• Kristy Gnibus

I'm Not Single

I’m in-between romances right now. I left one romance and I'm approaching the next.

In this day in age we all joke we can be whatever we want to be. Even if it isn’t what the modern woman would or should say, I finally have come to terms with it--I don’t want to be single forever. You have no idea how many times I watched Sex and the City and I thought, “I AM Samantha Jones,” but really I’m not. I’m Carrie through and through.

Why is it so difficult to align the brain and the heart? What my mind tells me and what my heart tells me rarely agree. Well, I suppose I’ve never been a good picker (as my mother would say). -- as if I was the one “picking” the partners in my life. I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that I don’t want to live my life alone. It always appears so strong to say you are happy navigating solo. I’m never going to be someone who is content without hope that I will someday find someone in a romantic sense to share my life with. There, I said it. I’m a sensitive, hopeless romantic. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I sort of cringe thinking I have exes that could read this and argue otherwise. I have not always given my best self. I’m exceptionally guarded, but when I do truly love, ugh, I LOVE. And of course, I have a full life. I have a career, children, family, and some of the best friends life can offer. So worst case scenario, my life is still pretty awesome in spite of my romantic errors.

I’ve often over analyzed why I am in the place, stage and order of life I’m currently in. I wake up and I still can’t believe my age or what it all means --”Where do I go from here? Am I dating too much? Not enough? Why doesn’t it just happen?” Whatever “it” is. Should I just be alone? Maybe I need a cat or seven. AH! What now!?

I, like many people in a similar place can attest to how annoying it can be to hear over and over,

“why are you single”?

The only answer I can say is I am between romances. Or rather I just shrug. I have over the past decade been in some very deep relationships. Ones where I gave my all, and ones where I fell short leaving the other person to pick up the pieces. But now as I mature year by year, and relationship by relationship, I feel I give a better version of myself each and every time because I don’t get in a deep relationship very often. Even though my heart tells me to fall in love and commit, I am just not ready.

Most recently, I experienced a gut-wrenching breakup. I say recently, but really, it’s been months and months. I felt I gave my all. I stuck up for the person in every way I could. I championed for their success. I gave them an infinite amount of closeness or space as they needed. I was honest. I cared. I did things I didn’t always want to ensure their happiness and hoped for that in return. I found interest in their interests, yet I still was exactly myself. Sheesh -- I even put the toilet seat down every time without much complaint. Perfection -- yet devastating failure. Half of what I thought was real was based on misconceptions and a person who just wasn’t there for themselves let alone for me. It left me feeling lost. I can tell you firsthand that these type of breakups linger. Even as I write this, I feel my chest ache and my throat closing up, creating a type of nausea only heartbreak can.

Regardless of the details of the breakup, I left that relationship and those before a different person. I don’t regret giving that person 100% of me. I regret how naïve I can still be after letting my heart take the wheel - wishing and hoping it was all untrue, or that this person would make grand efforts to right all the wrongs they’ve done to me. It didn’t end that way. It usually doesn’t (thanks brain, I know). Always after a failed relationship I am left wondering what is real and what isn’t, or even worse what isn’t real and what was.

This isn’t a composition on whose fault anything really is, or why I am single. Again, there is no clear answer--it’s really just a reminder to myself and to others like me that perhaps there is no perfect way. I can now admit regardless of how liberal or independent I am that I don’t want to be alone, even when I have to be. Even though I was hurt in my last relationship, when I choose to be in one again I will not let that damper the love I will give. I will still be in 100%, and I won’t let someone who hurt me ever change that. It has taken me a lot of failed relationships, a lot of hurting others, being hurt, and heartbreak on both ends to just know that it takes time to heal and want that love again. When you least expect, it creeps back in and you breathe deep and think, "Wow, I forgot I could feel like this". So for the time being, I'm in-between romances and I'm still happy. And ladies and gents: in this modern day, it’s okay to want love…even if it means not right now.

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