It has now been one year and eight months since shit began to hit the fan with my marriage.
Next month, it will be one year since my divorce was finalized.
I moved halfway across the country and began a new job one year and three months ago.
I moved into my current, cozy little studio apartment with my dumpstercat Chet one year ago this week.
I began casually dating eight months ago, convinced that I wanted to “play the field” and try out “ethical non-monogamy.”
About five months ago, I began dating this super cool guy, and about three months ago, I realized that I had no interest in non-monogamy or “playing the field” anymore and I was perfectly content to be in a “real” relationship again. No anxiety about what I could be missing, etc. And no weird residual hangups about my divorce. It’s pretty awesome.
I have settled into my new life. My New Normal. Nestled into the cozy reliability of a routine, a steady paycheck, a great health insurance plan (for now…), a place of my own, and reliable snuggles.
I have a reasonable work/life balance, which I have never experienced before in my life.
And I’m growing up. Finally. I’m 30 damn years old. I’ve become romanced by the idea of a normally 40 hour a week job in a field I love, with a manageable amount of stress from time to time. I’m smitten with the stability of it all.
I’m comfortable, and it’s so, so good.
It’s also fascinating starting over in a new relationship. With each new partner, I draw upon my past triumphs and failures and triangulate just a little closer what being a good partner, and choosing a good partner should be like. I know myself a little more, and what I want and need in a relationship.
I’m thrilled to learn that, when I’m happy and properly medicated, I’m not a selfish lump on the couch, and am a generous and considerate person. I was terrified that I was just an awful person to be with. Turns out, I can be pretty great, if I do say so myself!
Turns out, it’s possible to be in a relationship and have separate interests and time alone and going out with friends and be independent people. It’s so wonderful not to be in something so codependent. That was always something that I resented in my marriage. Even when I “gave my wife permission” to go out with her friends (and I wished she would…I wanted alone time!) she wouldn’t. A healthy, adult relationship? Surely not!
And, turns out, perhaps my vehemently anti-child stance stemmed from the fact that I had been with partners that I would have never, ever wanted to have kids with. This has been the weirdest thing, and I still think I’m kind of crazy for my marked shift in my stance on this subject. I think I do have a “biological clock” of some sort, and it’s strange AF. And, perhaps my friends and family were right in that it often takes the right partner to realize that it may be something you want after all. I can just hear so many of you gasping and/or cheering/fainting. You read it here first, folks.
All of this seems like crazy talk to me. It’s amazing what can happen when you settle into a happy, comfortable, predictable life.
I’ve been waiting my whole life for this.