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Early morning television viewing can stimulate a mind.  Today, while preparing breakfast, I was watching the CBS Sunday Morning Show.  They announced this is National USA Singles' Week.  On the screen statistics were flowing.  
*    Ninety-six [96] million Americans are single.
*      Fifty-four [54] percent of singles are women.
*    Sixty-three [63] percent of singles have never been married.
*    Fourteen [14] percent of singles are widowed.
* Twelve and two-tenths [12.2] percent are single parents.
        [Ten [10] million women, two and two-tenths [2.2] percent men.
*    In New York State alone, fifty [50] percent of the population is single.
*    One third of all births in 2002 were born to single mothers.

I thought; how fascinating, so many singles celebrating their marital status; yet, from my observations many are actively searching for a spouse, a soul mate, a sense of security, a sex partner, or something else.  

I wonder how many of these people have any idea what they are seeking; do they understand what they might find.  It seems for some marriage is the mission.  For others, staying single is their intent.  Though in either case, there is often an unspoken reluctance, an apprehension, or merely an overwhelming state of confusion.

Social scientists stress human beings are gregarious in nature.  They crave a meaningful connection.  I observe they do and they do not.  Often they unknowingly create chaos, controversy, conflict, and counter all that they value.  "Til death do we part" often becomes divorce or worse living in a relationship that is dead or destructive.  Still, individuals hunt for bonds; they gather a throng of relationships.  People want to unearth that profound liaison.  

Many are looking for the love of their life, or at least a quality companion, a supportive soul who would be special friend, an intimate.  We all want a shoulder to cry on or so "they" say.  Perchance, a person to share our space would be nice.  We want so much or so little.  Some are certain of their needs and they say so openly.  They ask and they receive.

The day before, while listening to Cable News Network, a reporter introduced a news story.  With whimsy in her voice, this journalist avowed, "Every young person dreams of the day."  In a fanciful tone, she went on to explain, "Even in our youth we look forward to such an auspicious occasion."  The Make-A-Wish Foundation was granting a young girl, Nicole Hastings, her dying wish.

Hastings, a cancer victim, wanted to "wed" her beau.  In a union ceremony, the two were joined.  As I listened, I found the overture more dramatic than the tale.  I thought and said aloud, a wedding is not the fantasy of every youth; "It was never mine."

That thought coupled with the two narratives caused me to ponder further.  My assessment became personal.  I am intentionally among the millions of singles.  As I observe the raw statistics and contrast these with the notion of every child's dream, I wonder.  Are the raw emotions that led me to my choices similar to those others experience?

Days earlier, before reviewing the aforementioned anecdotes, I was discussing my own familiarity with marriage.  The topic arose because I had expressed my disdain for the "three try rule."  Apparently, for some, when people disagree, neither "should" try to "sway" the other more than three times.  For me, this notion is silly.  

I do not consider a sincere sharing an attempt to convince another that they are in error.  To illustrate my belief in consistent, caring, and calm dialogues I shared a personal story with an acquaintance.  I recounted the tale of my former mate and I.

Considering the divorce rate, the longevity of relationships, the frequent disputes among couples, and the fact that Eric is my former, one might think this will be a tale of woe.  My words will be expressions of wrath, rage, and fury.  We all know there nothing comparable to a woman's scorn.  That said; let the saga begin.

Eric and I knew each other for about a year before we spoke of "moving in together."  There was no hesitation on my part or on his.  During the twelve months of our acquaintance, we spent most every waking hour together.  When we purchased books, we would buy two of the same and then read and discuss them together.  We could and did talk for hours.  Friends commented, "If you saw one of us, it was likely the other was nearby."  We were best friends.  

Our courtship was not formal.  We never actually "dated."  At home, in restaurants, on street corners, and in moving vehicles Eric and I chatted endlessly.  We were together in public places and in private sanctuaries.  We sat, or walked together for hours; we talked the entire time.  Religion, philosophy, psychology, and politics were our favorite subjects.  We spoke of the personal, professional, and the profound.  No topic was taboo for us.  Yes, physical intimacy was part of our repertoire.  Eric and I exchanged passionately and with pleasure.

Eventually, we decided to share a home.  There too, we worked well together.  We never had a dispute about the toothpaste.  We each squeeze the tube from the bottom.  Eric and I are each extremely tidy.  We love to decorate; aesthetics is important to each of us.  I love to cook; he loves to eat.  Shopping is our shared entertainment.  Gardening warms our hearts.  Most of all, we like each other's company.  Disagreements were few and far between.

If the car needed repair, this was distressing.  Dollars were tight.  During summer, our incomes were reduced.  At the beginning of this season, there was a period of adjustment.  In those early days of summer, there was usually one disagreement.  Again, financial pressure was the catalyst for our quarrel.  

If Eric loaned our one and only vehicle to his badly crippled Dad, I was not happy and said so.  Mr. Smyth had rheumatoid arthritis; he could barely maneuver his feet or let alone hold a steering wheel.  This worried me.  I felt if his Dad needed transportation, one of us could drive him.  I usually did.  That was fine with me, for I enjoyed the father of my beau.

Over the years it was evident, Eric and I had few struggles and much joy.  While we did not have problems between us, being human, there was a need to grow, individually and together.  

I always thought Eric knew me better than I understood myself.  However, that did not negate the fact that his opinion of what might be best for me, was not always identical to my own.  When he would voice his viewpoints, particularly if it differed from mine or caused me to question my lack of ego strength, I would, initially become defensive.  That reactive stance did not stop me from reflecting upon what he said, for I knew he truly had my best interests at heart.  His expressions were consistently delivered with love.

In the moments, days, weeks, months, and even years later I was thankful that we always shared openly and that he told me of his truth.  I needed to hear these views so that they were in my mind, available when I was ready.  There was so much I wanted to learn; there still is.  I felt a need to be in better balance, to blend more pleasurably with the world around me.  I loved my life; however, then and now, I feel there is always a need to grow.

