After a long relationship ended, I took time off from the whole concept and learned one valuable if annoying fact about myself: I’m great at being single. Freedom and autonomy are two of my favorite things, so being in a serious relationship again is proving challenging.
How do I find freedom and autonomy – especially when neither of us are in our twenties anymore, and my partner has an ex-wife and two kids?
Side note: listening to poppy LA radio recently has revealed that there are VERY FEW songs are written about adult relationships – it’s all about flying to Tokyo to meet up for a night, or teen summer love. No one sings about custody, or bills, or disagreements about kids’ sporting pursuits.
We are lucky – we’ve travelled on four continents and both enjoy being active in the outdoors. His ex is totally reasonable; his kids are beyond awesome. But the realities of adult life – something I have gone lengths to avoid as a single person – are increasingly cropping up.
Where will we live? How do I interact with his kids? What’s the best way to deal with our vastly different personalities? Do I stay and learn from all this challenge, or take my Mustang on a long-ass road trip across the US? My single personality is strongly in favor of the latter approach.
The fact that there are kids involved adds an additional layer of commitment which I haven’t experienced before. Adults are fully responsible for, and capable of, looking after their own emotional and material needs – but children are not. I take that, and my role as an adult in their lives, really seriously.
There are soccer games and squeals, difficult eaters and the pre-teen need to spend increasing time with friends rather than annoying old people e.g. me. At times I disagree with my partner’s decisions and the way he deals with these issues, and I have to bite my tongue, meditate, work out, or take my Mustang for a drive in the hills, grunge music blaring loud. Sometimes I have so much to learn, it feels like too much.
At those moments, I check in and realize while I cannot control a lot of what happens around me, I can take care of myself. For example, tomorrow I’m driving my Mustang to Mammoth, to work and hike in the glorious Sierra Nevada while my partner works in LA for a few days.
I love being alone and adore nature; honoring this regularly is important. It also anchors me so I am capable of patience and compassion – and can even compromise a little of that autonomy.
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Evolve Life Coaching 2018