Love Crumpled

I am 35 and single. I never thought I'd say those words. Ask 21-year-old Sujeiry and she'd roll her eyes and holler, "You're a liar!" That feisty college girl didn't have a clue what was in store.

Now, I don't either.

My last relationship ended just this May. My boyfriend (we will call him "Paco") and I broke up when he came to visit me Memorial Day weekend. We were in a long distance relationship: he in Vegas, I in NY and then LA. I hate admitting it but I moved across the country to be closer to him. And for the palm trees and fabulous weather.

So, imagine my surprise when our relationship didn't improve. He was only a four-hour drive away but would only visit one weekend a month. And Paco rarely made plans. I pried, pushed, and asked, "When will we see each other again?"

"Soon," he'd reply.

There was no discussion. No planning as a couple. He never spoke of our future with concrete details, or desire.

Still, I fantasized about the positive changes I thought would come now that we were in the same time zone. I received a rude awakening. Yes, we were closer in physical distance but the emotional distance remained intact. That Memorial Day weekend I realized that Paco, my boyfriend of almost a year, rarely kissed me or initiated sex. He was cold. The morning of the day that we broke up I kissed him "good morning" and he cringed.

Paco never loved me.

And so I broke up with him. Just like that. It was cut and dry just like his response. It is for the best, he said. He could never fulfill me, nor I him. I knew this before the end was near. Yet I wanted him to be my partner, my husband, and the father of my children. Not because I loved him. No, I never loved him. But I am ready to build a life with someone. Even if it meant pretending and becoming Paco's Stepford Wife.

Alas, I chose better. Here I am, single at 35 and in a new city and wondering what is next. I hope that I get to live that fantasy. I fear that I won't. Sometimes I cry because it is a real possibility – to be single forever. But I bounce back. I am resilient and a hopeless optimist. I am not meant to rub Bengay on my own wrinkly body. My future husband will do the honors. He has to. 21-year-old Sujeiry would never let me hear the end of it.

So, I will try love again. I am dating online and out and about, mingling as I should be. I am embracing my new single status and have accepted where I am. Yes, the last relationship didn't work. I am single at 35. Now what? Only time will tell. 

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