These three definitive words have been haunting me for a few months. When you break up, you know if you stay in touch with exes, you’ll eventually hear them or utter them yourself. These words, and other variations of them, have graced my ears almost as often as I have uttered them.
This time it wasn’t even “I think I’ve Met the One”; it was a generic “I Met Someone.” Perhaps it was because I had just turned 35 and felt that I was not getting any younger; somehow these three little words impacted me differently this time.
In the past, these words signified the end of fooling around, if this was happening. It meant that our relationship going forward had to be re-negotiated. It meant that our interactions had to be monitored closely so as not to offend the newcomer or cause any insecurities to flare up in them. It meant that the new arrival’s feelings had to be part of the equation. I hated having to be generous!
In any case, these three little words bothered me when they were uttered this time around, so I had to sit with them and my demons and write through it.
Was I sad that they were finally moving on? Did I want them to stay? Would I rather be miserable and partnered than alone and happy most of the time, or at least knowing I was the only one responsible for my unhappiness? Was I mad someone else was going to be answering to Babe or Hon or whatever the term of endearment had been? Was I mad that someone else was willing to put up with their mess, their bad temper, their cheating, their lying, or their inability to make a commitment? Was it because I was having a blast stringing them along and now they had broken that spell?
Why did these three little words bother me so when they finally came this time?
I have never thought any of my exes as ready for marriage yet someone has inevitably always married them. So was it because they weren’t ready to marry me or they got better at being a partner after me? I try not to feel that I’m the one with that one fatal flaw. It is sad however to note that these ex partners are willing to make concessions that there were unwilling to make with/for me. Like take out the trash right when I was getting to cook a multiple-course meal, or take a romantic walk in spitting rain, or just try something new, like lychees.
I have yet to figure out exactly what was behind my reaction to these three words this time around, but I speculate that it had something to do with thinking of the future and settling down and starting to prioritize what was worth fighting for and what was more important: my fierce independence or the potential of ultimate happiness in partnership. Being the woman I am I keep hoping that there was a way to have both.