Dilemma Do I need a man in my life? I am 52 years old and have been a single mother for 14 years. Too many times I’ve seen men for purely physical reasons. I never felt that I wanted his company beyond this. father of my child There was an addiction – gambling and drugs – which I discovered after birth. That was a painful time. I recovered and became stronger as a result. I’ve found that I like solitude, although I take care not to be isolated. I know a lot of people and there are some whom I would call close friends. I am now focused on my career after many years focusing primarily on parenting, which is what I enjoy.
I can’t allow myself to move past a certain point in a relationship, and struggle to have someone I deserve to allow in my life. Discussing the issue of being in a relationship, a friend said, “Well, it can give you a different perspective on life.” I guess sometimes I wonder if I’m missingI can barely remember what it’s like to be close and find supportThis is a long time ago.
I had previous relationships with people who were either physically or emotionally unavailable. This is a painful thing to remember. I have so much love for myself these days, I adore my teens and my animals. Is there really any need for partner-relationship?
Philippa’s answer If you’ve been asking yourself this question, you can probably do well without someone, but equally, you can still thrive in a partnership. If you’ve never asked this question, it’s because you probably know the answer anyway.
There is a lot of research out there about the health, wellbeing benefits and cost of living in a long-term relationship and you can spend a few hours looking at it all. You can do therapy with a practitioner who specializes in attachment theory to learn how you do or do not build relationships. As we become more aware of these bonding processes, we can decide if we want to change our behavior – but I guess what you’re really asking me here is: are you missing? ,
Author Naomi Alderman That said, the point of having a partner is to be a witness to your life. While there are plenty of people who can live happily and successfully without a romantic partner, doing it together is a different experience. She continued, “I love being someone who gives me a look when I talk sharply to a waiter.” He has a point. It is important to have someone close who can challenge us but with goodwill. Teenagers are good at it. They may lead us to think about how we choose to live because they question things, but the other thing with teens is that they’ll probably leave the house.
I can imagine that being insecure with someone can feel like you’re setting your hands on fire again, so it might be an idea to allay your fears. Ask yourself: “What scares me the most about being in a relationship? What am I thinking they can do to me, or stop me from doing it?”
If you start a relationship again, it will be different now because you’ve learned to love yourself – you won’t settle for someone who makes you sad. You would know if they had an addiction and how they made you feel when you were with them. You can take your time. You can take things as far as you are comfortable with and no further. You don’t have to end the relationship you enjoy because you don’t want to share your whole life and be with them.
Sophie Heywood, single mother for years and author of the hungover games, told me that she has recently realized that the point of a romantic partner is as much about your experience outside the home as you have with them. She says that her experience in the world has improved because of knowing that there is someone at home who loves her, no matter what. “It’s like wearing waterproof clothing after many years, which feels rain very easily,” she says.
To me, one reason to have a partner is to have a reciprocal, equal relationship with someone you love who accepts you just as you are and who loves you, flaws and all. Not growing as a person in those circumstances makes it difficult to give more courage, generosity and love not only to your partner but to everyone. If you ask other people why this is so, there can be as many answers as there are people.
You seem happy with work, you know a lot of people and you have few good friends, so you have witnesses to your life. You also have people to hang out with, who give you different perspectives, who you can call on, and who make you feel good. I think if you find a loving partner it will be based on a well made cake. And if you think you like your cake without icing, that’s okay too.
Listen to Stephen Sondheim song Being Alive from Music company,
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