The complications of being human
The life of a single entity, as I see it, is fairly simple and non-challenging. I know that sounds a bit dismissive of all the complications one endures, plans, sets up, lives through. I can say this now as a coupled person. I could not have said it as a single person.
I look back on my single life and chuckle to myself about all of the intricate and complex mis-communications, misinterpretations, and misconstructions of my everyday life. Simple things like knowing who I am, sticking to my belief system, life philosophy, and moral code go out the window as I attempted to compromise myself for the chance at obtaining the illusive 'loving relationship' we all look to have.
My early twenties were a hot mess of thoughts, and misunderstandings. I thought by thinking things through I would be able to find that one true person who sees me for me and will enable me to have a wonderful life long relationship. In reality I had no idea who I was, what I wanted, what I would be willing to compromise, what I would not be willing to compromise, and where I wanted to be. I also compromised myself so much that I couldn't begin to identify my core self with a magnifying glass and a search committee.
I dated a bit, I non-dated a bit as well (use your own definition here, I know what that means for me, but I am not about to give intimate details to each and every reader). But the truly sad thing was that I compromised different parts of me in each and every relationship/non-relationship and had to dissect every situation to see what I had done to mess it up. But the blatantly obvious did not occur to me until I was 26. It took me 6 yrs and a vow of celebecy (not literally) for 2 yrs to come up with the simplest things that kept me single- I don't know who I am.
Nosce te ipsum: KNOW THYSELF. This is something of an internal quest for truth. One that is life long and that changes as we evolve. However, it needs a great deal of introspection to complete, and if you think you are there, and know thyself, then you need to keep going... you never really get there if you are really trying.
The evolution of self continues as you make the hard decisions and avoid the easy way. The Easy way looks a little like this - date someone comfortable, enjoy the physical relationship, avoid sharing yourself emotionally, avoid asking the questions you are keeping and really wanting to know the answer to, give in to the other's every whim, forget yourself, deny that you have different wants and desires, don't share the scary thoughts/feelings, run when asked any question that you are uneasy with.
If you really want to continue the quest for self then:
BE REAL: Answer all the hard questions for yourself- TRUTHFULLY- then decide what you need to do. These questions pop up early in a new relationship and can be the make or break points. Though we often avoid them (I did) as it seems 'silly' and 'less likely' that 'they are wondering about these things 'cause we're good'. Be real, be the man/woman and own up to having these thoughts and try and figure out what to do with them. I know sharing them with your new found partner isn't likely to be an easy thing, but in the end, if the person isn't for you... then you just made it easier on both of you by asking the question you both likely had, and now have the answer neither of you had. But key is to not keep the thought/question lodged deep in the psyche so that it will haunt you throughout your relationship. Better out than in.
Those two things I was able to do over the course of 6 yrs. I took a lot of time to myself, journal writing and speed thinking. I ran almost an hour and a half a day, and it gave me a lot of time to think on things. But, if I wasn't willing to do the hard time with myself, I would not be here today with a loving wife and 2 beautiful daughters.
I was a different single person that last time of being single. I was directed, focused, clear headed, straight forward talking, question asking, good with being me.
The hard part of being human is that despite knowing you, what you like, what you don't, what you are willing/not willing to compromise, etc etc, is the fact that people surprise us. We get off track, we lose sight of our quest, we get distracted by the shiny, new, baubles in front of us, and we have to struggle from the comfortable/dangerous/sexy/physical allure of someone who isn't "the one".
For all of the things we come to understand about ourselves, one thing we often lose sight of is the fact that as humans we are not only attracted to one type of person, one characteristic, one color of hair, or eyes, shape of legs, smell of perfume/cologne, shade of skin, sense of humour, projection of confidence, shyness, humbleness, boastfulness etc etc. We are driven as human animals to seek a partner who, evolution dictates, will help us procreate. We are animals, who have baser needs, which on times, have been held close so that we don't turn into the animal we are afraid of - the one who likes the physical too much and could care less about the emotional. The struggle for many is that the mundane, emotional, domesticated version we become in our relationships is somehow wrong, and we should not surrender to them. We need the danger, to be dangerous.Some people are just not set up to be partnered off.
But the evolution of man tells us that being paired up for life keeps us alive. There are more health issues for singles over the age of 60, there are more accidents when living alone. So, why are things so complicated that we can't decide whether we need to be paired up, or we need to be living the life of a bachelor/bachelorette?
Expectations from family, society, ourselves helps make things complicated. But the reality is, dismissing all of these things and truly being honest with yourself will bring you to understand what it is you should be doing. How many couples do you know who fight/argue/disagree that you think should no longer be together. And how at ease everyone is when they do divorce or break up. Knowing yourself and acting on that will be key to being the person you are, no mater how complex we are.
My ramble time is up