People ask me all the time why I am single. And it seems like every time I try to answer, I come up with something different ranging from: I’m difficult, I’m picky, I have high expectation for myself, I have high expectation for others, I nit-pick people to death, I want things exactly the way I want them, people don’t know how to take me, or just simply put, I really don’t know.
I’ve examined this before and I’m sure I will again because every time I think I want something, I re-think it and it turns out it’s exactly opposite that. For instance, sometimes, I think I want one, single man in my life. Single as in just one, not single as in not married. I already covered that. No married men for me, but sometimes I think I would just like one man. However, unlike my regular outlook on life, which is just take things as they come with no expectations, I put many, many expectations on my prospective partners. And what I have found is that I don’t have any idea what I want, because when I get most of what’s on my mental list, it’s still not enough.
For example, I met a man nine years ago. I was at my mom’s house just stopping in and this guy in a City of Knoxville truck came down the street. I can’t really remember what I was doing at the time. Maybe mowing her grass, maybe walking to the car. My memory usually escapes me about these kinds of things. Regardless, this guy stopped in this big, huge truck to get out and talk to me. He told me how pretty I was and then he asked me for my number. He was handsome and obviously a hard worker and he was about 12 years older than me. Not that age was a dealbreaker, he looked much younger anyway. So we started kind of seeing each other, but the more we got to know each other, the more I could see our differences. He was looking for something serious….. like a wife, but at the same time, he didn’t want to be tied down. Confusing, right? I wasn’t really looking for anything more than today. We seemed totally incompatible at every turn. I could easily find five things to argue with him about at any given moment. And sometimes I did. Our relationship just eventually dissolved. No hard feelings. No “break-up.” It just stopped and we were both ok with it. We didn’t call or text each other anymore. Not even to see how the other one was doing. We just ceased to exist to one another. I moved on with my life, he moved on with his. And I started dating this guy Mark.
We were together for about a year or so when I was taking my kid to the bus stop one day. As I was sitting in my car, that familiar truck pulled up at the same place I was, with that familiar face in it. I hadn’t seen him in a few years. We exchanged pleasantries and he asked me for my number, but I was attached and I am faithful by nature, so I politely declined and told him I was seeing someone. He tried to get me to take his number anyway and call him so we could get together for lunch or something, but, again, I’m pretty loyal and I know what “lunch or something” means, so I said no. For the next year, I pretty much saw him at that same spot at that same time. I would wave, he would wave and that was the extent of it. Then I moved and didn’t see him anymore. Inevitably, Mark and I broke up and I was on my own.
As luck would have it, I, again, ran into the City Guy. He was still working for the city and he asked how I was doing and if I was still with the guy. When I told him no, he immediately asked for my number and we started seeing each other again. Nothing serious and nothing exclusive. We just hang out. We go on motorcycle rides and watch movies and take tumbles in the hay occasionally. And he’s nice, but the age thing kind of puts a damper on things. Not that it’s a bad thing to have friends with different perspectives, but I think if you are going to have a relationship that goes beyond friendship there has to be some agreement on the fundamental issues. Like Adele.
I put Adele on his mp3 player and he was like, “what is this? I don’t like it. Can you take it off?” And of course I told him no. It had to stay. You wouldn’t rip a page out of the bible and you don’t delete Adele songs. Talk about sacrilege, but that’s a fundamental difference. And he’s very set in his ways. And I’m set in mine. He’s a hard worker. He would be a good provider. But then there’s the parental thing. All his kids are grown. He has grandkids as old as my youngest kid almost and we differ when it comes to parenting. Not that he’s wrong and I’m right, but I’ve been doing this parenting thing solo my whole adult life, I take offense when someone comes in and tries to tell me how to do it “right.” My two adult children are amazing. That happened without anyone’s input. Sometimes I don’t know how, but it did. And then there’s the living situation. He’s an obsessive compulsive neat freak. When I go to his place, he wants me to put on house shoes. I’m a barefoot kind of girl. He doesn’t want my feet to get dirty, but there is no dirt. He finally stopped asking me to put them on and now says, “well I know you are just gonna walk around barefoot so I won’t even ask if you want the house shoes.” Thank you!! Finally we agree on something. I let my dogs in the bed. He says if we lived together, that would never happen. He also hates my hippie lotion. And he’s old!!! Shouldn’t my patchouli remind him of Woodstock or something?
That went a little off topic, but that is why I need to have my own place and I need my husband to have his own place. Then our differences wouldn’t be so stark, but society says that being married and not living together is weird. And people are programmed to want to share every detail of their lives with another person by living with them. Of course, I believe it’s completely ok to share every aspect of your life through blog, but I don’t want to see someone’s morning eye boogies every day. I don’t want to know what someone’s poop smells like because we share a bathroom. I don’t want to hear someone belching after every meal. I don’t want to hear the way they chew their food every single day. That’s what takes the romance out of relationships. If he isn’t bringing me flowers and love notes every day, I shouldn’t have to listen to him farting and burping every day.
So why am I single? I guess it’s my unrealistic expectations for what my perfect relationship would look like. I know relationships aren’t perfect, just like people aren’t, but a lot of people have found partners that, although imperfect, are perfect for them. Maybe mine is out there. Maybe not. Maybe when I meet the right person my perspective will change, but for now, I’m just still single.