One thing I’ve discovered about having a large circle of interesting friends is that I never seem to run out of stuff to blog about. If I’m having a hard time thinking of a topic, all I have to do is sign online and chat with a few friends and before long, somebody says something that sparks an idea.
Of course, since I’m middle-aged, and divorced, and single, the topic that tends to come up most often lately is dating, or relationships, or dating people who are in relationships, you see where this is going. What I’ve discovered is that no matter who you are, or how bitter and jaded you are, or how long you’ve been alone, or what you do for a living, or what your politics are, we all have one thing in common. Every single one of us wants someone to love us. It doesn’t necessarily mean we want to get married or even still believe in living happily ever after. It’s just that basic need we all have to be special to one other person.
One of the common themes that seems to come up lately, and came up in a conversation with a friend last night is am I going to die alone? Will anybody be there when we are no longer able to take care of ourselves? Will anyone comfort us in our last moments? Folks with children seem to take this one for granted but ask anyone who works in a nursing home. Having children does not guarantee that someone will be there for you at the end. I think what does guarantee it is how you live your life. I’ve known lots of single people who died surrounded by family and friends who loved them. I think if you are a loving, caring person, who always looks out for others, you can be pretty certain someone will look out for you in the end.
Yet, that doesn’t always keep us from being lonely right now does it? I have to say, I am not lonely very often. I always have plenty to do to keep me busy. I am also fortunate enough to have several other single friends who will join me at a moments notice for a meal or a cup of coffee at almost any time day or night. But there are those times, usually late at night, when I wish there was someone else there, at least once in a while. There are other times when I have had an especially good, or exceptionally bad day, and I wish I had someone to really share that with other than a friend. You know, that person whose life has become entwined with your own in a different way. That’s what I miss, that person who cares what kind of day I had.
In this quest to end our loneliness we do some ridiculous things sometimes don’t we? I’ve mentioned online dating in a previous blog and I have to say that has continued on just the same way I expected it to. I honestly just don’t think I could ever meet anyone seriously that way. Getting to know someone online, whether it is on a dating site, on Facebook, or by email has huge drawbacks. I think I do much better in person. Trying to have a conversation with someone you don’t know very well minus body language and other non-verbal cues is hard at best, and dangerous at its worst! For someone like me, who types fast and thinks fast, in that order unfortunately, hitting that send button can be deadly! Why is there no “take it back” button? There is no way to really gage the reaction on the other end. When I say something witty how am I to know if the “lol” I get back is sarcastic or sincere? At least if you say something stupid in person you can always deny it later! There is no written record of it for him to forward to his friends!
Speaking of things for him to forward to his friends, I am always surprised by the number of people so willing to share more “personal” photos of themselves! Oh you know exactly which ones I’m talking about. Again, in the old days, as long as you got those originals and the negatives back, you could throw it all in the wood stove and the whole mess was forgotten. (If you are one of my kids reading this blog, I am going by what OTHER people have told me, I have um, no experience with this whatsoever. No really). Phew, I forget sometimes they read this. Anyway, nowadays, remember a digital photo is forever and ever and ever. So if you share one, you better be darn sure this is someone you can trust or at least use one of those little black squares over your eyes so no one can identify you later! Of all the things people tell me they regret about dating and relationships, photographic evidence lying around seems to be in the top three.
As for the other regrets, don’t be too hard on yourselves. Sure, in your relationships you probably could have done things differently, said things differently or reacted differently. However, like everything in life, there is no going back now. Just know you did the best you could, with the knowledge and experience you had at time. Every single person who has come into your life has brought something. Whether they are still there or not, they were there for a reason. Whether they enriched your life in some way, or brought a positive lesson or even a bitter experience, you can’t change any of it now. All you can do is go on, with the knowledge gained and just a little bit of hope and see what happens.
And be careful about those photos, okay!