I never envisaged being single in my 50’s. Sometimes it feels like a strange experience, especially at night, going to bed alone. Other times, I relish in the fact that I’m so free. My inner joy is palpable during evenings when I drive home from a bachata class so enthused that I’m single!
No having to check in, out, answer to, debate, no one to get irritated at me for any reason… I don’t have to tip toe around someones bad mood or try to figure out what’s wrong (again). No struggle between him and my loved ones or being put in a position to choose. The freedom from tension is fantastic I must say.
Yet, there are times when I am lonely, where I ache to be with a loved one again, someone who ‘gets you’ someone who has your back no matter what. A mate to confide in, laugh with, lay with. There is this double edged sword to battle, freedom v loneliness.
I know I don’t want to ‘settle’. I don’t want to be that person who says after a few years with their mate ‘well, we are friends that’s about it and i’m comfortable with our friendship.’ What, no intimacy? I cannot imagine a relationship without intimacy, closeness, candlelight and fulfilment. Yet is that an unreal expectation after a decade or two together?
Meanwhile, everyone has an opinion. Some have told me ‘why bother? enjoy your own life, make that your priority’ or, ‘why bother with a relationship, just have “special” friends and leave it at that….
And so, I date a bit. I go through periods where I date a few people, get bored and stop the whole process for about 3 months. I read blogs on dating who advise to go on 10 dates at least before deciding whether someone is relationship material but most guys I date hint at intimacy a lot earlier than 10 dates! I suspect that bit of advice is a fairy tale.
Just yesterday I bumped into a man standing by his car. He smiled and said something about his wife. I asked ‘how long have you been together?’ and he said ’54 years’.
What? 54 years – are you kidding? What’s your secret?
He looked at me and said ‘total loyalty’. A person feels when your loyal and totally behind them.’ I couldn’t agree more. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to ponder what qualities I really want to see in another person whilst developing those qualities within myself. As for loyalty, it seems like common sense really, but you know what they say about that? Common sense isn’t really all that common……