Figuring It Out

Last week I wrote about the unknown state of my current relationship. After a year and a half of dating, my boyfriend and I are at a point in the relationship where we both need to seriously consider what it is we want out of life, and whether or not we’re a good fit for each other. I’ll admit, it hasn’t been easy, and a lot of tears have been shed. There’s no denying that we love each other; the question is whether or not that’s enough.

We’re in that weird phase right now where I don’t think either of us is sure about what’s going on. Had you asked me yesterday during the day, I’d say we’d broken up. I even went to his apartment after work to remove all of my belongings. After that, we talked some more, although nothing was decided. We both understand that relationships take work, and some times you have to be willing to compromise. That being said, there are some things you can’t compromise on. So, now we’re both thinking things through, deciding what is and is not important to us, and figuring things out.

All of this has me thinking about the possibility of being single again. I’ve always been an independent girl, and have been single almost all of my adult life. It’s not to say that I haven’t tried: I’ve said yes to random guys that I’ve met out and about, allowed friends to set me up, and even tried a variety of online dating sites. Obviously, I’ve had very little luck with any of those. It’s been fairly typical for me in the past to go 3-5 years between boyfriends. Yikes! I feel terrible for thinking about possible future boyfriends when I’m not sure about the state of my relationship with my current boyfriend. And yet, at 35 years old, I can’t afford a 3-5 year wait to start seriously dating again. This has me seriously thinking about what I need to do in order to up my chances of meeting Mr. Right. And, as my thinking has headed down that road, it started to occur to me why I’m so unhappy right now.

The most common advice on how to meet someone is to get out there and get involved. Find things that interest you, whether it be clubs, or activities, or events. If you’re out doing what you enjoy, you’re more likely to meet people who will be compatible. The more I thought about the things that I enjoy doing, the more I realized that I’m not doing anything. When we first met, I had a life of my own. Projects around the house. Going to school 2 nights a week, and plenty of homework and school projects on top of that. Friends I’d see several times a month. But the longer our relationship went on, the less of a life I had. Since he spends most weekends with his sons, I always felt that my weekdays should be spent with him. So, I get off work, and wait. Depending on what he’s doing, and how much attention he’s paying, that could be 15 minutes, or 3 hours. I never ask, since I never want to come across as needy, or interrupt what he’s doing. When he gets home, we talk, eventually cook dinner, watch TV, and go to bed. Saturday mornings we laze around the house, make breakfast. Then I pack up, head home, and spend the rest of Saturday and most of Sunday between laundry, errands, light cleaning, and relaxing. Sunday nights I have dinner with my parents, and usually spend about 5 hours visiting with them.

What happened to my life? What happened to my interests? True some things, like not going to school, are due to a change in goals. And a lot of things, like big projects around the house, I’ve put on hold in order to save more money. But the simple fact of the matter is, I’ve made the mistake of putting everything in my life on hold, waiting for us to start living a life together. I’ve turned into a completely boring person. And that’s not healthy in any relationship!

I need to rediscover my interests. I need to start putting my own goals and interests first. Or, at the very least, working them into the picture. Some things are going to cost me more money. And that’s okay. Yes, I’d like to get out of debt as soon as possible, save as much as possible, and reach financial independence long before I’m 65. But becoming a boring, sedentary person is not going to help that goal. And who knows, maybe I’ll find a way to help advance my career, or create a side hustle? I definitely need to spend more time on this blog. I really do love blogging, and I’d love to make this in to something more. But lately, I’ve been relegating it to a lunch break occupation. I’m not spending the time I should on it. And, my boring life isn’t really helping with topics!

The point is, my life isn’t just about a relationship. Whether its fixing my current relationship, or finding a new one, it’s important that I remember the things that make me happy. And I need to stop getting so caught up in how I’m perceived that I can’t express myself. I know a lot of women who do the same thing. We don’t want to come across as needy, or pushy, or clingy. So we don’t say what we’re thinking, or don’t share how we feel. We let it go, and work around the other person. Or, in reality, we let it build, until we can’t contain it anymore. And that isn’t fair to anyone.

I have no idea what’s going to happen from here. But regardless of what direction this relationship takes, I know what I need to do. It’s time that I start living my life again. Yes, I have a long-term goal. But I can’t be so caught up in the future that I forget to live in the present.

– Cindy W.

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