Last night I had a conversation with one of my friends about being in love and being happy.
It started because she’s taking a sociology class and one of the questions on her final had to do with whether or not she thought being “in love” was a requirement for a marriage. She’s married. I, clearly, am not, and yet we both agreed in our assessments that, no. Marriage has little to do with love.
I listened to her perspective as a married woman who had married for love, and she listened to mine as a single woman who often finds herself most miserable when falling in love and we agreed that being “in love” does not always (or even usually) make for a happy, solid, stable life.
I told her I’d rather marry a man I liked and thought had similar values to mine than one I was in love with because my experiences with being in love are that it is tricky and volatile–sort of like a street drug. You experience these high highs and these low lows and you find your emotional well-being intrinsically linked to whether or not you can get enough of your beloved. And, as with any street drug, depending on what the love is cut with (insecurity, possession, baking soda, etc.) you will experience a variety of highs and lows throughout your addiction (relationship).
No thank you.
I don’t even like being in like.
Yesterday was a day for contemplation of this sort because yesterday it was snowing, and you know how it is with all manner of extreme weather: everyone’s looking for a boo to be trapped and share their rations with (“Me and my booski are snowed in together…hope we can find a way to keep warm” *ACK!*)
And so I found myself thinking of a very short-lived courtship I’d had with a young man I met about 3 weeks ago. When I met him, he’d been exciting and attentive, and he constantly thinking of these really cool dates for us to go on (how many of you all can say you went scuba diving in December? I can)…all the way up until a series of unfortunate events took place that I like to call The Day
[names changed to protect the guilty] Called Campus Police On the Guy I was Dating Because That was The Most Sane and Rational Way She Could Think of To Get Me to Care that She Thought He was Crazy, better known as the Ultimate Cockblock.
Since then, naturally and quite sanely, his ardor toward me has cooled, and his attentions have waned. And, I mean, you know, there’s nothing I can do about that. Can’t change his mind and I don’t blame him–I wouldn’t want to deal with anyone whose friend called the police on me, law-abiding and harmless as I am. That’s just way too much drama.
But yesterday, as everyone was preparing to share their limited water supplies and food rations with that special someone, I couldn’t help but to think that if it hadn’t been for the extreme actions of someone I’d mistakenly trusted…I might have been among those with reinforced ranks to defend their humble abodes in the event of anarchy breaking out after the food and water supplies ran low.
…but then an even more compelling thought knocked its way into my brain and I went outside and across the street to take pictures of my neighborhood beaches covered in snow.
It was just incredibly beautiful and soul stirring to see so many opposites working together in nature.
Then I went over to my neighbor’s house and he very graciously fed me breakfast and we talked a little theology (he’s a Mormon preacher). Then I went home and spent some time with my boyfriend Eric (better known as read some of book 8 in the Southern Vampire Mysteries), then I worked a little with my friend K on an event we’re trying to throw, then my friend picked me up and took me to her house and we had dinner and cheesecake and drinks and watched movies and then she took me home.
Lonely Single Me,
Exactly. Completely and utterly wrong.
And yet, when I got home last night, I thought about the young man again. I was standing up in my kitchen over the stove, absently eating some leftover out of the pot (that’s where I get all of my best thinking done), and I thought, “Well that’s disappointing…but I’m over it.”
Which surprised me and made me feel really good.
At any other point in time in my life, I would be extremely bitter toward this meddling friend for destroying my only chance at happiness with a man who could possibly be my soulmate, yanked cruelly and prematurely from my grasp (and/or clutches, depending on how you view those kinds of things). HOW would I ever live the rest of my life, painfully, dreadfully ALONE, LOST without the ONE PERSON who could have loved me away from my sad small existence and into the only stage of life that actually validates my being born a woman: that of being half of a couple?
I would have held onto this grievous wrong, feeling bitter and alone. I would have tried to use my womanly wiles to try and force him to see how great of a cook I am, how manically I can laugh at his jokes, how well I can ask follow-up questions about stuff he mentioned two days ago–anything to make him love me!
I would have made myself miserable.
But instead…I just kind of shrugged it off. Because I had a nice snow day yesterday, and it didn’t depend on whether or not I was snowed in with some dude. None of my nice days depend on whether or not I have contact with some dude.
Do any of you guys understand how freeing that is? How relieving? I would love to be in love right now, but only if it’s with someone who I love loving and like liking. And I can afford to let these dudes come in my life and go out of it while I wait for that one because I’m not looking for anyone to save me from my single self. I like my single life; I don’t think I’ve ever been so not worried about who texts me and how long it’s been since they last replied.
…and anyway, he dropped me off at my car one day and didn’t wait for me to get in and get it started before taking off. I think that says a lot about a person.