Tuesday, January 23, 2007

All By Myself

A recent article was written stating that there are now more single women than married women in the United States.
You can read the article here : http://www.politicalgateway.com/news/read/58476

I know that there are a lot of women who feel that marriage is an antiquated, oppressive union and that it is unnecessary in today’s society. I don’t disagree with them but I just wanted to say:

I want to get married. I want to be in a partnership with “The One”. When I imagined my life when I was growing up I always pictured myself with a spouse and children in a committed relationship of mutual respect and equality.

When I was younger I had always assumed that by the time I turned 30 that I would be married, done having kids and know what I wanted to do with my life professionally and personally. It was a doubly bitter pill to swallow when I turned 30 because I could no longer claim to be in my 20’s and I hadn’t achieved the unconscious goal that I set for myself.

I have been proposed to a couple of times but I always said no. I knew that they were not the kind of man that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I didn’t want to become another statistic and divorce and remarry when I was older and wiser. So I never married at all expecting that “The One” would come along and sweep me off my feet.

My mom (whom I love to death) has been married 5 times. I was born right before she married for the 3rd time so I witnessed 3 marriages and the failure of 2 of them. Although I admire my mother and am proud when people tell me that I am a lot like her I didn’t want to follow her down the path of marriages and divorces.

Living in West Michigan there seems to be a lack of quality single men that are in a comparable age group that I am in. Many people here get married quite young, typically within a few years out of college and then surprisingly, a large number of them stay married. A lot of men in their 30’s that are not married are single by choice and plan to stay that way for a long time. Then there are the “Tim’s” out there that couldn’t spell marriage if you paid him.

When I lived in Washington State it was a Man Fiesta. I was the same size that I am now and I always had someone interested in me. Sometimes I would casually date a few people at a time. Then I moved to West Michigan and it was like moving from the Amazon Rain Forest of men to the Bonneville Salt Flats.

I am embarrassed to admit this but I am just going to spit it out: I have not been in a serious relationship for over eight years. It isn’t because I have my standards set incredibly high. Of course there are criteria that I require. I would be pathetic if I didn’t have some standards.

I wonder if it is because I have a kid? Many men don’t want to date a woman with kids. The ones that do tend to get snatched up pretty quickly.

I don’t blame my singledom on anyone and I honestly don’t know where this post is going other than to say that not ALL of the 51% of single women are single by choice.

I am one of the 51% that longs to become part of the minority.

24 comments:

Tara said...

Hey, don't feel bad, I've never been in a serious relationship. I admire you for your determination to stay way from being part of the divorce statistics.

I would like to get married someday, but first I want to pick the right person before I even consider something like that. I need to be motivated to find the right guy first. One step at a time, right? :)

Dennis said...

There are single men out there that are in your quality segment of the population. Your child may be a reason but I imagine there are many more. Probably all different if you ask different guys. I hope to find someone soon but if not it will happen. Have faith. This all coming from someone who sees you as a little older sister. Okay so that does not make much sense. Just because you are older does not mean that you cannot me like my little sister. I hope someone great does come along, I will be in your cheering section.

reformattingmybrain said...

Way to go on being willing to wait. Too many of us jump in and later say WTF?

Lydia said...

I think it's good that you didn't settle for being with someone who wasn't right for you. And I can appreciate the wish to meet "the one" and be in a committed relationship, and I hope that happens for you. But as for finding him, I haven't cracked that one either.

I go through times of pondering my single status, wondering if I'll ever meet "the one". I'm also not single by choice, though I refused a marriage proposal when I was only 22 and felt too young to know what I wanted from life, let alone to know if he was someone I wanted to share my life with. The serious relationships since have never lasted, I've had times of a few years with no relationship and I've been single again for several months after splitting up with someone last year. I still have hope, so will see what the future holds.

Rachel said...

Tara ~ I hear ya. I find that the people that find me attractive just are not even close to what I want or need.
I seem to be a magnet for dirty old men.

Dennis ~ How long have you known me? A good few years. I love that we treat each other like brother and sister but on the rare times that we have a very serious, in depth conversation I value your opinion. You are very insightful sometimes even if I do want to bonk you over the head with the random book or four.
I will make sure to supply you with sparkly pom poms when the time for cheering comes.

Reformat ~ I know so many people that are so desperate to be married that they settle. I want to be married so that I can share life's journey with someone. Sometimes I feel that the load that I am carrying is so heavy and there are just times when I wish that someone could share it with me.

Lydia ~ I hope that we both find what we are looking for. It seems so hard to find but I have friends who have found it so it gives me hope too.

Dennis said...

Now I know why you are not married you are mean and hurtful. Just kidding. You point out the obvious, you big meanie.

Rachel said...

Dennis ~ I am mean and hurtful? Really? Who was the one sitting her talking about shooting a deer with a pistol instead of a shotgun since it was cheaper???
Just because I pointed out that you have to actually get the deer initially (since you haven't caught one in what, 2 years now) you call me mean?
At least I don't kill or eat Bambi!!
P.S. You still owe me some deer jerkey.

disclaimer: This is banter between co-workers and in no way should it be construed as me being against hunting for food!

Dennis said...

You don't catch them, you shoot them and then you have dinner. I was talking about putting a wounded animal out of it's misery. Maybe I can stop other peoples misery the same way.

