I haven’t posted in awhile about the situation between the PIP and myself. Honestly, I don’t really know what to say about it, but I’ll try.
Things are different now, since he’s come out as gay. Not just in the obvious ways, but other, more subtle ways. Things that we each took for granted from the other are now things that must be asked for, such as sharing of finances or even something as simple as a massage. We live in the same house, but in two different worlds, although we are still friends. We each find it difficult to be in the other’s domain, although we do it. He has a friend–just a friend, however I think she might prefer it to be otherwise–who tends to come over and stay for days on end. And as much as I loathe this woman–I’m not proud of the fact, but she drives me insane–it’s a relief to me when she’s here, because then I don’t have to be in his domain. He won’t ask it of me, because he knows I don’t like her. I have good reasons for feeling that way, reasons that she’s given me to distrust and dislike her, and if I’m not going to be home, it is now automatic to lock my doors if there’s a possibility she’s going to show up…which means they’re almost always locked, and the PIP doesn’t have a spare. Weird, right? I can’t stand her–and neither can the girls–but when she’s around is the only time I get to be alone.
He feels like he’s lost me, something he’s told several people, including me. And maybe, in some ways…in a lot of ways…he has. I still love him…that isn’t going to change. He gave me the two most beautiful gifts I’ve ever received in my girls, and for that, I will always love him. But I don’t think I’m in love with him anymore, if that makes any sense. I’m not angry anymore; that time has passed. He is who he is, and he can’t help that. Being gay is not a choice, however much he’d like to believe he can force himself to be something he’s not. I never had issue with the fact of his admitting he was gay, I had issue with the way in which he handled it.
We don’t fight anymore, and haven’t in over a year. Oh, we’ve had disagreements that have been pretty surface, and others that went deeper, but neither of us pursued them.
Have you ever heard the tenet “Show me a couple that doesn’t argue, and I’ll show you a couple where one or both just doesn’t care”? I think that’s us, at this point. Or at least me, as I can’t speak for what’s in his mind. But for myself, I’ve started looking in new directions, prodded, in part, by my children, who both think I should start dating again.
I don’t even know how to do that.
Seriously, how does one date when they’re in their late 40s? I’ve learned some things about myself since looking around at various dating sites. One of the biggest is that I have really high standards that I’m in no rush to lower. Another is that I’d like to find someone who is physically attractive in my eyes. I know that sounds shallow, and to a certain extent, it is, but let me explain.
It’s different when you meet someone at work or something like that, where you’re exposed to each other regularly and you’re getting to know each other almost by accident rather than by design. You’re getting to know each other because you’re together in the office or the classroom day in and day out, so you’re almost forced to get to know this person. And gradually you discover you like this person, and it has nothing to do with looks, only with personality. But you had that time to get to know that his personality suits yours.
With a dating site, you don’t have that. You have pictures, and I, at least, need a physical attraction in order to make even an initial contact.
Let me tell you something about dating sites: past a certain age, the choices presented to you are pretty discouraging. And let’s face it, if the guy is an Adonis, he doesn’t need a dating site, because there is an endless stream of women who would be happy to throw themselves at his feet. And shallow as it is, if the guy looks like a cross between Lurch and the Hunchback of Notre Dame, I just can’t do it.
It also doesn’t help that I have a thing about grammar. If you were born in this country, went to school here, and still can’t speak proper English and don’t know the difference between their, there, and they’re, I have a tendency to be judgmental and think “uneducated”. I know that’s wrong, but it’s who I am, and I am working on that.
I’m also not in a position to pay for a dating site anyway, so any messages received on my profile go unread by me, because even when the site says it’s free, it usually means it’s free to look, not free to get messages…which means the site is useless to me.
And I don’t go out where I’m likely to meet anyone. Sad, right? But I don’t. The only places I really go are to the grocery store or to friends’ houses, and very few of my friends are in my age group. Most are much younger than I am, so anyone they might want to introduce me to is also much younger, and generally not looking for someone like me. And of course, you may have noticed that I have a self-confidence issue. Sure, I can dye the grey hair, and I can go to the gym and shed the weight, but I can’t change my age, and I’m still partially disabled and walk with a limp that gets more pronounced over the course of a day, and I come with two young children. I have a very hard time believing that there’s anyone out there that I find attractive that is going to look at me the same way.
Not that I’m unhappy; don’t get me wrong! I’m not going to cry myself to sleep because I don’t have a guy in my life. I have my kids, I have my crafts, I have my pets, so I’m happy enough with that. I don’t exactly need a guy, contrary to my children’s beliefs. And again: high standards, which also encompasses the fact that I don’t cheat, and I don’t poach another woman’s territory. Because of the PIP’s various relationships over the years, I know what it feels like to have to share your partner, and I won’t put anyone else in that position.
So I’ve rambled on to say, I guess, that I’ve kind of reached the conclusion of “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t”, and I’m muddling along with that. It’s not a fairy tale, and it’s not exciting, it’s just life, my life as a result of the decisions I’ve made over the years. I don’t regret any decision that brought me here to the man I’ve spent fifteen years with, because to regret those decisions is to regret my girls, and I don’t, by any stretch of the imagination. And if I had known where I’d end up, I don’t think I’d change any of the major decisions. Maybe the minor ones: buy the red dress instead of the blue purse types of decisions.
And maybe not.
All I know is that when the PIP first asked me out, I knew he was bisexual. I knew this could conceivably happen. And I did a lot of soul-searching before I said yes. Ultimately what it came down to was two things: being left could happen regardless of whether he left me for a man or a woman, and I wasn’t going to let fear of what could happen rule my decisions. Both of those two things still stand as true. I might find a guy, and he might be straight, and he could leave me in the end. And I’m still not going to let fear influence my decisions.
So I choose, for now, to let things ride. I’m not having a fairy-tale romance, the hottie I just saw a picture of isn’t going to sweep me off my feet, but I’m not exactly unhappy either, and sometimes that’s okay too.
Well, I think I’ve rambled on enough, and I hope this post makes sense to anyone reading it! Have a good night!