the path ahead

I imagine my body as a current, pushing forward over stone and soil, carving out a path for myself. Twisting, winding through trees; root systems suckling on me, little by little as I meander and create a way for myself.

It’s a powerful image–and I keep that word in mind: power. I have power over my life. I am not living my life on another person’s terms. It is mine.

In December 2018, I left my partner of ten and a half years.

I took our two-year old daughter, packed a few items, and drove away.

The strongest feeling I had when I left was that I was insane. How could I abandon my life? But abandonment was what I had known for years; I existed separately from the man, a comet who entered my orbit every so often. His excuses for being away were always work-related. But in truth, he just couldn’t share his space with me. His resentments and mine were different, but together these resentments built a wall between the two of us.

We loved our daughter, but the delineation was cut-and-dry: I wanted a child, and he did not. He simply obliged me. He didn’t want to change his life.

I moved five states away. My sisters and best friend insisted that I meet other men through Tinder so that I could get laid–my partner had barely touched me sexually in three years.

I met a handsome and talented Egyptian-American musician. And later I met a gorgeous and intelligent and funny Midwestern engineer (can you tell I really liked him?). I fell hard for them. I fell hard in spite of their obvious flaws. My co-dependent nature wrapped around those flaws with gusto, wanting to be a cushion, a place of safety for them. To find comfort in me.

Woe to the woman who has this aspect of her psyche–codependency. It is always her downfall. The downfall may be swift or prolonged, but it surely happens eventually.

I had major feels for these two guys who were quite clear on their expectations: sex with no strings attached. I thought, I’m a really great person, and they will see that. They may have seen it, maybe not. And I wasn’t trying to be anyone’s girlfriend. I simply wanted to leave the door open for change and possibility.

The musician ghosted me hard. The engineer probably would respond if I initiated contact with him…but I stopped texting him and he hasn’t texted me in four days. I deleted my Tinder account, so he must think I have unmatched him by now.

The reason I deleted my Tinder account was to begin a dating sabbatical. In the last fifteen years, I have probably been single for less than a year. Maybe six months, give or take a few weeks.

The purpose of this blog is to document my journey into life as a single mother who, for lack of an easier description, is dating herself.

I remember telling a mom friend who knew about some of my relationship struggles that all I wanted was to be alone, if things ended. Things ended. I dove into casually intimate situations. I had my heart hurt twice, though for different reasons. And it just reaffirmed that my gut instinct was correct: I need to be on my own.

I’m writing these posts more for myself than anyone else, but I’m sure these will be interesting and/or helpful for others.

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