The Boyfriend Candidate and I broke up not too long ago. Again. We do this about every three weeks, and we’ve each totally lost credibility with each other on the break up front. This time I was picking on him — pretty much all day — most likely as a result of general frustrations with the relationship. I was indirect, provocative and uncommunicative. So we got in a fight. He called me an ugly name. And then defended it when I graciously gave him a chance to retract. I was done.
So a week goes by and in that week I’ve been really asking myself hard questions about why I’m dating in the first place. Are my frustrations with the relationship because it doesn’t serve a purpose relevant to my life any more? I think I’m on to something.
I’m 46. I have three small children who deserve my time and energy. Now that I’m working, which means I can provide everything I and my children need, I’m not looking for a man to save me/us, to be the responsible party or to fund us, if you will. I’m in bed weeknights at 8pm because I’m up at 4:45am. When exactly am I suppose to nurture an adult relationship anyway? So seriously why am I dating at all?
Sex is an obvious answer. Adult companionship generally. To be adored in that way a man adores you has particular attractiveness to me. And you know I got all those things from the Boyfriend Candidate. What I didn’t get that was frustrating me was “traditional marriage material.” He isn’t that Prince Charming. He’s a salty old curmudgeon, truth be told. I don’t want to be with him every day. I don’t want to live with him. I can’t imagine the nightmare of merging lives. But you know, I don’t think I really need that. If he gives me the adoration, even part time, might that be enough? I think anything more is an old dating paradigm from my early twenties that has expired.
I can reinvent the adult relationship now. So I’m taking some time to figure out what that will look like at this point in my life. Naturally I spoke with the Boyfriend Candidate and, as usual, we’re back together. This time I am relieving him of those traditional expectations which aren’t relevant (or possible) any longer. Maybe I can be more tolerant.
Honestly, he never thought we split up which slightly irks me. I did make a dramatic exit.