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Remaining Single, Intentionally?

Discussion in 'Family, Friends, and Relationships' started by OnTheHighway, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. OnTheHighway

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    i will start off with the caveat that I am going through an amicable divorce which is proceeding expeditiously to a conclusion by choice of both my husband and myself. Per other threads, after getting married a litttle more than a year ago following our 3.5 year relationship (together in total for over 4.5 years), we quickly concluded we are better friends than husbands.

    One element of the prior threads that I have yet to articulate was my initiation of the discussions to divorce about six months after we were married. I won’t debate we rushed into marrying even after 3.5 years as boyfriends, nor will I debate my own incorrectly held desire and decision to maintain some semblance of a heteronormative life by marrying again after embracing my sexuality back in 2013; and the proceeding rush to marry again as a result.

    Putting aside my husbands own justifiable reasoning for agreeing to a divorce and his own personal limitations, I personally recognize my own limitations to have been able to provide him unconditional love as a husband, and the selflessness that is necessary for a marriage to be successful, while I was still on my own journey of self actualization. And while I have grown into my own and I feel confident that I can now provide such unconditional love, the damage to our relationship has already done and too far along to fix and repair as we both agree (such damage was a two way street).

    As I am reflecting this morning while watching the sun rise, I am further questioning if I am being completely honest with myself about my ability to provide to another all of the sacrifices, compromises and understanding that is necessary for any future relationship to be successful. And I am questioning my future desire to even bother seeking a future long term relationship given I am comfortable with myself, I enjoy my own company, and I am at a stage in my life where maybe I no longer have the mental nor emotional flexibility to adopt to another in a long term relationship. Notwithstanding my own recognition that I am currently going through a divorce which Is an emotional time in of itself; which may be contributing to how I currently feel.

    I believe, for whatever reason, we each get three true loves in life. Three loves where we are able to open ourselves up completely, expose ourselves and make ourselves vulnerable to another human. I have had those three true loves - my high school best friend whom has since passed later in life after he attempted to embrace not only his sexuality but his sexual identity and passed following an incidental overdose (which his own journey towards self actualization coincidentally began around the time I began my own journey), my ex wife of 19 years (whom I still care for despite her desire to live her life independent of me) and my soon to be ex husband whom I know I will continue to care deeply for even though we are fundamentally not compatible living together (I see no way to bridge the control issues discussed in a prior thread).

    So as I reflect on this, I am questioning if I have it in me to attempt to find another person (or such person find me) that I can be completely vulnerable with, nor if I even need to try. Consciously deciding to remain single goes against conventional wisdom of how we are all supposed to live our lives. Having embraced my sexuality, I had to go against conventional wisdom derived from the heteronormative script; so I am experienced at deciding what works for me even if that’s not what is expected from others.

    So, as I sit here watching the sun rise, just as I sat watching the sun rise when I finally embraced my sexuality, I am concluding that remaining single feels right to me, and that’s the direction my nose seems to be telling me to go. I will not say “never” to another relationship, but I don’t feel a need to have another relationship in order to live a complete and fulfilling life - and my past experiences and current mindset are leading me to this conclusion.
     
    #1 OnTheHighway, Jun 28, 2018
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  2. OGS

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    Seems like a pretty normal reaction to circumstances. I certainly believe that not everyone is meant to be coupled up. I hope it brings you peace. I'm glad you're not closing any doors permanently though because it does seem like a pretty normal reaction to circumstances... and circumstances change.
     
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  3. smurf

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    That totally makes sense. Taking pause and reassessing yourself is incredibly healthy specially with all the changes you are going through.

    Maybe you are right and long term relationships aren't your thing. But I would invite you, when the time is right, to look into how other people structure their relationships outside of the heteronormative script.

    I have met people in the polyamory community who identify with a relationship structure called "solo poly" which sounds like something you might be interested in the future if your main concerns of long term relationships is what you mentioned above. Granted labels can be annoying, but they are helpful so you can find other people who might feel similarly as you and have found ways to make it work.

    I say hell yeah go you. My only warning of sorts is that our society makes it REALLY fucking hard to be single without easily feeling lonely. Our living arrangements specially favor people in relationships. I have seen people handle this different ways from moving in with friends who live next door or in the same house to people buying HUGE houses so they can live together without feeling like they are back in college. Tons of options for you, but just be aware of this if you ever start feeling more isolated than you expected.
     
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  4. OnTheHighway

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    I have actually contemplated this type of scenario. I would not rule it out. And, in fact, was thinking about ways in which I would incorporate it into a dating routine. Given how unconventional it is, finding others that would embrace such a relationship structure might prove a challenge. However, like all other challenges I have overcome, I do think I could be up for such a challenge!
     
