Sleepy-Time Tea, a boring book, counting sheep... I don't think I'd put "blogging" too terribly high on that list! Writing tends to stir up emotions, and I theorize that the glow of the computer screen before bed makes sleep difficult. But hey, here I am! I went to bed at 11:30 pm, fell right asleep, then BOOM! Awake at 3 AM with mind on hyperspeed.
Perhaps my recent re-emphasis on blogging has stirred my mind's juices and I just need to get my thoughts out of my brain so it can relax. Whatever the reason, I've got some insomnia going on, and I'm gonna try and write it out (then I'll pick up this god-awful book I started so I can go to sleep!)
I think what triggered this bout of sleeplessness is the little bit of depression I felt right before I went to bed. I was chatting with a few friends, making plans for the weekend, and after I signed off, it hit me that there's a very good chance I'm going to spend the rest of my life alone, serial dating! It sounds silly, I'm sure, but I felt that unless I'm willing to "settle" for someone who isn't my "soul match", I might not ever be in a long term relationship again.
Problem is, I'm not willing to settle! I've done so in the past, and all it got me was years spent with someone I knew wasn't right for me.
Admit it or not, we all have a need to be in a relationship. We want to have someone to come home to, to connect with, to be a couple with. Where we often fail is, we settle for Mr. Wrong just to have Mr. Someone. It's a slippery slope, and one I've slid down far too many times. Instead of working on a relationship, we fight FOR a relationship, knowing it's wrong, knowing it's not a match, but wanting too badly to be part of the all-powerful couple.
The temptation to settle is strong. When you're over 40, the pool of single men is small. Every criteria you have shrinks that already small pool. When you live in an area known for hunting, fishing, and big trucks - and that just isn't your thing - the pool shrinks further. When intelligent and insightful are high on your priority list, it becomes a search for a needle in a haystack. When as a woman you're independent, strong and have no drama - wow, your pool of male friends is large - but do they want to pursue a relationship? No, they want you to be their friend, their adivisor, their shoulder to cry on... as they pursue the woman with constant drama, young children, the jerk of an ex-husband, and a daily need to be "fixed". She may be more attractive, or less - but more often than not, her life's a mess. These men swear up and down they despise drama, but when they're in it - they don't refer to it as drama - they're subconsciously living out their knight in shining armor fantasy.
So, what to do? Dumb it down? Nope. Play helpless? Nope. Compromise my standards? Well, we all need to compromise in some ways, but my core needs? Nope.
Stay single? Maybe.
I've recently reconnected with a few men that I briefly dated in the past. When we dated, it just wasn't a click, and to be honest, it was often on my part. Something was missing - and most often, it was strength. I consider myself strong in many ways, but even I need to be taken care of on occasion, and I feel a great need to be with someone stronger than I am. I asked a few of these men why they were contacting me again. Other than the typical "I was just thinking of you", I heard, "I just didn't feel I was in the right place to pursue a relationship with you". One used the word, "intimidated" because my life seemed so "together". I felt then, as I do now, that if they'd demonstrated true strength, they would have seen my vulnerability.
Do I need to change? I'm not sure what I need to change, so I can't answer that. I'm far from perfect, but I'm me... do I want to go into a relationship being someone I'm not?
It's often said "there's someone for everyone". I think I believe it, but I have my doubts. When I was willing to "settle" in my life, I was always in a relationship. When I decided my life was too important to settle in my choice of partner through it, that stopped. I can't say I've been in a real relationship for over four years. I've dated, but not one has come close to what I'm seeking.
All around me my single friends are dropping like flies. They become single, and BOOM, before they know it, they're back in a relationship. My initial emotion was a bit of jealousy, "why her? why not me?" But as time has gone on, I've seen that they have settled. My jealousy has gone away, replaced by sadness for them. I wish them happiness, but I can't imagine they'll have the true happiness they would have, had they held out for Mr. Right, instead of settling for Mr. Somebody.
I think I'm going to focus on letting go, and letting God take care of this part of my life. He knows me, and he knows the kind of partner that will bring me joy, and accept me for who I am.
I'm not going to say I won't still feel some frustration, depression and loneliness - but like every negative emotion, it's short lived.
Right now I have a wonderful family, a beautiful new grandson to love on, and fabulous friends who already accept me for who I am. Might as well focus on those beautiful parts of my life, because I absolutely, positively, REFUSE TO SETTLE.