"There are notes between notes, you know." -- Sarah Vaughan

Monday, March 26, 2012

An open letter to my single sisters

Stop believing that guys hold all the cards and that they don't go through anything while navigating this dating world. They do. The good ones struggle just as much as good women do to find a mate and life partner.

Stop believing that there are no men in their late 30s/early 40s without children and/or a failed marriage behind them. YOU are childless and never married, right? You decided to wait until marriage to have children, right? So it stands to reason that there would be some men out there with the same values who have experienced some of the same relationship starts and stops that you have out in the dating world.

Stop believing that if a man is in his late 30s/early 40s and isn't/has never been married and doesn't have children, that there is something wrong with him or some crazy nefarious reason why he has remained single and childless. That may be true for SOME men, but think about it: Are you single and childless? Is there something wrong with you? 

Ladies and gentlemen, dating can be hard. Relationships even harder. But if you want love you have to get out there. It doesn't help when you take all your baggage and assumptions with you. There are good men out there just as there are good women out there, but when wading through the dating world, sometimes it can be hard to find each other. 

A longtime friend was emailing me saying he was sad about being in his early 40s and not married and the struggles he has had finding a wife. He's a smart guy, attractive, talented, ambitious, no children, traditional values, i.e. he would prefer his wife be a stay-at-home mom and he earns enough money to make that a comfortable reality. But he has had some of the same crazy dating experiences women complain about all the time (he's also moved around a lot for work).

Here's the advice I gave him: Marriage is a serious business. It takes commitment and constant work. Be sure about what it is you want -- not just the physical attributes because we all grow old and ugly (and some of us fat!), but the things that really matter, such as character, life goals, faith, finance, altruism, parenting -- and decide what a happy marriage looks like to you. Dig deep and think about what will really make you want to spend day in and day out with another person, especially when some of those days you may not like them, though you still love them. Then look around and see who fits that bill.

A man who finds a wife, finds a treasure.

That's the best advice for him and for you from my failed marriage perspective. I would like to think that if nothing else, that experience gave me a little wisdom.

And oh yeah, relish your single life!!! I realize now, that I never appreciated my single life before I was married. Don't get me wrong, I loved my husband and I loved being married.

But there are days when I come in here to find everything where and how I left it, I then feed, walk and water the puppy, eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, undress and toss my clothes into the chair, then watch some trash TV and I am good.

And on that note, I leave you with this:

2 comments:

  1. CaliGirlED3/26/2012

     Marriage is a serious business. It takes commitment and constant
    work. Be sure about what it is you want -- not just the physical
    attributes because we all grow old and ugly (and some of us fat!), but
    the things that really matter, such as character, life goals, faith,
    finance, altruism, parenting -- and decide what a happy marriage looks
    like to you. Dig deep and think about what will really make you want to
    spend day in and day out with another person, especially when some of
    those days you may not like them, though you still love them. Then look
    around and see who fits that bill...LOVE IT!!!
    Stop believing that there are no men in their late 30s/early 40s without children and/or a failed marriage behind them....So true!

    ReplyDelete
  2. MsJamie143/26/2012

    Beautiful post. I have been blessed to have parents married for 35 years. It hasn't always been pretty, but that's what I love about it, watching them navigate through the good times and bad and still working together through it.

    Which is partly the reason why I do remain single, there are a lot of good guys out there, but when it comes down to "the things that really matter." I haven't found someone on the same page as me, and I'm not willing to compromise just to be married. I just can't ignore that feeling in my gut that tells me we could be happy for 5 years, maybe 10, before those differences rear their head and we must part.

    My parents have been married longer then they have ever been single, and she has definitely encouraged me to relish my single life. That's such sound advice. It all is. Thanks for the reminder. :)

    And I've convinced many a woman there are PLENTY of never married men with no kids.  One girl argued me down, and I told her to change her attitude! 6 months later she thanked me.

    ReplyDelete

Use your inside voice ... or I'll put you outside. -- SingLikeSassy