The One About the Cup, and the Runnething Over

As an adult, I spent much more time single than most people.  It can be easy to forget that, now that I have met my darling and been with her so long, but I was single (with just a few brief  flings) for well over a decade in my 20s and 30s.  Over that long stretch of time, obviously I developed a method of living by myself that I found quite comfortable and rewarding.  I had a lot of fun and tons of experiences.  I did things people in committed relationships simply can’t do—like relocate and/or start new careers with very little forethought.  It was an incredibly interesting and fascinating way to live.  Some blocks of time, I spent living not just single but far away from all my family and friends.  It allowed me time to breathe, “find myself”, and do some major work on fixing my deep flaws I had developed over years of alcoholism.  It was a great setup, but it did pose one great drawback: it was super lonely.


I never would have admitted at the time that I was lonely—mostly because I don’t think I even knew I was lonely.  But of course I was.  There was a lot of upside but being lonely was inevitable.  Luckily, I refused to settle or even actively date when I knew that I wasn’t ready.  This allowed me to be available when my Karla came into my life and also to get as much inner work done as I could before she got there.  So when she found me, I was the best version of me I could have been at that point (although you can ALWAYS keep being a better version of yourself, always always always).


Going from single for a decade to in a deeply committed relationship naturally had some shock value for me, and required a period of adjustment.  Fortunately my partner is full of kindness and innate understanding and guided me through the change.  Certainly there were elements of living with another person (or in our case, two other people and a dog!) that were challenging for me at first, but also of course, there were a great many positives and bonuses that come with having an all-the-time partner.  Most of these positives I at least anticipated or could have anticipated.  One thing I never saw coming:  her parents and grandparents.


I knew, of course, that when you gain a life partner, their parents become a part of your life.  That was not a surprise.  What I was not prepared for was the level of connection I would have with these people, and the amount of affection and caring they would have for me, and me for them.  From almost my first meeting with Karla’s mother, father, step-mother (although that term doesn’t do adequate justice to the maternal force that is Amy) and grandparents (I’ve only met her maternal grandparents as her other set lives a good distance away) I have felt a true and abiding acceptance.  Karla and I are not married but all these people truly are my family and I love seeing them any chance we get.  They are all different, unique, loving people who I am genuinely excited to get to know more as the years pass.  What a boon!


What staggers me the most, when I stop to think about it, is that I spent so much time completely alone, and then finally found a partner—and then a kid and a dog!  They all fill my heart up so much.  On top of that, both of my parents have been terrific parents throughout my life and continue to nurture me emotionally, in addition to being stellar grandparents.  And now to come to the realization that I’ve gained even more family, have even more love and help and caring…well, as I have said before, my cup certainly overflows.  It’s like the world felt it had to make up for all that time I spent by myself.  And sometimes you just have to write a blog about how great things are.

2 Responses to “The One About the Cup, and the Runnething Over”

  1. Kyle Sundgren Says:

    What do you mean? Everyone spends a decade being single starting in their twenties! You big ball of goof! Then a movie star marries you.

    One issue you’re not addressing is how exactly you’re going to clean up the mess from your overfilled cup. These are carpeted floors, you can’t just let it soak in. You have to act quick, not write a blog first then plan out a cleanup.

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