I’ve got to start by saying I am a bit worried that this post is going to come across as a bit ranty. It’s not really meant to. It comes from a place of curiosity not negativity. This is probably why this post has been hanging out in my head rather than putting itself into sentences and hopping out.
Happy. That’s the aim of the game isn’t it. We all want happiness. Chase it, seek it, embrace it. I certainly do. I just don’t know who got to choose what the ultimate Happy After Ever is though?? Disney certainly plays its part I guess and all the slush movies I watch and books I read play a part too (I know I know I’m part of the problem)
Thing is though, in 2022 should Happy Ever After still be finding the love of your life and being happy forever more. Should it always look like finding a life partner? We’ve all read all the trashy tabloid pieces hand wringing about why Jennifer Aniston, for example, can’t ‘keep’ a man. Why Kylie has never settled down and married. There’s something about us that counts meeting a mate for life as success. Makes not an awful lot of sense does it? You can be professionally successful, rich and beautiful but awwww can’t snag a fella eh?? Poor thing!
I am 42 and live alone. Well as in there is no live in partner here. There’s obviously a whole tribe of kids. No father though, no step dad, no father figure. Just me. I like it this way. I choose it this way.
It seems to me that this unsettles people. It’s meant to make me a bit strange. There’s this odd idea in our society that we should all, women especially, share this one common aim and idea of the same Happy Ever After.
I feel I need to add here. I’m not dismissing true love. It’s a gorgeous thing and of course living with the love of your life forever, happy and settled and content is beautiful. I’m all about the happiness. Its just that that’s not what happy contentedness looks like for me. I can’t be the only one surely?
I’ve done the living with a partner thing, the child rearing, the house sharing. It’s well documented in this blog that that was not a pleasant, happy, love filled place. Maybe that does cloud my judgement. It has an impact for sure but not in the way you’d think. I’m not scared to be involved with someone in case it happens again. I have a fantastic man in my life. However an unhappy, unhealthy relationship did make me realise that living alone is fantastic. It’s kind of addictive being able to do what you want without comment.
I do acknowledge that my love of doing things alone isn’t the norm. I love a solo date, I’ve holidayed alone and yes I love living alone. No matter how in love I fall or how much I crave a certain person’s company I’m never ever going to want to live with a man again.
Vocalising this though is where some uncomfortableness (have I just made that word up? Doesn’t seem real?) happens. People question it.
You don’t want to be all alone when the kids leave home?
You’ll be so lonely?
But what if someone extra special rocks up?
You’ll change your mind surely?
It’s actually a bit rude. I don’t ask people ‘ look Susan are you sure you want to live with that lazy mess forever? You might change your mind when he morphs into half man half sofa?’
Worse than the questions though are the head tilts and the sympathy smiles. Those who assume the lady doth protest too much. That actually I say these things to cover up that I really really crave crusty socks on the bedroom floor and facial hair in my sink. I don’t.
If happiness for one person is a happy marriage, kids, a lovely home and a pet then brilliant. If something makes you happy then it absolutely suits you. It’s just happiness for a 40 year old woman, or any woman actually. It’s not a one size fits all kinda deal.
My happy ending looks like peace and independence and having a book wall in my living room and a fitness corner and having the best dates of my life without having to share my bedroom permanently. It’s being able to make plans for the future that only include me. It makes me very happy.
Who knows, maybe in 10 years time I’ll change my mind and want to give up my space to share with someone else. All. The. Time *shudder *
Certainly not a life goal though, there are many more exciting things on the life goal list!!