I'm scared shitless, and here's why

Warning: soul puke ahead.

Dear Internet,

I'm scared shitless, and here's why. 

In the past few months, I've figured out that I want a relationship like my grandparents have. They've been married sixty-five years, and still hold hands while watching TV. They flirt with each other. Of course, they still pester and nag, and recent health issues with my grandfather ensures that both of them must struggle with patience and sadness and loss every day.

But they love each other, and have loved each other for two of my lifetimes. 

I never wanted that type of life-long relationship before. I always assumed that, to be a happy, single woman in my thirties, I must eschew these kinds of relationships. "They don't REALLY work!" "We're not designed to be monogamous!" "All you crazy sonsabitches are SETTLING."

Something happened in my last relationship, though. I don't know if it was the fact that we got along so well, or that we seemed to truly understand each other on so many levels, but it changed me. And even though it didn't end up working out in the long run, it was at least a glimpse of what could be. 

And I want it. I've gone all soft and shit and I want it. 

What. The Fuck.

However, now that I'm single again, I've been really, really struggling these last few weeks to deal with my emotions. Trying to figure out if I should online date again, or wait, or whatever. It's been challenging to re-find my footing and understand who I am and what I need next.

And I was making myself miserable. 

I was going crazy, getting really caught up in my "window" and my "timeline"...and I'm actually a little disappointed in myself for doing so. I was only trying to fix this feeling of unease around the fact that "Hey, ovaries have an expiration date!" that everything else important was being dropped on the floor like dirty laundry (which I need to pick up before my dog eats it. Disgusting beast.)

I don't want to just bide my time until the next Mr. Wonderful comes to sweep me off my feet, or until I'm "ready" to go actively looking for Mr. Wonderful. That seems really wasteful.

And also? Nobody wants to be dated because your body is like, "Put a baby in me!"

(That, folks, is a recipe for a stalker flick. Also, I'm pretty sure that's why no one believes that women in their thirties can be happy and single. Because they're all, "Nope, we can actually hear your biological clock ticking. And it sounds a little bit like a time bomb of desperation.")

It's really, really scary to just let it all go, to admit that maybe life won't turn out exactly like I hope or plan. That maybe I'll miss my "window," or that maybe I won't find anyone at all. It's a hard pill to swallow, but that's the reality of it all. I really could be single forever.

(This is why I believe that those who are happy in relationships--and truly happy--are the luckiest sons of bitches on this planet. It's a lucky, lucky thing to be two people who fit each other, get each other, and aren't just with each other because they're terrified of the alternative.)

And if that's the reality, then what can I do differently to really live my life to the fullest? To grow and heal and get stronger and leaner and more in tune with who I am and what I want? How can I take this time to be really, really selfish for myself and do all the things I wouldn't be able to do with a partner? To face down the things that haunt and scare me instead of hoping some dude can make me forget that I have an opportunity to do some serious soul-searching and personal evolution right now?


To be honest, I have two fears: that I'll end up mean and miserable and completely unlovable (we all know women like this. They are truly frightening), or so hungry for a man in my life that I deal with only getting the leftover scraps of someone. 


But both of those options are scarier to me than just being alone. I'd rather be single and happy than in either of those situations, so I have to find a way to make it all work. I don't know exactly what that looks like yet, but I'll figure it out. 
It's one of those scary-but-good times, I guess. 


Aaand, end soul puke.