So, in the last few days, I’ve been accused of being a manhater and painting men in a negative light in this blog. I kind of laughed at the thought because I’m usually really careful not to blame any specific gender when it comes to pointing out toxic behaviors and actions. If anything, I’ve learned to either use specific examples I’ve encountered in my personal life, or to keep posts gender neutral.
Let’s face it. Man. Woman. Or whatever you might label yourself, people in general, can and have negative traits. Even I have my moments when I don’t react in healthy ways. Sometimes I obsess over comments left on my blog or daily interactions with people online. But that’s because of my anxiety – and I am fully aware of it. I’m also working on bettering myself with this.
Our faults – it’s what makes us human.
I don’t claim to be an expert in relationships. Nor do I claim to have all the answers. The advice I give here is based on what I’ve learned personally, and from interacting with others.
But what I have learned is that my own actions can hurt others, and this is something that I don’t want to do. I’m all about positivity, healing and helping others. My main goal here in this blog, is to help educate others from what I’ve learned in life.
I spent four years on a professional level working in addictions and mental health. During this time, I really learned to recognize unhealthy behaviours. I also learned the importance of setting boundaries in relationships early on. And more recently, in the last year with therapy, I’m working on learning how to be more assertive, and allowing others to help me when they offer it. That’s something I’ve struggled with over the last few years.
Why am I single?
Because I want to be. That’s it. That’s the answer. I’m better off on my own. I’m happier. And I know that if I’m having a bad day, or if I need some down time – I’m not hurting anyone I care about. I can just be me and take all the time I need to be selfish.
Here are a few other reasons why I feel the need to be single. It has nothing to do with hating men or any gender. I just don’t even understand where that accusation came from.
You all know by now that I’ve had my fair share of toxic relationships. I think that comes with looking for broken people to try and fix or help them. I learned the hard way, that you can’t fix people. You can offer support. But trying to change or fix someone – doesn’t end well.
Something else I’ve learned is this – negative people often attract other negative people. Two negatives in a relationship can make for really unhealthy attachments. If you put two people together who don’t know how to clearly communicate their feelings, the relationship is doomed to fail.
I also really believe that people can bring out the worst in each other and feed off each other just like couples can bring out the best in each other and compliment each other.
When my relationship with Greg ended, I felt an enormous sense of grief. Mixed in with a little bit of relief. We were so toxic and unhealthy for each other. We fed off each other’s weaknesses and poked each other until one would explode. It took a long time to get over the hurt. I’m still healing some ways.
Some emotional scars are permanent. You remember how a person hurt you. While you can forgive them and learn to let go, those scars stay with you forever.
Dating over 40 sucks
It really does. I have tried to meet new people online. I even tried meeting people in person. I thought I was ready to move on from the ex and started chatting with new guys online. But in this day and age, either people don’t have time for a relationship or they just want to “watch Netflix and chill” without any commitment.
It took me a whole year before I learned what “Netflix and chill” actually meant. I don’t offer that anymore!!
I’m not sure why it is this way now. Dating in my 20’s never seemed this hard. I moved easily from one guy to the next. Until Greg – that one hurt when the relationship ended the first time in 2005. I never should have connected with him later on. I’ve also learned that when a relationship ends, sometimes that’s for the better and you need to just let go, and walk away from it.
I’ve learned as I’ve “preached” many times before, that setting healthy boundaries early on in the relationship is a good way to protect yourself – and your partner. What are healthy boundaries? Well, that answer is going to be very individual.
For some people it might be about how often you communicate with each other or see each other in person. For others, it might be something simple like, “don’t call me after 11 pm on a week night unless it’s an emergency” or for others it might be, “hey, I’m okay with an open relationship, but there has to be some rules.”
Establishing healthy boundaries early on really helps to build trust and it also helps to open a dialogue. What makes or breaks a relationship is when couples have a clear understanding of each other’s boundaries, and also RESPECT those boundaries.
I’ve said it before – if a person isn’t respecting your boundaries, that person isn’t respecting YOU or your relationship. For instance, if someone continues to make inappropriate or sexual comments that make you feel uncomfortable – you have every right to say:
“Please stop. Your actions are making me very uncomfortable.” Or something to that effect. I always try and be respectful when stating my boundaries – even to online strangers.
The same goes for readers who receive nasty comments like “fuck you” or “fuck off.” Delete these. Block the commenter and move on. Don’t engage. Just move on with your life and chalk it up to a bad day.
And again, if someone doesn’t respect your boundaries – you have every right to move on from them. As women, that is our right. It’s a basic human right – regardless of what gender you are.
I’m living the life I want
Being on my own, I’m living the life I want to, the way I want to. I can come and go as I please (pandemic aside). I can eat the foods I want to. I can sleep all day. Or get up early and have a productive day if I’m healthy. I can travel on my own.
I can be friends with whomever I want in my life. I don’t have to worry about my family liking my choices in men. And I don’t have anyone else to answer to.
Is it easy being single all the time? No, of course not. I’ve learned to take care of myself. I know when to ask for help if I need it. But most of the time, I am able to look after me on my own. I don’t need a man or anyone to complete me.
Back in 2010, after Kevin and I broke up, I was heartbroken. I had gained a lot of weight and then in one year, lost 70 pounds. I wanted to be on my own and learn all kinds of new things. I started traveling on my own across the country. I went hiking in the mountains. I learn how to paint. I even went boxing a few times. I loved kick boxing until my knees gave out on me.
Being on my own, I can do all these things. I have lots of hobbies that keep me busy.
Is it lonely? Sure at times it can be. But again, I’m not miserable. I don’t hate my life because I am alone.
Let me say this again —
WOMEN can absolutely be happy on their own. Not everyone needs a man or partner to complete them. It is within our rights to decide that for ourselves.
And just because a woman writes a blog about relationships, it doesn’t mean she has any interest in you romantically. I can’t believe I even need to write this. This blog is my therapy.
I don’t hate all men
Life is too short to hate on people I don’t even know.
Just because a woman is single doesn’t mean she’s lonely or pathetic. I think it takes a very strong person to live on their own and be independent. Marriage isn’t for me. I’ve known that for years. Having kids – I can’t physically have them. So, it’s just me. And I’m fine with that. I like it.
I feel EMPOWERED knowing that sharing my experiences in this blog, that I can inspire other women to make choices that are right for them.
A strong and vibrant woman, who empowers other women to seek healthy connections — is a woman that I admire. I like to think that this blog and my writings can empower others.
And if you have a problem with my lifestyle choices — that’s your malfunction. Perhaps take some time for inner reflection on why my marital status upsets you so much. A survivor learns how to deal on her own and knows when to ask for help. And trust me, I’ve asked for help in dealing with a certain problem individual.