This one is a post I’ve been wanting to write for some time but have struggled to sit down and fully process. I need to be open about something that I’m still working to get comfortable with. Something I haven’t told a lot of people yet. Something that’s complicated for me on every level.
*Hides face in irrational shame*
I know. I KNOW. I know you are happy for me, thank you. In my rational brain I understand that this is the next natural step in moving forward as a solo person in the world. I understand that I am a lovable human deserving of affection and respect. I understand that I’m an adult woman capable of making my own decisions and creating my own future. I intellectually know I’m not cheating on Tim.
But it’s still kind of weird.
I met Tim when I was 21. A child, really. My brain wasn’t even fully developed at that point. Which explains a few things. We were engaged when I was 25 and married when I was 26. Our partnership was natural, organic, loving, respectful. I grew into adulthood with Tim by my side. For 12 years I shared his partnership. People would express their admiration and awe at our love and I would smugly smile and say things like “well, marriage is a lot of work, but he’s worth it!”. Because I thought I had it all figured out.
I didn’t really have to worry about dating. I was set. Two babies and a permanently pregnant looking gut? It’s fine, I HAD my man already. Tim and I loved each other as who we were. We were ice-cream-on-the-couch-and-Netflix. We were comfortable-love.
But the thing is, while we had a mutually respectful and monogamous marriage, non-monogamy was never a deal-breaker for us. If one of us were to stray, we would stay together, or so we would discuss. Our marriage meant more than the cultural construct of one-person-forever. We recognized that we humans are subject to crushes and connections beyond the confines of legal union. Yet, for 12 years, we remained committed only to one-another.
So when Tim died, I felt exposed. Suddenly single against my will. For the first year, I sat with that, the loneliness. Then summer came and I realized that, damnit…I’m still alive. I want to feel connection again. I want to have new men in my life. Maybe I’ll even find love again. Who knows? The Universe is One. Zany. Fucker.
So, in early June, I got back on OKCupid.com, the same website I met Tim on, and I created a new profile.
It’s been a rollercoaster. It’s not always pretty, this cesspool of desperate, lonely people tragically clawing for human connection (or, in many cases, just anonymous sex). But there are some really good people out there. And I’ve connected with a few of them.
I saw a man for a brief time this summer, when the stars aligned for us to come together for a bit. We hung out. I’ll let you fill in the gaps there. It was fun.
I’ve been on a few dates.
I’m exploring what it means to be me, in this time, now.
It’s not easy. I miss the comfort and ease I had with the Tim. The routine and familiarity of our rhythms. I miss cuddling him at night. I miss our conversations. I miss him.
But I’m looking forward to what is to come.
I’ve pulled back from online dating for the time being, to focus on myself, my health, building my business, re-establishing my career.
But I’m still open to love and connection. (DO YOU HEAR THAT UNIVERSE? I’M STILL OPEN.). Despite the depths of pain I have endured, I’m willing to open myself to new people and experiences. Maybe one day I’ll meet my next soul-mate. Maybe not. I hope to have fun regardless. Not get hurt too much. To better know myself through the process.
We’ll see where this wild life leads.
Hopefully not to too much more pain…but who knows.
I’ve lived through worse.