“Why are you single?” or “How are you single?” if someone is trying to flatter me. It’s a simple answer but no one will accept it for some reason: “Because I choose to be.” I haven’t been single that long, but I am back in the dating game so the questions that are asked are fair game. People just need to learn to accept the answers.
“You are wife material” or “You are going to make a great mother some day.” Ummm fucking check yourself. If you actually asked me my stance on traditional marriage and my thoughts on having children: 1.) you’d get the longest answer ever 2.) you may retract that statement. Stop assuming that because I’m close to 30 I’m feeling pressured to get married and start having kids. You couldn’t be more wrong. It’s not cut and dry for me and I sure as hell don’t NEED those things.
Here’s the thing, I’ve learned a lot about myself lately. I’m continuing to learn more about myself. What I want and who I want is going to be in constant evolution. I heard the greatest quote from Teri Cole the other day on Liz DiAlto’s podcast “Untame the Wild Soul Woman.” She was talking about her single years. She said she had a realization after many attempts at relationships and having what she thought was a “fear of commitment.” She realized it was not fear of commitment but rather she had “created this amazing party that was her life and to be permanently invited to the party you needed to be the right addition to it.” Now that was a terrible summarization of the quote. you can find the actual interview here. I seriously wanted to jump for joy when I heard it. I was in the car, so I couldn’t. Right now, my life is AMAZING. I have the best people surrounding me on a regular basis. I woke up one morning this week and it clicked how damn lucky I am and it made my whole day beautiful.
I tend to fall into relationships where I lose parts of myself. This past relationship, I lost my social self. There have been others where I have lost my sexual self or my mindfulness self. Maybe I’ve lost a combination of those selves plus other versions of myself in different relationships. I’ve fully recognized that now and can hopefully break that cycle.
I highly encourage any one, women especially to take a moment to think about who they are, who they want to be and what they’ve given up in the past for an unhealthy relationship. I think we all fall into that “Well this will do,” mentality and then guilt ourselves into staying far longer than we should. “I’m being too critical,” “I’m too picky,” “no one can deal with me,” some may be true but more likely than not I think it’s not true.
Here are my top 5 non-negotiables for my next relationships:
1.) I need to maintain my friendships, separate from my partner.- Yes, I will introduce the person I’m dating to my friends…eventually (it takes awhile). I will invite them to group events and have my partner in my social life. I also need time with just my friends though, without my partner. I like getting together with the girls and giggling over a couple glasses of wine. I like spending time with my best friend talking about big life questions. I need those connections to be fully available when I’m alone with my partner.
2.) I need silence and alone time.- After work I need like 15-20 minutes of alone time, just to decompress. I have 30 tiny humans talking to be all day and then some. I just need some time. I also need a few nights/days a week of being alone and doing my own thing. Reading, writing, crafting…alone.
3.) Communication- I admit I’m terrible about being assertive with what I want or need at any given moment but I think it is because of the people I’ve chosen to partner with. If I don’t feel comfortable and confident talking to my partner about big issues…I just won’t do it. Which is deadly to any relationship. I’m working on it, I need my partner to be open to working on it too.
4.)Physical Chemistry- I overlook this one often thanks to the societal notion that women’s focus shouldn’t be on sex. Bullshit…it’s important. It’s crazy important in a relationship. I need to feel it and know who ever I’m partnering with is on the same page as me.
5.) Freedom to be myself- I can be ridiculous, we all can. I need someone who can handle that. Someone who can handle my sailor mouth. Someone who respects my need for space. Someone who doesn’t mind my somewhat hippie ways. Someone who understands that I believe in mental, physical and soul health. Someone who understands I stay angry for roughly 10 minutes and move on. I cry for every emotion: angry, sad, extreme happiness, frustration, you name it I’ve cried about it.
Take your self inventories. What do you need?