Last Sunday my sister-in-law called me to wish me a Happy Birthday. After she did, she proceeded to spend the next 25 minutes lecturing me about being single. This is not first time we’ve had this conversation – although it is usually one sided – with her doing all the talking and me clenching every muscle in my body; waiting for her nails to stop scratching the chalkboard.
As a woman with a fair amount to offer a man, most people share my sister-in-law’s view and are surprised that I am single. In our society, the picture of happiness includes a spouse and a family and only when you have all of that, can you be declared a success. But if we all are well aware, that no one person can make you happy – why is our society still so unaccepting of a woman’s single status?
I ask the question, but I do believe I know the answer – or at least part of it. As much as no one likes to admit it, most people are terrified of being alone. Many will even choose to stay in bad relationships, rather than risk the possibility, that they will not find another with whom to share their life. But the reality is that no one is going to give you fulfillment and looking for it in another, is just an illusion.
I am alone, but I am not lonely.
During my divorce, I spent countless hours analyzing relationships and marriages in an effort to understand what makes them good, what makes them bad and what makes people stay in them. In the end, I found very few marriages to be ones which I would aspire to have.
In conducting my research, I looked for three very basic tenets to define a good marriage: partnership, respect and physical attraction. In the event that I found a marriage that had all three at one point, it was an even greater challenge to find a marriage where these tenets withstood the test of time.
To be perfectly clear, I am not poo-pooing marriage. I am merely suggesting that good relationships are difficult to find; and even more difficult to maintain. And to be fair, most people do get married when they are young – often times too young to know what they really want in a relationship. I include myself in this group, because I also have been subjugated to society’s pressure and married at a young age.
But I am older now and wiser too and have a better idea of what I would look for both in a man and in a relationship. And when I think about the qualities that I would look for in a man, I am skeptical that I will actually be able to find him. I am certain however, that such man does exist, but I do fear that he may already be taken.
This now brings me back to my conversation with my sister-in-law. Part of her issue is that she doesn’t think that I am trying hard enough to meet someone. But in my mind, the odds are truly against me. The pool of quality men is shallow to begin with and the pool of quality men that are single is almost impossible to find. With odds such as these, it doesn’t seem be worth the investment.
I am not running nor am I hiding from love – I am just not spending all my energy searching for it. I spend my time and effort doing things that I love. I continue to learn and grow and I look inward for my gratification. And if during these activities, I happen to meet someone, then great. And if I do not, I will happily remain, single.