Sometimes I wondered if I would ever get that light bulb moment in regards this whole relationships thing. After my divorce ,which was almost nine years ago, I was on some sort of contrived mission to find me again and to eventually meet that person to be my partner for life, that supposed ride or die, or the other half to build a life together and all that romantic bullshit nonsense that fills our heads from books, movies and other places in life.
Yet here I am two failed relationships later, in which both came close to marriage in at least that we talked in depth about taking that plunge into the spending our lives together in some form of commitment. The first seemed like it was going pretty good up until the point where we suffered a loss that was hard for either of us to verbalize our grief .As we went through a miscarriage we started to slowly fall apart. That break up was hard for my heart as I still loved that man so much and when we split the circumstances were ones where I had hard lines drawn and we had to go our separate ways.
The next relationship seemed like potential good. There were some issues but we started out as best friends and it just flowed into something more. Then after two years it all imploded on us like a bomb that had been ticking (maybe it was both of our bipolar mental states combined with his addictions) but it was an explosion that we did not survive. See, I choose the path of help and I got stronger by seeking medical attention and counseling for my mental health. Along with my continued growth physically with my OCR’s I was changing and becoming healthy and strong all the while he was willing to stay stuck in his addictions. The final blow came when the emotional and mental abuse started and I was done.. I had to protect my daughter , my mom, and myself. So I made him leave after four years of togetherness.
Now I am at a point where I am seriously thinking about seeing people again. There comes a point where that thought crosses my mind ‘is it me? am I that fucking damaged? am I that difficult to be with, that a lasting relationship isn’t possible since I have three failed ones under my belt now?’ Then I have to give myself a mental bitch slap, and a hard one at that. As it has dawned on me, yes I played a part in each of my past relationships and in how they grew and eventually fell apart but so to did my partners, whether it was cheating,abusive behaviors, addictions, growing apart or other circumstances that caused the separations, as adults both partners played a part in the relationships.
Thus I have this to take away from these past relationships, for one they are not failures in each one I grew as a person and as a woman, each partner taught me new lessons, one gave me the greatest gift of motherhood, one gave the gift of enjoyment of going out and being social with my partner, the other taught me that I can be in a relationship and still do my own thing and still grow. They taught me that even in the aftermaths of the breakups you can still find it possible to love and care about someone. There is forgiveness in time and distance from the pain and hurt even if that time has only been a few month or if its been years.
I have figured out the things that I will tolerate and those which I will not in a relationship, I know that I want a partner who is willing to integrate into my life and be apart of my groups of friends and supports my dreams and goals, one who is loving towards my family, just like I would expect them to want me to be and do the same for and with them. I require a partner who can handle that I am a strong and independent woman, I have been a single mom now for 10 years even when I was in relationships I never stepped out of the single mom role and I won’t until I have made that total commitment to someone who can fully be my partner and I know they have my back fully.
I have come to the realization that it is going to take an equally strong partner to be with me, a person who has the same ability to rise and grind to meet their goals while motivating me to meet mine and having me do the same for them while meeting my goals and yet still have the capability to reach for common goals together as partners. Now for some this might seem like a huge task but I know for the right person it won’t be. I want to take my time to get to know someone and enjoy the process of knowing them. It’s not about moving in with someone quickly or getting that commitment as fast as possible, it’s about knowing a person and understanding them, its about finding out if we can make our damaged parts fit together and pack them away so we can move forward
Honestly at this point in our lives, I am in my late thirties who in the hell does not have a past and is not damaged in some way, we have to learn to make our broken bits fit together with our partners. Finding someone with no past and no damage is like finding a unicorn good luck and if you do send me a picture!
Here is to growing older, gaining some wisdom from age and being thankful of my past for its bringing to me a better future, and to possibly finally knowing what it is that I am looking for in a partner.