Eric also wanted to evolve; mostly he wanted our relationship to go forward.  He wanted to marry me.  I was not ready for marriage.  Eric genuinely wanted us to be legally committed.  I know to my core that Eric would not have changed my mind or me after three futile attempts to influence my way of thinking.  An enduring and meaningful transformation would not occur if the dialogue ended permanently at that point.  

If Eric had worked to persuade me on only three occasions I would have never learned, let alone truly heard to the wisdom he shared.  I believe it highly unlikely someone will change after another states an opinion three times.  The chances are less likely if the exchanges are volatile.  I think change is a process; it evolves, as do we all.  Saying that and contrasting it with my thoughts on marriage, I question.  Did I develop as much as I thought I had?

Please allow me to continue the pondering.  Perhaps you will join me.  Are you reflecting on your own relationships as a married person or a single?

Eric words were consistently kind, calm, caring, and loving.  He was not critical of me; nor did he condemn my choices or me.  He came to me with love and though he left our abode, or I did, it was not because we no longer cared.  I feared marriage!  

Patient as he was for oh so many years, he tired of waiting for me to change my mind.  He felt he could not go on as we had.  He wanted us to marry.  I was certain I could not.

Eric and I parted ways physically, though not fully.  We never parted emotionally.  To this day, decades later we are still deeply connected.  I marvel at this.  Intellectually I know much; I have grown infinitely, even my emotional realities evolved far beyond where they were.  However, as I evaluate my essence, I wonder how much of the past still permeates the present.  It seems, when I am placed in a position to truly do as I had not done with Eric, I freak.

I recall reading a study long ago reporting that children of divorce, long into adulthood, struggle with the prospect of marriage.  Many wed; however, even the elderly that were once children of divorced parents show evidence of scarring.  The wound formed in youth does not truly disappear.  It may be modified, still it lingers.

After parents drop the bomb of divorce on their kids, and many believe the impact is immediate and brutal, but gradually fades over time.

That is not at all the case, contends clinical psychologist and divorce expert Judith S. Wallerstein.  In her new book, "The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce," she writes that the effects of divorce on children are less like a bomb than a time bomb, carrying lasting ramifications well into adulthood.

When I was young, eight years old, ten days after my natural parents twentieth wedding anniversary, my Mom walked out.  This shocked me.  My family seemed so stable!  

Though my Mom re-married, as did my birth father, and all was perhaps more wonderful than it was before, I grew skeptical.  The scar swelled up in me.  It was invisible; yet, imposing.

I had serious relationships; I chose well.  However, when I feel or felt as though the other person was getting too close, or at times, even before this realization, I would subtlety sabotage the relationship.  The departure was never bitter, for I never chose an explosive man.  Nevertheless, these break-ups were painful.

I would always conclude of the men in my life, excluding Eric, "They never really knew me."  Then I would realize, "Of course they did not; I never allowed such an intimate connection."  Sex was always good; however, an individual can sustain a separated self even when co-mingling.

Then, I had a liaison where the other did as I had always done.  He pushed away any closeness, I thought that I had evaluated anew.  I truly believed that I had worked through my anxieties.  I surmised that this situation helped me to see myself as I really was.  In being with the man that rejected familiarity, friendship, and a deeper intimacy; I saw myself through him, my mirror reflection.  I essentially established the fallacies of my fears; yet, now I wonder.  I am uncertain.

As I watched the statistics roll by, as I assess my current circumstances, I am thinking; I may not have evolved as I thought I had.

Granted, for years the divorce of my natural parents impacted my decisions.  Their deep division influenced me infinitely.  They had been together for twenty-plus years, then poof!  

My Mom remarried and chose a man I love. However, after twelve years, this nuptial also died. There was reason to think it might. After a two-year courtship, the two married. My Mom attested to the notion, `once the vows were taken, everything changed.' Her new husband was not the man she thought she knew.

I learned later, my Mom felt that she entered her first two marriages for the arrangements seemed convenient. True love had not been her motivation. Knowing this, when involving herself again, she consciously chose to look for a deeper, more meaningful, love. She married an amazing man. The two intertwined as one. Their union was glorious to observe. Being part of it was even better.

Having experienced the delightful thirty-plus year legal joining of my Mom and my newer father, I realized that what happened to my natural parents marriage need not be life, that of others or my own.  Not every one feels a need to separate or divorce.

Still, I now acknowledge that I struggle with the idea of cohabitating.  It is a fine construct and wonderful for others.  However, when I consider the possibility, I still say "No."  I am not alone or lonely.  I may be single, but not sullen.  I experience no sorrow.  In truth, I love my life.  Still, I muse; do I truly wish to be without a significant other?

My Grandfather always wisely claimed, "No one does anything that they really do not want to do."  I flash back on Eric.  I acknowledge, at times our fears stop us from recognizing what would bring us greater pleasure.  I have often mused of the Rolling Stones song, "You can't always get what you want; we get what you need;" What we need is more than we ever allow ourselves to knowingly want!  

I am so very confused.  I feel that I cannot talk to others of this for I experience that we all justify our emotions.  I feel lost.  Single and sensationally happy, or married in wedded bliss.  What is real and what is fantasy, or is the more accurate term self-fabrication.

Thus, I ask myself, is it habit and the pleasure of my own company that keeps me from joining with another?  Are my earlier experiences still within me and looming large?  

I can still belt out a Carly Simon favorite, "That is the way I always heard it should be."  The line, "Soon you will cage me on your shelf; I need to be me first by myself" resonates for me now, as strongly as it did in my youth.

As I listen to all the discussion of weddings, marriages, and single-dom, I cannot help consider, what is true for all of these people.  Do humans desire a connection, thus wed?  Do marriages meet expectations, good, and the converse?  What of being single?  How many truly enjoy the prospect, as I definitely do; and do they also feel great anxiety at the thought of genuinely being alone in the world?

Oh dear reader, I invite you to share your story, to probe your mind and your heart.  Whether you are married, single, or strolling the streets with another, though there are no legal documents to bind you, what do you think of commitment and closeness?  Are you as I, do you acknowledge that one does not necessarily lead to another.  There is no direct correlation.  

