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I find myself 30-years-old, picking myself up after yet another failed relationship attempt, and realizing, in these moments, that my heart feels divided. There is a part of me, the part I am most familiar with, that has always been certain I wanted my prince charming, a baby or two, and roots. But a strange and unexpected thing has started to happen to me. As I look around at my friends who are getting married and buying houses and having babies, I only kind of envy them.
Within this heart that I thought I knew so well, a new feeling has been bubbling up; a pesky and determined desire for experiences, travel and freedom. It is possible that this new desire comes from the part of me who is fed up with searching for Mr. Right—as Charlotte expressed with such relatable frustration in SATC, “I’ve been dating for 15 years, I’m exhausted, where is he!?—maybe I’m just tired of having to put the pieces of my heart back together."
Even as I write this, I feel emotionally divided. There is a voice in my head urgently whispering not even to write this out because I might jinx my future happiness. But as I get older and no less single, I look back on all the time I have spent dating the wrong guys and searching for the right one, and I can’t help but wonder if I’ve missed them, the best parts of my life. Now that I’m looking it over through these divided lenses, I can’t imagine treading in this pool of dating and disaster for much longer.
I have said many times, and I'm not changing my tune now, I am fine with being single, happy even. Happiest possibly. What I’m currently struggling with is a broken heart, the product of a fairly short relationship, that for a brief, shining moment, seemed to be precisely what I've been searching for. It is crystal clear to me now that I was mistaken. So, I'm gathering up all of the threads of myself and pulling them back together once again. As I go through this excruciating process, I wonder, what would I have done if it had worked, if he had been the one? Would that have made me happy? Is that really what I want? To saddle myself with a man who will help me to make every decision in my life from now on? To take on his baggage, pile it right up there on top of my own? I honestly don’t know the answer to that. I’ve mentioned in previous posts that being in a relationship has not often made me very happy, at least not for long. That said, it's hard for me to really, reasonably, think that this last guy, or the next, or the next after that (shudder) could mean so much to me, that I would want to lose half of my control, my freedom; we call this compromise.
I don’t mean for this to sound bitter; I do still believe that some people are meant for each other and that true or at least extremely fulfilling love does exist. I’m just not sure I will find it, the hope I have always held onto is wavering. I'm not sure I will find someone I will be able to fully trust with my heart, someone I truly want to share my life with. I’m not sure I want to settle down and have babies and a mortgage. And maybe that’s not what it has to be; it’s just what I always thought it would be.
It seems like such an impossible question to answer; what if I don’t have a family now, while I have the option, and I regret it once it’s too late? Totally relevant. But, what if I don’t have a family and I travel and learn, and my body stays just the way it is, and I can drink mimosas at breakfast and take naps in the afternoon, anywhere in the world? What if I don’t regret choosing to be free, unencumbered with a mortgage or wedding vows or PTA meetings? Maybe this is my millennial side coming out (I hear we want it all), but I’m just not sure that the plan I used to have is still the right one for me. I also wonder how many other millennial women are feeling exactly the same way I am right now.
The fulfilled bachelorette lifestyle, is it possible? Would I be happy? Or am I just reeling? Hard to say. The one thing I know for sure is that both pieces of my heart wish I were writing this from a beach somewhere, so maybe one cool baby, a good man with a tan and ocean waves are the answer? What I can say for sure is that if I don’t find it soon, I’m throwing in the 'his and hers' towels and focussing on one in the sand, next to a shaken margarita.