So, I’ve done it. I’m back in the US, away from my ex and officially and now safely single. Great. Fantastic news. I’m free. I can do whatever I want. I can see whomever I want. I… uh… hmm.
Well, this is just a whole other can of worms, now, isn’t it?
I was with my ex in actuality for six years and then stuck more or less under his thumb for an additional six years. That’s 12 years since I’ve been truly free to do whatever I want romantically or sexually or some combination of the two. I’ve done an incredible amount of self work since I was last single, and learned so, so much about people, relationships and my own issues and patterns. And what seemed like just the natural quirks of my own personality that would sort themselves out over time when I was in my 20s have now come to feel somehow both suspect and nonnegotiable. In equal extremes. And it’s confusing me. A lot.
I’ve always been goosey about traditional committed monogamous relationships. It’s not the monogamy itself that bothers me so much — I have absolutely no issues being faithful to one partner. I don’t find it difficult or even limiting in terms of sexual activity. I do find it limiting in terms of being able to bond in whatever way comes naturally with other human beings, but we will circle back to that. For the most part, it’s all the stuff that comes with monogamy that makes me feel a little tight in the chest. In a vacuum, all on my own, I don’t feel any kind of urge to build my life around or even with another person. I don’t need an other half, and I already have a handful of life partners in the form of trusted friends. I would love for a romantic partner to join their ranks, but I don’t expect one to ever outrank them.
The main thing that I rail against is the feeling of having my life invaded by another person. And just hear me out, because I promise I’m not a sociopath. But traditional monogamous relationships come with a set of expectations and a predetermined path that just skeeves me. It has always skeeved me, and it skeeves me way more now that I feel like I have finally, using all of my strength, managed to wrestle my life back from the man who took it over for more than a decade.