This is not a sad story.
But the last time I was in love with a woman, in 2016, I wasn’t really in love.
I was just making another human being responsible for my happiness.
Something I’d been doing for decades.
And we all know how incredibly useless that is.
Ever since that last, disastrous encounter, almost 6 years ago, I have been on my own.
And it has been a pretty wild ride.
In that period, while licking half a lifetime of wounds, I kicked a few habits, outgrew my tendency to be depressed and anxious, wrote 8 books, quit my advertising job, became a coach, and discovered how to chill out sustainably.
Along the line, I also learned how to appreciate and express myself, and that’s where I am right now.
And single, solo, just me.
I am almost 54 and I have never had a healthy romantic relationship in my life.
This has got nothing to do with the amazing women I have been with, because in many cases it was about my utter inability to be available and honest and real.
Even though I deeply appreciate and love the mother of my daughter, who I have spent 19 years with and who has been an ex-girlfriend for many years now, I was way too fucked up and insecure to give her what she deserved, what we deserved.
I don’t blame myself: I just couldn’t be what I couldn’t be at the time.
The striking thing is that I can’t even say that I miss a romantic relationship right now.
Or, well, I can, and I don’t.
In recent years, after seriously cleaning up my act, I have been pondering this lack of connection and even the lack of wanting to connect in the first place.
And during that process I have thought many different things about this situation, ranging from ‘it will never happen again’ to ‘if it is supposed to happen, I couldn’t get away from it even if I wanted to’.
Maybe it seems a bit sad, or weird, this notion that I simply don’t know what it means to be in a wholesome romantic relationship.
But I don’t feel it that way.
And I don’t miss it.
I don’t even seem to have space for it.
Even though I sometimes crave the purely physical part of connection, even though I love to make love, it just doesn’t seem to be in the cards, for now.
I simply stopped trying to understand it.
My lack of interest in finding a significant other is obviously caused by exploring the significance of me.
It has been amazing.
All these years I could be just with me, just me, without the distracting obsession for others I had in the past.
A perfect arrangement.
A peaceful situation.
It makes total sense that my future relationship will be vastly different than everything I have ever encountered before, but I have no idea when this will happen.
I am fine with that.
Fine, patient, and content.
For there is one thing I know for sure, one thing that has changed everything:
I have learned to be in love, with life.
(Photo by @5tep5, for Unsplash)