Today’s interview is with fellow Bee blogger and friend of mine Kari, aka Miss Tiara on Weddingbee.  She is one of those people you could talk to for hours about anything because she’s just so likable and smart.  It’s clear to me Kari’s past relationships do NOT define her, so why am I asking her to talk about them?  Well, besides the fact that I believe gay marriage should be treated as any other marriage instead of being glorified or condemned, I also feel we need to hear more from people who have been in both opposite-sex and same-sex partnerships so that it becomes less polarizing and more widely accepted.

And for those of you who were having trouble commenting these past few weeks, never fear, The Scottish has fixed the problem!  In the future I’d like to bring back the website option for my fellow bloggers, but for now we had to take it out so those of you who do not have a website are not deterred from commenting.  Thanks for your patience and enjoy the interview!

Hello!  First off, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
I am terminal student who is creeping up on dissertation (studying age diversity and focusing on managing for profit in a multi generational world).  Aside from scholarly aspirations, I am a project manager at a large technology firm where I build, implement, and advise on metrics, processes, and training for a specialized tech support group of 150 people.

How old are you?
I’ll be 28 in May.

You were married in the past, was it to a man or a woman?  How long were you married?
At 22-years-old I married a man nearly one year my junior.  We were married for two years and separated for about a year before we finalized our divorce.

What caused it to end if you feel comfortable sharing?
The simple answer is we stopped choosing each other.  Marriage is a lot of things, and one thing we lacked severely was love and respect for ourselves, our relationship, and each other.  We were incredibly immature when it came to our relationship.


What is the hardest thing about moving past a divorce?
The hardest part for me was dealing with inflicting pain on someone I cared for very much.  While our failed marriage was certainly a result of a mutual lack of endurance, I was the one who insisted it end.  I vividly remember the pain that radiated from him the day I made him leave.

You were also engaged at one point to a woman and almost married her.  Why did that relationship end?
Yes, I was engaged to a woman.  After a cumulative 5 years of relationship, it became painfully clear to me that I could not provide her with the attention and commitment she needed from me.  I’m very driven and focused on my achievements scholastically and professionally which often leads to neglect when it comes to my personal life.  Though there are no excuses for her behavior, I did neglect her.  Sometimes, when you know you’re not enough, it’s best to walk away.  This was one of those times.

How was that relationship different from your marriage? In what ways was it similar?

The two relationships couldn’t have been more different.  I attribute that to them being so different personality wise.  One was practically emotionless while the other expressed emotion with nearly every breath.  The only similarity I can think of is the moment of clarity when I realized that I needed to end it regardless of the consequences.

I’m curious, how would you describe yourself?  Besides being an awesome, self-sufficient woman, do you use labels like gay, lesbian, or bi-sexual?
I tend not to like labels.  Call me a millennial or, please, doctor (in a year or so), but when it comes to most things, I prefer not to be limited by labels or categories.  I do what I want, when I want–especially where relationships are concerned.

I’ve always felt strongly that sexuality is a blurry line and that it’s anything but black and white.  Do you believe it’s just about who you fall in love with?  Or is it something more gender specific?
It’s absolutely about love for me.  I think part of that is my personality.  I don’t like limits; I don’t like restrictions.  I like to be able to decide what I want when I want.  So when it comes to deciding if I want to spend my time with someone, I choose them based on the joy they bring to my life–not their anatomy.

Are you in a relationship currently?  If yes, man or woman?
No.  But to clarify, I’ve dated one woman in my life and don’t see that changing anytime soon.

Do you want to get married again in the future?
Only if I meet someone who makes me feel like my world can’t go on without them.  I know that sounds extreme for someone like me who is as independent as they come, but I’m unwilling to settle.  If someone comes along and turns my world upside down, I’ll gladly welcome them.

What do you wish you could explain to people about your past relationships?
Despite my failed relationships, I can’t say it’s been all bad.  In fact, I had a very amicable divorce in which we fought about nothing (a stark contrast to our marriage).  My broken relationship with my girlfriend taught me that love really isn’t enough–there is so much more to a successful relationship.
I grew up because of those failures.  I’m better because of them.  I know myself better because of them.  I’m a better version of myself today than I ever was before.  So, even when the world seems gloomy because things don’t work out like you thought they would, it’s really not all bad.  More good than bad has come my way as a result of my failures.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you for taking interest in my past, present, and future!  I realize I’m fairly unique, but I hope that my journey and self discovery gives courage and hope to someone who needs it.

Thank you so much Kari for sharing your views on love and relationships!  It’s great to hear such honesty and insight!
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