A Single’s primary relationship…just what is that? Google defines ‘single’ as; only one, not one of several, unmarried or not involved in a stable sexual relationship.
Yup, that pretty much sums it up, but what does it feel like when you have to own being only one? Reminds me of that damned roller coaster. The slammed-to-the-back-tug when the ride pulls you uphill–the rush when a drop throws you forward and careens around curves, the wind tangling your hair, the deep breath and swallow as you struggle to keep smiling. Aweful, right?
I’m reminded of the lyrics to One Is The Loneliest Number, by Three Dog Night. They had something in that first stanza when they sang;
One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do
Two can be as bad as one
It’s the loneliest number since the number one
That was a dismal thought at first, but it rang of truth. Being part of a pair had been much tougher than being solidly single.
The Truth of Being Part of a Pair
The decades in my dysfunctional marriage were a wild roller coaster ride. I had calluses from hanging on, hanging in there. Weathering years in a toxic relationship preps us for the erratic ride. But leaving doesn’t mean we can get off…at least not for a long time. We are used to the rush and fury of highs and lows. Level and smooth, is unfamiliar.
Transition to Being Alone
Once we do step into a drama-free zone, do we unconsciously create thoughts and plots that rev up the roller coaster ride again? Do we get uneasy with the unfamiliar? It this why I’m a closet adrenaline junkie these days; tempted to sign up for a ride at the glider port, revelling in my tandem parachute jump, the joy of riding white water rapids? I love the rush from activities, but avoid emotional drama the way I’d avoid a pit of snakes.
Did Becoming Single Set Me Free?
So, now I’m free…or am I? Visceral stimulation is a rush, yet I avoid emotional highs for fear of the fall. Hmmm…Introspection can be a bitch. A real-live one. I picture her with red eyes, black hair and a relentless cackle, as she pushes and prods me to open the blinds, let in the harsh light and focus.
My New Relationship
It strikes me, like a thunk in the back of the head that wakes me up. Even being single, I’m in the relationship of my life…with myself. And we avoid this baby, as long as we stay entangled in the myriad of relationships with others. We’re too busy wondering what they want, think, need or feel, to ask ourselves those questions in earnest. Again. Hmmm….
Since I want to be fair about this new revelation, I remind myself that every relationship takes work, checking in, paying attention, resurrecting the good things when the down slides threaten even this budding relationship with me, myself and I.
Being Our Own Best Ally
How can we foster this new alliance, bring our single life into focus? By reminding ourselves to value what we have instead of yearning for something else. To enjoy the gentle ebb and flow of life without the rush of the rapids. This conjures images of a nature walk, a hot bath, glass of wine, music, dangling my feet off a dock.
This transition from part of a toxic pair to triumphantly alone, on our own, single, will take practice, conscious reminders, determination and desire to work on building a relationship with ourselves.
No worries. I got this…we’ve got this.