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"I’ve seen it in my parents and other couples, where they lose themselves within the relationship, they become a shadow of their full potential and a being that is neither him nor her, but them and in all honestly, I’m terrified of losing who I am in somebody else."
It’s normal when you meet someone that you want to spend lots of time with them, but when you have children, how do you find that balance? How do you create space for a relationship as a single parent who has such a full and busy life?
I’ve spent the past 15 years building up my family and a life that doesn’t include a significant other. Of course I wanted one and much of my energy went into the longing and wanting for a long time. There was a time when I was seeking a man who also made a great dad, but my kids are at an age now where that no longer matters so much. It would be great if he was, but it’s not a priority. When we are young, we feel this pressure by society to get married, have children and a successful career by the time we are 30, but there are so many other ways to be. I’m lucky, I’ve had my children and that pressure is no longer there. I can be ready for love and companionship, not just procreation.
My priority is now me. What I want, what I need and vibrating in an energetic space where I attract the love that I need and want in my life, it’s no less than I deserve. However, I simply don’t have time for a full-time relationship, in a traditional sense. Or maybe that’s just my excuse, my barrier, my shield to keep the status quo. Maybe I actually like my own autonomy and independence and feel that sharing my life with someone would be suffocating and I would lose who I am.
I’ve seen it in my parents and other couples, where they lose themselves within the relationship, they become a shadow of their full potential and a being that is neither him nor her, but them and in all honestly, I’m terrified of losing who I am in somebody else. Of course in my world I see examples of couples who do encourage each other’s autonomy and independence, but they seem to be the exception and not the norm.
When I first met GSM, I just wanted to lock us up in a room and completely be immersed in one another and forget that the rest of the world existed. But not only is that unsustainable, but impossible as a single parent. To fully immerse yourself in a relationship is impossible, no matter how much time you want to spend with one another. It’s just not practical and probably not healthy either. And maybe life is like that – to keep our balance, to bring us back to self so that we don’t lose our identity we do need to have autonomous lives, or maybe this is just my fear popping up again.
So often, you hear “get lost in one another” but is a relationship about losing ourselves, or is it about coming together in sexual and intimate union and being authentically who you are, where you are both fully present with one another, in the moment? During sex, you cannot be thinking about things. It forces you to be present with yourself and with your lover. Of course you could think of other things, but that doesn’t make for an ecstatic experience. Just like the breath in yoga and meditation, sexuality is a tool for bringing us into the present moment and it is a powerful transformative one at that. Aren't relationships like that, being fully present in helping each other to be the best versions of ourselves?
Relationships can be all consuming and I would love nothing better than to dive into one with one of the beautiful men that have started coming into my life, but there is a but; a fear, a worry about losing myself, of it not working, of people getting hurt, of fears of the future that come up which continue to take me from the present. So instead, I focus on my happiness by loving what is. I focus on the present moment, on the gifts that the universe gifts me, of the snippets of time that I can share with lovers. I don’t need to immerse myself into someone else at the expense of who I really am. At this point in time, I don’t have physical time to devote to a relationship in the traditional sense and all the hobbies and interests that I have bring me back to balance, they bring me back to self. But I have to ask myself if I am willing to be open to allowing someone in, to let him love and nurture me, to grab my bum as we go about our day? Or will I run away again and use lack of physical time as an excuse? Having someone not only want me but show love and care for me and to just gaze at me lovingly – is very hard for me to receive. I can love myself no worries at all, but to have someone other than my children love and care for me – that’s challenging for an independent, single woman.
But I am willing to let love in and drop the barriers around my heart. I am willing to drop the stories that I don’t have time; that I’m not good enough, that my children won’t like him or there aren’t any men for me. These are all stories that stop me from creating amazing present moments with whoever comes into my life. It is about my willingness to have the greatest adventures of my life, in the prime of my life, no matter what the outcome may be and to trust the process of life.
©Alyssa Curtayne, 2016
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