I looked at profiles after profiles of eligible men in the Boston area. Swipe. Swipe. Swipe. This was something I learned how to do in my early forties. Gone was the awkwardness. Now I looked and swiped. “Who”, I thought, “would work for me?” What was I looking for? What could I tell from the pictures and self summary? Who was being truthful? Who shared my values? Who was kind and cultured? Who did I want to spend a lot of time with and have fun in life? I am not perfect. What do I have to offer?
All is well with the endless swiping, except that I have one fear deep down. Would I stop hearing my own voice if I have someone in my life? You may think it’s silly, but it’s a real concern for me. I have learned that I tend to forget about myself when I am with someone. This happened with both of my ex-boyfriends. Looking back at those two relationships, I thought this was my weakness. I lacked a strong voice. I did not know to stand my ground. My ex-boyfriends played a strong role in our lives together and I lost myself.
Reflecting deeper, I realized that my behavior is rooted in many aspects of my life. For one, growing up in a large family, I learned to hear what others wanted and compromised. I liked to make everyone happy. I am very good at that. Honestly, I didn’t usually care about not getting what I wanted when it was not important life decisions. I did not have to pick where we ate dinner. I did not have to decide what we did on Sunday. I saw goodness in the choices of others. I was okay with that. For two, I was also lucky that both my ex-boyfriends were extremely smart, kind, and considerate. So, going along with their decisions all the time was not bad at all. In some cases, they had great ideas. And they were great catches! However, when I stopped voicing my opinions all the time for a few years, I stopped living my own life. I lost my voice completely when I was with them.
Now that I am many years older, I am afraid to give up my singleness even though I understand that being loved and cared for by someone would be amazing. Right now, as a single middle-aged woman, I have 100% control over how I spend my time. I don’t have to explain or negotiate. My ideal weekend is reading and writing with either a cup of black tea or a glass of red wine. I can change my mind and take a walk while listening to music. I can take a nap in the middle of the day. I can eat dinner at 4pm in comfortable sweats.
More importantly, I can live my life by the motto: Less Stuff, More Life. I keep my home with minimal stuff. I don’t own a TV or a car. I don’t follow sports or shows. I am working on not buying any new cloths in 2019. I am working on eating better and healthier. I want to create an exercise habit that sticks. I am happy.
So, when the new year rolled around, I deleted my online dating profile. I didn’t want to spend endless hours swiping. It had felt wasteful of life. What does that mean to meeting someone? I don’t know. But I feel that I might have removed some unnecessary noises in my life. My days feel quieter so far.
Perhaps, it’s a road less taken. I hope to continue to be able to hear my own thoughts and voices. And if there is someone who can deal with my oddness, particularity, and hear my very soft and quiet voice, then that would be such a bonus. For now, I do know that it makes me happy that I love who I am!
Good night and sweet dreams!