Adam Avitable in bed

Scared to be alone, but scared not to be

It’s wonderful to be alone. It’s miserable to be alone.

Sitting on the couch wrapped in the stillness, having the control over your life that only solitude can bring. Laying in bed, knowing that you can reach and stretch as far as you can without touching anything other than the cold, empty sheets, spinning out of control without an anchor to tie you down.

It’s freeing and empowering. It’s terrifying.

Adam Avitable in bed

I thought I found her earlier this year. I was wrong. That door was closed severely, and since then I’ve been too scared to invite hope or optimism back into my life. I want – no, I crave – the rewards that come from opening up and letting someone in, but the risks have hurt me so greatly that I don’t know if I can do it.

My divorce changed my life. I began to see the value in open communication instead of using manipulation and subversive tactics to avoid conflict. Now, I pride myself in being honest and transparent, online and in person, but it’s a different type of honesty to let someone walk around in your head. Every word I write, every thought I speak, I let people in to see who I really am, but it’s not that naked baring of a soul that happens when two people share more than words. And when that person uses that vulnerability to hurt you, moving on feels impossible.

I refuse to settle just to avoid being alone, but I also don’t know how much longer I can bear it. I need that intimacy, that companionship, and that warmth. I need to have someone I can love and care for, listen to and focus on, touch and taste. I want passion and attention, a partner and a support, someone I can trust.

Alone. I embrace it, but I hate it. I’m ready to share my life with someone special, but the risk of being completely destroyed is too great. I want to find her, but what if I’m wrong again?

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49 Replies to “Scared to be alone, but scared not to be”

  1. TB at BlueCollarWorkman

    Dude, you’re almost sure to be wrong again. But that’s how it goes. Gotta be wrong a lot before it’s right. And it’s tough, and it sucks, but it’s tough and sucky for everyone. But you keep going. Just don’t fall in with any chick because of loneliness! Being alone is better than being with a sucky chick. Another option? Get a girl pregnant before you’re out of highschool and marry her, and then spend years working to make the marriage functional. Which ended up working out. 🙂 That was my road anyways, lol.

  2. Coal Miner's Granddaughter

    Sweetie, I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

    Tyler and I have been married for 17 years and I love him, don’t know how I would live without him. There are also times I want to kill him and hide the body.

    Love is going to be different each time, and when you do finally find that true love? There will be moments that you just want to drive across country for a few days so you can get away from her, the love of your life. And then, when you return, you’ll wonder why in the hell you ever left.

    It’s OK to screw up. It’s OK to love and wonder why the hell you loved while at the same time loving. It’s fucked up, I know, but there you go.

    Don’t over-analyze it. Just go with it.

    Did any of that make sense? Shit.

  3. annabelle

    Look at it this way, even if you are right, there will be times where you feel like maybe you are wrong.

    Relationships are tricky as fuck but your openness and generally good heart will mean that you should have more good times than bad. But, even when wildly in love, the potential for hurt feelings and bruised egos exist. You have to find a way to embrace the pain and the heartache, turn it into art, turn it into life lessons, turn it in to giving but don’t run from it, don’t hide from it.

    “Life is pain highness, and anyone who says differently is selling something.” The Man in Black (not Johnny Cash)

  4. sandra

    Dating is terrible. Period. But the reward when you find someone who is truly your partner is worth every second of the crap along the way. I always said that the hardest part for me was keeping hope alive in the face of a complete lack of success. Dating’s weird that way — I mean, if you tried out for baseball teams for a decade+ and never got to join a team for long, people might nicely suggest that you take up macrame instead. 😉 But dating? It’s a, “chin up — back in the game!” thing. Which is weird. I say, take a breather but then get back out there and meet someone amazing.

  5. Ginger

    All we can do is take it one day at a time…and try not to pressure ourselves to be or feel how society (or our own preconceived notions) tries to dictate how we’re “supposed” to be…being alone isn’t a curse, nor is feeling lonely…it’s all a part of the human experience. Just breathe. *hugs*

  6. Becca_Masters

    Big hug!
    Relationships are hard, and sometimes full of steaming poo. But like life they have their ups and downs.
    You gotta kiss a lot of frogs to get your prince. Keep looking and never give up, sometimes it happens when you least expect it.
    If polygamy was legal in the UK, I’d suggest you come over and marry my family. If love to have brother-husbands!
    But seriously, don’t give up, the right one is out there and she will turn up eventually. You just have to wade through the frogs.
    Muchos love!

