I think I figured it out. Something that has been itching at me. It hit me in between Lexis searches on a random afternoon. I was never, never the girl with the boyfriend. I went years without one. Who knows the reason for it. Did I not put in the effort? Was I too independent? Did I lack confidence? Was I unapproachable? No matter, it is done. Long ago history. But it stuck to me, as teenaged issues always do. I was always the girl having to search for a date to the dances. I never had a Valentine or a New Years' kiss. We already covered the absence of flowers. So I grew accustomed to it. That was me and that was how my life was. My girlfriends were my boyfriends. We went out to dinners on holidays, they bought me presents on my birthdays, my parents and sister filled in with the love and affection. I was great at phone calls, crappy TV, shopping trips and coffee shop chatter. I knew how to occupy time on Saturday nights. I always found friends in the same boat. I ate at bars alone and sat through movies by myself. Not only was it a custom, but it was easy. Comfortable. It is who you become. I never thought about it any other way. Going to the grocery when you want, just to buy Cheetos, heading to the gym at all hours, watching every episode of Sex and the City ten times, leaving your bra on the couch for days. All the joys of singledom. You listen to break up stories, wedding proposals and first date horrors. As a bystander reading a great novel or enjoying a Hallmark movie. But it is not really your life, it never was. In a way you determine it was never supposed to be. You never even entertain the possibility that it could be yours. Scratching that surface will lead to an explosion that is too much to contain. So don't bother. Just snuggle up in your flannel PJ's and continue to flip through In Style.
But then suddenly you are in the relationship. There are dates, kisses, hand holding and introductions. He is there. He is a we. You are a we. Time passes. There isn't even a chance to recognize you are no longer living in singledom. This is a relationship. You have a boyfriend. A what? Even saying it out loud is freaky and bizarre. Like someone else has taken over your mouth and pushed Greek out of it. He made it past a few dates. He is real and not there for tetherball; no game playing here. This is a grown up relationship and we are playing with big people here. I think about Alli living in L.A. and how we chat about hair and shoes. Theirs not ours. I smile and think of the commonalities of the two strangers. How a long term friend who is geographically apart ended up in similar place at the same time. Who would have thought that it would be us? Out of everyone? Then it really strikes. This must be why this has been so hard to wrap my arms around and accept this whole big thing. I am a single. At least for a very long time I was. Really single. So how did I end up here? How was it me that ended up here? How is this my reality? What about all the other girls with the stories and the drama. The ones with the checkered dating past? They played the game for years. So how did I end up the winner?
I'm sure you ended up there because of who you are, and a little luck, too.
Thank you, that was very kind.
I've gone from a longtime single, to a we, back to a single over the past year. I'm a single, and I'm fine with that- like you said, it's comfortable. I know it and I live it every day. And most of the time, I like it. I'd love to be a we again, but being a single to a we has at least given me the perspective that either way has it's goods and bads.
I really liked this post:)
Thanks! Finally coming to terms with it, actually made it all more comfortable and easy to swallow.