You’ns may recall a while back when a different Amy altogether took the blog wheel for a minute. Well, I’m on vacation so I’m relinquishing the keys once again for my enlightenment and yours. This post made me have lots of thoughts and feelings, which I’ll share when I’m not sunbathing, but I’m interested in hearing from you all as well.
Without further ado, I give you today’s guest-blogger, the inimitable amy a (and no, that’s not my pseudonym—she’s an entirely different human being).
There are moments in Television History at large, and then there are those in my own Personal Viewing History. Some are one in the same, like Michael Jackson moonwalking on live TV for the first time, the very last episode of The Sopranos, or Bill Clinton’s speech at the DNC this year. Others are exclusive to either category, and for the purposes of this guest entry, I’m going to fast-forward this to an episode of a certain Millionaire Matchmaker Reality Show Which I Never Watch But For Some Reason Happened to See at the Right Moment.
On this particular episode, a very wealthy divorced-with-kids fellow who exuded that teeter-totter imbalance of sweet and insecure yet not douchey was hoping to find His Match with the help of the Millionaire Matchmaker, who set him up with a down-to-earth-yet-beautiful single gal. They had a lovely date around a vineyard and horses, and just when I was about to gag, they shared an Actual Moment. Maybe it’s because they both seemed like genuine people, or maybe it’s because I secretly wanted to give this a chance as much as they did, but I can remember their exchange hitting me like a ton of bricks. He asked her somethingoranother, and she responded with the sentiment that she felt happiest and was a better person in a relationship. And that, my friends, is when the proverbial coffee cup fell out of my hand onto the carpet, and my proverbial everything bagel slipped off its saucer, landing cream cheese-first onto the coffee-soaked carpet.
Because the truth is, and was, although I desperately and unabashedly have loved the men I have been in relationships with, and several others with whom, let’s be honest, I haven’t quite exactly been in a quid-pro-quo relationship, I cannot say that I’ve ever been for any length of time happiest and a better person IN a relationship than OUT of one.
It occurred to me in that moment that many, or maybe most, folks over the age of 15 lived lives quite different than I. Those couples I see on Facebook who have been together since high school and seem actually very happy, those who are remarried after divorce or the death of a spouse, those who were once married but now never want to be again but seem to constantly be in a relationship with Someone, those who have never been married but are in a monogamous relationship with Someone for a certain length of time…all of them, coupled, preferring to be in a relationship with another. I would assume that for most, it makes them happier and better people being in that partnership.
I thought I wanted that. And yet, the relationships I drew to me, even the “committed” ones, were not that. I have always felt more centered and alive on my own. It’s even more so the older I get, as I come more into my own person. It’s interesting to realize that I am at an age when many women are involved in the growth and change of their relationships with not only their husbands but their children as well, while I am only responsible for the one with myself. It can be kind of lonely, not because I don’t have those types of relationships, but because I find myself being unable to relate firsthand to my siblings and some of my friends on those levels.
I don’t know if I will ever be that comfortable sharing a life with someone. I’ve always entered into relationships with the best of intentions, always thinking maybe this is The One. I thought I wanted a Partnership. And maybe I do. But I also really like being single. And not dating. The pressure as each year has passed in my 30’s to Find Him has been at times not at all fun, but exhausting, humiliating, and unhealthy. (And here’s the thing, I don’t like just casual dating for fun, either, because you can’t do that for very long without it feeling ridiculous.) I’ve actually been at parties where upon hearing I’m single, someone said “Oh, I’m so sorry” and MEANT IT. I’ve been at family reunions where the only other adult who wasn’t married or engaged was my Special Needs cousin. I’ve been at weddings where I’ve been SCOWLED at for not catching the damn bouquet (I wasn’t even trying to catch it, thankyouverymuch).
I have walked through the valley of the shadow of Where I Thought I’d Be In Life, and I have fought those demons. I continue to do so, as I know everyone does from time to time. I have discovered the glorious revelation that not only is it OK that I’m not partnered, that it’s also really OK that I don’t make it a priority in my life. I may never have that Great Relationship, but it never happening is no longer a fear of mine. If it happens, I welcome the addition of it, but I am truly happy in the relationship I’m in already.