The idea of ending up alone no longer terrifies me. Perhaps, as my friends insist, my continued solitude is a denial of sorts. I've since given up explaining that there is a difference between loneliness and solitude. In my case I may be physically isolated, but there is no fear of the vacuum I have created. I've even shelved my cell phone.
Being single again has been a liberating experience. And not in the sense that this reflects poorly on my ex, but simply because I am able to indulge (almost guiltily), and still find the affection and company I need, when I need it.
It has led me to reconsider what it is that I truly need. And truth be told, shaving away remnants of fear of insecurity about solitude has meant that there's very little left to fret about.
What am I really missing? I have no children, so any argument that stems from a responsibility angle caves in immediately. I am simply not beholden to any moral commandment society might conjure. Nor do I feel the impulse to have any, never have and at this point probably never will.
Truth be told that it is watching married-with-kids couples grind their way through mundane tasks that instills me with fear. Perhaps it is pretentious of me, but the schadenfreude I feel exists nevertheless.
What is it about co-dependence and marriage that repels me so?
The idea of being beholden, even beatifically. The idea of renouncing possibility, my core freedom, with the idea of compromise. The idea that I risk losing my identity and become part of a couple. No longer James, but "us".
The fear is gone, but I'll freely admit that the question lingers. Are relationships unnecessary in this day and age?