Never say Never – except in this case

I’m single and have been for about 10 years. My husband died, less than two weeks after we divorced. A long unfortunate story that has altered all of our lives – but I’ll save that for another time. This is about me being single – and how I wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t even like dating. I don’t even like the thought of dating. The mere thought of having to work up the emotions to even make small talk over dinner with some man sounds exhausting and torturous. It’s not the “man” part that sounds torturous – it’s the process. I’m at the age where I’m too tired, too preoccupied and too fixed in my ways to try to impress someone else, much less date them. Plus, I don’t like to eat in restaurants and I don’t like to leave the house unless absolutely necessary, like for events my sons are in or to check on my mother or for church. Or to get food and toilet paper. Being snowed-in and not being able to leave my home is my idea of nirvana.
I’ve been in a number of relationships, and most have been long-term. I’ve always been attracted to men, I’ve enjoyed the attention, I enjoyed being part of a couple, but I was never a serial dater. And while I enjoyed those relationships, especially a couple of them, I was never a woman who had to have a man to complete her life. As a matter of fact, I would describe myself as a loner for the majority of my life. It’s not that I don’t enjoy others in my life, it’s just that I also love being alone and have never had a problem with being by myself. The hard part of any relationship for me is having someone else put expectations on me. When that happens, I start getting irritated and start feeling smothered. I also get very bored very easily. I get irritable and moody if someone is around me all the time. Looking back, I can see some of the relationships I was in came about because I thought I was supposed to be part of a couple; a social approval type of thing. And as I’ve become older and more confident and more self-assured, I don’t need that type of approval or acceptance.
It’s amazing to me in this day and age, when women are supposed to be so supportive of each other and so progressive in their thinking and views, that there are still those people that automatically think if you’re single, then you must be “on the hunt”, as one ex-friend of mine so crudely put it. Just as there are those who think an unmarried woman in a long-term relationship is just dying for the man to put a ring on her finger, there are those who think no woman in her right mind would choose to be single. There are so many well-meaning friends of mine who think they should “find a man” for me and don’t look convinced when I plead my case for modern spinsterhood. I actually had one woman who asked me if I ever got “____?” Never mind – I can’t even type the word. Who thinks like this, much less says it?
One of the only drawbacks to my self-imposed spouseless life is that my two sons, now teenagers, would have benefitted from having a good male role-model around on a full-time basis. When they were younger, they actually would ask me when I was “going to get them a dad”. And even now, I’ve heard them tell friends that they miss their dad although I doubt at this point, they can remember very much about him. I think what they’re saying is that they wish they had a dad in their lives. I worry that they’re lacking in any examples of how a good man treats a woman or wife well on a daily basis or even how a couple works through issues or problems so they can sustain a relationship on a long-term basis. They’re not learning how to be good fathers. They don’t have a man to encourage them in sports, or to shoot baskets with. I couldn’t even throw a baseball with them because I was afraid of the ball when they threw it back to me. I blinked and ducked. I tend not to push them when I probably should and I overreact at things a father would probably overlook. I don’t let them play football because I’m afraid they’ll get hurt. There. That alone says it all about why they would have benefitted from having a dad around full-time. Not to mention that they’re teens now and I could use a full-time male sounding board for a number of issues, not the least of which is they do not want me talking to them about sex. I could also use some backup during conflicts.
The other few disadvantages to this kind of life are not having a full-time handyman living here to help with leaky faucets, basements that leak, and gutters that need to be cleaned out. I would love to have a big burly man talk to the manager at the service garage at the car dealership – the manager who can figure out before I even open my mouth that I know nothing about cars except how to drive them and am an easy target for trumped up service charges. (One time in my late 20’s, when I was having a lot of trouble with a lemon of a car, I actually thought seriously about having one main requirement in any future boyfriends; only candidates with expert mechanical skills.) Having an extra income or retirement package to cushion my solitary income would be nice also. All selfish reasons, I know, but I’m nothing if not practical.
But again, I’m very fixed or set in my ways. I live out my days in a certain manner and have a certain routine and don’t want to have to entertain someone else’s habits or preferences. I like sleeping by myself. It feels crowded for me if someone else shares my bed, and I have a big bed. My sons and I have certain ways we live and I, for one, don’t want anyone encroaching on those. I’m afraid if anyone else suggested a different way of doing things, he would be overruled immediately and without question. We can go on trips where and when we want. My mother and sisters can come and go as often as I like. We spend our money on what we want to spend it on. We watch what we want on TV. We keep the house the way we want it. We eat what we want to eat. So, short of being able in the near future to hire a full-time butler, mechanic, plumber, and gardener all rolled into one plus a “manny” for teens, I’m on my own. And loving every selfish minute of it.

One thought on “Never say Never – except in this case

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