Shift that Paradigm

Funny Myspace CommentsYesterday a woman I have loved for forever and a day posted a really sweet status update to her Facebook page noting that exactly five years ago she met her now-husband on a backpacking trip.  I remember hearing all about him and how excited she was to have met him.  I remember the call she placed to him after we attended our twenty-year high school class reunion together just a few months later.  She was tipsy and their conversation was startlingly mushy.

My friend and her husband seem well-suited to one another.  They have shared values and goals and they have already built a life together that includes two adorable little girls.  That’s all good.

What ruffled me was not the celebration of her having found love five years ago, it was the inclusion of this bit of advice:

The woods is the best hangout for meeting awesome guys. To all my single gal pals, strap on those boots and hit the trail.

I couldn’t help but reply:

Stop! You’re scaring me! I wanna ‘strap on’ my boots without the fear of impending marriage! (Love you like crazy, girl & so glad you found one another on that special trip…)

Many of us spend our childhood and youth dreaming of happily-ever-after, of Will and Kate’s fairy tale wedding, and the sweet, syrupy ever-after that follows.  How often does it really come out like that?  If we knew what we were in for, would we still partake?  (Me: Decidedly no.)

Marriage is on the way out.  Just last week there was a piece on the Huffington Post which pointed me to an AOL piece. (I hate you, Arianna Huffington, for marrying AOL.  Now there’s a gal who should have stayed single.)  For the first time in American history, married Americans are a minority.  They are the freaks, man! (Well, not really.)

Why is it that so many people, like my girlfriend, still assume that a single gal pal’s deepest wish is to meet some awesome guy?  If we aren’t married it is either because no one would marry us or because we haven’t found a suitable match. I’m here to say that some of us aren’t married because we simply don’t want to be.  Marriage is not for everyone.  Come with me on this one, people:  SHIFT THAT PARADIGM!  It’s time.

I know I have posted this before, but I’m sharing it once more as a pep talk for all the single ladies (and men) in the house:

6 comments to Shift that Paradigm

  • Love this post!

    I've been dating MyLove for six years, and so many people ask why aren't we married yet, when are we getting married or what's wrong with him/me that the other one won't marry.
    KariD recently posted..Recie LinksMy Profile

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    • @Kari… and if you do marry—or don't!—the next layer will be to ask why you don't have kids yet, when are you having kids or what’s wrong with him/me that the other one won’t have kids. Mindless chatter! I'm sure there's some deathly efficient riposte like, "No, we enjoy sex too much." You know, something so they won't come up for air anytime soon. I'm not against marriage or kids per se, just inquisitive idiots. :)
      andrew recently posted..Smartass JrMy Profile

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  • Interesting point. You make me think of the two sides of the coin and both can be right depending on the circumstances and the people involved.

    Single people: alone but not necessarily lonely

    Bella DePaulo (Ph.D., Harvard, 1979) is the Visiting Professor of Psychology (since 2000) at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her "hit book" is "Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After". Her forte seems to be related to the study of singleness, the state of being single.

    Marriage: Having our lives witnessed

    In the 2004 American film Shall We Dance, Susan Sarandon's character answers the question why do people get married with, "Because we need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet. I mean what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything: the good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things. All of it, all the time, everyday. You're saying your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go unwitnessed because I will be your witness."
    wqbelle recently posted..Grand Rapids- Michigan aint dying! videoMy Profile

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  • FrustratedStepmom

    I don't think it's necessarily that everyone has to or wants to be married… But, humans ARE designed to be in relationship with one another. I believe everyone longs for that *connection* with another person – more than just a friendship, a special intimate (not talking necessarily about sex but that definitely is important, too) connection with one person.

    I do believe that marriage (in the legal sense) is not as crucial as it used to be…society and laws are finally catching up and realizing that people can be committed partners (gay or straight) and not be married.

    Jerry Maguire had the line about him "completing" her. That is BS. However, in a good relationship – the kind we all dream of as kids – you do *compliment* each other.

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  • I divorced back in July of 2009 and am now engaged to be married this fall. It's quite funny when I tell my married friends that I am engaged that the reply is almost always, "WHY????"
    katho37 recently posted..I’m in another person’s blog…My Profile

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