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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Singular Satisfaction vs Pitiful Pining

Lately I have been having a hard time finding things to write about mainly because my life is so great. One reason that my life is so great is because I am no longer a pitiful piner!

I will admit that forever and forever and forever I would go to sleep while imagining snuggling with some well-defined-abs-man. I don't do that anymore. Its bizarre that this lifelong habit (I started this pre-puberty although then he didn't have abs: Instead he had a great GI Joe collection or something like that) has so suddenly vanished.

And I'm glad to be through with it however, I feel that there is something to be gleaned from this oh-so-lame part of my past:

I've spent more time pining way for guys than I have spent in actual relationships with them. Being a pitiful piner is convenient because I could always fixate on some sexy object of my affection and go to sleep with my hand resting on his imaginary abs but I never had to actually deal with him. I never had to pretend I wasn't farting in his presence. I never had to actually spend the night with him and get all pissed off when he kept me awake by snoring like a pig and then moving his finely muscled body into the middle of the bed while I clung to the side like an inept cliff dweller. I never had to pretend I wanted to spend an entire holiday with his parents.

Pining is a great way to imagine being in a relationship without having to sacrifice anything. When I was super tired and dropped into bed after working 16 hours, I never had to worry about how absalicious's day was. I could pine away when I had time and when I didn't he just vanished.

How delightfully convenient.

Over the past four years or so I've slowly become aware of my pining tendencies. But it wasn't until after a really luducris breakup this summer that I realized the extent of what I had been doing.

Pining is a problem because no real relationship will ever match up to the expectation developed as a piner. The longer you've pined, the harder its going to be to adjust to a real human relationship. I suspect that pining is typical of very independent folks who are pretty satisfied with being on their own yet somehow feel that something is missing. I thought it was harmless but I am now convinced that is is not.


Well, I got a boyfriend. I wasn't even pining away for him. He just kinda appeared in my life. And I tried to fit him in and make things work but melding two full formed lives together is a challenge and not one for the weak-of-heart. It turned out that my life was far better without him. But I only discovered this after we parted ways.

Ironically, I'm now being treated to life on the other side of the pining problem. The ex-boyfriend is now pining away for me. And I know that what he wants isn't really me with all my fire and independence and lack of desire to procreate but some idealized concept he has of me which is in no way based in reality. I know this because he writes me pages and pages of pitiful pining about this and that and leaves these books on my doorstep or in my mailbox. And the more I read of it (I don't read it anymore) the more I see that he has no idea who I really am.

Pining is a way to feel romance and intimacy without every interacting with a real person. It might be about imagination: There was a time when I thought that my pining was merely me manifesting a relationship a-al-The-Secret. But it is only about one person's imagination and doesn't leave much room for the wonderful surprises which come with getting to know a unique individual.

How did I quit my pitiful pining? I am not sure. It happened shortly after I started this blog and it hasn't come back. I am so infinitely satisfied with my life and I feel so loved and supported by the various people around me that I no longer feel the need to pine away for someone. I am putting all my passion for absalicious into my volunteer work and my real work and my house and my dog and my various delightful real life (plutonic) relationships.

Like I said, I WAS an independent woman who was satisfied with being on her own but felt like something was missing. This recent breakup and its aftermath have so clearly illustrated to me that nothing has been missing this whole time. I have been living a creative, adventurous, delightful, love-filled life. The only thing missing (which I now possess) was a calm clear understanding that my life is overflowing with fullness and love and comfort and security. Only when I am ready to accept the breadth and depth of all that is available to me will I be able to meet the real life absalicious (or beer gutted) man of my dreams.


(no)sexandthecity said...

I've been pondering how I feel about a couple posts on here that have had me thinking for several days...trying to determine what is bothering me. Here's what I've come up with:

-Language, defining oneself as "pitiful" or "desperate." While I know it's all tongue-in-cheek on here...still there is this nagging part of me that says - isn't that what society always already does? Tells us we're desperate or pathetic if we admit to wanting a relationship...isn't it actually just HUMAN to crave companionship and connection, even *gasp* love? Part of me cringes at the labels that imply one should be ashamed for wanting those things in life. Granted, not everything we do in pursuit of what we want is smart, rational, whatever - but frankly we all have wants and needs. And the hypocrisy seems to be that casual sex is the norm, while if you do *secretly long for* that "something more" you are a pathetic loser...idk.

The other thing is that my own level of satisfaction with "The Single Life" as it's been glamourized is far from static. I have been up, down, and all around on degree of contentment- sometimes absolutely loving it, being so thankful that my life is exactly how it is...other times feeling super alone and hating it more than anything!

And I think it tends to waver with the quality of other relationships in my life. Friendships are the saving grace of being single. But they don't meet the same needs as a couple-relationship does. Friends just aren't always there for you, they have their own stuff going on, and in the end like the Singlutionary says - YOU are the only person you will never leave or lose in this lifetime, and that's the one thing you can count on. Others, not so much. Or maybe it's just me that gets super disappointed in people sometimes?

There is a shortage of real, meaningful human connection sometimes, the kind you can't get from Facebook or IM or the occasional girl's night out. Perhaps "pining" has a real source at times -- this is a society where people can be very alienated from one another thanks to technologies!!! You're SUPPOSED to feel connected but wonder why instead it feels so empty...

Solution = do not want, need, or expect anything from anyone!

oooh that was all depressing, no wonder i was avoiding actually putting the thoughts down...

The Singlutionary said...

Wow. (no)sex, that is a very thoughtful comment. Thank you.

I don't think it is desperate or pitiful to WANT a relationship at all. Quite the opposite. In this blog I am using these words to describe a certain way of going about this WANTING that I find to be unhealthy. Dating in and of itself is not desperate. There are lots of examples of non-desperate dating. I, however, am not a good dater and usually go about it in a desperate way. Pitiful pining has to do with pining that goes on and on or which is misdirected and perhaps wastes the energy an individual could put into learning and growing.

"Friends just aren't always there for you". This might be true. But neither is your partner.

Being single is a wonderful time to learn to RELY on yourself and to be comfortable with YOU. Not simply because you have to but because a) you are worth it and because b) there are some things in life which no matter how many people you have around you, you'll still feel 100% like you are going it alone. And in these times you will NEED to learn to depend on yourself.

I guess what I am saying is: You're gonna have to learn to love yourself and enjoy your own company sometime. Why not now? Then all your friends and lovers are simply the cherry on top, the icing on the cake, the angel on the tree.

And your love cup will never be half empty again.

(this is coming from someone who has for most of her life seen her love cup as 95% empty and leaking from the bottom)