It’s been hard adjusting back to “life as 1” from my “life as 2” living situation from the past year or so.
I’ve always been an “eternal single girl” in the past . . . independent, happy to not be tied down, more annoyed if I had to be responsible for and/or have to “report to” — *gasp* —a GUY.
Then you meet “the one”, or at least somebody who you would give everything to because it’s just WORTH it. THEY are worth it.
Then you fall in love. Develop an amazing relationship. You move in together. Deal with a lot of those “just moved in together” issues and differences . . . these plates should go on top of those plates in this particular cupboard, the toilet paper needs to go OVER not under, I’ll make dinner this night and you can that night, can you make the bed before leaving the apartment, etc. Those goofy little “apartment things”, but essential things to getting along, learning about each other, and keeping the peace in the household. But THEN you start to get USED to having somebody there with you; somebody to help you with things, somebody to take care of and nurture, somebody to come home to, somebody to make plans with. And you settle into routines and each other. It’s really nice to share all those everyday things together with somebody, and it all really makes you grow closer. And you get used to those routines and “life as two” and settle into it all.
It’s funny, because a friend of mine brought up a situation from a “Sex in the City” episode which REALLY “hit home” for me…Carrie & Aidan moved in together and Aidan was being such a nice and helpful guy by doing a lot of things for her around the apartment, etc, and she ends up getting all upset with him, saying, “Just STOP! Leave it alone. I’ve always been used to taking care of MYSELF, living on my own. And if you do all these things for me now, I’ll get USED to you doing them for me, so one day if you aren’t there anymore, I won’t know how to do anything for myself anymore!”
SIGH. And isn’t it SO true?
So now, I can totally relate, and getting used to doing things by myself and for myself again ends up being daily constant reminders that HE’S GONE and that I’m on my own again. And as much as I know I’m totally capable of doing these things again alone, it’s just really difficult and depressing to “go back.” – back to grocery shopping alone, having to always fill the car with gas, cooking for just myself. Somehow it’s just much more sad now, and doing some of these things just reminds you of that person and of those routines and reminds you again that you’re “on your own.” For example:
COOKING: In the past when I was single, I would cook a huge meal one day and pretty much eat the same thing for 2-5 days in a row for dinner until it was gone. Sure, sometimes it got boring, but at least it was easy and convenient to have home-cooked food for several days, and it was nice. Then, when you adjust for cooking for two (or more) you realize the food goes FAST, especially if you are cooking for a man who likes to EAT! But it’s always more fun to cook for somebody else, and it gets me more motivated to eat healthy and cook healthier things for us.
NOW, being back to cooking alone again, I have such LITTLE motivation, and cooking a nice meal is depressing to sit and eat it alone. Eating the same meal for 5 days just feels sad and pathetic. I almost avoid cooking a nice meal for the fear of how lonely and sad it is to eat it alone. I think I’ve actually only cooked one “real meal” in the last month and a half because I’m just really scared about how I’ll feel about it all . . . I DO know this feeling is temporary and will eventually go away after time, but right now it just plain sucks!
Wednesday nights have been the hardest . . . as these are the nights I always go to my late night step aerobics class and come home to a Martti-cooked-meal. Now, it’s lonely coming home to an empty apartment on those nights and having to deal with cooking dinner at 9:30pm for myself. Blah!
GAS: Martti pretty much took over the duty of filling the car with gas when we lived together. I probably only got gas about 5-10% of the time. It was so nice and helpful of him, I always appreciated that! Now, I’m getting used to going back to doing it myself, but I always seem to forget to get gas, and it’s sad to not have somebody there to take care of it. Again, a reminder that he’s not here.
SHOPPING: Martti often came with me shopping at grocery and drug stores. It’s ALWAYS nice to have another person to help. But mainly–whether or not he came with me—he always carried most the stuff up the 2-3 flights of stairs in our apartment. UGH, this has been the hardest/most inconvenient one… as I HATE making two trips to the car, so I nearly KILL myself, trying to carry a ridiculous amount of heavy groceries up the stairs. Having a nice, strong man was always a nice thing to have! 🙂
Then, there are ALWAYS things I see–whether it’s his favorite food items, or a good sale on men’s clothing–that I’m used to buying or telling him about. I get excited when I see something I know he would like, just to realize he’s not there anymore to see smile when I bring it home.
APARTMENT/ETC: Half of the bedroom closet is still empty. So are the 4-5 dresser drawers his stuff used to be in. Funny how it was SO hard for me to try to clear out space for his stuff in the first place, but now that I’ve gotten used to it, I don’t really have anything to put there anymore . . . or maybe I just don’t want to for fear that it’s another “closing this chapter” type of action.
TV: It’s quite a bummer to watch so many TV shows ALONE that him and I previously ALWAYS watched together . . . comments you made about the shows together, sharing inside jokes and laughs together . . .
SIGH. In general, it’s just the motions of going back to “life as 1” and it’s been really difficult.
How do you go from seeing a person and talking to them EVERY day, sharing things, taking care of them, supporting them, having them there to bring you joy, make you laugh, confide in . . . . to NOTHING at all?