You are lonely. You desperately seek that someone to come home to every night. You lay awake in your bed for two, for too many nights in a row, wondering what is wrong with you. Why this solitude, when all you want is a lifelong companion. That someone who gives you joy. That someone to come home to each night, and share all your stories and dreams with. That someone with whom you can finally be yourself with, who will cherish all the little quirks that you hide on a day to day basis with the mass of people who just would never understand.
Then it happens. You finally click with someone. You have reached that age where the two of you know with certainty that you match, and match well. You rush to move in together. You skip all of the courtship, the ups and downs, and move forward with lightning speed. After all, you know what alone feels like, so this something new, this someone must be forever. Of course it is more than a warm body you tell yourself, yes they have their faults, but you are now thinking long term not just an amazing lay. This is someone who gets you. Who laughs at your jokes and seems to understand your need to no longer go the journey on your own. The compatibility takes a stronger role than the lust you felt as a teenager. You finally found someone who will not hurt you. Someone who is stable and secure. You find someone that you can picture growing old with, and you feel comfortable in the knowledge that someday the friendship will mean more than the sex. You push away the nagging thought that perhaps you are just settling, and there may be someone exciting around the corner. This comfortable person is real, and your fantasy of lifelong adventure is not.
I have been there. I have shared this longing, and I have felt that pain of loneliness. Tempted by the first man who I could picture a future with. Teased by the promise of not feeling the sting of solitude, and of not having to go through those ups and downs alone. Haunted by the “what if” this is the best I can ever do feeling. I cannot tell you are wrong for settling. I won’t tell you that I disagree with your choice to take hold of the best chance at comfort you have felt in years. And of course I will not judge you. I can’t, as that would make me a hypocrite. I too, tried to live that life. I too, have felt that it is better to be with the not quite honeymoon forever phase, rather than being alone. I have tried to create spark when there was none, and work my ass off to fix the mundane rather than be alone again. I have tried to settle for the here and now without first coming to grips with what the here was all the time, myself.
My mother once told me that she found happiness when she stopped seeking men that challenged her. That she finally just settled for someone who was simpler, and that gave her more peace. I hated hearing that. I was so enraged that a person could just stop living. I promised myself that that path would never be for me. I would never give up, and I would never just stop wanting to be challenged. I find no solace in the knowledge that I might never get hurt again if I settle for the stable man next door so to speak. Being hurt, and feeling true joy are major elements that made me who I am today. I do not seek to be wounded, but I will not hide from the possibility. This is my relationship mission statement. This is one ingredient that makes what E and I have amazing. And this is what makes being in an open relationship work for me. I have complete autonomy over my own happiness, and can choose to challenge or be challenged by my partner and those around us. I will not allow blasé feelings to ever override that roller coaster of emotions that I am capable of feeling. This is making a conscious choice not to just settle, and spend my next 70 years in the vacuum of monogamy.