So now that I have your attention *ahem* it’s not what you think 😛
- There is a plug that needs changing in my house
- I am not a useless woman
While I am great at dangling precariously from ladders to change light bulbs in my ridiculously high ceilings (it doesn’t help that I am quite short), and while I have managed to fix my drainpipe with some ‘super tape’ and loads of instructions from the guy at the hardware store; I have never learnt to change a plug.
Google is great, and I know I could learn. But I don’t want to.
You see, I don’t mind being a woman. Or actually even being considered ”useless”, to a point. While I agree that feminists have it right in some aspects, I’m not a great advocate for feminism as such. I actually like the fact that there are some things that men ‘are supposed to’ do.
Society is very different these days. As are the general opinions. And we’re all raised different ways. I was raised that the man is the head of the home, so long as he submits himself to God. (Yip, Christian upbringing – which came with its own trials and tribulations) I was raised in such a way that the man was the provider, and the protector. That it was his responsibility to carry the burdens of the household. And in a lot of ways, I view that as correct, and possibly incorrect. But…
My own experience may have warped that thinking all together.
When my son was eight and a half, and my daughter was just twenty months, I became a single mom in every sense of the word. I initiated it because there were no longer any other options available to me – unless I was ready to welcome death. Full on parenthood of both sexes was NOT on my agenda, however. Long story short, after failing at every other option he thought was available to him, he settled on, ”If you divorce me, I will never see the children again and you will suffer for it.” And no amount of counselling or help changed his mind. So at those young ages, that was the last time my children heard from and saw their father.
And suddenly everything was my responsibility. There were no weekends off, and co-parenting was non-existent. At that stage in my life, I was pretty clueless about a lot of things because I had always been a girly-girl. I had to learn about home maintenance in a hurry, and how to be a good mom, and dad. Discipline became that much more difficult, as did dealing with all the emotions of both genders of children. I was now the sole breadwinner, provider and protector in every sense of the word (I never got maintenance out of him – long story, big battle). He passed away last year and there was nothing for either of the children. In fact, I heard of his passing purely by accident. Such is life.
It took four years to get back in the dating game. It was a disaster. I don’t blame the men entirely – I had done divorce recovery courses, but I wasn’t healed…not that I knew that at the time. I made a lot of mistakes in those dating years, and I paid dearly with the last one, because I had never fully healed.
I had to pay a huge price for it, but finally full healing began. That intense pain and traumatic experience was the catalyst for mind blowing change, and a form of rebirth. Proof that even the most negative experiences can have very positive outcomes!
Anyway… when my daughter was 10, I was asked on a date by an attractive man I had got to know through friends. And for the first time in a long time, I found myself actually considering it. My son was non-committal when it came to his opinion on this – he didn’t mind either way, apparently. My daughter was rather vocal.
“But you don’t need to date anyone, we’re perfect like we are. We don’t need anyone else.”
The full impact of her words never hit me till later, even though for years my children had been giving me Mothers AND Fathers Day cards filled with appreciation.
I actually wasn’t failing them the way I thought I was – I wasn’t a struggling single mom. They were happy and secure despite the fact that they only had me.
I rejoined the dating world anyway, and BOY, HAD IT CHANGED! I made it through first dates just fine, and always got a second one. But there was never a third. Completely my own fault. And yes, here it comes….
some brutal honesty regarding a taboo subject : S E X.
There seems to be this trend that when you’re a mature adult, you’re considered a consenting adult, and none of the normal rules of dating apply. Thus the expectation of an exchange of bodily fluids by date number three. UGH! What?!?!?!
(While I have no issue with the exchange itself and have always found it rather enjoyable, I am very much a relationship kind of girl and stuff like that needs to wait. Sorry fellas!)
(side note : not all men are like this – I just haven’t found the ones I have come into physical contact with to be different.)
When discussing this with a close girl friend, who has been in a committed relationship for over four years now after going through her own divorce and jumping back on the bandwagon a little faster than me, she suggested to me that possibly I was meeting the wrong type of men. It was a subtle hint from her to focus only on good Christian men.
Now, let me very clear. THE GOOD GUYS ARE OUT THERE! Do not, for one moment, in your never ending frustrations at not being able to find a mate, doubt that THERE ARE STILL GREAT MEN in this world!
Imagine how disheartened my friend was (as was I at the time) when I shared with her that one of those ‘no third date’ guys was the attractive man that I had spent ages getting to know and called a friend – excited for the possibilities – who happened to be a man who was studying to be a pastor. Sigh.
So I came up with a new motto at that time, about three years ago :
And what a journey that was! The sudden acceptance of the fact that I was single taught me more things than any romantic relationship ever could. Acceptance brought about a change in my attitude. And it provided me with the time to explore my emotions, my mind, my heart. That exploration was not always pretty – there were some very ugly truths that I needed to accept about myself, and dealing with them – learning about them and changing them – was HARD! My childhood and past left me with this ‘lonely’ feeling much of the time – but I discovered that being alone didn’t mean I had to be lonely.
And I discovered that in order to be able to give of myself to anyone, I needed to actually KNOW myself, and love me for what I knew.
(I still fall short with typical female rants of, ”I’m too fat”; “I’m not pretty enough” etc. But not to the degree where I dislike myself like I used to – it’s more of a laughable, ”I’m such a woman” thing 😛 )
The other day I was scrolling through my newsfeed on Facebook, and came across a friend of mine who had played one of those OMG games. Apparently Santa is bringing her ‘the perfect man’ for Christmas. Her caption was, of course, ”Yes please”!
LIGHT BULB MOMENT! (must be the one I changed in the bathroom last week 😛 )
Now we all know that NO ONE is perfect. But I think when people speak of a perfect situation, or the perfect partner for them etc. it’s basically their own personal perception of perfect. And so I don’t criticise my friends when they tell me they have found ‘the perfect man’, because in their perception that may very well be exactly what they have found, for them.
And that got me thinking about MY ‘perfect’ man. And something popped (broken light bulb that needs fixing) in to my head :
My perception of perfection may be what I WANT, but it may not be what I NEED!
In getting to know myself I have learnt that there are a lot of things that I want for life, and from life, but they’re not always the things/tools/equipment that I actually NEED for life. I am continuously given moments where I learn that annoying fact. It’s annoying because I don’t like to be wrong. I like things to be clear and concise.
And this suddenly became an epiphany for me on romance.
I can have my list of all the things that I want in a man. I can seek him out, or check items off the list when he somehow finds me. But at the end of the day, those are things I want and because I am continuously growing and learning, they may not actually be things I need. (And here’s where my Christianity comes into play) God knows what I NEED and in His time, he’ll provide it. And He’ll provide me with discernment with regards to that – I just need to keep asking!
When I shared this with a friend yesterday, she was discouraged by my views. I thought I was being quite positive. I shared the above with her, and ended with, “So if it means I spend the rest of my life single, I’m actually really okay with that.” And I really am. I can’t explain it. I just am.
I am not closing myself off to the potential of a future romantic relationship. I am not in state of lonely depression. I am not shutting myself off and withdrawing to an unlit room – I know how to change a lightbulb 😛
But I am also not going to chase after what I want, because even in my successes with regards to getting to know myself, what I want may not actually be what I need. So I’m leaving it up to Him.
For now it might have to just be my dog – but if you knew my dog, you’d understand that he’s worth it 😛
It might always just be the air – but for the chance to wake up each morning to a new day, and have the love of my life only being the breath that I take – well, that’s pretty much worth it too 🙂
Goodness, this really was a post of ‘relationship randomness’. Here’s hoping someone got something out of it…even if only just a good giggle somewhere along the way 😉