I stopped actively dating online shortly after my dad died.
Living in solitude has given me time to properly introspect. There were four people that changed my perspective and desires on relationships.
1. Be Authentic
First up, was Richard, who gave me some advice on why it’s important not to conform to other’s wishes:
“Refusal to say what you want and be who you are is actually a burden to others. We need to declare clearly and certainly that we are here in the world and that other people can count us to be who we say we are. Being proud and forthright in our bearing in the world is actually a very good thing.
Giving yourself away is the ultimate gift and ultimate goodness. But only after you’ve undergone the work of realizing what a awesome thing you are! And then, when you gift yourself to someone it is of incomparable value-equal in fact to the person himself to which you give it.
I don’t want to sound all “touchy feely” because I’m totally hard headed about science, physics etc. But there’s simply no getting away from the fact that we are each of us, important beyond our wildest comprehension. And , at the same time, insignificant beyond comprehension (if you look at the size of the universe and our unbelievable small fragile planet and the billions of souls living on it)”
Second was from a top gynaecologist who advised that:
“although considered an unpopular topic amongst women, the reality is that fertility sharply declines in mid-thirties, and so it’s best to take into account time considerations if wanting to start a family”
3. Don’t Compromise
Third was from Paul, who advised not to settle on what I’m looking for:
“You know what the issues are. You know what difficulties you face finding a man who shares your faith, your culture, your level of education, and would be amenable to a wife able to speak her own mind and disagree with him. You can also predict what would happen if you compromise on any of those requirements. What would it be like if he wanted a subservient wife? What would it be like if he weren’t educated? What would it be like if he didn’t share either your faith or your culture?
All of these are important questions. You’re not alone. Some say that God or Allah has a match out there destined to be your husband and that one of you isn’t ready yet. I encourage you not to compromise because compromise will add stress to a relationship that should avoid it, but you are your own person with your own educated mind and it is ultimately your own decision.”
4. Don’t Fear Judgement
Fourth was from Donald, who advised not to worry what people think:
“Some folks believe that there’s a built-in marriage switch in us that goes off between 20 and 30 years of age. If you don’t marry within that time zone, you never will, probably because you’ve come to love your independent life style and you are unwilling to change it for someone else. Marriage means changing many things about yourself. When you’re young, you’re easily changeable. But you’re not as changeable after you’ve reached 30. As a matter of fact, some folks would consider you to be stiff and unyielding. But that’s their problem, not yours.
Enjoy your independence. Many married people secretly envy you. I’ve been married for 47 years and married the girl of my dreams. She’s perfect for me, and I for her. We enjoy each other tremendously and give each other the individual space everyone needs. She has the patience of a saint. Had I not met her, I doubt if I would have ever married, thinking she’s the only woman in the world who could tolerate me.”
Why is it that those are the only men I’ve met in my life that are seriously emotionally intelligent. I guess it’s not just us women that give great advice 😉
It’s funny, because although being in my 20’s was fun and carefree, I seemed to not really know what it was that I wanted. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I seem to know exactly what I want, and if anyone doesn’t comply, I don’t care as much as I once did. Either I’m single or in the right relationship, there’s no middle ground.
I have to admit dating is incredibly tedious, but I need to play the numbers game, options are open. I don’t want to be alone from the world anymore. I want to be that old couple that still hold hands in the park, receives flowers, shares my life with someone, watches their children grow.
You can’t do any of that if you’re not allowing people into your life. One of my favourite lines that I’d written re expectations of dating still hold true:
“I fully expect to encounter friendship, passion and commitment as well as disappointment along the way. I look forward to all 4”
I’ve never had a normal/open relationship. To achieve this, I must reconcile that I must travel along a rocky road, as a result I will disappoint many people, in particular the people who love me the most, including myself. This is the mark of a life that belongs only to me. It’s now time to stop hiding…