What if the right person for you is you? Kacy shares how she learned to celebrate the single life (without compromise).
One of my absolute favorite evenings as a single woman was spent alone in my condo with a fresh French baguette, some stinky cheese, a bottle of Pinot Noir and Andre Bocelli serenading me in the background.
It was absolute bliss and I remember saying to a friend, “I had the most wonderful evening, and I’m not sure that I could ever find someone with whom I could be as happy as I was last night.”
Don’t get me wrong—before I had met my husband, I dated a lot. I was on and off dating websites when I fell into dry spells of meeting guys out at bars.
I wanted to be with someone, but holding out for the right one was the difference between happiness and settling and I had already learned the downfalls of settling.
After only two weeks of dating, James and I had fallen victim to the seduction of a new romance.
We spent every night together and it wasn’t long before we were unofficially living together. (The operative word was of course unofficially—having his own lease was a security blanket that afforded him the freedom of not actually having to make a commitment, yet I was blind to his fears and reservations.)
The only thing that James would commit to was his work—but for a year and a half he tried to convince me that there was ‘something’ for us somewhere down the road and we repeatedly chose to ignore the red flags that we waved at each other.
The curtain closed on our production when the time came for us to discuss signing our own lease; the comfort of ‘playing’ the role of partner was more than satisfying to James, but after 18 months of his dodging the frightening ball and chain known as commitment, he realized that his charade could not continue.
James saw that holding on to his charade was beginning to destroy me, so he decided to be a man in the most cowardly of ways; he abdicated his role of partner in our twisted tale of love.
There was never a conversation, never an explanation, never even a good-bye—just a blanket statement recognizing that we needed to talk.
After a few months, I gave up trying to define what I had done to drive him away and began to see the relationship for the mistake that it was. We were flawed from the onset, but I loved him—and his companionship was much more comfortable than being alone.
I believed that if I loved him enough and tried to understand his needs, everything would eventually work out…but it didn’t.
Months passed and it was well over a year since James disappeared. Under the guise of regret, James reappeared from the abyss to profess that he still cared for me and wanted to see me again.
Single and now 28, I decided that the prospect of what James might have to offer was better than being alone—if he had changed, I could have my partner back.
I could have someone to go to the movies with on a random rainy afternoon; we could rollerblade along the Charles River on Sunday mornings. (Rainy days and Sundays are the nemesis of the single woman and even when one tries to do things on her own, she can’t help but feel a little envious of all the happy couples surrounding her. In the lonely world of the late-20s-and-still-single girl, ‘James possibly renewed’ was a risk worth taking.
I again became a pathetic woman who hopelessly believed that a man had returned to vow his undying love for me because he had decided that I was worthy of being loved.
With my head stuck in my old dating habits, it was my mind-body connection that forced me to stop what I was doing.
While running seven miles on the treadmill, a muscle in my leg snapped; I cringed in pain and limped my way to the locker room.
When I left the gym, I went straight to see James.
“I’m not really interested in seeing you anymore,” I said when he opened the door.
“What?” he asked.
“I think we just have different expectations, which is fine, but this isn’t really working out for me,” I said.
“Do you want to talk about it?” he asked.
“No. Not really. I’m just going to go,” I said.
As I turned and walked away, I heard him close the door and I smiled. I walked to my car and drove home.
No tears shed until I tried to get out of the car and realized that I could barely walk—that was when the process of healing began.
For the first time in my life, I wanted to be alone; something my body forced me to realize because I ignored so many of the red flags that my relationships had waved at me.
The need to nurture my body gave me permission to take care of myself. To focus on my needs, my health. Between work and physical therapy appointments, I made plans for a cross country adventure.
In May, I traded in my little green sedan for an adorable white VW Cabrio and in June I drove west.
All by myself.
For four weeks, I recorded conversations with myself on a hand held recorder and I put thousands of miles between me and the relationship I had almost settled for.
[image: via Pixabay]