OK, this subject is a touchy one, I know.
And I’m going to piss off more than a couple people, I’m sure.
But, I truly want to know…
What the hell is wrong with my generation?
I’m a Gen-X’er.
Born in 1970 (yes, that makes me 46, I don’t lie about my age)
And it seems to me, that there is a seriously messed-up issue with my generation when it comes to relationships.
Yes, I know there are throwbacks to other generations – folks who found their “one”, married them, and have lived happily ever after.
But, most of the people I know from my generation have married, divorced, or never married at all. Maybe there was a long-term relationship in their life, marriage or otherwise, but it doesn’t last.
And, I’ve found a lot of men who just, simply, want to “hook up”. No dating, where you actually go out, with one or the other paying for both people to have an enjoyable night out. (yes, I believe in full equality of the sexes, and have paid for dates when I was the one doing the asking) No real relationship, where you are introduced to the other person’s friends, or their family, after a suitable amount of time spent getting to know one another.
Yeah, I’ve been the “dirty little secret” before, and I resented it. Whether we’d stayed together or not, not being introduced to the other people he chose to spend time with felt as though I wasn’t worth mentioning. It felt awful.
Men who thought that paying for dinner meant they’d be getting sex in return, only to find out that I’m not into prostitution, and went home, alone, never to return another phone call or text.
Women friends who can’t seem to find “Prince Charming”, perfect in every way, and they aren’t willing to even try to work through differences, compromise, communicate.
Wait…that one goes for the men too. Except for wanting “Snow White” instead of a prince.
Instead, we seem to be the generation of Throw-Away Relationships.
Red flag? Recycle.
Stone in the path? Whether small or large, personal or relationship related, the relationship is the first thing chucked out the window, so that the person struggling is left to do so alone.
Nevermind sticking by someone you care about, nevermind working through something together, which means it gets resolved quicker, oftentimes in ways you wouldn’t imagine, because 2 heads are better than 1 at solving problems.
Yes, I’m twice divorced. Does that make me a hypocrite?
In the case of the first marriage, probably. We were both young, headstrong, and he hit me. Not hard, just a light slap across the face to “prove a point” to a friend of his. But I wouldn’t put up with it. Wouldn’t talk calmly about it, and he could never believe that when he left to go to work (out of town, often overnight) I wasn’t secretly screwing his friends. (No, I wasn’t. I was totally loyal, but he could never believe it)
In the case of the 2nd marriage…No.
Our marriage slowly eroded from good and loving, to distant, resentful, and emotionless (except for anger and disdain, there was plenty of that).
I’ve written about my 2nd divorce before, won’t do a complete blow-by-blow here. (If you really want to read about it, click here for Part 1)
So, for me, yes & no. I’ve acted the same way, in the past, but I worked really hard on changing those bad habits after my 2nd divorce. I’ve tried being the loving, compassionate, supportive girlfriend. I’ve been loyal – I call myself a Serial Monogamist.
But, what’s lacking?
Someone who is willing to fight for a relationship. Someone who is willing to work with me towards that goal. Someone who actually wants to spend thought and time on me, rather than money. Someone willing to trust that I can be that, well, not a freaking princess, that’s for damned sure…but maybe partner in crime suits the situation better.
Why are we Gen X’ers so afraid of commitment? Why do we just toss in the towel and give up at the first sign of wavering off balance?
Are we really that weak?
And now, here we sit… Middle aged, and so many of us still alone, whether willingly or not. Where is that “Happily Ever After”- Hell, at this point, I’d take “Happily in the Beginning, and Pulling Together When the Shit Hits the Fan”.
Because I do know the value of my time, my company, and Myself. I’m worth it.
If I could just find someone willing to take the time to see it.
(Well, I guess I found something to talk about today, after all)
What do you write when there’s nothing to say?
When you’ve tried to come up with something, anything, and just end up sounding stupid or psycho.
Nothing extraordinary happened to me today, other than possibly losing a friend. Sad, yes, but not extraordinary. Why? Because communication skills seem to be faulty on both ends. Not much I can do about it at this point, because anything I say now will end up sounding like I’m some kind of clinger or psycho. So, I am silent.
Had a teenager invade my yard yesterday, freaked me out until I realized he was trying to catch a freaking Pokemon under my bedroom window.
