A friend and I were talking recently about (surprise!) relationships, the ones we cherish, abandon, regret, wish for… There’s really no end to the potential variety in types of relationships and no two, be it parental, platonic or romantic, are exactly the same. While the emotion created may repeatedly be love, it’s never identical to how you experienced that feeling in it’s previous incarnations. It’s always a new part of your heart that engages, a unique connection each trip. At times it may feel like a carousel of sorts, but ultimately you want to be on ride that actually takes you somewhere.
When I spoke with frustration about a particularly regrettable relationship, my friend wisely reminded me that however shitty and lie filled that bad relationship had been, it had moved me to a different place for subsequent relationships. The experience had provided a vehicle to change where I was.
Hmmm. I hadn’t really thought about it quite like that before.
Prompted, I couldn’t help taking a few minutes and considering what would I consider the MPR* of my adult relationships? How would I measure it? Can I assume I was consistently going forward? The relationships that bring the most disappointment may not feel as if the positive outweighs the negative, but the fact that you’ll never fall for the same bullshit ever again must be progress, yes?
When I think about the human I was when I got married 25+ years ago and who I am today, it’s hard to reconcile those two women. I was certain I was fully formed, an adult capable of making a decision for the rest of my life. All these years later, I’m a very different person with very different expectations. It really isn’t difficult to understand why that relationship wasn’t able to go the full distance. We sure did cover some miles, though.
Re-exploring dating in my 40s and 50s has been curious adventure. There have been times when I’ve felt like I’ve been the highway, instead of the comfortable car in which I had expected to be riding, but it hasn’t all been bad by any measure. There’s been tremendous and enjoyable distance traveled, complete with beautiful views. My world got bigger with new territory to roam and I know I’ve got miles to go before I sleep.