I’ll never forget the overwhelming sense of relief that came over me when I found out my ex-fiancé was cheating on me. Yes, you read that right, relief. Trust me, I was just as confused as you are reading this. I mean after all, I LOVED this guy, so why was it that after almost 6 years of being together and saying “Yes” to spending the rest of my life with him, half of me wanted to throw him over the balcony of our overpriced apartment on Wilshire Boulevard and the other half wanted to thank him? I didn’t understand that at the time, but I understand it now…
I’ve had boyfriends since I was 9-years-old. Yep, at age 9, John Powell purchased this cute little ring at the county fair with my name plus his name on it and that was it for me. He automatically became my first boyfriend. In the south declaring a boyfriend at such a young age made you “fast,” but Stephanie Tanner marry Harry Takayama on Full House when they were around 7 or 8, so I was right on track!
After him, there was another boyfriend at age 11, and then one at 13, and then one at 14, who happened to be the one at 13, but somewhere in that year, we broke up and got back together. Then there was another boyfriend from 17 to 18. Once I went off to college however, the boyfriend from 17 to 18 and I called it quits, and I entered into another relationship around 18 and a half. I was in that relationship until I was 21, only to get out of it and into ANOTHER ONE from the ages of 21 to 24. Are y’all tired? Because I’m tired just typing it. But I’m not finished…
During the 21-24 year-old relationship, I remember feeling like I needed a break from boys, like I needed time to just focus on me, but I’m only saying that in hindsight because I didn’t even know what focusing on me was a thing at the time. Besides, I thought I was focusing on me because wasn’t life all about getting an education and eventually marrying someone? In the small Kentucky town I was from, people got married right out of high school and while I never desired for that to be my life, I was stuck in a vicious cycle of boyfriends out of what seemed to be habit.
Fast forward to the end of my 21 to 24-year-old relationship and I was finally solo…well, kind of. I wasn’t in a relationship but I was still dating. THEN, just a month and some days shy of my 29th birthday, I moved to New York City determined not to get into a relationship. I just wanted to focus on pursuing an acting career and a boyfriend was not required for that. I don’t know about you ladies, (or the few men that may be reading this) but when I’m in a relationship, I go all in and that person becomes a priority in my life in a way that can be distracting and draining for me, especially when it’s not being reciprocated.
But I digress…
Remember a few sentences back when I said I was determined not to have a boyfriend in New York? Well, I arrived there in April of 2005, met my aforementioned fiancé in June 2005, and by December of 2005, guess what? He was my boyfriend. I know, I’m over me too.
Fast forward to November 2010, my boyfriend I swore I wouldn’t have/ turned fiancé and I broke up. I was at the end of my relationship rope. I was DONE. I did NOT want another one. I was 33-years-old (what I like to call my “Jesus” year) and after 2 decades of boyfriends when most people were either getting married or married and on their first, second, or third child, I was breaking up with the man I said “yes” to marrying.
FINALLY, an opportunity to be single and at an age where I actually knew some things about life. Enough to know that I still had so much more I wanted to figure out and I could make decisions that weren’t influenced by someone I “loved.” Not to mention, I went from living in my parents’ home straight to roommates in college and in New York, so I had never been alone in any capacity. As much as I hated to admit it, that overwhelming sense of relief I felt when I realized my relationship was about to come to an end was quite possibly my soul’s cry for some much needed alone time.
Fast forward to 2019, and I’ve been single ever since…technically. I did see someone for a couple of months at a time here and there, but I have been single as in no serious, long term relationship for 9 years now. During these 9 years, I’ve had stretches of time where I didn’t even entertain face-to-face conversation with a man for 1 and a half to 2 years at a time.
Do I ever want to be married? Sure, but even after 9 years of being single, I’m in no rush. And sure, I have my moments when I wish there was someone I could go on a cute date with but I cherish this time that I have to myself to sit quietly, thinking, writing and contemplating all weekend long in my pajamas and penguin socks if that’s what I chose to do (and more often than not, it is).
Being single this long does have its drawbacks, however. I’ve gotten so used to being alone that I’m extremely hesitant to share my space, time, and peanut butter with anyone else (there’s a story there with the peanut butter but we’ll discuss it another time). I’m pretty sure when the right guy comes along I won’t feel this way and I’ll gladly share with him. But unless he comes in the form of the Amazon Prime delivery guy, I won’t be meeting him anytime soon because getting me out of the house is next to impossible.