Sally: What are you saying? I should get married to someone right away in case he’s about to die?
Alice: At least you could say you were married.
~~ When Harry Met Sally
I know that I’m usually about joy and good news and happiness and harmony— but please allow me to vent for just a moment— because this is driving me CRAZY.
I have not one, but two girlfriends who are planning to get married in the next year.
Normally I would be blissfully happy for them. I would be jumping up and down with joy. I think love between two people is a very beautiful thing, and I hope everyone on the planet has a chance to experience it in their lifetime. 🙂
The problem is, neither of these women are sure if they are experiencing it. When you ask them about getting married, instead of talking about how happy they are and how much they love their partners… they focus their conversations around, “I’m getting to the age where….”
You can fill in the blank after that phrase. So far the ones I’ve heard the most (among other things) are: “….I’m sick of dating,” or “…I don’t want to spend the rest of my life alone.”
I’m not trying to be judgmental. It just pains me, because the more I hear about their relationships, the more I feel they are selling themselves short. So— you’ve found someone to spend the rest of your life with. Now you have a date for weddings and parties. You have someone to go to concerts with. You have someone to go out to dinner with every Friday night. But are you happy? I mean, truly happy?
If you were to eliminate the other situations above (going to weddings, concerts, etc.)… and say, found yourself alone on a desert island with this person for the rest of your life—with no way of communicating with anyone else ever— how would you feel?
OK, that situation is a little extreme. But I am certain in at least one of these cases, my friend would cringe at the thought of spending the rest of her life alone with her fiance. And IMHO, that doesn’t seem like a good sign.
Everyone deserves happiness. If you are planning to spend the rest of your life with someone, don’t you also want to be happy?
Based on some of the stories I know about happy couples who met later in life, they seem to have something in common. They all eventually reached a point where they decided they were most likely going to end up alone for the rest of their lives. And soon after they came to that conclusion, they found their soulmate.
I’m not saying that once you resolve to be alone the Heavens will part and you will automatically find your soulmate. But I do think that once you become comfortable with the fact that you could be alone, you stop trying to force relationships to work. In other words, you don’t spend as much time with people you “think” you could be with… and that frees you up to find the person you KNOW you want to be with.
Not sure if I’m making sense here. I must admit that I’m writing this in a bit of a fog right now because of a conversation I just had tonight with one of my gf’s. It was very frustrating… because she just kept telling me that she didn’t have any other options in life (“it’s not like guys are lining up around the block to marry me”). 😦
If I could have reached through the phone I would have shaken her, and then given her a big hug before saying: love doesn’t have a deadline. Once you reach a “certain age,” there isn’t a big alarm clock just waiting to go off— telling you, ‘hey, forget about finding anyone, because your time is past.’ My father-in-law found love after the age of 60 (he also got into the best shape of his life at that point too, because he took up cycling— but that’s another blog post). My own father found love in his late 50’s.
Actually, now that I think about it… MANY of my relatives have found the love of their lives in their 40’s, 50’s or 60’s. So I know for sure that it happens. 🙂
Not to mention the fact that there are lots of people out there who are unmarried and not only doing just fine, but also are very happy (although that argument would never fly with my gf’s at this point).
Something I believe: as long as you love yourself, and believe that you deserve happiness…. the rest will fall into place— whether you eventually choose to be with someone else… or not.
You don’t have to marry someone just because you think they are your last chance. Don’t sell yourself short. You never know what’s just around the bend. Or, in the words of a great movie starring Tom Hanks, “Who knows what the tide could bring?” Hang on.
Thanks for letting me vent. I just had to get that out there. And if you think I’m being harsh… please know that I haven’t told these particular girlfriends about my blog yet (and now, most likely never will….*sigh*).
Misery loves company, so why not get married? There is a joke in Spanish, that the only difference between being married and tired is one letter (casada=married, cansada=tired).
I have a friend who has the same idea as yours do, only she isn't engaged yet. She is still at the stage of trying to convince her boyfriend that he really wants to ask her to marry him.
She laments not having all of the things in life that one should by the time one is of a particular age. I asked her if she thought she would be happy if she had all of those things. Her answer was 'I hope so.'
Not an auspicious beginning to happily ever after…
Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Not an auspicious beginning, indeed. I hope your friend finds happiness— but I'm guessing (if she's anything like my friends, and it sounds like she is) she'll still feel like something is missing— even once she gets those things.
Again, I just want to shake them sometimes. These are beautiful, successful, intelligent women and it just frustrates me. 😦
So often we tell ourselves that we are supposed to have whatever it is that everyone else has and not what it is that we truly want. I know this from experience, but was too young to know better when it all began.
Great insight and a good reminder. I had the same experience when I was younger— and have to admit that I still do deny myself of things I want even today— so I know it's hard to get out of that line of thinking. I am determined to stop thinking that way, though. Life is too short to spend time in situations that make you unhappy.