For me, the question is, what feeds our souls?  What do we need, want, crave, and create?  Sigh, I have no answers, only curiosity.  I do not celebrate my singleness; nor do I embrace marriage.  I only feel great confusion and ask for your sharing.  What have you discovered, discerned, and what deliberations were most helpful to you?

I invite you to open your heart, your mind, and to join with me in seeking a truer understanding of coupling.

What Do You Want, Need, Deeply Desire?  Perchance it is here . . .
* CBS Sunday Morning. CBS News Broadcasting. Sunday, September 17, 2006
* Celebrate National Singles Week, By Buck Wolf. ABC News.
* National Unmarried and Single Americans Week. Sponsored By Unmarried America.
* The State of Unmarried America, By Women's Voices. Women Vote. February 2006
* How many singles seek to adopt? Adoption Media.
* National Singles Week Celebration. Tribe Networks
* Dating Statistics. Search Your Love.
* Marital Satisfaction and Change: Research Findings, Contributed by Paula R. VanBoxel, Recent Research on Adult Development. Hope College. October 5, 2001
* Dying teen to have the wedding of her dreams. Associated Press. MSNBC News. September 15, 2006
*The Effects Of Parental Divorce On Adult Children's Romantic Relationships, Contributed by Noelle Wood. Hope College. December 2, 1997
* Divorce Lingers On By Michelle Quinn. San Jose Mercury News. Wednesday, November 10, 2004
* Effects of divorce last well into adulthood, expert says, Joe Eskenazi. San Francisco Jewish Community Publications Incorporated. Friday December 22, 2000
* The Effects of Divorce on Children, By Mary W. Temke. University of New Hampshire. Cooperative Extension. May 2006
* "You can't always get what you want; we get what you need!"  By Rolling Stones
* "That is the way I always heard it should be." By Carly Simon and Jacob Brackman.

Betsy L. Angert Be-Think

Originally posted to Bcgntn; BeThink on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 01:22 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The politics of the personal. Phew! (9+ / 0-)

    Politics as Defined by . . . the totality of interrelationships in a particular area of life involving power, authority, or influence, and capable of manipulation

    It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson.
    Be-Think Betsy L. Angert

    by Bcgntn on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 01:18:10 PM PDT

  •  Money - (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TealVeal, Bcgntn, oscarsmom

    I am single - raised a child when I was single -- money and a sense of security makes everyone happy all around. My immediate family was supportive to me and I was not a child raising a child - I was 30 when I gave birth.  As to money -- not lots -- just a reasonable amount.  I have many friends, many interests, my child and enough money to be secure (to my death - I hope -- but who knows?)  

    When I was young, I believed in romantic love - now I believe in security and enough money for me and my child to be reasonably content.

    Love affairs are fine and all -- but they don't pay the rent, tuition, fund 401(k)s, health insurance, trips to Europe, etc. etc.  I rather like being single now.  But I am no longer subject to hormonal impulses and that makes a heck of a difference.

    I have no patience with people who grow old at 60 just because they are entitled to a bus pass. Mary Wesley, British novelist

    by xanthe on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 01:25:56 PM PDT

    •  It sounds extremely full and fulfilling to me! (0+ / 0-)

      Dear xanthe . . .

      I totally understand.  I have no problem with being single.  I love it.

      I think it allows for infinite productivity.

      I only wonder of connections and the need.

      Family and friends are essential.  You also have a child.  I suspect there is no void there!!!  It sounds extremely full and fulfilling to me!

      It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson.
      Be-Think Betsy L. Angert

      by Bcgntn on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 01:34:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, I have my moments -- (0+ / 0-)

        and marriage can be wonderful, as it is for some friends - didn't work out that way for me, and I am content.  

        I have no patience with people who grow old at 60 just because they are entitled to a bus pass. Mary Wesley, British novelist

        by xanthe on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 01:39:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Overwhelming Problem Facing Relationships (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, Bcgntn

    is that we live in a totally self-centered culture. Fifty plus years of crass consumerism has destroyed family and community bonds. The basis for selling people more and more shit is to convince them that they "need" or "deserve" it, and nobody else is worth sacrificing for.

    Simultaneously, we are bombarded with anxiety producing messages intended to buy or suffer yellow teeth, dandruff, or other horrible social stigmas. TV shows are now worse than the commercials, mostly based on cops/crime or "reality" shows based on meanness and humiliation.

    There are far too many options open to everyone today, and "we all want our freedom". Most of human history was very different. By the time you were an adult, you knew what to expect from life and what role you had to play. The world was limited and unchanging for most. Stable, in other words.

    This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

    by Mr X on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 01:25:57 PM PDT

    •   I thank you for sharing!!!! sigh! (0+ / 0-)

      Dear Mr X  . . .

      This is so well said.  I thank you for sharing.

      It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson.
      Be-Think Betsy L. Angert

      by Bcgntn on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 01:35:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  While there is a good deal of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bcgntn

      truth to what you are saying, do you really want to go back?

      There are far too many options open to everyone today, and "we all want our freedom". Most of human history was very different. By the time you were an adult, you knew what to expect from life and what role you had to play. The world was limited and unchanging for most. Stable, in other words.

      And in that most of human history was one where women were barefoot and pregnant, gays were in the closet or ostracized, and in this country, non-whites were either slaves de jure (blacks before 1865) or slaves de facto.

      I think the sixties were a great time of progress, and most of the progress from that period was a good thing.  Wingnuts, however, would not agree.

      •  Most of Human History Was Nothing Like (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mango

        what you have described.

        We live in interesting times.

        This is CLASS WAR, and the other side is winning.

        by Mr X on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 02:58:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  progress was great! I think it can be much great (0+ / 0-)

        Dear IhateBush . . .

        I agree; our progress was great!  Nevertheless, I think it can and needs to be much greater.

        Stagnation and stability have their place; however, rarely are they healthy states.

        Change for change sake can also cause conditions that are not favorable.

