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Blog: Oh, How It Thrills Me To The Bone. How Good To Be So Alone

(originally written 12/3/10)

After watching The Social Network, I’m more convinced than ever that the single life is the life for me. I’ll explain specifically why later.
Here I am at 1am, chillin’ at my desk, blogging and watching ESPN. Two seemingly irrelevant activities to the average person. But for me, two life-altering civil rights recently won back after years of longing.

You see, I spent most of the last 8.5 years in a relationship.

(Now, before I continue, this is NOT going to be an ex-bashing blog. That’s not how I roll and besides, my ex was very good to me and continues to be very good to me. We were good to each other and for a long time, good for each other. She gave me Josie—although I never remember specifically asking for her—so she’ll always matter to me.)

When you are in a relationship, you simply HAVE to make concessions if you want said relationship to last. I made plenty, one of which being the right to set my own bedtime schedule. If she wanted me to come to bed, I usually came to bed. Didn’t matter the time or my level of fatigue. So blogging at 1am is actually pretty liberating for me. :)

Another concession that I made: girls.
I hated this concession.

For most of my high school life on, I’ve always had one or two very close female friends and a number of others I’d kick it with. We were friends only, going no further than the occasional lip peck. And that’s how I wanted it (not that I'm here to talk about the past).

Being in a relationship changed all that. My ex was always insecure and maybe a little jealous. She’d convinced herself I didn’t talk to girls unless I was trying to score with them---even those married to other friends of mine. Couldn’t be any further from fact, but I never could sway her and got tired of trying. I figured if I still get accused in spite of reassuring and limiting my contact with females, I’m going to hang out with them as much as I want whether she likes it or not.

That’s what happened, and that’s partly why I’m now single (and happy).

I’m sorry, but I HAVE to have girls in my life. They’re so pretty. They’re usually sweet. They smell so good. They wear skirts. They listen. They care. And they can make you feel very special if they like you. It doesn’t mean I want to get them all naked. I’d rather get them all laughing. I’ll always be making up for the first 16 years of my life when I was so terrified of women I’d literally run away from some of them.

The other main ingredient in our breakup would have to be my own selfishness. I AM self-centered. I DO put myself first. I won’t do some charitable things because there’s nothing in it for me. I forget birthdays and anniversaries. I don't listen well. I’m not totally inconsiderate, but I’d say I’m below average. THIS IS ME. I don’t like it, but I’ve found I can’t change it. For so long I tried to be better to my ex because you’re supposed to be unselfish when in a relationship.

But it didn’t come naturally. I realized I’m never gonna be the type of boyfriend who shows up with flowers. I’m never gonna come up with a gift “from the heart”. I’m never gonna know “just what to say”. I’m never gonna cater to another’s needs above my own. I’m never gonna want to put in the work a relationship takes.

So, from my perspective…why be in one? Why cost myself the freedoms I’ve earned? The other night I chatted with Lynn and Mits on Facebook for an hour. That was not possible before. Wouldn’t have mattered that they’re just friends. They’re attractive women so I must be hoping to bang them---so I’m told. If my LAST woman felt that way, who’s to say my NEXT woman wouldn’t?

I’m not knocking anyone or judging anyone who IS in a relationship. If that’s what you want and you love each other and you’re both willing to do the work, RELATIONSHIPS CAN BE GREAT. Tom and Lynn, for example, seem to be happy. Fleazoe and Andrea seem very happy. Same for Amy and Jason. They’re in love and obviously relationship material. But I’m just not.
I love myself too much to ever love a girl the way she needs. I understand that now.

So for the time being I’m focusing on my career and my daughter and---to a slightly lesser degree—my friends. No relationships unless they’re brief and NSA (and don’t cause me to miss Scrabble rematches with Miriam and Jennifer again).

The film I mentioned in my opening paragraph showed a young guy genuinely trying to be a good boyfriend---he’d gone across the country for work purposes (only) and returned with a pricey scarf for his girlfriend. This girlfriend, with no basis for her assumptions, went batshit nuts convinced all he did while he was gone was other women (waaay false). Her response to his gift? Lighting it on fire in a trash can. He meekly dumped her afterward.

Now, my ex doesn’t approach insanity like that and never did, but watching that scene reaffirmed what I already knew: it’s so good to be alone. I don’t have to worry about giving gifts at all. I don’t have to worry about “proving my innocence”. I don’t have to worry about calming insecurities. True, I don’t have anyone warm next to me at night. That’s fine. I have my daughter to cuddle for the next few years. :)

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