Being on one’s own after what seems a lifetime of being part of a couple brings a learning experience all its own. I am rediscovering who I am as an individual. Yesterday I read a passage in a favourite book “Romancing the Ordinary” that speaks of dating yourself....doing things just for you, self-talk in a personal way. I know, it sounds strange, but having lived it, it really isn’t. It’s a matter of getting to know yourself and your wishes, hopes, desires, likes and dislikes. It’s not selfishness, rather self-awareness.
More and more I come to realise that many a time, in a relationship one can lose their identity. How many times have I heard “My husband is out tonight so I’m not going to bother cooking for just me”.
Why not? And why not light candles and pour yourself a glass of wine, or light a fire just for you? Or set the table beautifully instead of taking “something on a tray”?
As well, when I’ve had friends over for dinner and ask if they’d like coffee or tea so often I hear “Well don’t make it just for me. If others are having I’d love some too.” Why not make it just for you? Aren’t you worth a cup of coffee?
What is it about human nature that we automatically think we’re selfish if we express our wants and desires? What message is this sending to others and ourselves when we suppress our basic wants?
So now, when I speak to friends who are inbetween relationships and hear them say “You must have the same difficulty cooking for just one as I do”. Well I have news for you. No....I don’t. I love to create in the kitchen, part of my past life as being a chef, and won’t give that up because I’m “just me”. Just like I’ll continue to go out and explore life and learn through these experiences who I am. And through that, when I am in a relationship I will have more to offer. It’s not settling. It’s being a whole person, one who has a lot more to offer because I’m no longer who someone else thinks I should be. Nor do I expect someone to give up their identity for me.
I learned that longevity doesn’t make a successful relationship. Being unique individuals that encourage the other to be the best they can be, does.