I was married for 25 years. After that, I had a relationship with a younger man for seven years. I have been single now for 13 years. I have had short term relationships in the interim and a couple of the men wanted to get married or live together.
I was married for 20 years, separated for a year then married for 18 years. I spent way too many years in both marriages trying to make it work. I have been single now for 5 years.
I find it difficult to believe that I will ever find "the one". I have however enjoyed dating multiple women, sometimes at the same time (always with everyone's full knowledge). I still somehow seem to be attracted to the idea that there should be "a one and only forever" but this idea becomes less attractive the longer I am alone. There is someone I see rarely and we enjoy each other's company when we do, it would be nice if we continue. We stay independent, maintain our own homes and pretty much live without having to compromise.
@KatMalina ~ I wonder if your "loss of freedom" statement has been misunderstood a little...?
Verbiage aside, my opinion? Yes. For me, there's been a loss of freedom(s) anytime I've left my oneness and attempted something committed with another person. From big things, such as: wander-lusting around off-the-beaten-path(s) for weeks/months at a time all alone, to tiny things, such as: turning off my phone and not checking texts or voicemails when I finally chose to turn it back on. Small things to me but HUGE things when someone's wanting, needing or expecting to be able to reach me or see me on a regular basis. (You get the idea, you lose some things, hopefully however ... you gain much more than you "lose." ** I'm not sure "lose" is the best word to use, but it's the easiest.)
About you finding yourself: I'd not call that corny, but if you aren't able to continue finding yourself with someone, you're either with the wrong person or maybe your journey of self is on hold. When you're evolving, the right person will get it and you. The wrong person will hate you for it. Good luck on your journey.
I ended up in another relationship fairly quickly after ending my 13 year marriage, but it wasn't intentional. What was supposed to be just a fun date to 'get back out there' turned serious when we really clicked with each other. While I don't regret meeting my boyfriend, I honestly wish I had met him later and had more time to be single and, corny and cliche as it sounds, find myself.
I also agree that you do lose freedom in a relationship. I'm not talking about being controlled or anything like that, just the simple fact that now there's someone else who is involved in the decisions you make. Even just little things as simple as if I want to go and grab a bite to eat, but it's 10 am and I know my boyfriend will be home for lunch at 11, so instead of just grabbing a quick bite of whatever I want, I wait until his lunch break and we agree on what to eat together. That is a loss of freedom, in a way.
Not too concerned about freedom -- if you feel oppressed in a relationship, there's probably a reason. Like, you have a controlling partner? If you feel oppressed in every relationship, then it's all you. Apart and aside from that, I agree with those who advise you to take a look at why the last relationship failed and your role in it. True, sometimes it's far more one person's fault than the other's, but there is always some responsibility to be had -- what did you accept that you shouldn't have accepted? What did you not speak your mind about that was worth the battle? (You're only worth what you're willing to tolerate.) Be objective about it; separate your emotions from the situation, as hard as that may be.
There is no "right" person or "wrong" person -- there are people who will accept you and respect you for who you are, knowing that you have flaws; and those who, for some reason, cannot. On a final note, compatibility probably isn't what you think it is. Compatibility is when your values align -- a common value, for example, would be a shared view of religion, similar political views. Take your time with this, or else you'll short yourself by choosing Just Anyone.
I don't quite understand...freedom from what? If you are fortunate enough to meet someone and enjoy each other and all that jazz, what are you giving away? I've always thought that a relationship should be shared, not given and taken...maybe that is just me and my two cents...