Have I Forgotten How To Be A Partner?

And Do I Want To Remember?

I have been a single mom for almost 10 years. That's a long time to not have to compromise, share space or discuss where the television should go with a man.

I hang paintings where I want, buy groceries that I like, go to bed when I'm tired... it's kinda wonderful. The only person I've truly had to work with on a daily basis is my daughter and, well, we have a pretty great thing going.

But, I am a woman. I am a grown-up woman. Oh, let's face it, I love men and would like to have a healthy relationship with one in this lifetime.

So, it has come to my attention that if I want to be serious about a relationship I'm going to have to learn to... eek... be a partner.

UGH! Help! I thought I was done reading Men Are From Mars books when I got divorced!

A partner. Patient, open minded, flexible...

I can already see it -- the late night talks about what might have been misunderstood earlier in the day that caused the silent treatment for a solid hour. The afternoon Costco trips that lead to the "do you really need this? Do you really use that?" discussions. The sharing of the remote, the using up all the hot water, the needing to close the door now when going to the bathroom.

Oh, dear. It's all a bit heartbreaking.

I like being independent. I like being a single mom. I like watching Dateline reruns while eating cheddar cheese goldfish for dinner. Is that so wrong?

No. But, I also know being in love, having a best friend, showing my daughter what a healthy, kind, grown-up relationship looks like is a good thing. A wonderful thing.

So, it is time for this single mom to learn, again, to be a partner. To be open to the idea of being a partner. To let go just a little bit and open the door a smidgen wider.

Make a little room on the couch... and in my heart.

I can do that.

John Emerson January 08, 2013 at 06:18 AM
Hi Susan, I have had no experience with a partnerless life! It sounds like it might be fun for a while. Supreme Ruler! Total Freedom! A steady stream of fascinating dates! Can you tell I've been married forever! 1st 32 years, 2nd 21 and counting. Actually I'm happy with my 2nd wife, we were old enough to make an intelligent choice. I like sharing places, entertainment and life with my partner. When you get old it is nice to have some history together. I think some people are happier alone, I'm one of the other ones.
John Emerson January 08, 2013 at 06:24 AM
Don't stop the pictures, I love them!
Susan McMartin January 08, 2013 at 07:08 AM
john, your wife is a lucky woman! your life always sounds fascinating and joyful to me. thank you for sharing it! and, as always, thanks for reading my column! happy new year!
Susan McMartin January 08, 2013 at 07:08 AM
you got it! ;-)
Carol McGovney January 13, 2013 at 05:46 PM
Susan, I love this...I too miss "some" of being a couple...I had what I thought was a ideal...living a block away from a Nice guy,... he wanted more and now after 4 + years he is dating someone...I am happy for him!...I Love living alone...yes I like to cuddle, share time together...about 2x's a week...and to Connie the Saint I can't even imagine a perfect me, it changes every day...


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