  7. Megan

    Please don’t settle. And don’t close yourself off. It sucks to get hurt, but you’ll never get what you’re after if you don’t allow yourself to be vulnerable.

    You are grieving. Let it be; it will get better. Promise.

  8. Maura

    I so get this, apart from the divorce part because I never got as far as the married part.

    And what you’ll do, if you’re wrong the next time — not saying you will be but, yeah, it’s a risk — you’ll pick yourself up, lick your wounds and keep looking. Because that’s what we do.

  9. Kirsty

    Oh Adam,
    How perfectly you describe it all. We’re kind of in the same place (well, no, we’re not, first off we’re not on the same continent and second, as far as I know, you aren’t entering your 8th week in the locked wing of a psychiatric hospital with no known release date), and I really, really hope you do find Her. Just as I hope (but don’t actually believe) that I will one day find Him (and I don’t mean Jesus). But past pain is hard to cast aside. And the breakdown of a 14-year relationship is a tough thing to get over (hence my new place of abode, I guess).
    I’m sending you great love and happiness, and suggest you sleep diagonally across your bed, it’s very satisfying.

  10. Hockeymandad

    Avoid celebrities. They always end up cheating or getting divorced eventually. If DeVito and Perlman cannot make it, no celebrity marriage can. Besides, after they die the interview might be harsh assuming they give you one in the first place.

  11. lceel

    There will come a time when, having met someone, you’ll know. You’ll just know. Taking a chance won’t mean as much as being with her, near her, making her YOURS. You will JUST KNOW. Knowing that – don’t fret about it. You made your mistakes – hopefully you will have learned from the first relationship so that you’ll do it better the second time.

    Like I did.

    After all, Adam. You’re easily as smart as I am. If not smarter.

  12. PottyMouthMommy

    It’ll happen when you’re not afraid to be wrong again. That person that rocks your world. That’s meant to be. They will find you. They will find you without you even looking. And even then, you might be wrong again. And it will hurt. And you will fear. But the time you spent with that person will be worth it because you’ll have learned something.

  13. Poppy

    Depression and unhappiness do not magically disappear even when you do find “the one”. Just fyi. Life is fucking hard, with or without a lady by your side. Let some more in and don’t worry so much if it’s forever or foraminute. But maybe save the things you feel are too hurtful to give away to just anyone for later in the relationship?

  14. Marta

    I saw a FB friend link to this post and unfortunately clicked, thinking it was Halloween related. I might not know you, but I feel quite comfortable saying you’re acting like a baby. And seriously, that shitty drawing, is that supposed to be YOU?!? It looks like something my 3 year old niece could have done. Maybe you should stick to whatever your day job is, as long as that doesn’t require acting like a man.

    • Corey

      @Marta, I’m not quite sure if you are being serious or sarcastic. If it is the former, you are right, you don’t know Adam. I’ll refrain from anything derogatory.

      @Adam, trudge on Brother, I know your pain and don’t wish it on anyone. OK, maybe that’s a lie, maybe selfish Me wishes it on a few.

      At some point that light you seek will not be a train.

    • Sheila

      Marta is an old, old friend of Adam’s.

      They’re practically best friends.

      Kiiiiiiiiiidding.

      If this is who I think it is, she hates his guts and he hates her even more than he loves girly drinks, pedicures and Hawaiian shirts.

  15. Lauren

    I’m dating again, or trying to. It really sucks. I’ve joined dating sites and I’ve tried bars. and neither have worked particularly well for me. Twice since June I’ve been talking to/dating someone but it didn’t work out. Both times they started dating someone else. And I’m forced to ask why I’m not good enough. Am I just too needy? Am I too honest? Am I too emotionally open? Am I disgusting? Wow, this comment just really went around the bend. My point is, it sucks and it’s scary. But I think it’s scarier to think about being alone forever. At least that is what I think right now. Be strong and soldier on.

  16. Jenn

    Well said! Feel the same way. After being with someone for 10 years and that going south and being on my own for the first time….some days I’m okay chillin’ out by myself, but most of the time I yearn for that companionship that I had for 10 years. Still haven’t braved the dating scene…scoped out a few dating sites, but nothing ever seems to come of them, but I never initiate anything….too shy. Gotta get over that one of these days! 🙂

  17. Debra

    I want to gather everyone in my life and point to this post and say, “Here. This is what I’ve been trying to put into words for two years.”

    You’re not alone, Adam. If you ever need someone to talk with, give me a call.

