Single Mom: Where Is The Love?
Last night I googled “How do you know when you’re in love” which by all counts (including 2 marriages and plenty of short- and long-term relationships) I should know the answer to and yet, there I was asking the Internet the answer to what right just be life’s unanswerable question.
I even asked a friend, who was sort of left speechless and rightfully so because, um, what do you say?
Being off the dating scene for a couple of months has given me time to reflect on my relationships. Well, and catch up on The New Girl and The Good Wife. But also a lot of time to think about love.
I’ve had “the feeling” a lot, at least what I thought was “the feeling” which everyone sort of says is how you know but now I’m led to wonder if it was just the feeling of something else.
The feeling… that I want to get laid. The feeling… that I wanted to be wanted. The feeling… that I don’t want to be alone.
You get the idea.
I don’t think I ever particularly liked anyone I was with (yes, even the ones I was married to) at least as a friend anyway. I never really ever felt like I could just breathe. Relax. Be myself.
And if I did end up feeling that way, I didn’t want to have sex with them.
I remember people telling me that their boyfriend or husband was their “best friend” and I’d roll my eyes in a sort of “yeah right” kind of way because now I know I just had no comprehension of what that meant.
Male friendships were pretty much non-existent in my life because I always got the sense that no one really want to be “just friends” with me. (I realize that sounds incredibly self-centered, vain, and possibly inaccurate, but if anyone was ever like “let’s just hang out” I thought was a little weird. Yes, issues, I have them. I get it).
And on my end of things, dating was always sort of a game; as much as I might have felt objectified, I was doing the same thing in reverse, which does not lend itself well to finding someone compatible with you beyond a few fun nights in the sack. Fast forward a bunch of years and I have more acceptance over the value of those passing, fleeting trysts, even relationships and the feelings that aren’t actually “THE FEELING,” but back then, I was determined to make things work, even when things really shouldn’t work.
I found myself losing track of what really mattered to me. I found myself married for 10 years with four kids to someone who I should have ditched after a couple months.
Recently, I thought that I was in love. I had “the feeling” but I also enjoyed being around him like everyone always said it should be and then we broke up and I was completely heartbroken — which I’d never felt before upon a break up — so it must have been love, right?
Or was it?
Our time together was mostly spent bitching about our exes and having sex, and the loss I felt wasn’t necessarily about him but the idea of what we had, what I felt like I finally had, and so losing that was devastating to me.
I’m not even sure it was love for him. Or the idea of what he represented to me.
If you’re wondering, Google was absolutely no help. Apparently, you’re supposed to feel comfortable farting in front of someone and meeting their family, and about 20-30 other things that sound more like a good babysitter than a lover.
In my heart, I still want to believe that love gives you some sort of rush. A combination of wanting to be together and not wanting to be apart. But in my head, I’m struggling to understand if that’s a reality. Like maybe I just don’t know what love is. What if it was right in front of me and I had absolutely no idea?
Do you love someone even though they’ve hurt you? Or they’re not good for you?
As much as we say the heart doesn’t choose who it loves and just does, doesn’t the head have a say as well? And shouldn’t it be obvious enough that you’d know?
The love I’ve experienced in my life from my parents and supposed loved ones was so askew, and combined with challenging relationships I’ve had over the years, a very large part of me feels like I wouldn’t know love because it would seem so foreign. Like the opposite of what I’ve felt and been hurt by in my life.
Whatever love is, I want it. I know I can have it.
I just hope I realize when it when it happens.