*shaking my head*
Different…weird, even, but not extraordinary.
So, here I sit, in all my ordinariness, silence around me, and a million voices in my head warring whether to text, or not to text.
One of these days
I will go.
I will pack up, turn around
I won’t cling
Just – go.
Too many broken things
Lie around me now.
My marriage, my life,
Maybe in another place
I can start to build anew
Without the pain
Tied to every place I go.
Maybe a new place
Will help me
Make clean, fresh memories
It’s not running
If I don’t look back
I will blind myself
Before I look back again.
So if I cry now
It’s just me
So that when I go
The tears will be done.
One of these days.
There are times when I think…
Maybe I’m better off on my own.
When I’ve been stuck in a crowd, tense from the press of bodies and emotions, irritable from the need to “keep up appearances”, working to keep my happy-go-lucky, carefree mask in place. Times when, after having people in the house for a while, I find myself longing for the days when it is just me, quiet, no TV, no radio, just the household sounds, the animals the only other addition to the noise level.
Times when I can do whatever I want, and no one’s going to look at me funny, tell me I’m up too late, ask me why I’m just sitting, reading, doing whatever I’m involved in.
These are the times when I can just be, and I don’t have to think about anyone else.
And yet, I don’t like these times to last forever.
I am an introvert, at heart. A surprise, I’m sure, to some…not so much to others. I am shy, especially when I’m meeting new people. I hang back, listen a lot, barely speak, but to murmur niceties in response to questions asked. I try to be unobtrusive, part of the shadows. I seriously don’t like the spotlight, and get extremely awkward in front of others when put on the spot.
(Except weddings, which is weird, to me. I could stand in front of groups of people anywhere, anytime, and do weddings, and it doesn’t get to me…I’m not totally sure why that is, except that maybe, somewhere in the back of my head, I feel that most of those people are too busy watching the couple getting married to be concerned with the minister performing the ceremony.)
I should like being alone all the time if I’m an introvert, right?
Not so much.
I have friends who are completely comfortable with life alone. They go places, do things, or just be, very well, all by their lonesome, and never give it a second thought. They’re happy being a single, and I totally get that. I have no problem with it, and understand when they get irritated with people constantly trying to push them together with others. One of my dearest & oldest friends is one of these happy singles, & gets seriously perturbed when people try to get her to date.
I get it. She’s complete. Whole and self-contained, without a need for anyone else for companionship, relationship, or validation.
I – need something else.
Yes, I do like my me time. I need it, occasionally, to decompress & recharge.
But I need more than that, too.
Because I’m not always happy being alone.
I like having someone around who will talk with me, share jokes, laugh at some of the same things, even sit, quietly, each involved in our own thing, but happy to be in proximity to each other.
I need someone who will touch me with affection, shared passion, soothing comfort.
I like taking care of people who take care of me as well. I like giving them my time & attention, sharing joys as well as commiserating during bad times.
I like knowing that there is someone out there who will miss me if I’m not around, & that they will be glad to see me when I am there. That their face will light up when I enter the room, as my face glows with their attention, and I revel in their presence, as well.
I crave the feeling that I am, not necessarily their first priority, but at least in the top 3 or 4. (Sometimes, other things have to take precedence, & I think everyone’s first priority should be their own health & well-being, anyway)
I need that, to a certain extent. Like air, water, food & shelter.
I need affection, touch, attention.
And that is not wrong.
It doesn’t make me half a person, because I want to share my life, instead of going it solo.
And I’m tired of feeling as though I have to justify that need to those who are the happy singles.
When I’m in a good relationship, I’m more.
More balanced, calmer, happier, of course, & relaxed.
I smile more, I come out of my shell more, and laugh a little more often & freely. I dare more, delighting in learning new things, trying things that would have been out of my comfort zone as a solo, because I have someone to share all of it with.
Does that make me less when I’m alone?
It just means that, when I’m with someone, the sum of the whole is more than equal to the sum of the individual.
Draw a breath,
Slow, constant, steady,
Fill my lungs with cool, sweet air
For just this moment
For the blink of an eye
I am light
I am air
Blowing out a candle’s flame
But it only
Dances in the breeze
Of the dark
Of the knots
Of the wrong.
And for this moment
On the inside of my eyelids
Stars in my brain