        I think the cascading of effects of every choice must be strongly considered.  Sadly, we can never predict what the future might bring.

        Every entity contributes to what comes in ways we cannot begin to imagine . . . or so I believe.

        It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson.
        Be-Think Betsy L. Angert

        by Bcgntn on Tue Sep 19, 2006 at 07:52:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Much to my mother's consternation.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    latts, xanthe, Bcgntn

    ...I'm single and not actively looking. I think when you actively look you tend to want to force something to happen. The best relationships for me happen when I'm not looking. I take the attitude that if it happens, great, if not, that's fine.

    •  thanks and truly Happy!!! (0+ / 0-)

      Dear Tuttle  . . .

      That is the way I approach it all, even shopping.  I trust the universe.  It is all there and I am truly Happy!!!

      It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson.
      Be-Think Betsy L. Angert

      by Bcgntn on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 01:37:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tell that to my mother... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TealVeal, bibble, Bcgntn

        I've lived that way my whole dating life, and the last few years have been rather uneventful (which I'm fine with - I live in super right wing NE TN after all, so the potential is low for me given my political requirements).

        My mother is on my case incessently. It's as though one should marry just for the hell of it. She left me alone the last few years, but as my sister's marriage deteriorates, she's ramped it right back up.

        The sick thing is, she's always said that between the 2 of us kids, I'd be the one that wouldn't get into a failing marriage because I'm just be too deliberate in making big decisions, and yet, she pushes the opposite. I guess the saddest thing to me is that my mother is still living vicariously through her kids, not really all that personally fulfilled in her own life. It's like I'm stuck in the best of the News From Lake Woebegone.

        I needed to vent, and I suppose this diary was the best outlet I've had in a while. Thanks a bunch.

        •  I feel for you... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xanthe, Bcgntn

          I'm in Nashville and the prospects aren't that impressive here, either.  Three absolutes: no Republicans, no smokers, and no one who thinks I should give a rat's ass about sports.  And that's before considering more conventional issues of attraction and compatibility.

          Overall, though, I'm fine with things as they are-- actively looking feels uncomfortable & demeaning, and creates a negative incentive to jump into relationships.  And I'm not a particularly accommodating type, which makes things harder for women who aren't more conditioned to, um, compromise.  There's really no way for me to seek relationships without giving something hard-earned up, so it's better to rely on fate, I think.

          Democrats always act as though they're afraid they'll lose, so people look at them and see losers. -Paul Waldman

          by latts on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 02:03:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I appreciate your comment. (0+ / 0-)

            Dear latts . . .

            I appreciate your comment.  You never know; I have had pretty decent relationships with those that politically were my opposites.  However, I do not believe in looking ever!!!

            I never went out hunting.  When with others on the prowl, I am sooooooo bored.  “I wanna go home!!!!”  

            I love my own company and enjoy all that I do.  I find myself so entertaining.  I am among those that can feel alone in a crowded room.  I am best with me or one-on-one.

            I think fate and good Karma and great friends.  I enjoy them and it seems you do too.

            It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson.
            Be-Think Betsy L. Angert

            by Bcgntn on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 05:12:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Eh, it's a values thing. (0+ / 0-)

              I can get along with many Republicans on a casual basis, but since I can't help but mistrust their intelligence and/or decency, intimacy's kind of out of the question.  But I think in broader terms than just how an individual happens to treat me, and lots of women only really care about that... IMO, though, public morals count for a lot, and the GOP doesn't have any that I find acceptable.

              Funny thing is, I was basically this way even before the other side went completely batshit crazy... I remember being terrified that someone I really liked was conservative (he wasn't, although a bit too libertarian in that postadolescent white-male way) a year before the Gingrich sweep.  But I'm from the south, so I probably intuited early on that the party was falling into line with cultural ideas that I already couldn't stand.

              Democrats always act as though they're afraid they'll lose, so people look at them and see losers. -Paul Waldman

              by latts on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 08:49:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I thank you! (0+ / 0-)

          Dear surfbird007  . . .

          That is exactly what I want this to be, a place to openly vent and share personal stories!!!  I thank you for feeling comfortable enough to do this here and with me.

          I hope you mentioned to your Mom how illogical it is, to observe the deterioration of your daughter’s marriage and then prompt the idea of settling on the other.

          If wedded bliss is not clearly evident for someone so close to you, why would she think you might believe it is in your future?

          I read the Tuttle comment to one that knows me so well.  He immediately stated, before I shared my reply, “That is the way you shop.”  I truly believe the universe gives to us all, always.  When we work to force an event, we are in conflict with the natural flow.

          I have never sought any relationship, ever.  Yet, I have had many good ones.  I only had the one that was troublesome.  I think I needed that one to grow.  Without it I would have never understood the vast quality that was everywhere within my life!

          Perhaps if you ask your Mom to speak of her own experiences, she may realize that what is good comes naturally.  I think if you speak of yourself, she will only think it defensive and not fully understand.

          I may be totally incorrect.  I do not know her, you, or the dynamics.  However, I do know, I trust in you.  

          Please feel what you feel, know what you know, and vent away.

          It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson.
          Be-Think Betsy L. Angert

          by Bcgntn on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 05:00:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  For me it's not my mother (0+ / 0-)

          It's my best friend. She's toned it down, but for a while she was constantly on me to start dating (I'm divorced). Try as I might, I could not get it through her head that a) at this point in my life, I'm not interested in dating, b) even if I were interested in dating, I certainly would not go out on the prowl looking for it and c) I'm perfectly happy being single.

    •  She just wants someone (0+ / 0-)

      to be on your side -- to watch out for you.  I feel the same for my son - when I'm gone, I'd like him to have a friend who also loves him.

      I have no patience with people who grow old at 60 just because they are entitled to a bus pass. Mary Wesley, British novelist

      by xanthe on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 02:36:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  find and make their own happiness (0+ / 0-)

        Dear xanthe . . .

        It is nice thought.  However, I think it is sad when we do not trust that others will find and make their own happiness.

