What Happens When You Give Up

It’s been a few months since I posted anything.  I guess there’s really nothing new in my dating or relationship situation to report on.  Ok that’s a lie, a big old lying lie.  Something has changed–I’ve given up.  At some point I got so pessimistic about men and relationships, I just decided to stop trying.  I still talk to my #shoerepairman all the time.  I love him.  He’s a decent friend, but he’s doesn’t want a relationship, and there’s nothing that screams desperate and pathetic woman like trying to pursue a man who doesn’t want to pursue you.  And frankly I want very little to do with dating, I’m tired and I have other priorities.

What does it mean to be tired and dating at 42–yep, I’m 42 now.  I’ve gone through 2 birthdays on this blog–I digress.  Being tired and dating at 42 means, I work all day long and come home to 3 kids. Who has the time or energy to get out there and pursue guys with that kind of schedule.  Being tired and dating at 42 means, you’ve had relationships with men and none of them have worked out so great, so you don’t want to risk more problems.  Being tired and dating a 42 means, you don’t want to try to impress someone.  Being tired and dating at 42 means, you don’t want to hear friends on family members ask you why you aren’t married and don’t have any hot dates.  Being tired and dating at 42 means, you’ve been lied to or lead astray a few too many times and you’re cynical.  It means you can barely handle your children’s father and his shenanigans, so you don’t want to add anyone else to your life.  It means you don’t want to deal with the inevitable critiques of your personality, appearance, or lifestyle that are part of dating.  And being tired and dating at 42 means, you actually sit down and calculate how many years it will be before your children are off to college because maybe you want be as tire with an empty house, but when the calculation puts you in your mid50s, you think maybe you should just be single for the rest of your life.

Having other priorities means something different.  It means developing new romantic relationships just isn’t important to you.  Your career is more important. How your children are doing in school is more important.  Your commitment to social justice is more important.  Checking up on the friends you already have is more important. Your relationship with your children are more important.  Hell, even your favorite TV show and a bowl of chocolate ice cream is more important than finding a partner.

A friend of mine told me, this is when you find your groove–when you aren’t looking, when you don’t care, when you’re tired.  I’m not sure if that’s truth or wishful thinking because no one as cynical as I am right now could be a good partner for anyone.  When I think of marriage and casual dating, my thoughts are not happy ones.  The only kind of relationship I can get excited about is a cross town boyfriend–somebody who likes me enough to show some commitment, but understands my priorities are not focused on moving into a serious relationship.  Problem is you have to casually date somebody before you get to that.

I don’t think I’ve given up forever.  I’ve just given up until someone can show me that love and commitment are possible–until someone can step in and prioritize my social, emotional, and sexual needs.  I’m not sure if or when that will happen, so for now, I’ve given myself permission to take a time out.

(Sorry this is a rambling stream of consciousness rant, but sometimes we all need to do that.)


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