I’m the only one in the office who doesn’t have a “significant other.” All of my co-workers are married except for one, who has a live-in boyfriend and only ever uses the pronoun “we”. I definitely feel a lot of shame and sadness surrounding this. I am often aware that I’m the only one who doesn’t leave work to go home to someone, who doesn’t have someone to share meals with, who doesn’t have someone to binge TV shows with, or go on weekend adventures with, or plan holidays with. I am 100% aware of how alone I am compared to my many co-workers.
I’ve never actually lived with a “significant other” before, or at least not for a long period of time, and never completely alone with them. I don’t necessarily feel like I’m a loser or behind in life for not doing so, and in so many ways I love living alone, but I can’t help but feel like I’m missing out on a large dose of comfort and domesticity that I crave.
This past weekend, a guy I knew came up to Minnesota for a job and asked to stay with me. It reminded me of a time the year before when a guy I had gone on a couple of dates with from Madison visited for Valentine’s Day weekend. We spent that weekend together making dinner and watching movies and going to bed together and waking up together. One night I had to work, and I got to come home to him when I was done. There was a lot of comfort in knowing he was just in the other room if I needed him, and comfort in knowing that his companionship was there if I so needed it. I was thinking about that when this other guy came to visit last weekend. We didn’t have a lot of time together, but there was a comfort in doing simple things like watch a movie together, go to bed together, wake up together, shower together, walk to get brunch together. Even just hearing him putz around in the other room brought comfort to me.
I’m not some sad, dependent, hopeless little girl or anything. I just take great comfort in relationship. I’m not particularly clingy, I just like knowing that someone is there if I need them, and also knowing that I am there if they need me.
I think I have a lot of flaws. I don’t always believe that I am very good at this whole “relationship” thing; I think I’ve had a lot of very awful partners, so it’s hard to tell, and I have low confidence in myself in relationship. But like I said, I do know some of my flaws and along with that I know some of my strengths. I know that I am immensely caring. I don’t say that in a pretentious way. I just know that it is in my nature to be caring. I also know that I am fairly flexible and low-maintenance. I’m good and able at fitting myself around others. I’m low-maintenance to the extent that I mostly just want someone to be my companion and to show care for me. I’m also intensely loyal and monogamous. I’ve always craved exclusive romantic partners, and I’ve never cheated or even thought about it. I am very dedicated to who I am with. Despite whatever flaws and insecurities I may hold, I think that these strengths make me a great partner for someone with similar traits and needs.
After the boy left last weekend, even though he’d only been there for a very short while, I stood in my apartment and listened to the silence. I wanted to be able to call out his name and hear the floor creaking in the other room as he called back. An embrace would have been nice, but even just knowing that that person is there if I need them was all I wanted in that moment.
Whenever my co-workers are having a stressful day, or have some bad thing going on in their life like the death of someone or a medical issue, I always think to myself, “How nice it is that they get to go home and share that with someone.” They are never alone in their problems or worries or stresses. There is always someone to call back to them from the other room whenever they need that assurance.
I’m at a point in my life where I’m no longer trying to cast some sort of characterization of me being hard-headed, independent, not-needing of a man feminist. I want to be able to get home at the end of a long work day and have someone respond when I call their name. I want to fall asleep next to some one and awake to find them there. I want the companionship of sharing adventures with someone, and having someone to tell my adventures to.
//written very late at night, slightly delirious, and with many grammatical issues, I am sure.