My future was so clear, so perfectly laid out and planned. I didn’t have any questions about where I was headed. There was a Ring and a Man and a Forever, and I was comfortable. Now all of that has changed, and it has me questioning everything.
Is Forever even possible? I know it is for some people, but for most, Forever turns into a few years or twelve or twenty. Forever can get cut short by reality, the monotony of being with one person each and every day, the complacency of comfortable habits and routines. I had that in my own marriage, and we tried really hard to break the boredom. We opened our minds to kink and BDSM, we delved deep into the pool of our own needs and desires, and we even explored sex with other people, but we still fell victim to routine. Sex is so important to me, and I crave variety and excitement. How am I supposed to seek longevity in love and still have that same level of pleasure I really want?
I do long for longevity. I want my person, a partner, a best friend for life. I loved being married and that feeling of comfort that Forever provides. As much as I crave sexual excitement and variety, I also need the comfort that comes with domesticity. I’m a sub without a Dom, and taking care of someone will always be a kink of mine. I’m finding it difficult to express this side of me as I navigate dating again. I can always take care of V, shower her with love, cook for her, make sure she’s happy and has everything she needs, but I worry that if I show this side of me to the men I’m dating, they might see it as pushing too hard. Or they might take advantage of my desire to serve as has happened in the past.
V and I have talked lightly of becoming more serious, but we are happy where we are. We have gotten more serious, bonded by our similar pain, but the need for labels is still unnecessary. Both of us have so recently been shook by our former long term partners, our heads are still spinning. Our futures were so entwined with those men that hurt us so badly, and finding that trust again will be difficult. I can trust that she will love me and be good to me, but time can be wicked to matters of the heart and there is no way to predict how it might shape our future. We are so fragile right now, so the idea of setting ourselves up to hurt or be hurt is scary.
I do dream about Forever still. I imagine what it would be like to have that kind of commitment with her, I also fantasize about another domestic life with a man. I think part of that is fear of being alone. Forever is a long time. I’m grateful that I won’t spend it being unhappy, walking on eggshells, cringing at shouted insults, or hiding from anger, but I don’t want to spend forever all by myself, cooking dinner for one, never having enough laundry for a full load, only having to make one side of the bed.
It’s okay to be scared, it’s okay to wonder and question what my life will be like. I don’t want to get stuck though. I can’t let fear and uncertainty dictate how I live my life. I’m not going to try to make things fit into a box that isn’t the right size and shape. There’s no need to rush. Now is the time to enjoy myself and explore.
I do wonder if I rushed things with my ex husband. I barely dipped my toe in the water before I jumped into his boat. Floss often talks about The Relationship Escalator, and I am certainly not ready to hop onto that ride just yet. And, I wonder if I didn’t take the escalator with my ex and ride it all the way to the top only to be pushed off at the end. We followed that same path that so many do, and we failed. We met, we went on a date, then another and another, we said I love you, we moved in together, got married, bought a house, fell into a monotonous routine, started fighting, and then it was over. Now I wonder if I’d been dating more people than just him at the time, if I would have fallen so quickly and so hard. That New Relationship Energy can be dangerously intoxicating, and maybe I just got swept up in it. If I’d been seeing other people during that time, would the red flags have waved more visibly?
I am dating a lot these days. I go on at least two first dates a week, most of which are fun but would never pan out to anything more. I am regularly seeing two men in addition to spending time with V a few times a week. It’s a lot, but now that I am no longer tied down by marriage, I have a lot of free time on my hands. I used to feel pulled by time, five o’clock was like an unspoken curfew for me; I wanted to be home when my ex got home so that I could ask him about his day, sit with him and talk and relax. That time was important to me, but, in the end, he didn’t value it as I did. We often sat in silence, he did not greet me with a smile, my time and commitment was not counted in the grand tally of What We Do For Each Other. My own value was no longer as precious to him as other things were. Now that I am no longer constrained by his needs, a last minute dinner date on a Sunday night doesn’t frazzle me as much. Not only am I physically free, but my mind is free as well. I don’t feel as flustered about time, even when my calendar is completely booked, because I’m doing everything for me right now.
It feels good to walk this road alone right now. I am focusing on my needs and desires instead of those of someone else who didn’t have enough spoons to reciprocate. I hope that this time I’m spending on me makes it possible for me to find some sort of Forever again. I don’t know if it will look like the Forever I lost, but I hope a version of it exists out there some where and that I am able to find it.