These past few months have been pretty intense and my main focus has mainly been on just trying to keep afloat and keep a handle on everything that’s been going on. There’s been little time or energy for much else, but over the last month things feel like they’ve started to settle a little bit, and in November I returned to a book I’ve had for a while to continue reading.
Katie bought me The New Relationship Blueprint by Nancy Levin quite some time ago after I’d remarked to her I still wasn’t sure what relationships looked like for me. She thought it might help me work through some of my thoughts and help me understand what I want.
The first chapter starts with Nancy’s thoughts on wanting to be alone. “Truth be told, I believed I was 100 percent finished with romantic relationships. All I wanted was to be alone. Gloriously alone……Singlehood suited me. It was truly wonderful to have no one to answer to.”
I was hooked from the first paragraph; I could have written the words myself. I read on.
“All of my emotional issues had just been lying in wait, and I realised I’d been isolating myself in part to avoid them.”
BAM. That hit me right in the feels. I resonated with that. Just before I met Pete, I was truly happy being alone, but I knew there was some work to do to understand what I wanted from a relationship because I knew, really, I also didn’t never want to have one again either. I knew there was probably a lot of unpacking of habits and hurt from my marriage that I hadn’t really spent any time dealing with. Pete came along and I surprised myself with how much I wanted him to stick around.
Each chapter has some exercises to work through to start to understand what relationship stories and views you have, and where they might have come from, and it starts by going right back to when you were a kid. It’s been interesting to reflect on some of my stories and beliefs and think about how they might have shaped the relationships I’ve had in my life.
I’m only on Chapter 3 because it’s a fair bit of work, and I need to be in the right head space to do it. This year feels like one continuous personal development journey, and it takes a fair amount of effort. I’m sick of it sometimes, and in my free time I often just want to switch off.
But it’s been useful, especially alongside my counselling sessions, to start to understand myself, my relationships and what I want, and to be able to talk to Pete about it all. He’s also doing his own understanding, and together we’re figuring out what it looks like for us.