In the fall of 2007, I was given an opportunity to write a "test column" for The Eagle's 413 section. Already having a fairly steady following on my MySpace blog (Hey, remember MySpace? That was fun, wasn't it?) I sat at my computer, thinking to myself: "What do I have to say?"

I won't lie. I knew I was going to get the job. It wasn't cockiness or even faith in my writing abilities. It was just a gut feeling. I knew it was going to happen for me.

And it did. Over the past five years, those of you who became regular readers got to glimpse my world of bad dates, funny stories, special moments and really terrible relationship blow-outs.

There were times I may have made you laugh, perhaps made you cry, and certainly made you say, "Can you believe that happened to her?"

You read about the time I fell in love, then fell right back out of it. You were there when I needed someone to vent to because sometimes life just isn't fair.

You were there to hold me accountable for my breakups and to make sure I stayed away from that bad ex-boyfriend no one really liked.

You were there to hear about my best friends navigating the dating world with me, finding love, getting married and starting families.

And you were there to finally breathe a sigh of relief when I found someone worth going through all of that rocky history for.

We, my friends, have had a terrific ride!

Close to a year ago, I met someone who truly changed my life. Being stubborn, it took me awhile to come around. But now that I get to live with him every day, I am so happy I did.

Something in me changed when I met Jon. I realized that all the things I had been complaining about in my former romantic interests were really, really stupid. In fact, I had been stupid! Why had I put up with so much for so long from so many people?

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Sure, I got great stories to pass along, but my disappointment in relationship after relationship became exhausting -- until I met someone who fit.

Suddenly things made sense. When you're in a relationship, you're supposed to be HAPPY! Right? Not disappointed. Why didn't I know this years ago?

I had become one of those annoying people who doles out advice to singles with unflinching directness. Your boyfriend treats you poorly, possibly cheats on you and doesn't pay his share of the bills? Dump him.

Your girlfriend is a raging lunatic who distrusts you without reason and is making your life unbearable? Can her.

Life is too short (or way too long) to spend with the wrong person. There is someone else out there who is better for you. I know it's true because I'm living it!

That being said, my stories lately have become much more boring. I have settled quite happily into domesticated love. As one could imagine, this makes writing a column about being single and dating much more difficult.

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My boyfriend and I have never had a fight (other than to bicker because neither of us is ever wrong), and there's really nothing he does that makes me want to complain about him in this public forum (except that he seems to think he is always right, which is so sadly wrong).

So what is there left to write about?

n

And let's be honest. Do you really want to read about how happy and light and rose-hued everything in my relationship has become?

Do you really want to turn to my column every three weeks and read about us kissing under street lamps and skipping about in field of flowers while we hold hands?

Of course not.

What you really want is the dirt -- the nitty-gritty, no-nonsense backlash of a relationship gone wrong. You want to read my words and think, "Yeah! That's exactly how I felt when I got dumped!" or "Man, I wish I had said that to my ex!"

It's OK. I wouldn't want to read about the mushy stuff either if I was still single and trying to figure out what the heck was wrong with the person I was trying to date.

n

So it's time to move on. This will be my last Flying Solo column for The Berkshire Eagle.

Hey! C'mon, don't cry. You knew this was going to happen eventually.

I have had a great time sharing flashes of my life with all of you, but it is time to pass the torch to some other young voice just waiting to be heard.

I want to thank all of you and The Eagle for allowing me to step out on this journey and bring you along with me. It has been truly amazing and I am so, so grateful.

I hope in some way, I managed to help you out, at least once, even if it was just to add kindling to a fire.

You guys are the best.

Write to Amanda Marcisz at readers@berkshireeagle.com