Having been married for 92% of my adult life, it is not surprising that trying to figure out the single journey is confusing and uncertain. The things I took for granted for so many years are now gone. The simple pleasure of sharing a morning coffee, having someone to pick up the kids or dinner when I’m running behind, or 24/7 access to hugs and reassurance when I’m having a bad day are things that make me shift uncomfortably in the skin I now wear. As I live in this single “skin” I realize it just doesn’t fit me well. I also realize that if I make the adjustments needed to be comfortable in this skin, I will become resistant to donning the married skin again. And so I navigate this life the best that I can with my faith, some courage, and a hope for a new future.
WHO CHANGED THE RULES?
The rules of dating have certainly changed since I was a teenager. Now we “meet” people online, read their profile, and exchange versions of how we see ourselves. If we get to a point where it seems like we are a good match, we might talk on the phone, text, and exchange Facebook addresses. If there is an actual date I’m left to wonder if I’m supposed to split the check, should I wait for him to open the door, and should I tell him his socks don’t match (should I just be glad he’s wearing socks?).
The dating world after 30 is like a bad zombie movie. The walking wounded are everywhere dragging their emotional baggage behind them. Adultery, abandonment, rejection, loss, and maliciousness of former partners have left their scars deep in the hearts of the single-again community. Some are able to heal and forgive through a strong faith, while others remain in denial that their history has any impact on them. It seems that dating has come down to figuring out who is ready for love, and who are just desperate to take off that tight uncomfortable skin of singleness.
CAN WE JUST GET ON THE SAME PAGE, PLEASE?
When we started out our adult journey we carried with us a fresh blank page. As we moved through life, we filled up our page based on experiences, traditions, and life directions. When we married we filled up our pages together with ideas about love, home, and raising children. Now our pages are full and we have the added complication of trying to find someone with a page similar enough to our own for an attempted partnership to even make sense. Even when we find that person, we are challenged to decide which things on our page are not open to compromise (the deal-breakers), what concerns us (red flags), and what is, in fact, negotiable.
ACCEPTING THE SKIN I’M IN
I am choosing to accept the skin I’m in…for now. I will try and accept this season as a time to learn and grow. I will take personal inventory of my faults and seek to become a better person.
…and, I will read this blog as a reminder every time hugging the pillow just doesn’t cut it anymore.