June 13, 2019

How to know when to Settle Down: you won’t like my “answer.”

Lately, I’ve been in love. It’s been fun, hard, good, real, caring, and I’m deeply grateful. So how do I know if and when to commit?

Good god I wish I knew.


I’ve been alone forever.

Dating, yes.

In relationships—good ones—sometimes.

But not committed to another for long.

Committed to myself, and to my everyday mission, only.

Alone is hard, alone is easy, alone is fun! But it’s always simple. It allows room for work, for service, for freedom. It’s a journey of befriending oneself, which is important stuff. And when we can more fully take care of ourselves, we are better equipped to take care of others.

Lately, I’ve wondered if I’m done being alone with myself, and I’m ready to be alone, in love with another. That’s a big deal!

Answer: I don’t know.

It’s been a little hard, sitting in this space of “I don’t know.”

And it’s been a little unfair to my partner.

But it’s been where I’ve been at, rather unconditionally. Choicelessly. To leave behind my lifelong independence, but too, to carry forward that independence into partnership.

Can I do it?

And if so, now?

With her?

I don’t know. I do know I’m not waiting for the perfect time or woman. I do know I’ll never be perfectly ready, and needless to say I’ll never be perfect myself (far from it).

So what does it feel like when it’s the right time?

What does it feel like when it’s the right person?

I don’t know.

I do know I still love and miss being alone, and dating, and at the same time I do know I appreciate partnership with a like-minded loving lovely friend.

I don’t know.

I do know our communication has been open, fun, honest and respectful throughout, not hidden and private or angry and self-guilt-tripping.

I do know that it’s important to be honest about my decision now, not do what’s easy now and then cause one’s partner to pay for my bypassing suppression now, later.

And so we give me space to fully feel: I don’t know.

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MARAH ARMIJO Jun 20, 2019 6:00am

Beautifully written.

Josie Aprahamian Jun 14, 2019 6:09am

Love this Waylon. I, too, have been happily, delightedly, deeply, soulfully alone forever. (How’s that for the road to hell is paved with adverbs!) And now, ventured s into a relationship and am now in the rubber-band stage (after deciding to go whole-hog) of snapping back to the comfort of solitude. I don’t know either and I appreciate reading your honest assessment of your own situation. Not knowing has its own peace. Thank you

Christopher Gale Jun 14, 2019 12:01am

Dude, please do a background check and a Pre-nup. The second wife was “my soul mate” and within 5 years destroyed me, my career, blew u to my family and took everything I owned, 6 figures for 15 years a my d it’s all gone. Ask the questions now not later

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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.