I might be destined to be alone for the rest of my life. Sometimes I’m okay with this realization and sometimes it scares the hell out of me. Not that long ago the thought of being alone (as in without a long-term partner) never really bothered me. Then a few of my girlfriends who are in the 50+ age range kept telling me how much it sucks to be alone and it freaks me out. That’s when I usually jump on Match.com with a solid determination to find SOMEONE to share my life with. I’ve done that now on two different occasions and I have to say the search-through-pictures-and-read-a-bullshit-profile route doesn’t really work for me.
To be completely honest, in the back of my mind I think I will find lasting love, but it won’t be for years and years. I’m not sure why I think this, but I do.
I tend to put my own life on the back burner when I have a man in my life. I suspect many women do this. At least, I hope I’m not the only one! By putting my life on hold, I mean doing less of what I like to do. I work out less because I’d rather stay snuggled up in a warm bed with the boyfriend then drag my ass out of bed at 5:15 AM to prep for a 6:00 AM workout class. I read less. I write less. I explore less. I try less new things. I’m not sure why this is. Over the years I’ve tried to maintain more of “myself” when I have someone in my life. I’ve gotten better at doing so but, still, maintaining balance in this area is a challenge.
For me, Italy has never been about finding a man… never. As I have blogged about before, Italy was always about challenging myself. When I came here I was dating someone who I would have happily stayed faithful to. However, many of my friends old and new seem to have a different idea for what this trip should be about. Some friends thought I should have broken up with my boyfriend before I arrived so I could be totally open to new experiences here. Some friends think I should have a series of torrid affairs with foreign men, just to see what it would be like. And some want me to find the quintessential Italian man who will sweep me off my feet, recognize how “special” I am, and take care of me for the rest of my life.
By the way, I’m not quite sure I like the term “special” in this context. To me, “special” is sometimes code for: high maintenance, difficult, picky, and/or in no way normal like the rest of us!
So many people are interested in this aspect of my trip, I have found myself getting wrapped up again in the need to “find” someone. The number of inquires are serving as very subtle pressure to have a great “story” in this area. I understand completely that people are just curious and, in some ways, living vicariously through this experience, but I’m starting to get anxious about not having someone and I don't want to feel that way. I don’t want to fall into old patterns. I don't want to force this part of my life anymore.
I don't know if I’ll meet someone here. I don't know if I’ll be alone forever. What I do know is I don't want to worry about whether I'll find someone. I don't want this to become the focus of this trip. I just want to chill out and be me for a while.
My new philosophy at this moment is to be open to every new experience. I want to keep an open mind and re-adjust if I start going down the wrong path. For right now that’s the plan.
Oh, and if I do meet the gorgeous man with the amazing accent who makes mad, passionate love to me, maybe I’ll let you know in some secret way like by titling a blog entry, “It’s a whole new world” and then writing about something that has nothing to do with that topic. Until then, it’s safe to assume that it’s just me enjoying Italy and all that I can make of my life here.