Glimpses (Part III)

No quote to start, we’re just going to dive back in.

First off, I’d like to thank you for sticking with me until the end of the trilogy. I’m not sure why the concept of getting a glimpse appealed to me, but maybe it’s because that’s all I’ve gotten. I’ve never had sustained success in relationships, and so these fleeting moments are what I have to go on. My longest relationship was a year, which is not insignificant, but at the time, I was also dealing with an intense family situation. It wasn’t fair to that person, and I don’t think I was ever fully present with them. I feel for them, but I was also doing the best that I could, given the circumstances. My family situation drew the majority of my focus, and so everything else took a back seat. I’d love to tell you that that’s the only time that’s happened, but it’s not true. When you aren’t good at something, or you don’t want to address it, you’ll look for any excuse to do something else. Facing the truth, facing yourself, they sound like intriguing concepts until you’re actually doing them.

I had a lot of fun writing these posts. The inspiration was there for me in a way that it hasn’t been. These posts were born out of frustration with the online dating scene, or just the dating scene in general. I want something more than what I’m seeing. I want something more than the complications I seem to encounter with potential partners. I started these posts based on the concept of catching a glimpse, but maybe I was hoping for a way out, a solution to my problem. I’m not sure that I’ve found that, but at the very least, I was able to process a lot of what’s been bothering me. I suppose that’s a win in its own right, and yet, there isn’t a clear path forward, so for now, I’m going to enjoy life, and this time of year. I’ll know when to get back out there. There used to be a fear that I would leave and never come back, but I don’t feel that way anymore. Still, a breather is necessary, and so far it’s been lovely. Lately, I’ve been doing things that I love. We could all use more of that.

In the first post, I wrote about what a great moment with a partner could look like, what it could feel like. I’ve had some truly amazing days with people, even when there’s been no prospect of anything more. Some relationships are perfect where they are, and to take a step forward would be a mistake. In the second post, I wrote about what that person could look like, even though I really have no idea. At the very least, I know what I value in a potential partner, know what qualities attract me, and so it feels like I’ve taken a few small steps forward. In my life, I’ve had a handful of actual relationships, and I’ve met a lot of wonderful people. In many of these situations, there have been major complications that made the road ahead unnavigable, and maybe the best approach is to enjoy these situations for what they are, take the lessons with me, and move on. I know that I don’t want a long distance relationship. I don’t want that, but I do want someone that’s open to the possibilities that life has to offer. Some people have made their decisions about things that will or will not happen for them, and while I respect that, I don’t want those decisions made for me. I’d rather they be made together.

So much is out of my control. I don’t know who I’ll meet, if we’ll click, or what the circumstances might be. There’s a lot beyond my reach, but what I can control is myself, and that’s where I’ve landed for this last post. The progression has led me here. I may be uncertain or unsure about a lot, but I absolutely know who I want to be whenever I meet the right person. It’s not about changing who I am to fit a relationship, it’s about becoming the person I want to be for the rest of my life, with minor alterations every now and again. Nothing stays the same, so why should we?

In the chaotic mess that is everyday life, make sure that you love yourself first. When you love yourself, and you’re comfortable with who you are, it makes interacting with others so much easier. I used to be so hard on myself, had a voice in my head telling me that I was just screwing up and squandering my potential. For the most part, that voice has fallen silent, and I’m at a place where I love spending quiet time alone. I don’t feel isolated, and it doesn’t feel sad or pathetic. Other people may look at me and wonder if I’m bored, and although it happens every now and again, for the most part, I’m not. I’m glad that I’ve been put in the position of having to make peace with myself, of having to spend time by myself. It’s forced me to reckon with who I am, and in that reckoning, I’ve found a peace that I wouldn’t trade for anything. You’re always going to be you in some form or other, so make sure you don’t mind spending each and every day with yourself.

These days, I’m working on falling in love with people. I don’t mean in a romantic way, but rather, I’m focused making connections, and taking people as they are. I’m working on accepting everyone, on withholding judgment. I want to see past the differences that so many of us tend to fixate on. I may not understand what romantic love is or how it works, but I know how to love another human being. Maybe this is the answer, to realize that the communication, that the connection you forge with someone else is way more important than any other aspect. Maybe it’ll get me somewhere, and maybe not. There’s not really a goal here, I just want to be a loving presence in the world, to be better to the people around me, no matter who they are. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned in love is who I don’t want to be. Years ago, I was involved with someone that shinned a light on my own bad habits in relationships, reflected them back to me. It was humbling. I realized then and there that I needed to be better, that even though I was struggling with some heavy things, that everyone deserves kindness, compassion, and honesty.

I used to theorize that being single was in the middle of the spectrum. If you ended up in a relationship, that could either take you sky high, or plummet you to the bottom. There’s something about being that close to someone, either you really click, or things fall apart in a hurry, and it can impact so many aspects of your life. I thought my model made sense, but I’m not sure I see it that way anymore. A relationship can be lovely and transformative, but of course, at the end of the day, you’re still you. You still have the same problems you did before, you’re maybe just not as lonely. One of the biggest things I’ve learned is to embrace where you are in life, whether you’re single, or with someone. I reject that there’s some stigma to being alone. It’s a little rocky at first, building up the confidence to do things on your own. However, once you start doing more and more by yourself, a part of you wonders if you can go back, especially if relationships have never been your thing. I can be flexible. If the right person came along, I believe in my ability to adapt, but the more I challenge myself to do things alone, the more comfortable it gets. I also don’t have to wait around for schedules to line up, which is a huge bonus.

I get glimpses of what it would be like to be with a partner, I get glimpses of who that person might be, and I get glimpses of the person I want to be. To me, this is the most important part, to know who you want to be in the world, to make that commitment to yourself. It’s about owning and accepting yourself as you are, while you continue to develop and grow. When you pour that love into yourself, when you love yourself completely, despite your flaws, that’s a powerful thing. Put that love out there in the world, and maybe it’ll come back. We shall see. I may never end up in that great romantic relationship, but maybe that’s just a story I tell myself. Lately, life has been unfolding in a truly wonderful way, as I’ve embraced each and every day. I don’t know what I want, so I’m keeping my eyes open, and I’m putting in the effort, attempting to live life with vigor. I’m embracing the uncertainty, and I’m confident in myself and the path that I have chosen. I wouldn’t want to be anyone else, and I suppose that’s the biggest love there is. Thanks for reading.


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