and processing our emotions. It’s a vital part of being human. Making sure we don’t dwell in them and allow them to become part of who we believe ourselves to be is equally as important. My old behaviours do and will continue to rear their ugly heads but I see them. I catch them and realise what I’m doing. I stop myself and reset. You know and I know that it’s crazy to keep doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome. If you keep hitting your thumb with a hammer it will hurt every time. There will be no point that it doesn’t hurt. We can agree on that. Our behaviour around relationships is exactly the same. That’s why until we change our behavioural patterns we will continue to attract the same type of people and situations into our lives. Basically beautiful it’s all on you to get what you want.
Finally I want to say don’t be scared to leave a situation you’re not happy in because you’re afraid to miss life’s supposed ‘deadlines’. Don’t build a life on unhappy foundations because one day that whole life will fall down. Just like a house built on bad foundations the relationship will have many problem and issues, some irreparable. It takes courage to go against the perceived grain but trust me when you start you realise that you’re not going against it in fact you are going with it. Life is so short and fleeting don’t waste it holding yourself to some made up bullshit standards and being unhappy. Embrace your singleness, fall more in love with yourself so you can attract exactly the person you want and deserve.