I don’t usually blog in the heat of the moment. I did last night. I was annoyed with myself and it was related to dating and I just did it without giving it much thought.
And so before I dive into your wonderful comments (and thank you to everyone who took time to comment, both here and on Twitter) I just wanted to make a few general, clarifying statements. Just so, you know, you’ll have better sense of why I was so annoyed/upset with myself last night.
I have always been fiercely independent. Dysfunctionally so. My parents tell stories of my refusing assistance, as a child, with simple tasks. I would insist that I could do everything by myself (Which I guess would cause general mayhem in the house because I wouldn’t let them help me get dressed or eat or tie my shoes, etc. I’d have tantrums if anyone even offered to help.). I know that at certain points in my adult life this independent streak has caused friction in my relationships because I don’t feel comfortable either asking for or receiving assistance even when I desperately need it.
Until somewhat recently I was financially independent. I didn’t make lots of money but I made enough to have a relatively secure, middle class lifestyle and to have a little cushion of savings in case anything ever went wrong.
And then about a year and half ago I made the decision to completely up end my world. I walked away from my career. Rather suddenly. It seemed like a good idea at the time and there are days when I still think it’s the smartest thing I’ve ever done. And then there are days when I can’t quite figure out how all my bills are going to get paid and I regret it deeply. My closest friends repeatedly make up excuses to pick up the check when we go out (on the rare occasions when I do go out) and the best off of them have offered to lend/give me money until things look up. I can feel my independence slipping away from me. It’s all rather disorienting.
It’s in this context that suddenly I am caring about guy’s incomes. Not whether or not they can wine and dine me. Not whether or not they have a penthouse or can afford to take me on lavish vacations. But rather, would a long-term relationship with them mean that I could have some of what I gave up? No one can turn back time and undo the decisions I’ve made. But a LTR with a man who was financially secure could alleviate some of my current burdens. Maybe.
I realized that last night. That I was factoring that in. And I hate it. I hate it because it’s shallow and weak and where I am now is 100% my choice and no one made me do it.
Anyway, I don’t know if this makes things any clearer. On one level I think it’s way TMI. The wall between my life and this blog is crumbling and I don’t like it one bit. But I didn’t know how else to respond to your comments. I guess I could have just said, This has nothing to do with what other women want or what anyone thinks of me or a guy’s level of ambition. It’s about my sense of self and how it’s tied into my ability to take care of myself. And how I haven’t been doing a very good job of taking care of myself lately. I just felt that you deserved a few more details than that.
Tags: blog, independence, LTR, money, tmi