  18. Becky

    If this is a dry run for your new online dating profile, then bravo, you’ll have them beating each up to get to you.
    On a serious note, I tend to not off advice on subjects I know so very little about. And after 2 marriages, and 6 years with B, I haven’t learned much. Beyond this: Brian and I “knew” within weeks, and we’ve done our best to beat the shit out of this relationship, in the past 6 years, but at the end of the day, there really isn’t anyone else either of us would rather be with.
    Love you

  19. Shan @ Last Shreds Of Sanity

    Ok, I’m going to go against the grain here:

    If I remember correctly, your marriage broke up because, among other things, you cheated, correct? Women don’t like cheaters, mainly because they usually never change. Until you figure out why (if you haven’t already) you had the affair, you’re never going to be open enough for true love.

    Relationships take work. LOTS of work. Things will be good and then it will get rocky. It’s the surviving the rocky parts that makes the relationship stronger. No matter what the other person does that pisses you off, you can’t let that be a reason to give up and pull all the passive-aggressive, manipulations shit. When you play that way, YOU hurt your partner far more than they could have ever hurt you. And then YOU’RE the asshole who wouldn’t do the work to keep it alive.

    I have been cheated on, given an STD that caused cervical cancer (while I was pregnant, no less!) and generally treated like shit, but I kept believing and working on it all. It eventually got better. Marriage isn’t easy and it’s not all sunshine and roses. It’s how you deal with the hard parts that determines what it will become.

    I love my husband, but sometimes I want to bash him up against the head with a heavy, blunt instrument. He can frustrate, irritate and hurt me in ways I never thought possible. But I love him and I made a commitment to him for life. Unless he started beating my ass (or our daughter’s), in which case he’d be dead and they’d never find the body (parts), we’re in this for the long haul.

    I think what another commenter said is right: you need to get a dog. It will help you, I promise. Besides, dogs are cool and apparently, chick magnets (babies have the same effect, but I don’t suggest going that route).

    Being lonely sucks, but getting in a relationship just to not be alone is not good either. You know this already.

    Good luck.

  20. Shan @ Last Shreds Of Sanity

    Ok, I’m going to go against the grain here:

    If I remember correctly, your marriage broke up because, among other things, you cheated, correct? Women don’t like cheaters, mainly because they usually never change. Until you figure out why (if you haven’t already) you had the affair, you’re never going to be open enough for true love.

    Relationships take work. LOTS of work. Things will be good and then it will get rocky. It’s the surviving the rocky parts that makes the relationship stronger. No matter what the other person does that pisses you off, you can’t let that be a reason to give up and pull all the passive-aggressive, manipulations shit. When you play that way, YOU hurt your partner far more than they could have ever hurt you. And then YOU’RE the asshole who wouldn’t do the work to keep it alive.

    I have been cheated on, given an STD that caused cervical cancer (while I was pregnant, no less!) and generally treated like shit, but I kept believing and working on it all. It eventually got better. Marriage isn’t easy and it’s not all sunshine and roses. It’s how you deal with the hard parts that determines what it will become.

    I love my husband, but sometimes I want to bash him up against the head with a heavy, blunt instrument. He can frustrate, irritate and hurt me in ways I never thought possible. But I love him and I made a commitment to him for life. Unless he started beating my ass (or our daughter’s), in which case he’d be dead and they’d never find the body (parts), we’re in this for the long haul.

    I think what another commenter said is right: you need to get a dog. It will help you, I promise. Besides, dogs are cool and apparently, chick magnets (babies have the same effect, but I don’t suggest going that route).

    Being lonely sucks, but getting in a relationship just to not be alone is not good either. You know this already.

    Good luck.

  21. AmazingGreis

    It’s crazy how the loneliness just kind of creeps in at the most inopportune times.

    I’m, for the most part, happy being single…until I’m not. It hits me most when I see friends and family experiencing all of those life moments that I have not. Getting engaged, getting married, having babies….all of these things I hope to experience at some point in life, but don’t know for sure that I will.

    I guess I ‘m just hoping that one day I will find my Mr. Right…maybe he’ll just fall into my lap when I least expect it, but until then I’m okay with my singleness.

    (Also, my entire comment probably makes no sense, it’s late!)

  22. The K Spot

    Totally felt this 3 plus years ago. Decided to just allow myself to feel that solitude for a while. When I “thought” I was ready to get back into socializing again, I did. Signed up for Eharm…met a wonderful man.. my soul mate really. Had to just allow myself that moment to be open again. Let yourself heal and when you’re ready, you’ll know. It sucks during the grieving process but sometimes when one door closes another one opens to a better place. Good luck! Love your blog, man.

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