        It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson.
        Be-Think Betsy L. Angert

        by Bcgntn on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 05:17:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  B - everyone needs a loving (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bcgntn

          nudge now and then - even the old gals like me.

          I have no patience with people who grow old at 60 just because they are entitled to a bus pass. Mary Wesley, British novelist

          by xanthe on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 05:20:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think there is never enough love! (0+ / 0-)

            Dear xanthe . . .

            I think there is never enough love!

            I also trust “old” is a choice.  When I was five years of age I decided I would know what “old” was when I thought my Grandfather was.

            He passed at the age of 94 ½.  I was still waiting to feel as if he were “old.”

            It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson.
            Be-Think Betsy L. Angert

            by Bcgntn on Tue Sep 19, 2006 at 07:58:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I'd probably be considerably happier (6+ / 0-)

    if my relationships had the chance of any legal legitimacy, meaning we'd probably treat each other better.

    until that happens the stereotype that follows gay people around will continue to be perpetuated.

    Wish I could participate more in a diary about marital status...

    When fascism comes to America, it will come draped in the flag and carrying a cross. And people like me will go to the camps to die.

    by terrypinder on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 01:29:59 PM PDT

    •  Hey, even my lesbian doctor (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bibble, Bcgntn, oculus

      gives me a form each year with the physical in which I get to identify myself as "married," "divorced," "widowed," or "single."

      Not that I hold it against her; after all, if her patrons knew she was lesbian, she'd probably lose half of them.

    •  Please share and speak as you please!! (0+ / 0-)

      Dear terrypinder . . .

      The majority of my Gay friends have been in committed relationships for decades.  Legal or not, I think they are definitely married, more so than many that have a licensee.

      Please share and speak as you please!!

      It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson.
      Be-Think Betsy L. Angert

      by Bcgntn on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 01:40:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  :) (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        42, Bcgntn, Debbie in ME, Chincoteague, arbiter

        thank you for this. I do apolgize for seeming crabby...it's Monday and it's just been a long 8 days!

        I've been around DKos and rather open about my personal life here....people know I haven't had the best in relationships and right now it appears I may be back on the market so to speak.

        I am jealous of some of my gay friends. They have partners and they've been together for years and years (I generally hang with an older crowd). I guess I can wait a little bit longer.

        oh and by all means, call me terry. :)

        When fascism comes to America, it will come draped in the flag and carrying a cross. And people like me will go to the camps to die.

        by terrypinder on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 01:44:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm jealous of your gay friends too - (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bibble, Bcgntn, terrypinder

          and I'm straight!

          I feel your pain, my man.  Gets really fucking old after awhile.  They blow into your life, stick around, and then bail out, usually ending up with some idiot who's not fit to polish your shoes.  Sometimes they even tell you they made a big mistake in leaving you; but you can't take that to bed with you at night.

          Geez, I sound bitter...oh wait, I am :)

        •  Enjoy you and all . . . thanks!! (0+ / 0-)

          Dear Terry . . .

          Moments ago, I was speaking of my one awful relationship and how physically it effected me.  I was explaining how I am surprised I am still alive.  

          You may recall months ago there was talk of a physical heartbreak within the news.  The scientific and medical community discovered there could be physical damage.

          There is no need to apologize.  I can relate.  After a break-up it seems wherever you turn, couples are engaging happily.

          Ahh, Terry, look beneath the surface.  They say often people are planning a split seven years before they act upon it.  Long-term relationships, I have discovered are not as they might seem.  Consider my natural parents, twenty-plus years!  I never knew there was a problem.

          Please take care of you.  You are a treasure!!!

          An aside, the number of gay friends I have that broke up after what appeared to be seventeen long and blissful years . . . people are people.  There is much to learn and experience.

          It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson.
          Be-Think Betsy L. Angert

          by Bcgntn on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 05:37:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I hate to sound cynical - (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bcgntn, Mr X, Chincoteague, oscarsmom

      but if you don't treat each other well now - I don't think a legal relationship will change that.  That being said, hope all is well for both of you now and in the future.

      I have no patience with people who grow old at 60 just because they are entitled to a bus pass. Mary Wesley, British novelist

      by xanthe on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 01:45:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Americans are too selfish and lazy for marriage (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IhateBush, Bcgntn, Chincoteague

    I think one of the reasons that we have so many divorces, and why so many relationships in general don't work, is pure selfishness.  Most people seem to go into marriage with the storybook fantasy idea with concepts like, "this person makes me complete" or "this person will make my life better" or other things without thinking, "will I improve this person's life?"


    The problem is that most people view every relationship as a one sided deal.  When their partner doesn't turn out to be exactly how they wanted and doing exactly what they want, they get frustrated and draw back from the relationship.  No thought is put into their own faults and whether or not that person is being a jerk to their partner.  If more people were to have empathy, relationships would be more successful.


    The other weakness Americans have is laziness.  When the going gets tough, we mentally run away.  The results can vary, but I think that the root of someone having an affair and the root of someone staying in an abusive relationship are the same.  Laziness that is guided by fear.  The person who has an affair is unhappy with their current spouse but rather than deal with that, they sneak around.  The person who stays in an abusive relationship also has the fear but the laziness to not try something new, and despite their suffering they often are actually comfortable, in a twisted way, to be in their familiar relationship.


    Overall though, marriage is a social construct that is meant to provide some organization to our natural breeding and child-raising instincts.  I don't know that our current one-man and one-woman idea is the best way to go.  As we have become more enlightened, we have also adopted the idea of finding a partner to share our lives with for reasons other than breeding.


    This is why gay marriage is such a hot-button topic.  Some people have not moved past the animalistic nature of breeding to one of mutual respect and enlightened mutual happiness.  It is the psychological view of marriage that we must learn to move to as a culture.  The sex is important, but it shouldn't be the main purpose of marriage in modern times.


    Personally, I'm in favor of any relationships that are not exploitative.  I'm ok with gay marriage, I'm ok with open relationships, I'm ok with someone having multiple partners, as long as it's agreed upon by the parties involved and that nobody is at a disadvantage.