    #4 OnTheHighway, Jun 28, 2018
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  5. OnTheHighway

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    And reading this article on Solo Poly relationship structures certainly resonates with me:

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/comment/563344
     
    #5 OnTheHighway, Jun 28, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2018
  6. normalwolverine

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    Yes. My remaining single is partially a conscious decision and partially for reasons beyond my control (although many would say they are within my control), and it is extraordinarily difficult to talk about without doing as you did, i.e. provide a full explanation that really is nobody's business. So, what happens 99% of the time is I get a lot of pushback, because my story really is too complicated and involves too many reasons to be able to fully explain to anyone. It basically involves over 30 years of stuff, and that's a book--not an easy thread or blog post or simple conversation. But think of all the times a single person gets asked, "Why are you single?" and such variations.

    When I say the explanations are nobody's business, what I'm saying is you and I should be able to tell people we're going to remain single and not pursue relationships without all the huffing and puffing and arguing and "you will find someone"s that typically comes with it from other people who have nothing to do with it. I actually asked a lesbian dating coach about this after such an experience on EC, and she said people do this because it's as if you're putting the idea in their head that they could end up alone.

    So, anyway, just something you might end up dealing with.

    And it really is all about you and your experiences, and not anyone else. There is nothing in this world that is right for every single person. Congratulations for knowing how to think for yourself.
     
  7. OnTheHighway

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    I am not fussed if people ask me about my background. And if someone has an issue with it, that’s their problem not mine. I have been on an incredible journey in life. Of course, like a roller coaster, it’s had it’s ups and downs, but I love roller coasters and I am enjoying the ride I am currently on. The reality is, my personality fits well with the constant fluctuations; and i can put the downs in perspective just as I can enjoy the rush of the twists and turns.
     
  8. normalwolverine

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    Asking is one thing. Hassling people about it is another. People tend to hassle people who don't follow the norms on this particular issue.
     
  9. OnTheHighway

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    Why do you feel your hassled or harassed? I have many single friends, I can not recall ever hearing any of them suggest they have been hassled or harassed fro being single. And I am not clear why someone else would care if your single. Quite the opposite, I have seen jealousy towards couples from single guys. As far as family is concerned, my family just want me to be happy. That said, I can see how some parents really push their kids to be grand parents which can cause them to hassle their children.

    Otherwise I am wondering if your perceiving to be hassled more than you really as you may unconsiously be putting pressure on yourself to be partnered? Want to share some of your story that you seem reluctant to get into? I would like to learn from it if I could, to avoid potentially developing similar concerns.
     
  10. OnTheHighway

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    Reflecting further on all the dates I have been on over the last month to six weeks, where I probably had been able to meet three to four people a week for non sex oriented coffees, meals and even simple walks along the beach I have decided to now take a break from dating new people for the time being. Living amongst a large LGBT community seemed to help find many others interested in dates rather than casual sex; albeit I did have some misfires where expectations were misaligned. And even when I was visiting family in a rural part of the country for a week I successfully set up non sex focused dates in that area as well (albiet, I needed to definitely broaden the location willing to travel from where I was situated).

    Concurrently with meeting other guys, my husband and I had been diligently and quickly working through the divorce process. We now have reached agreement on everything such that we expect to sign documents this upcoming week and file with the courts soon thereafter. Our divorce will be finalized in the next month if everything goes to plan. During this period, we continued to openly engage and reflect with one another on the mistakes we made which got us to the point of divorce; and I feel we both are exiting the marriage much the wiser, with the continued recognition that it is the right thing to do. All the while leaving the marriage still caring for one another without any real animosity towards one another.

    In a prior post I had stated my desire to want to learn about myself on these dates, just as much as build my own social circle and keep an open mind if I were to find someone that I connected with emotionally. I have and will continue to learn about myself, that’s ongoing. I have made new friends that I now communicate with daily, and I have met a few where I could envision my heart growing more fond of them but each for different reasons if I were to decide to put the effort in.

    I watched this following video recently on the subject of “Why You will Marry the Wrong Person” from the YouTube channel “The School of Life”: I was amazed at how accurately it articulates the flaws within each of us that may lead us to make wrong decisions, yet optimistically suggests that as humans while we will make wrong decisions we can still make things work by recognizing the roots of those decisions and consciously taking corrective action (even making relationships work that may seem fundamentally incorrect).

    So, why am I deciding to take a break from further dating new guys?

    I don’t want to mislead any of the guys I have met and give them false expectations (I now am being pursued quite heavily by a few of the guys I met despite being completely transparent and open with them);

    I want to further reflect on why I made the decisions I made in my last relationship and be sure to avoid making similar decisions going forward;

    I want to decide what type of relationship structure will complement me best (whether monogamous, poly, or just remaining single);

    And I simply want to spend more quality time with myself.

    So I am logging off the apps during this reflection period, I am going to minimize social functions and not commit to any new ones, and I will maintain the new friends I have made all while digesting everything I have learned. The ultimate goal is to come to some conclusions on how I should proceed when I decide the time is right.