I’ve never really done a two-part post before. I started out with a thought that later became too long for one post. The first part is my defining my First Adult Heartbreak (FAH), creating context around what happened and then, the process of recovering and finding myself again.
The second part is more of how I look at relationships and men today, since FAH. I guess this is the development that was birthed from FAH, the search for myself as a woman. This was actually where I had intended to focus on when I started writing part 1, but it turned out I couldn’t talk about this until I had developed and explained the back story, even just for myself.
I feel like I’m in a place where I cannot ever imagine being in a relationship like the one with my ex. I can’t imagine being tunnel-visioned again. I can’t imagine searching for validation from a man again. I can’t imagine not speaking my mind again. I can’t imagine. It’s still possible, but it would take a horrendous turn of events, complete or almost-complete loss of identity, and some level of amnesia to get me to that place again.
What I really wanted to say, was something that was circulating, percolating, marinating in the back of my mind. Since FAH, I’ve been dating on and off, mostly through dating apps. Actually, just through dating apps. Meeting people IRL is pretty rare, although I have met some awesome men. It’s actually more interesting and more fruitful to meet people IRL because we don’t approach the interaction with intent of dating. But anyway.
When it comes to relationships and dating nowadays, I can see myself being single for a fairly long time. Now, please take that with a grain of salt, as I am taking one grain myself. I wouldn’t be surprised if 40-year-old single Grace wishes she could punch 27-year-old single Grace for not making the most of her youth (ha!) and getting herself out there. But at the same time, 27-year-old single Grace feels pretty satisfied and okay with the idea of long-term singlehood.
Dating is fun. It’s nice to get to know people – that’s just my nature. But after a while, in the face of the rest of life today, where I’m trying to figure things out and get going with the things that truly enliven me, it becomes an investment of limited time and energy. I’m horrible at keeping up with guys I meet via my phone sometimes. I respond after several hours, or just stop responding because I feel burdened. And I’m not the only one that stops responding so don’t judge me a bitch just yet hahah.
I decided for myself that I need and want someone who has a keen interest for life, a hunger for making a difference, and an unstoppable drive to get there no matter the cost. I decided I won’t mold my life into someone else’s plans and would never ask that of anyone else. I decided my greatest priority is myself. My being a part of a relationship would never take precedence over anything – until I’m already in it and my heart is ready. But never at the get-go.
It would require time, probably years of feeling it out, of knowing each other as friends, citizens of this world, and human beings as fiercely and deeply as knowing each other as members of the opposite sex. It would require understanding each other’s fabrics interwoven in the context of our friends, communities, workplaces, professional careers, spirituality.
I know I would never repeat my FAH, not by principle, but by the person I’ve become and the journey I’ve walked because of it.
And that made me wonder – am I jaded? Am I afraid of being vulnerable, broken, seen and loved as a woman? Am I ultimately holding out, preventing myself from the possibility of falling in love? Is this fear or healthy caution? Am I still manifesting hurt and pain? Has my heart hardened and become impenetrable? Lol those questions are all redundant in some sense haha whatever!
I really really wondered. Maybe, rather than the true strength and consciousness of all I am that I thought I had acquired (as depicted in part 1), I was running away and using my “triumph” as a fortress from within which I could feel safe and in control.
Because that’s really not what I want. That actually scares me more than being hurt again, to be immovable, untouched in heart and soul.
I had to sit and re-assess this whole strong-woman, raw-feminine deal. Maybe I was psyching myself out – reveling in this false sense of strength and identity, when really I’ve just clammed up even more and locked myself in a tower a mile high daring anyone to try to climb – and fall to their death by rejection and exhaustion from dodging the tests I’d administer to validate their sincerity and intentions. Lol. I am so dramatic!!!!!
After much thought, I realized maybe I wasn’t as daft as I thought I might be. Maybe I really did become the woman I’d always wanted to be.
And this is what I realized even more – I know I did. I believe myself deeply when I say I don’t think I could ever make the same mistake again. I believe myself when I say I know what I want and I will stop at nothing to get it, whether in relationship or life.
I had lost everything, my self-respect, dignity, identity, strength, bearings, the whole shebang and not one speck of dust less, and built myself ground up. Where there had been an abyss of hurt, sense of lostness (not a real word), worthlessness, fear, there is now a solid spirit that dares to dream, to love again and love better, to heal when I need, to help others heal, to soar, express, and flourish. And to create a space for my Other to do the same.
Here I am. Single as hell. And ready to be single, for as long as I need, as long as I want. I’m not looking, striving, hoping for my match*, although I believe there is one out there. I know when the time comes, it comes. Not a moment sooner, not a moment late. I know I can stand alone and will choose to stand alone as long as I’m satisfied here, as long as I feel like life is better alone.
I will continue to stand firm in the face of all the women and men of all ages and usually Korean/Asian background who, when they find out my age and relationship status, internally shake their heads and ask what’s wrong. Nothing, fools!! Let me live!!! I won’t back down when my parents also ask me what’s wrong with me. Nothing, fools!! Just kidding. I would never to my parents. Only in my head.
I will own the shit out of my singlehood because it’s damn good to go to parties without worrying about my +1’s social abilities, to get ratchet with the girls on a second’s notice and think nothing of it, to meet new men platonically without feeling a hint of guilt or wondering if this is permissible… unless there’s a guy out there can manage these concerns like a pro and give me peace about it too. Lol, I kid.
I know I sound super irreverent about relationships, but seriously, I’m just as sincere as I sound irreverent. Does that even make sense?! Lol. I want to be a good woman and partner to whoever makes the cut hahaha God, this practically ensures I’m going to be single forever. But seriously, I think I can.
Til then, here’s to singlehood in all its glory.
This has been a long post. Thanks for reading.
* I’ll still be active on the one dating app I re-downloaded for kicks. The guys probably won’t appreciate it as much but I’m just increasing my exposure and doing my part in the grand scheme. It’s not fair to ask the universe for a partner when I’m not letting myself be found. Plus, it’s nice to keep in practice the art of meeting and engaging other human beings. And plus x2, it’s helpful to see what other kinds of human beings exist in this world, although I feel like there are general types that exist in OC and LA. Time to move states/countries/continents?