Sunday, 3 April 2016

Fear of Being Alone

Fear of Being Alone...

Today I spent time in the sunshine with a single, male friend of mine.  After a beer or two, he said he was going to head home to eat and watch a film.  I cheekily asked if he wanted one more pint (we'd already had 3) but he declined... I felt boyfriend is currently away with work and the thought of being home alone upset me. 

My regular readers may be aware that I'm a teacher and I live with my boyfriend.  He works some evenings and weekends, so there are times when I find myself on my own.  As I walked home this afternoon, slightly drunk, I wondered why I was dreading spending time on my own?  What was so awful about my own company?  (i-will-not-spend-my-half-term-depressed)

Talking to my friend today, I realised that I've never really been on my own for very long; there's always been a potential or actual boyfriend.  I was in a long term relationship for 7 years, which was extremely destructive for probably a good 5 years of it - that's a whole separate post.  Afterwards, I was a complete mess and swiftly found a rebound.  He was lovely but still a rebound and our 6 month relationship was a complete disaster because I was in no fit state to be thinking about anyone other than myself.  I have to say that he was not quite ready either and we both completely messed each other around by playing horrific mind games, which damaged us both. 

Eventually, I found the strength and wisdom to stop the never-ending cycle of will we, won't we and I finally ended it.  It had been an emotionally draining 6 months.  After nearly a decade of damaging relationships, I had hit an all time low, and was actually ready to start slowly building myself up again (on my own), until I met my current boyfriend.  I was hesitant at first because my head was telling me that I needed time to be single, to deal with the past few years and to find 'me' again (sorry for the cliché).  However, this new man was a complete gentlemen and was exactly who I had imagined sharing my life with.  I took it step by step and I was definitely in control until I was sure I could trust him and that I would not get hurt beyond recovery; I was very aware that I was extremely fragile at this point.

I have been with my wonderful boyfriend for nearly 4 years now.  We own a house, have already shared a great deal of pain, happiness, loss and laughter, and we are still going strong.  I do not regret my decision to begin a new relationship after never really dealing with my past ones.  Sometimes you have to grasp opportunities when they arise.  However, I do wonder about the importance of being comfortable in your own skin and having the ability to enjoy your own company. I'm not sure I have ever managed this!

As a teacher, I get lots of time off and I do find it difficult (feel free to swear at the poor man with too much holiday).   Sometimes I get lonely and feel like I'm missing out on the world around me when really I should be taking time to express myself and making the most out of being able to do exactly what I want to do; something that isn't always possible when in a relationship.  I should listen to music (the-power-of-musicwithout worrying that my boyfriend doesn't like it, write my blog which I find helps my mental health, visit friends who I never get to see because of daily stresses,  and just be who I am and who I was before I found myself in relationship after relationship.

I'm not suggesting that the grass is greener and that I long to be single because I don't - I love my boyfriend very much!  I guess I'm saying that I would like to be content in my relationship as well as with myself.  I need to think of time alone as a privilege and not as a chore.  I think it's important to make the most of each situation, whether that be by yourself or not. 

Unfortunately, society seems to view being single or alone as less desirable than having a partner.  I wonder if anyone is ever truly happy when single or whether it's a case of making the most of it until hopefully the right person comes along?  It's so important not to stay in the wrong relationship for fear of being alone, which is something I have learnt the hard way and will write about soon. 

Maybe this post is extremely ignorant and naïve because I've never given myself time to find out what being single is like?  Perhaps the fear of being alone is just my fear...

Won't Be Beaten

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