In the last four years, I’ve written a few times to help process emotions and evaluate relationships. Currently, eight chapters into the book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman, I’ve been thinking about relationships again and where my journey began four years ago when I was in Florida. In the context of making quick, intuitive decisions or taking a long-term, deliberative approach, how long is long enough to evaluate getting married again after divorce? What areas need to be addressed to heal and move on? If you’re looking for someone willing to do the work, what work are you looking for that means something to you? What can we do that demonstrates the phrase, I’m the person you want to be with? The answer is different for everyone.
I want to make more deliberative decisions than those intuitive, reactive, instinctual decisions about moving forward in a relationship before it’s time to take that step. Before becoming comfortable taking that step or rushing the process, I chose to experience many days when I felt depressed and lonely.
In April 2018, I journaled,
I have that song "Can You Stand the Rain" by New Edition stuck in my head all day today. There's something peaceful in the group's harmony that conveys the sincerity of the primary question in this song. You can feel that love and emotion, I think. That love and tenderness is something I'm desperately missing in my life at this moment. Thirty-five years old, single, and living alone with a dog was not in my life description while I was a kid listening to R&B music like this in the '90s. This fascination with love and romance through music or movies has always been there. I've always longed for someone to love with such vulnerability. Are you willing to stand with me through the storms of life? At my best and my worst? That's quite a commitment that, as a 20 something, I never put deep thought into.
Now in my late 30's, it's all I think about—the fantasy of a lifelong commitment that I've yet to find. I still want that. I'm still that kid inside, just more experienced. And possibly lonely for companionship. I don't want to fall in love here, but I do want that feeling, like wrapping you in a warm blanket- a secure, loving experience in my life. And I feel like that song represents how I want to think about a girl right now. Justin Timberlake has a song called, "The Hard Stuff," and it's about the want for depth in the relationship past where it all just comes easy. It's about knowing your weakness and the reality that relationships are very hard. But Justin wants that. And in my opinion, there's just something special about being at that point where you know what would light up your partner's day or light a fire in the bedroom at night. That level of trust is missing in my life. At this point, I know no one in this area on anything close to that level. I think it's just a little loneliness that has me drawn to these songs. That and they sound just beautiful.
Did I accomplish what I set out to by being single for three years? I know what my intuitive feeling is for the answer. Taking time to look at results and where we've progressed to, compared to what we set out to years ago, can provide insight into following through on being who we set out to become. Am I listening to myself? If not, is that part of why my current state is what it is? What work am I not accepting to be part of now?
I was in Florida and not dating anyone for a reason. Days would come and go where I would feel lonely, and one day, I was listening to music, and tears that were ready to fall needed that one moment of vulnerability to start a stream.
This journey continues forward, and I hope that we can continue developing our communication styles and our ability to be vulnerable and truthful and have healthy conversations. By sharing this, I want to show how the journey can begin again. Where we’re moving to and who we are becoming is soon to be seen with time.
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