This was one of Daniel’s first questions to me when we started talking. Maybe he was using it as a way to test that I wasn’t trying to trap him. Maybe he just didn’t get it. Like most married men he wants to know he’s not going to get in too deep. He’s not the only one. We have long conversations about expectations, risks and above all – rules. I’ve never had this conversation before, and I really really like it.
Single isn’t the same as dating, or being in a ‘situationship’. I am still me, I am still independent. I don’t feel obliged to share my home, my spare time or my energy unnecessarily, and I don’t have to do all those coupely things that are so draining. Daniel was recently at a weekend family do with his in-laws, and texting me regularly about what a nightmare it was. It made me thankful.
I think part of the reason is that I have put so much energy into monogamous relationships in the past, that I just don’t want to invest in them anymore. It isn’t worth it. Dating married men solves a number of problems that come with not being single:
- Dealing with other people’s weird families;
- Couple holidays;
- Waking up next to someone every morning;
- Mini breaks;
- Christmas and birthday gatherings and deciding whose family gets you that year;
- Feeling obliged to spend money I don’t have;
- Having my bed to myself aka starfishing;
- Quiet mornings;
- Watching a late night film in my own time;
- Not having to explain where I am going when I leave the house.
And then I saw a meme:
I think this is a part of it. It’s about not wanting to expend the energy. It’s not that I don’t care at all, but not having to invest that much energy in someone has its plus points. I invested so much of my time and emotion in monogamous relationships, and I just don’t have the energy for it anymore. I would imagine if I came across someone that I wanted to, I would. But in the four years I have been back on the dating market, I haven’t yet come across a single person who made me want to reconsider my single status.
I like the human contact. I like the intimacy, the company, the connection, and the conversation, but I can get those things without needing to be in a relationship. I like being able to shut the door on it at the end of the day and knowing that whatever else I am to them, I will never be the rock they lean on. I don’t want to be someone’s emotional crutch and I don’t want to ever be put in the position again of having to rely on a man for the roof over my head, and the food on the table. I’ve been let down too many times. I can’t do it again. Maybe this is how it will always be. Maybe this is all part of my reset, my break, my regeneration.
Maybe this time next year I will feel completely differently. I am open to the options, but right now, this feels safe, reliable and dependable. I know where I stand, and I am never looking over my shoulder.
Does that make me a bad person? Do I care?