    •  Multiple partners? -- but there's a lot of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theboz

      stuff out there.  That can be dangerous.

      I have no patience with people who grow old at 60 just because they are entitled to a bus pass. Mary Wesley, British novelist

      by xanthe on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 01:47:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  People do it anyway (0+ / 0-)

        The fact is that a lot of people have relationships with multiple partners.  Rather than forcing it underground, we should encourage people to take a more honest approach to it.  For example, if a man can be married to two women, and all three are ok with it, it's better than a situation where a man is married to one woman and sneaks around and cheats on his wife.  The biggest risk of disease is in the second case because the husband is exploiting the wife by potentially exposing her to diseases without her being aware of it or having any choice.  In the earlier example, both women would know about each other and if one felt that she could not be in such a relationship, she would set a condition for the man that she wishes to remain monogamous, and if he doesn't he can hit the road.  Or if she's bi she might like it.


        I knew a guy that was in such a relationship where he had a wife and she had a girlfriend.  They were all ok with that, even though I'm pretty sure that the guy and his wife's girlfriend were never intimate.  I haven't spoken to him in years since he got fired from where we worked at, but I see no reason to believe that they split up or anything.

    •  great comment. . . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      theboz

      Dear theboz . . .

      Well stated.  I agree with most of your brilliance.

      I do not think laziness and fear are the same or even similar.  I do think fear determines most decisions.  A person that is verbally, physically, and emotionally mistreated is not in a frame of mind to leave.  They have lost all sense of worth, value, and barely function fully as a “self.”  Having been peripherally exposed to this I learned what I never imaged.

      The victim is as injured prey.  They limp through life.  They are the walking wounded.  Unless or until someone separate from the predator can connect with them on a deeper level, they will remain lost.  They are aware; however, the harm done is far deeper than it appears to an outsider.

      I also struggle with the idea of shared partnerships.  I know of many that have engaged frequently.  Though intellectually I think your reasoning is very sound, my personal experience tells me that someone, somewhere is hurting.

      Persons that I am extremely close to spoke of this at dinner only two months ago.  The individual that I associate with are men.  They were speaking of the women they once shared.  What was thought to be only a sexual arrangement was not, particularly for one man.  Now, thirty-seven years later, he is still struggling to understand the woman that did him, befriended him, helped him through a personal crisis, and yet was never there for him.

      Gays, they are as great as all humans are or can be.  They are individual, people.  I think they are no different.  For me, your explanation seems apt!  Civilization claims togetherness is vital for reproduction and when it is not . . .

      Societal standards for intimacy, I suspect have never been what they were professed to be.  My eighty-eight year young cousin shares stories that would curl your hair!!!

      The fact that people do not care to communicate; they rather “move-on,” oh my gosh, you cannot imagine how much that bothers me.  

      I think if you once loved another, you can always love them, and perhaps always will unless you never bothered to get to know them.  In a world of immediate gratification, convenience, and egocentricity . . . this happens frequently.

      For me, theboz, most of what you wrote is excellent.  I agree, totally.

      Theboz, I am so glad to see you here, sharing with me again.

      It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson.
      Be-Think Betsy L. Angert

      by Bcgntn on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 06:01:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Bcgntn

        I do not think laziness and fear are the same or even similar.  I do think fear determines most decisions.  A person that is verbally, physically, and emotionally mistreated is not in a frame of mind to leave.  They have lost all sense of worth, value, and barely function fully as a “self.”

        I agree with your premise in some situations, but also think that there is a tie between laziness and fear in others.  I see "thinking" laziness as a fear of doing something because it might be difficult, while unthinking laziness is simply a state of inactivity of the mind.  Abuse victims are probably more accurately portrayed by your explanation, but I've seen the other as well.

        I also struggle with the idea of shared partnerships.  I know of many that have engaged frequently.  Though intellectually I think your reasoning is very sound, my personal experience tells me that someone, somewhere is hurting.

        I've seen it work, at least so far, for certain people.  I'm not talking about merely having multiple sex partners, as that is common, but actually having three or more people committed to each other in some way.  I've only known one group of people who did this and seemed successful, but I didn't get too much into their business to find out how they did it.  As far as hurting people goes, people are hurt in monogamous relationships between two people, so while adding another person is a vector for more pain, it could also be a vector for more happiness or spreading the pain in such a way that each person has less of a burden.

        Gays, they are as great as all humans are or can be.  They are individual, people.  I think they are no different.

        As a bit of a misanthrope, I find unintended humor in this statement.  I can imagine myself saying that gay people are dumb hairless apes who are one step away from throwing feces from a tree, but only because I say that about all humans.

        Civilization claims togetherness is vital for reproduction and when it is not . . .

        Togetherness certainly helps, but there are multiple ways to do it.  One can be a single mother with a strong family who all pitch in to help rise the child and the kid turns out out better than a married woman's child who only has her husband.  They say it takes a village to raise a child, so I think any specific groupings of people are less important than the actual affection, education, and discipline the child gets.

        Societal standards for intimacy, I suspect have never been what they were professed to be.  My eighty-eight year young cousin shares stories that would curl your hair!!!

        I suspect a lot of this has to do with men not treating women as equals.  We are a little closer today, but not nearly close enough yet.  Only when someone sees a mate or partner as an equal can there be true intimacy.

        The fact that people do not care to communicate; they rather “move-on,” oh my gosh, you cannot imagine how much that bothers me.

        It should bother you and all of us.  It is one of many manifestations of a narcicistic society.  One can easily tie the frame of mind required to abandoning a spouse to the frame of mind required to be ok with killing innocent people in Iraq.  Both require a degree of self-centeredness that is abnormal for adults.

        I think if you once loved another, you can always love them, and perhaps always will unless you never bothered to get to know them.  In a world of immediate gratification, convenience, and egocentricity . . . this happens frequently.