Basic Theology said...

love will find a way.
just keep strong.
be yourself.

Rachel said...

Dennis ~ Whatever. I know basically nothing about hunting, fishing or guns so I can use the verbiage that I choose to.
The conversation was fine. I just had to give you a hard time about how loooooooong it has been since you bagged a deer.
No harm, no foul (or should I say fowl, deer, elk or any other hunting animal?) lol

Dennis said...

At least all the trees where safe this year. I didn't even shoot. There is always next year. My biggest enjoyment in hunting is not the killing of animals but the observation of nature. Time slows down and it is fun to watch how different things interact.

Back on the original subject good luck, keep looking. I have been told a church is a good place to look. I might have to try that for a women for me.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap, did you see the size of them chickens.

Tara said...

My brother once tricked me into eating chili made of deer meat or venison. I thought I was eating regular beef chili, and on my last bite he said "You know you just ate Bambi, right?" Evil. ;)

reformattingmybrain said...

Hey Rachel - that's so very true. Don't settle and don't marry someone you can't talk to - that's my advice for the day. If you can't talk from the beginning you're screwed to begin with and what the heck else are we going to do when we're rocking in our chairs at the age of 80. Gotta have someone who wants to talk to you and enjoys talking to you.

laughingattheslut said...

Was Washington a wonderful place in general, or it just had more men?

If it was a wonderful place in general, could you go back?

Rachel said...

Basic Theology ~ Love WILL find a way. Hopefully it will find it sooner and not get stuck at Hooters.

Dennis ~ When you go to a church that has well over 3000 people per service you tend to get lost in the crowd. I wish that the same pastor had a smaller church.

Anonymous ~ I didn't see the size of them. How big were they?

Tara ~ Mean, evil, nasty, dispicable brother.

Reformat ~ Some people would tell you that I can carry on a conversation with a rock. It isn't true but I am pretty chatty.
I want someone that stimulates my mind. And other places too..hehe

laughingattheslut ~ I grew up in Washington State and lived in the Tacoma area. There are 4 military bases within an hour of where I lived. Two were within 20 minutes. It was swarming with men and me being 18-24 it was fantastic.
I love Washington. My family is still there. The traffic is horrendous though.
There are a couple of reasons why I won't move back at this time.
#1 The reason that I moved here initially still holds true. I came here so that my son could have a relationship with his father. As shitty as some of the stuff is that goes on there, D still has a relationship with his dad and that is invaluable for him.
#2 When Butthead sued me for custody I agreed to have a codicil put in the court documents stating that I would not remove D's residence from the state of Michigan without court approval. And I have to have a pretty darn good reason to do that. I don't think that not being able to find a decent guy out here will cut it.
#3 I own a home here now and that would be a bitch to sell in todays market
#4 I have made a decent life here and my friends are as close to me as my family has ever been so it would kill me to leave them.

laughingattheslut said...

Well, I didn't think it would be easy. I didn't think you could just pack a bag and start reading the want ads.

But reason #2 really sucks. If you managed to deal with the rest of it, you're still stuck with that for like what, another ten years?

The Furtive Wangler said...

You're doing the right thing to wait for the right guy. You rock Rachel, so I'm sure he's just around the corner.

SumWun said...

Rachel, your sentiments about wanting to share the journey and have the support of a spouse really remind me of me. I have also decided not to marry out of desperation, but have actually avoided marrying the wrong person. Though this sometimes leaves me lonely and a little bitter, I believe the right person is out there and I just need a chance to meet her. I am open to love though I insist upon mutual respect and will never sacrifice that, so I am single until I am lucky enough to meet that person.

Rachel said...

Laughingattheslut ~ All of them are things that I can change if I was desperate enough to do so. Combined they compel me to stay.

Furtive ~ Thanks! You rock too. From your typing fingers to God's inbox.

Sumwun ~ *winking* so, you from 'round here? LOL
You said in 2 paragraphs what it took me 30 minutes to write. Perfectly said.

Jenna said...

totally loved your post:)
i was married, thought he was my soulmate and whatever but didn't workout. So now all those rules on who you want and stuff get in the way. Also now you/me are these adult women who know what they want out of life, kind of intimidating at times.
Just my two cents:)

Babybull40 said...

Being married can have it's ups and downs.. I have experienced it 3 times.. and it's just this last one that it's outlasted both previous unions..put together..plus the other half was in the midst of a divorce when we met.. somehow that didn't deter me.. You don't have to part of the stats.. but it's nice to be able to come home and share your day with the one you love.Not everyone is suited for marriage and other's thrive.. Good for you not letting a few stats change your mind about wanting to be married..everyone has a different view of marriage, but when the time is right for you.. "The One" will pop into your life..

Erica said...

Also I had expectations when I was younger. I thought that by the time I was 30, I would own a house and be married with two children...I am renting and have no kids. So I have one out of three but I will be 32 in 10 months!! So, at least you have a lovely house and a wonderful child. I am sure that when the time is right, you will find the right person, because you deserve to be swept off your feet for sure!

It's better to be single than to be with a man you do not really love or somebody that does not treat you right.

Egan said...

Growing up in Aberdeen, I bet there weren't a ton of women. It's kind of like Alaska. It must have been nice to get heaps of attention.