I've been alone for 16 years now, since my marriage broke up. This has not been voluntary. In fact, for almost all this time, my greatest desire and pursuit has been to be in a relationship with a woman. To have friendship with intimacy, to give love and be loved, to share my life with someone. To share laughter. And I've tried to make this happen, over and over and over. And over and over and over. Always to face rejection. Often instant rejection.
I'm not sure how or why this has happened. I'm OK-looking, fairly intelligent and try to be a kind, giving and decent human being. It's true that I've never had much money, but I've always worked regularly and hard, and fulfilled my responsibilities. Still, I've come to realize that my problem isn't a case of it being "them," it's a case of it being "me." After all this time, I have to accept that there's clearly something wrong with me, a fatal flaw that's clearly apparent to others and which drives women away. Women I respect and admire. And no matter how much I've tried to analyze this, I've never been able to fully identify what this flaw might be. And no woman has ever told me. I kind of wish they had.
Check that. One woman who I was deeply in love with for a time told a mutual friend that she was put off by the fact that I looked to her for "validation." There may be some truth in this. I do have some serious insecurities borne from childhood, but I have throughout life worked to understand and overcome them and always have tried not to let them rule me. And, in many ways, these same insecurities have made me a compassionate and empathetic man. Besides, don't all relationships—even the healthy ones—ask for at least a bit of affirmation and validation from one person to another?
I have a couple of friends, both women, who were long alone, too. And sometimes we'd build each other up with an "it's just around the bend when you least expect it" kind of encouragement. One told me I could never give up my search for a companion because it would mean that she, too, might never find someone. Both women are now in loving relationships. I am envious of them.
In any case, sometime in this past year, I decided to accept being alone. For life. Not only accept it but to never seek a loving and romantic companionship again. And, if in the unlikely instance it were ever offered to me to reject it. Outright. To fully not want it. Fuck it. As Greta Garbo said so long ago, "I want to be alone."
Now, I recognize that this isn't what is supposed to be, according to movies and popular song. It is definitely not "happily ever after." It, in fact, sucks. A bitter pill to swallow. But this decision of mine also brings a measure of peace. I'll read my books, listen to my music, go for my walks and live within myself. If someone doesn't want me, I ain't gonna try to force myself on them. Ever.
It's at night when things are the hardest and I waver in my decision. It's at night when I feel the deep yearning to put my arms around someone and have them put their arms around me. Someone to love and to be loved by. But, even then, I know that this will never happen. The pain is too great to continue thinking this way. So, I shut my eyes and do my best to sleep. Of course, then there are dreams.