        I put the key part of what you said in bold.  Most people do not get to know their partner's mind.  They hook up with someone because of physical beauty, and psychologically at best they find them not annoying, and that's good enough for them.  People don't spend the time to make a deep connection.  I think my wife and I knew each other for four years or so before we were married.  That's pretty much unheard of in modern America.  That's a really bad sign.


        Also, thanks for your compliments, but I doubt that I've said anything that hasn't been said elsewhere with more clarity and eloquence.  I appreciate it though.

        •  My sincere thanks . . . (0+ / 0-)

          Dear theboz . . .

          There is so much here to discuss and I might return to it later, after I attend to so many silly and supposed necessities.  Nevertheless, I would like to share this thought.

          The number of people that I know personally, that have been together for multiple decades, and have barely a notion of who their life partner is astounds me!!!  

          I wonder what do these people talk about and when!!!!!!

          I agree with your assessment of why many marry.  I think there are even more reasons; however, sadly, few are of substance.  This is why I can belt out the Carly Simon tune of the “the way I always heard it should be.”  Scary stuff!

          It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson.
          Be-Think Betsy L. Angert

          by Bcgntn on Tue Sep 19, 2006 at 08:10:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Asinine comment that has to be made (0+ / 0-)

    If 54% of single but looking people are women, where the hell are they?  I'm not single anymore, but I still go to nightclubs with friends and bars and stuff.  It would be pretty tough to meet a girl these days unless you go to church or college.  What the hell is wrong with these people?

    •  single v. single and looking (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Debbie in ME

      the statistic quoted was that 54 percent of singles are women. it didn't say what percent of single women are 'looking.' or did i miss that?

      i'm wondering how many of that 54 percent have given up.

      I wouldn't mind turning into a vermilion goldfish. --Henri Matisse

      by isis2 on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 02:13:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I probably glossed over that (0+ / 0-)

        I hate to admit it but I sometimes have trouble with reading the style that Betsy writes in.  It's not her fault but rather my own.  In my mind I probably combined two different sentences or something like that.

        •  my explanation may help (0+ / 0-)

          Dear theboz . . .

          There are the statistics and my personal reflection, based on observation, conversations, and experience.  These are not one.

          It may be that my work is dense and does not simply present a personal rant with figures that support my letting off stream.

          I compare and contrast, and reflect deeply.  I have been told that my lack of snarkiness and combativeness can be refreshing for some and is confusing for others.

          Perchance, my explanation may help you in your reading.  

          It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson.
          Be-Think Betsy L. Angert

          by Bcgntn on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 06:13:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  There really is a catagory of single and not (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xanthe, Bcgntn

        looking and also not "have given up."  This isn't the Labor Dept's statistics on unemployment.  Many women, including myself, enjoy being single.

        •  Excellent comment!!!! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          oculus

          Dear oculus . . .

          I relate!  This is so true.  You can be open and not looking, joyous and need nothing more without having given up on possibilities.  I think I live there.

          It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson.
          Be-Think Betsy L. Angert

          by Bcgntn on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 06:16:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  we cannot know what is true (0+ / 0-)

        Dear isis2 . . .

        We cannot know what is true for each individual.

        My experience is people rarely know them selves.

        It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson.
        Be-Think Betsy L. Angert

        by Bcgntn on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 06:04:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I thank you all sincerely . . . (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theboz, oculus, Chincoteague

    Dear theboz and All . . .

    I am anxious to respond.  However, for now I need to leave the Net for an hour or so.  Please share freely.  I love this flow!!  

    I look forward to reading and replying upon my return.

    I thank you all sincerely.  I am so grateful that this subject touches the hearts and minds of many.  I worried.

    It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson.
    Be-Think Betsy L. Angert

    by Bcgntn on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 01:47:44 PM PDT

    •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bcgntn

      I won't respond until tomorrow at the earliest myself, even if I have time to do so then.  I'm glad you'll read it though because I noticed this diary got pushed off the front page fairly quickly.

      •  all the joyousness (0+ / 0-)

        Dear theboz . . .

        All good.  It is a great pleasure to share with you, always!

        I absolutely read what people write.  If I am late in responding, there is a reason, separate from my desire to communicate.  It can be so frustrating; life happens and I struggle to fit all the joyousness in.

        It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson.
        Be-Think Betsy L. Angert

        by Bcgntn on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 06:19:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Future diary topic: happily married DKers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bcgntn

    reveal why, in their opinions, their marriages work.

  •  i wholeheartedly recommend marraige (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xanthe, Bcgntn, cfk, Chincoteague, oscarsmom

    lived with my hubby for 5 years before we decided to make it 'legal'  

    we never really discussed marraige per se

    it just kind of happened

    he went on tour for 5 weeks without me and when he came home he had a ring with him, cornered me in the hall outside the club i ran and asked me to marry him, i said OK

    I think we both had a taste of what life was without each other and decided together forever was better and that was that.

    this past january we celebrated 20 years of marital bliss and 25 years of being together

    if he asked me to marry him today I would still say OK.

    "if all the world's a stage, who is sitting in the audience?"

    by KnotIookin on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 02:21:36 PM PDT

  •  A great book (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bcgntn

    A great book for single women is The New Single Woman by E. Kay Trimberger.  It talks about the many ways in which single women find fulfilling lives after giving up the knight in shining armor dream.  

    I guess I haven't given up yet, at age 43, except that I don't necessarily feel the need to live with a man.  I'm looking for a playmate, lover and friend.  

    I think there's tremendous pressure put on marriages today due to the dissolution of the extended family.  I see so many women demanding from men who are not acculturated to being emotionally forthcoming that they be their "everything".  Very few men are like that!  Diarist, you were lucky with Eric!  I've recently been wondering if the only men I could date are therapists themselves.   It's as if I've educated and therapized myself out of the dating pool!

    I have a seriously neglected blog (been too busy to date lately), Dating While Fat, that talks about all my travails.

    Don't believe, entertain possibilities.--Caroline Casey, astrologer & visionary activist

    by Blissing on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 02:54:59 PM PDT

    •  I thank you again for sharing. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Blissing

      Dear Blissing . . .

