It could have saved me a lot of heartbreak.
I got married in my 40s and my husband was the first man I lived with. I spent a lot of my life before that single.
Meanwhile, my husband, who hails from Cuba, had two wives before me, each long-term relationship producing a son, both now adults.
While I was trotting around the world, exploring new countries, and doing jobs I loved, he was having relationships and raising his daughters. He was learning a skill that I didn’t have yet.
To be clear, I had a ball in my single years, living at different times in London, Argentina, the United States, and France. I had a lot of fun, had freedom and learned many skills. However, there was always deep-seated angst. I was single because I did not know how not to be.
Looking back now, Before we get married I feel like that long period of my life would have been easier if I:
1. I have been less afraid to commit
If I hadn’t been so afraid of commitment when I was younger, I would have gained a lot from testing the size of different relationships.
I always thought a relationship had to work, so I was afraid to get into one that might not work. Also, I chose the type of guys who weren’t really looking for relationships. Or if they were, I gave the signs that I was happy about something casual.
2. I knew my own value
For a long time, I felt like the girl guys wanted to pick up, but not marry. That was my low self-esteem talking. My attitude towards casual sex was more about what I thought I deserved than being really “cool” about “no strings attached” sex.
I didn’t know who he was or what he had to offer before we get married.
Of one thing he was sure. If I surrounded myself with great friends and interesting experiences and filled my life with action and adventure, no one would let me down. My friends in relationships, and even some singles, often admired how much I did with my life.
I did a lot. no regrets. But a deep emotional connection with another? Honesty with myself? I didn’t do much of that.
3. Run a little slower
My work has included tour guiding, teaching in English, translating, working in journalism, event planning, and long hours in many of these jobs. I could plan my time however I wanted, I had no one to consider.
My free time was spent dancing salsa, doing improv comedy courses, traveling whenever I wanted, parties with friends, learning languages, swimming, diving, and trips to the beach. It’s cool that I knew who I was and what I liked, but not necessarily who I wanted.
My mother always said that she wouldn’t find anyone if she insisted on running so fast!
4. Given others more of my time
Before we get married I wanted to be in love, I wanted to feel love, and I started dating with that in mind. It was about how I wanted to feel, I wasn’t so interested in if the guy was right for me, more if he liked me. Once we had sex (often quite soon), it was hard to be realistic about whether we would work as a couple.
I didn’t see dating as an opportunity to politely interview someone about their suitability as a partner, or to get to know them as a person, but as an opportunity to get out of the house, meet a hot guy, have some fun, and maybe a little bit of fun. long overdue sex
5. But not too much
If he seemed a bit complicated, a guy who clearly just needed the right woman to rescue him, a guy I could see potential waiting to come out in, then he was probably right for me.
I set out to rescue someone, to be the one to finally ‘tame’ him, only to end up on the cutting room floor.
I told myself that things were meant to be this way, but deep down it was another failed relationship that reinforced my idea that this was what it was worth before we get married.
If I could give my beautiful young daughter 5 pieces of advice, who I hope never goes through the amount of relationship angst I did, I would say:
- First know who you are, what you like, and what interests you. Trust me, your parents, to support you in those things. We will always want what makes you happiest.
- You won’t always look like every single one else, some are blonder and whiter, some are taller, and some may be cooler. You’re a rocker, as you are. Be true to yourself and people who are worthy will catch you and accept you.
- Many will try to find your weaknesses and insecurities, point out your differences, and how you don’t fit in with them. That’s not your people, my love. They do not accept themselves, so they have to bring you down too.
- The truly confident don’t waste their precious time looking for faults in others. They are too much busy living their life.
- Singer Kurt Cobain once said:
“They laugh at me because I am different; I laugh at them because they are all the same.”