||[Feb. 15., 2017|05:03 pm]
At lunchtime today, I was musing on what it means for me to identify as "single" again. For me, it's not tightly linked with living alone, since I haven't been single since 1993 but I've spent less than half that time cohabiting (depending how you reckon last year). It also doesn't correlate for me with being "unmarried" since I was only ever married for a little over two years. (In fact, Nuphy spent more of our time in a relationship together married to someone else than monshu did married to me.) I also don't associate it with non-monogamy, since none of my relationships have been sexually exclusive. (Technically, my relationship with monshu was closed for about half its duration, but de facto we still played around together and apart.)
In my mind, when I think "single", I think "actively looking for a relationship", which is interesting because most of my single friends aren't. By that definition, I'm still not "single". I'm "widowed", i.e. "not ready yet". This is someplace I've never been before, not since first acknowledging I was gay at 17, and I've yet to determine what it means. For the foreseeable, I'm still living alone in the place I bought and furnished together with my husband. I haven't rearranged anything; his stuff is still everywhere. So it may well take getting my own place again for me to really feel "single". His name is still on the accounts, which are all my responsibility. I still get calls for him, some of which are really calls for me. (I have an appointment now with "his" TIAA advisor, since his assets are now my assets.)
I sometimes find myself talking about "his" things before stopping and reminding myself that, legally, nothing is his any more, since non-persons can't own anything. Regardless how we acquired anything, it's mine. My art, my website, my clothes, etc. What I hear when I say that "his" stuff is now "mine" is that it is now my responsibility. Wherever it ends up--discarded, sold on eBay, given to friends, etc.--that will be because of some decision I made (even if that decision is telling someone else to sort through it for me). Nothing will take care of itself.
That's really what "being single" means: having to take care of everything yourself.