      I greatly appreciate your openness and sharing.  I will mention to Eric that you too realize what a good man he is.  I do tell him often; however, one can never receive enough praise.  

      I hope you experience that there are many good men in the universe.  Eric was not my only; however, I let him in more deeply.  Perhaps because we never dated and the thought never occurred to me, I was able to be me with him.  Once it became an authentic togetherness, it was too late to run.  Why would I flee; he was my very best friend!!

      I skimmed and bookmarked “Dating While Fat.”  Initially, after a very quick scan I offer this thought.  I think when we are open, loving, and sharing in conversation it is mirrored.  If you wish the conversation would go in a particular direction, take it there.  In my own life, I had to realize that people are insecure.  For decades, I thought I was the only one; all others were confident and perfect.

      I learned to understand that few initiate, men or women.  We all fear rejection.  I need to begin rather than wait.  This is applicable in all of life, not just in dating.  It is not always easy; however, I suspect, at times it is essential.

      I thank you again for sharing.

      It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson.
      Be-Think Betsy L. Angert

      by Bcgntn on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 06:47:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'll try (0+ / 0-)

        I'll try to remember to stay open in my next conversation with a new prospect.  There were other issues with this person that I didn't mention.  I think I'm pretty good at conversations in general.  I do ask questions, but if they can't come up with an answer, it gets ackward pretty quickly.  At least I can laugh about it later.  Thanks for looking!

        Don't believe, entertain possibilities.--Caroline Casey, astrologer & visionary activist

        by Blissing on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 10:58:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  open to what is and will come (0+ / 0-)

          Dear Blissing . . .

          If the answer is delayed, it may be they are reflecting.

          There will always be aspects of a person that are unsettling.  My belief is that we are all learning.  Given a chance or not, people change constantly.

          At any given moment, a person might not appeal to another individual; that is fine.  I truly believe the only person we need to, or can change, is us.

          “When I began to look at things differently, the things I looked changed.”  In truth, we did, at least that is my experience.

          As I shared with another . . .
          Years ago I received a letter from my Dad.  I truly thought it was a “F*** you” letter.  I was hurt, devastated.  Years later, I found the correspondence.  This time, as I read, I realized the communiqué was an expression of his love!!!  On my first reading, I was not ready to comprehend his truer intent.

          It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson.
          Be-Think Betsy L. Angert

          by Bcgntn on Tue Sep 19, 2006 at 08:20:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Learn from the birds! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xanthe, Bcgntn

    "The Parrots of Telegraph Hill" is a great movie, and got me thinking seriously about the similarities between bird mating habits and humans.

    The parrots in the film/book want mates.  If they don't have a mate they are kind of stressed out,  and are constantly trying to find one.  The mated birds are together constantly, groom each other, build nests, raise young, etc..

    The relationships don't always last forever though.  Bittner witnessed one "divorce" in the parrot flock.  Many mates die, and the birds have to find a new mate.

    I noticed when I finally found the "mate" of my life what a huge weight seemed to have been lifted from my shoulders!  It was as if I'd always been searching for this person to complete my life.   Sounds trite, but it's what the birds go through as well!

    But you know what?  I think marriage is just a human social construct--it doesn't have much to do with this basic biological instinct (which not all of us have, BTW!).  I'd say go with your gut!

    Never give up! Never surrender!

    by oscarsmom on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 03:08:16 PM PDT

  •  In June, my husband and I will (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bcgntn, cfk

    celebrate our 25th anniversary.  It gets better all the time.  Was it always perfect?  Ofcourse not.  Have we had difficult times?  You bet.  However, I never fully understood what total committment and devotion meant until I became chronically ill.  My husband has been with me every step of the way...he's never complained.  If the shoe were on the other foot, I don't know that I could say the same.  

    •  Never in my life have I seen such love in action. (0+ / 0-)

      Dear tjb22  . . .

      My father, the third did this for my Mom.  Never in my life have I seen such love in action.

      Your story and theirs breaks my heart in the best of ways!!!!

      It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson.
      Be-Think Betsy L. Angert

      by Bcgntn on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 07:23:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I started cynical (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bcgntn

    both of my parents have been married and divorced several times.  I had absolutely no intention of ever getting married.  

    After 15 years of marriage and four children we separated.  I said that I would never do that to my kids but someone pointed out to me that it may be more harmful for the children if the parents stay together than if they split.  Either way, it sucks for kids but I do my best.  I spend a lot of time at the house with them stay very engaged with them.

    Lesson learned, I am not looking and will not get married again.

    That said though, when it works, it really works.  I have known two older couples in my life who still appeared to be as "in love" as they were when they started.

    Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government.

    by JEB on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 04:16:57 PM PDT

  •  I am single (0+ / 0-)

    and thought I am content, I wouldn't say that I enjoy it either.  I have never been married, I am 46 and stopped looking a long time ago.  I wanted to get married, but circumstances were such that it never happened.  

    I enjoy the freedom of being single, but I am not sure that freedom is worth the loneliness. But everyone is different.  I did not experience divorce as a child.  My parents have been married 50 years.  My perspective is perhaps different.

    When single people talk about how much they love being single, and fear marriage, I wonder, what do they do to keep themselves so happy?  If there is a secret to it, let me in on it.

    Like I said, everybody is different.

    When Jesus said, "Judge not, lest thy be judged", he wasn't kidding.

    by fisherwmn on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 04:35:22 PM PDT

    •  all that surrounds me (0+ / 0-)

      Dear fisherwmn . . .

      I am happy and single.  My theory is I have extremely intimate relationships with my friends, some family members, my “babies” [kitties], my home, and to my writing.  My connections are creative and ever evolving.

      I think that for me, being open to discovery and loving the process brings me great joy.  However, I too acknowledge that we are all different.

      If I were not I, as I am, and experiencing all this essential significance in my life, I know I would not be happy.

      It is only the giving that makes us what [who] we are. - Ian Anderson.
      Be-Think Betsy L. Angert

      by Bcgntn on Mon Sep 18, 2006 at 07:36:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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