Monday, 22 November 2010

The one where I make a humongous decision

When you're approaching a significant birthday it's not unusual to find yourself thinking about your life - where you are in life, and what you want out of it.
It's been no different for me over the past couple of months.  In fact, it's been a few weeks of intense soul-searching and I've made some surprising discoveries and at least one far-reaching decision.

As I stare down the barrel of my 50th birthday next week, I've found myself thinking about the highs and lows of the past; my current situation and, more importantly I feel, what might happen in the future.
First of all, I've realised that somehow I was born without the additional chromosome needed for maintaining a successful relationship.  Really, it's no joke.  I had my first serious relationship when I was 22, that lasted two years then followed a series of unsuccessful, short-lived relationships with highly unsuitable men.  Then, aged 25 I embarked on a 'relationship' (I use the word loosely) with a commitment-phobe who kept me  dangling (willingly?)  on a string for 9 years. 

Less than 6 months after disentangling myself from him I met my future husband, and he moved in with me a few months later.  We were together for 9 years (are you seeing a pattern here) until he left in January 2003.  That was nearly 8 years ago and I'm still on my own.

Yes, I've had a couple of short lived flings since then but the last one was over 7 years ago.  Blimey.  I shocked myself then when I worked out how long ago it was.  I thought it was only 6 years ago.

Anyhow, I digress.  During the past few days I have realised that I'm not very good at relationships.  I know, you were already ahead of me weren't you? 

As a result, and this is a big step for me, I've decided to give up on the idea of ever having another relationship.  Ever. And do you know what?  It's a huge relief.  That means no more hoping I'm going to meet someone and no more subjecting myself to that modern day torture called Online Dating.
If you're reading this and possibly thinking I'm wallowing in self-pity, I'm not. It's been a revelation for me  and I feel so much better for it.

You might wonder how I can make such a decision.  Well, it's been relatively painless really.  When I looked back over the carnage that is my love life, I realised that the common denominator in each relationship was....erm, me.  And I'm not proud of the fact that I am, and always have been, somewhat of a loner.  I don't really like the idea of living with anyone again, another adult that is.  I like my space, I love my daughters and when's all said and done I'm relatively happy and content with my lot. 

But I've always wondered why I'm still on my own.  Well, it's because if I'm being brutally honest with myself - and I mean really honest - it's because deep down I know it's probably the only long term relationship I can sustain.  Which reminds me of a joke by Woody Allen: Don't knock masturbation - at least it's sex with someone you love :-) 

I'll leave you with a song to listen to. Whenever I hear the song Leave Right Now, by Will Young there's a line in it that always strikes a chord with me:

 'if I lose the highs, as least I'm spared the lows.' 

And that sentiment just about sums it up for me.  Now, about that future?  Bring it on.