It's been just over a year now that the ex and I parted ways, officially. Things had been slowly deteriorating as it became apparent that, ultimately, we just weren't compatible. Nothing either of us did, just the way our personalities were. He moved to a new city to start a dream job; I helped him unload his stuff and wished him well.
I've spent that year alternately letting myself go and trying to put myself back together; the efforts of which have apparently cancelled each other out. I don't have my shit together any more than I did when he left; I've actually had to start up doing Weight Watchers again to deal with all the weight I gained from not caring and not running (it got cold, my chiropractor told me to take it easy for a while, the excuses are long and lame.) The little things I hated about myself magnified under the microscope of solitude, and instead of doing anything about them, I let it bury me in a blanket of self-disgust and apathy.
Otherwise, I do well by myself... mostly. I'm pretty gun shy about trying to find/start another relationship because I always feel so shitty when they end that it doesn't seem worth it to me. The last one, in all his well-meaning ways of trying to help me improve myself, managed to highlight all of my flaws and all of the ways in which I wasn't what I should be. In addition to my self-worth plummeting, I've been hesitant to put myself in another situation in which I was vulnerable to such intimate criticism again. When the person who knows you better than anyone can deconstruct all the ways in which you are lacking, well... you have no choice but to believe them.
But lately I have come to figure out possibly the thing I miss most about having a significant other around - someone to do stuff with. An automatic Plus-One and someone you can drag on your adventures. It's lonely not having a go-to, because it seems like these days when I have things I want to do, I end up doing them solo or not at all, because none of my friends are able (or willing) to do them with me. It's frustrating to ask five or six people to join you on one simple activity or endeavor, just to find out they all either have better things to do or simply don't want to. It's extra frustrating, then, when they always expect you to be free for the things they want to do. Or to give you a hard time when you are tied up for a couple months doing something that you have an extreme passion for because it interferes with them being able to call on you to do stuff (ie: everyone gets annoyed during softball season because my coaching duties take up so much of my time and I'm never free. It would be nice if people would be supportive rather than complain about this, but after ten years, I've gotten used to it. It is what it is. C'est la vie.) I'm pissy right now, today, in particular (possibly because the last couple weeks have kicked my ass, I haven't been sleeping well, and I've misplaced my pills and it's been nearly a week since I've taken them), and I just kind of want to sit down and cry, because I just feel really defeated right now. For every person that has turned me down recently, my new inclination is to simply answer every request with "can't, sorry" without giving any further explanation, because that's the blanket sentiment I seem to receive whenever I ask people to do things with me. (And also because I have the emotional maturity of a high schooler right now.) Why should I disrupt my schedule to go out of my way to do YOUR events when you can't ever find the time to do mine? That seems unfair. I do things all the time that I have no interest or desire (or energy)
to do, because I know it means a lot to whoever it is to have someone
But it's more than just being crabby about the perceived reciprocity slights; it's been weighing on me for a while and it all traces back to the fact that it just makes me feel so damn alone. Is that anyone's fault, really? No. But it hurts all the same.
It's incredibly, incredibly lonely to know that there is no one you can really call on when you need someone to join you for something you want to do. I skipped an event this morning because after yet another person said no, I just gave up. I didn't want to go by myself. I'm tired of doing things by myself. So I went back to bed instead. Fuck it. I'm tired of begging people to participate in my life. Everyone's always too busy or too uninterested. And I suppose that's their prerogative, why should they make my shit a priority? But it's building. With each no, it hurts just a little bit more.
Nobody really realizes what a cumulative effect this is having. It's one event here and there, but when enough people say no, over and over, it's just... defeating. I feel defeated. Why bother? You'd think I would be used to rejection by now. And maybe nobody realizes how big of a deal it is for me to constantly be told no, to be told that they have other/better things to do, that they have other commitments. Because I don't have anyone else! And that's where it stings the most. I have no choice but to lean on my friends for companionship because that's all I have. They all have a significant other that they can
drag along, because that's part of the relationship contract. They have a built in partner in crime; I do not. I do a lot of things by myself, things that I would rather do with someone else, because it's either that or not do it at all. It's so goddamn lonely being alone and not having anyone to share my interests with. And as un-ideal as the last relationship turned into being, at least I knew that I could drag him along to things I wanted to do. At least I had a person I could call on. I guess it's my own fault, now, for being single. The world is hard on single people, the world hates single people. There is obviously something wrong with you if you are, and everything is always twice as hard. That's not new information for me, but it seems to sink in a little bit more the older I get. Society was built around the assumption that you will have a partner, and when you don't, well, too bad for you. Better get used to your isolation. Better get used to staring at your phone and not having a number to call.
The one bright side, though, is that sometimes? You do get better seats when you're only buying one ticket.