I am the first to stand up and argue that I, possibly, have some of the world’s best friends. And nothing has further emphasized that than my recent separation. From letting me cry, vent, and make sense of my incoherent thoughts, to allowing me to crash on their couches, helping me physically move and otherwise keep me sane, they have been there through it all. I am eternally grateful for those who stepped up and made it clear that they will stand by me through this.
That said, of course when you make the decision to leave your generally well-liked husband, and it has nothing to do with any unforgivable and detrimental acts, there is bound to be some judgement. I expected this, and I’m fine with that to an extent. I know what must run through people’s minds, because it runs through mine, as well, when I see something about a split on my Facebook newsfeed. What I was not prepared for, was the gossip and outward hatred toward me from those I thought were my friends.
See, I can handle the awkward comments, the paused conversation, the disapproving look in someone’s eyes that says ‘what the hell are you doing?’ I can even deal with the unsolicited advice or comments about my separation. It’s when I hear things that are entirely false or fabricated that I fall back baffled. Always a fan of bluntness, I have been open and honest about my separation. If anyone has ever wanted to know anything, they simply needed to ask me. Hell, you probably just need to stand relatively close to me for a few minutes and you would know all you needed, as I have a wicked case of verbal diarrhea. So what’s with the rumors and lies? What’s with the speculations? Doesn’t US Weekly and Stars fulfill your crave to linger in gossip and judgement of others poor decisions?
I also find it interesting that the overwhelming majority of responses to my separation have been words of encouragement and understanding, but when it came to taking the plunge into the dating pool, the judgements come flying.
“Isn’t this a little soon/rushed/early”
“Don’t you think you should give yourself some alone time?”
“Are you sure you are ready?”
“Isn’t this unfair to the other person? I mean, you aren’t ready to settle down…”
“I think your ex would be upset, that’s just a little cruel”
“Why do you need a man in your life right now?”
“Do you really know what you are doing?”
Yes, I am ready. I feel like I have emotionally had seven years of alone time in my previous relationship that was passionless and emotionally isolating, so I’m quite eager to feel something in a relationship. Nor do I think it’s “unfair” to the other person-to reiterate, bluntness is a shining quality of mine, so my date is not exactly in the dark about the state of my life. Yes, my ex, would be upset but he will be upset if it’s 5-min or 5-years from now-no one likes to see their ex with someone new. And, no, I don’t know what I am doing-who does?!
So what I’ve learned from this, is apparently it’s a great thing I took the initiative to make my life better by making the tough choice to leave, but dating is an entirely different animal. Then I must be heartless. To have moved on so swiftly, and without concern, surely shows my lack of emotional depth and legitimate care for my to-be-ex-spouse or new dating partner(s).
Really, the point of all of this is that, I wish people would mind their own goddamn business. I would like to tell people- don’t even try to put yourself in my shoes, because it’s a style of shoe that doesn’t even exist in your world. Maybe we should revisit your original line of support when I told you I we were separating: “Of course you need to do what makes you happy!” If dating makes me happy then so be it. In general, unless I am doing lines of coke off your bathroom mirror, showing up to work intoxicated or taking part in other blundering life errors, leave me be.
I am at a point where my life has been so calculated, so “on track” for so long that I am ready to be free. Free from the constraints of “supposed to” and “need to” or even “have to.” Instead, I am working on following my heart (it’s not always as innate as one would think) and finding out who I am in the process. That process cannot be controlled or guilt-tripped or even discussed. I’m letting it happen organically-allowing the world to unfold in front of me, and instead of following a path, laying my own path down brick-by-brick until I find what makes me truly happy.