Learning to pretend there’s more than love that matters.

I almost feel like I should maybe apologize for being too honest — but isn’t that what I’m going for here?

Last night I dreamt that Matt said he wouldn’t sleep with me because I was too ugly. When I asked for clarification (too ugly meaning too fat? or just too ugly in general?) he wouldn’t elaborate. Weird that I don’t really remember the context here — but it had something to do with us being separated for a while; he said this once we were back together. But seriously, brain, wtf? Why do you think I want to wake up with this on my mind, huh?

So to fight off feeling too ugly for sex, I showered and dried my hair and am EVEN wearing makeup today. Also I’m out of clean clothes so I’m wearing the dress I got for Anna Laura and Marshall’s wedding, which is mid-thigh length and making me feel slightly immodest (not the desired effect – just what happens when I have no clean clothes).

That’s what I get for not doing laundry, though.

Along with reminding myself that Matt thought I was pretty, I also was thinking about a line from an Indigo Girls song this morning — “Learn to pretend there’s more than love that matters” (from “Love Will Come To You” which was my mantra before meeting Matt). You know how everyone always says that as a single person, you should be focused on YOU and YOUR LIFE rather than being focused on finding a SO? And that if you can make your life into something you love without needing another person around, then when you do find someone else they will just enhance your current life rather than defining it (or whatever the other alternatives to “enhance” would be). I’ve always subscribed to this philosophy, but in the back of my mind I wonder if it’s actually true.

And I say that just because in the 5 years that I was with Matt, my life was just so many worlds better than it was before. It wasn’t doing things that made me happy — it was just being with Matt. Which sounds so weird, coming from such an introvert (who is almost happier by myself than with most people).

But I get nervous sometimes — what if I never find that level of happiness again? It’s safer to take the “bettering yourself instead of looking for love” path, since you have much more control over the outcome. But that’s really second best, isn’t it? I’m not sure if I’m depressed about this or not, though; there is plenty of happiness and contentment to be had by myself. And it IS true that “bettering myself” (I hate that term) will make me feel better in general and increase my self confidence (etc).

Well anyway. These are all the thoughts I had on the subject I guess.

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I'm a young, childless widow who is trying to figure out the best way to deal with the world in light of my late husband's suicide. It's harder than I ever imagined it would be, but somehow at the same time I am still alive and even happy sometimes.

3 thoughts on “Learning to pretend there’s more than love that matters.”

  1. I don’t know any answers to your thoughts. Of course, you are not LOOKING for answers from me/others, but people often give them, anyway.

    ANYWAY, I am very glad that you are honest. I believe in it so much. Truth–honesty with yourself and with others is one of the purest defenses.


  2. You can ask your dreaming self for clarification of what the dream meant. Even after all this time, the classic book on the subject is Ann Faraday’s The Dream Game. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Faraday

    The method she suggested was that you put a notebook and pen by your bed, or maybe a tape recorder, and then before you go to sleep, request an explanation of the part of the dream that confused you. Having those items ready puts you at an advantage when you’re racing against time in the morning trying to record your dream before you forget the details; it also lets your subconscious mind know that you’re taking this seriously, which makes it more likely that you’ll remember the explanatory dream.

    The dream could very well be symbolic rather than referring to literal ugliness and sex. A few possible interpretations suggest themselves. E.g., it could be a metaphor for feelings of rejection by Matt of what you had to offer, and subsequent attempts to understand the reasons why. Or it could be totally unrelated to Matt. You know what’s going on in your life better than anyone else, so you’re the best one to interpret it.

    “everyone always says that as a single person, you should be focused on YOU and YOUR LIFE rather than being focused on finding a SO?” Single people tell themselves that to give themselves an excuse to focus on other stuff besides finding an SO. People who converse with single people tell them that to get them to talk about something besides their loneliness. It sounds plausible, and sometimes there’s truth to it, but it can also turn into procrastination.”

    “what if I never find that level of happiness again?” Then I guess you’d be hosed? I like some of these Urban Dictionary examples, by the way. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=hosed

    ‘It’s safer to take the “bettering yourself instead of looking for love” path, since you have much more control over the outcome.’ Theoretically, but it’s possible to fail at that too, and later think “What a waste of time!” That’s how I feel about most of the last 33 years of my life, especially the last 15.


  3. Erin,
    I have very strong feelings about this, so bear with me.

    In short, I think that no one else is responsible for my happiness, it’s completely an inside job. I have been miserable single AND in love (the good kind of love, that is) and I’ve been happy single and in love. The majority of my happiness has had to do with learning how to love myself, my true self, and all the work that has come with that. Intimacy is hard, and so is lonliness. Intimacy is also rewarding, and so is learning how to meet and fulfill my own needs. Having strong friendships has saved me from isolation many times, no matter what I don’t have to feel lonely-it’s always a choice (whether I remember that or not).

    Love you, Erin. Glad you are talking about this stuff!


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