Thursday, September 13, 2007

How do you fill the empty spaces?

My marriage ended about 5.5 years ago after 11 years of being together. I can only describe the time before I met K (BK) and after (AK) as times of desperation – wanting to have a relationship, believing with all my heart that love was out there etc etc. And while I was married I always felt there could be something more or better than what I had. After a 2.5 year relationship (call it a rebound that last WAY too long if you like) I’ve now been on my own and not really looking for about 2 years.

The thing is…I like it.

For most this would be enough. As in “I’m here and I’m happy – don’t question it.” If you know me however, this kind of staying still is not in my nature. I don’t exactly excel at living in the moment. In the past, looking for something “more” or looking to the future meant a relationship and somehow everything else – the job, the house, the extras that make life what it is – would just…well…follow. So for well over a year I have not, for the first time in over 25 years, been looking for “love.”

Lots of reasons for this have filtered through my head:
- I don’t want to compromise with someone
- I don’t want to deal with someone else’s baggage/crap/opinions/judgements
- I am not particularly loveable (more of a premenstrual opinion)
- I am not at my best in a relationship
- Sex is messy and I don’t want to deal with it right now
- I don’t want to have to live up to someone else’s expectations

Not that these really matter, because what I realize is that the absence of the Relationship Goal has left a void that I don’t know how to fill. I don’t know how to live if I am not looking for that thing.

So instead, I obsess about why I don’t want it. I try to decide if not wanting it is healthy. I try to decide if I don’t want it because I am broken. I try to figure out if I have become either a) a lesbian or b) asexual or c) monosexual. I suspect that c is the most likely but think that expecting to live the rest of my life without sex with another person is a bit ludicrous.

I realize I had so much invested in this great search that without it I am at a bit of a loss when it comes to envisioning the future.

So if you have any suggestions for how to replace desire and passion for another person with desire and passion for yarn, and still be able to make mortgage payments, I’d be happy to consider any and all options.


T said...

Hey, you. It's perfectly normal to not want to be in a relationship. You know how sometimes you want ketchup on your fries and sometimes you don't? That's just how It Is sometimes.

Have you been horribly miserable the last year?

Obessing about a relationship sounds as healthy as obessing about why you don't have (or want) one, to me.

Bleh on "envisioning" the future if it means stress and self doubt. Looking back at the time when I was alone after my divorce I realize that was when I got to know me better. And I liked it, too.

Your list of reasons for not actively searching for a relationship makes it sound, to me, that you need more Lisa Time. Think of yourself as a Yum E. Cupcake; you're not quite done yet :)


Five Ferns Fibreholic said...

Problem with pouring your heart out on your blog, you open yourself up to scrutiny by all kinds of armchair therapists.

Since I don't know you, I really don't have the full picture of the situation, thus I can't offer personal advice. You wrote that for 2 years you haven't been looking and "like it" but the lack of a relationship goal has created a void. Either you are happy with yourself as a single or you are not.

Without stepping to far over the line, I will ask this. Do you have to go into a relationship expecting desire and passion? That puts a lot of pressure on the situation for both of you, and could end something before it starts.

Just my two cents.

Lisa said...

t - yes to coffee!

fff - As the queen of the armchair therapists I can hardly ask anyone to hold back on this one - but in response to your post...Hmmm...I am happy single! But the issue is that I don't know how to NOT be looking. Its so hard to explain!

I am so used to being in Relationship Goal mode that I don't know what to be when I'm NOT in it. Does that make sense? So its not the lack of relationship that is a void, but rather that I am no longer consumed with finding it anymore, but this leaves me at loose ends...what am I doing now instead?

As for expecting desire and passion...well I was married right? So I'm pretty realistic about that stuff :-) And maybe having lost hope in that regard also makes having a partner way less appealing.

T said...

I can be such a n00b, can't I? Maybe coffee in the country, or the South End ;)

Hopefully Shmoo works on the same weekend you're kid free.

Jeanne said...

Maybe you start filling the space with figuring out who you really are - I think sometimes we get caught up in who we think we should be, or who everyone else thinks we should be and lose touch with who we really truly are. And maybe if you figure out that, your next relationship will be different because you will be confident in who you are and what you want.

Carmen said...

Perhaps you have come to the realization that you need time to get to know yourself. A relationship is not compromising to another person, although it is sharing, and doing some give and take. Lisa, maybe the time has come to be passionate about yourself.....

Leanne said...

I don't have any words of wisdom, but I will give you a big old hug!

Laurie said...

There's nothing wrong with being 1.

But, you do know that when you relax and DON'T go looking for will find you. :-)

Be comfortable with you. Enjoy life!

Grit Knitter said...

Well, from my experience (and I have lots), I spent my 20's wanting relationship, marriage and babies. I spent my 30's going, "I am alone. COOL!" The whole thing is about learning to love yourself and accepting the Alone Principle of life. You are born alone. You die alone. You have many, many, many times in your life where you HAVE to be alone. Society has convinced us that being alone is not acceptable and has taught us that it's wrong. It is not. If you're not looking, you're not looking. You're having a relationship with Yourself. This does not create a "void". When you "like" being alone, you have created a relationship with yourself. It is at that moment that the right relationship comes along and you learn that you don't "need" this person, you "want" this person and that you still need time "with" yourself. I was there when I was 32-34, and it was then that I met my husband. Both of us love each other in the truest sense of the word because we still need time alone with ourselves. Too much togetherness can hurt the relationship you've created with yourself.