As I was visiting with my mom a couple of days ago, she broached a subject I was hoping we would not have to discuss: Relationships. The reason I hate discussing this with her is that I don’t need to be reminded that my taste in women is atrocious and that every time I have been in what would loosely be termed “a relationship,” I passed up a lot of better options to settle for far less than I deserved every single time. I know all of this, and have to live with it, but she feels the need to remind me.
But this discussion was different. It wasn’t about my poor choices and stupid mistakes of the past, it was about the future. And I had not given much thought to the future. I have been living with a day-to-day perspective throughout 2018, and the idea of thinking a day or a week or a month ahead isn’t something I had been doing to any extent.
I have, however, discussed it a bit with my two closest confidants at times.
The last time I was single for an extensive period of time, I had a list of rules to help me weed out the losers from the potential winners. It wasn’t the type of rules that most people think of (specific height, weight, hair color, etc.) but was more guidelines to separate the trash from the treasures, i.e. “must have a job,” “must have a car” and “no crazy ex’s.” The kind of thing a nice, middle-class girl should have.
The problem with that kind of thinking is that I looked past the more obvious points I should have been considering, like “is this someone I can stand being around for more than a couple of hours?” Or, “is this someone I could marry in the future?”
To make matters worse, I not only totally disregarded those obvious questions but threw my guidelines away as well and settled for everything I never wanted.
This time around, I’m smart enough to put everything into perspective.
To put it a little more simply, as I said to one of my confidants a couple of days ago, “I want a woman I can’t live without, not a woman I can’t live with.” Which means I not only want a woman who fits the obvious prerequisites (mutual attraction, mutual interests, etc.) as well as my own personal requirements (the aforementioned job and car, etc.), but also now fits the questions I should have been asking all along.
Obviously, this is going to thin the herd down to pretty much nothing. And I’m OK with that. Because at this point, at 40 years old, I shouldn’t have to settle for anything less than I actually want, and I am perfectly and totally happy as things stand.
So, I sat down again with mom today and said “at this point, given everyone I have met and where everything stands, no, I’ll never be in a relationship again. Granted, that could change tomorrow depending on who I meet, but right now, no.”
If I don’t see a future with someone, I’m not going to waste the present on them. It isn’t fair to me and at my age, I’m ready to either settle down with someone, or settle down alone. And since I am living pretty comfortably right now, I see no reason to change that for someone unless she is going to be a permanent part of my life.
I wish everyone would adopt my philosophy, as a lot fewer bad relationships would result and the dramatics that result from those bad relationships wouldn’t happen. Of course, I realize some people thrive on bad relationships, as a way of getting attention online or from friends. Realize that this isn’t healthy or good for anyone.
I am going forward, alone or not, the wheels will roll. If there’s someone out there that is my “forever,” then eventually I’ll meet her. If not, I’m going to be happy and enjoy my life anyway. I don’t need anyone to completely me, I’m a complete person, as is. But I am not closing the door to anything that may develop down the road.
There is White Sox baseball to watch, fine cigars to be smoked, excellent food and whiskey to be consumed and life to be lived. And that’s what I’m doing. I’m not settling for less than the best in any facet of my life going forward. Ever again.