Wednesday, January 17, 2007

On Life and Being Single

It's a funny thing. The stereotypical "male response" to situations like this seems to be to go crazy with new found freedom. That may be the stereotype, but that's not how I feel at all.

Several weeks ago, I had a funny conversation with my son. It went something like this:

Him: Dad?
Me: Yes, son?
Him: Does this mean you're going to start dating again?
Me: Oh, I don't know, son - probably eventually. We'll have to see how it goes.
Him: I don't want you to.
Me: Why not?
Him: Because I don't want you bringing any skanks home.
Me: (laughing) Well, I'm not really attracted to those type of women, so I don't think you need to worry.
Him: (pausing to think) What about "money grubbers"?
Me: I'll be careful. I think I'll be okay.
Him: Okay, in that case, I want you start dating. Why don't you go on a date this weekend?
Me: (smiling) Well, son, I'm not really ready for that. How about this: when I feel ready, if I happen to meet an attractive lady and I feel like I'd like to have dinner with her or go to a movie, I'll ask her out then.
Him: Okay
(I give him a hug, and he seems more cheerful)

So here we are several weeks later. I haven't been on any dates, I'm not seeing anyone or grooming anyone to see them later, and I have no plans to do so. I did have a nice phone conversation that helped put things in perspective, but as I predicted, nothing came of it, and that's fine with me. I guess you could say I'm taking a little time to get to know myself.

I've gotten used to my new role as single parent. I don't mind running the house by myself, doing the cooking, or any of that. Mostly, my unmet needs at this point are emotional. It would be nice to share life's problems with someone, or to have that encouraging hug when I've had a rough day.

Everyone tells me how well I'm doing, how strong I am, and how fast I'm getting through this. Outwardly, that is certainly the case. From my perspective, though, it's Hobson's Choice. Of course I continue - I have children to worry about. Of course I go to work - I have bills to pay.
Of course I look on the bright side of life - the alternative is much much worse.

I actually started humming an old song yesterday (must be my subconscious at work), and when I realized it, I looked up the lyrics. They fit this situation rather well. Here's a sample from part of the song (emphasis added):
Ever since I met you
You're the only love I've known
And I can't forget you
Though I must face it all alone

All at once,
I'm drifting on a lonely sea
Wishing you'd come back to me
And that's all that matters now

All at once,
I'm drifting on a lonely sea
Holding on to memories
And it hurts me more than you know
So much more than it shows
All at once

Nobody ever said it would be easy, and it's not. But I keep going forward, one day it a time, one foot in front of the other, as the journey continues.

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