I am 40 and single and yes! I am happy about it. Some people who read this might not understand why I’m happy about being single. We live in a society where being coupled up is normal and the notion of even wanting to be alone scares us. It’s not considered the norm to want to be alone. After all, we are social beings and wanting to be eternally loved by another person is only natural.
In my early twenties I looked at love and relationships much like most people. I wanted to find “the one”. For me, I wanted to find someone who would rescue me from my shitty life and I’d live happily ever after. Those are the dreams of a young woman who doesn’t know where she fits in this world.
I had very little confidence in myself, though I hid it well. Being young, confused, and without rules set me up for much heart break. It also made me cold and bitter. With no solid boundaries I didn’t know what a healthy relationship looked like. When I was at my worst, I met my ex-husband. Looking back, I had gone into that relationship not knowing who I was or what I truly wanted.
He is a good one but again, neither of us really knew what we wanted. Neither of us understood. We clashed. We had kids. I got diagnosed with PTSD. Our oldest has Autism. All of this was draining on two young people from broken homes and issues we didn’t know we had. Now that I’m 40 and single I am looking back on this and realizing an important life lesson.
That I need to find happiness within myself first before I can be with anyone else.
After my separation from my ex, I dated a little. I thought that I could just date around and figure things out. Turns out that’s not me. It never was. Casual dating doesn’t make me happy. I’m just not built that way. That was another thing that I learned about myself.
So I took a few years to work on myself. Then last year I met someone and for a time, I was really happy. He met a longing in me that I didn’t know I had. We had a soul connection. It was profound and beautiful! As time went on and as I’m fast approaching 40, I started to really think about what I want from a romantic relationship.
My therapist says I want a male version of me. Haha! I sat down and made a short list the other day of the qualities I would look for and I am beginning to think she may be right. My top three qualities: self-sufficient, independent, and motivated. Then the list got longer as I was writing. Most of it is what I assume most people want. Great sense of humor, laid back, and intelligent. I love a deep thinker who I can have great conversation with. But I also love someone I can go on an adventure with who also loves to veg out on the couch. There is a lot more to it than that but you get the idea.
Then another Epiphany happened and I discovered yet another new thing about myself…
I’m not sure when this happened but there it is. I’m afraid of commitment. It’s not just with relationships though. Apparently, this is why I haven’t finished any of my books. Nor why I can’t commit to a career path. Friendships, family, even my blog have suffered because of my commitment issues.
Then I had another epiphany. I’m happiest when I’m alone. Now most people tell me that this is only because I haven’t met the right person yet. Maybe that’s true. What I do know for sure is that I’m on my own path of self-discovery and I am constantly evolving my thinking and my perspective. If someone comes along that is on the same path as me – Great! If not, I’m okay with that too.
I spent the bulk of my youth dating some real jerks. I let the wrong ones into my life. The deep seeded trust issues I already had didn’t help. I didn’t know myself. I wasn’t the self-assured and confidant woman I am today. Twenty years ago I settled because I was a “go with the flow” kind of person.
Today, I know what I want – and what I don’t want. I am 40 and single because I won’t settle for less than I deserve. When I was 20 I didn’t think I deserved a whole lot. Now that I’m 40 and single, I know better. My standards are higher and I’m not afraid to set boundaries or walk away from something that doesn’t make me happy.
Thanks so much for reading!
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