Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Practice what you non-religiously preach.

Dieting is awful. You know what healthy foods are, and the importance of regular exercise. Maybe you even occasionally advise people on proper eating habits. But.... cake is so good. You shouldn't, but you do, and you'll remember it when you realize you haven't lost any weight in the past couple months. Immediate satisfaction becomes more important than long term health.

For all my posturing of being happy alone and what it takes to have a healthy relationship, I fall into the very trap I've been working to avoid. It's like not being able to see the forest for the trees, except instead of a forest it's a relationship and instead of trees it's a man that's nice to me most of the time. Not even all the time. Not even that nice.

Okay, actually he was that nice. Maybe that's what happened. He was nice and wanted to spend time with me and would initiate conversations. This set the stage for me to get attached and be open to the possibility of a relationship. I was attracted to him but I couldn't really give specific traits about him that I liked. He took me out? He bought dinner? He came over so I could cook? While it's appreciated, these aren't really qualities that win someone over. Especially when there are so many obvious red flags.

See, after the divorce was finalized I wasn't sure what I would continue writing. I didn't want to make this a journal ("today I woke up late but I was just so sleepy!") or just talk about my moods. No, the purpose was to document this transition from separation to divorce to whatever comes after. And as it turns out, there's plenty to document! Like the rebound relationship. And how much it can suck when it ends, even when you're fully aware it wouldn't have lasted.

Long story short, I was dumped because I didn't share his religious views. More specifically, I was dumped by someone I wasn't really dating because religion was very important to him and it wasn't to me. Or something. I don't know. There was some awkwardness and sadness and "let's be friends." (PS- don't be friends.) Despite being fully aware a long term relationship wouldn't work, I was hurt. This was rejection, and that was new...ish.

The divorce was a big step, but it wasn't the end. Just because I'm free to move on with my life doesn't mean I'm suddenly well adjusted and perfectly happy. There's still a lot of progress to be made. I'm aware that I need to learn to be happy with myself before I can be in a healthy and happy relationship with anyone. But I've realized that I view a relationship as my "baseline" and it's not easy to go against that. Still, I have to figure it out and make the smart decision over the easy one.

One day, you might find yourself "alone." You may ask yourself a tough question, one you don't deserve. One that feels like emotional abuse. But one you can't stop thinking about, that won't leave your head and just keeps popping up.

"Why am I so easy to walk away from?"

Maybe you won't wonder this, and I hope you don't. But, maybe you will, even if you don't know it. I wish I could answer that. I can tell you you're more than a relationship status, and you're not alone. That romantic involvement will not make everything okay. But I can't answer that question because I'm still asking myself that. Maybe one day I'll figure it out and be able to share that wisdom.

In the meantime I think I'll just take some time to take my own advice and see this as an opportunity. And really, how boring would it be to get into a serious relationship with the first person I date after my divorce? What a waste of my single years.