I have always heard the following advice.
- When you stop looking, you will finally meet Mr. Right.
- You have to become a complete person, and then you are ready for a healthy relationship. (Instead of expecting another person to complete you.)
- Be content with where you are in life; be happy.
Now if you have been keeping up with my blog, you remember “It’s Ok to be Ok with Being Single.” And I am not back stepping from that stand with this entry; because it is ok to be ok with it. However, I want us to consider the possibility: Can we become too happy with being single? Are we minimizing the value of happily married couples and families with two “parents” acting as role models in our society? There seems to be a fine line there that needs consideration.
Once I established that I was taking a break from dating “for a while,” I began to explore the benefits of this decision. I can spend my weekends with the kids away, any way I want to. I can watch whatever I want to watch on TV. I can pick out the movies I see. I can decide where to go eat. I can go to the store when I want, where I want, and for how long I want…. and no one is bugging me that it’s time to leave. I can have it all my way; and not feel a bit guilty about it!
Did you notice something reoccurring in that last paragraph? The pronoun, 'I' is repeated 15 times in that one paragraph! Fifteen times!
So after enjoying this for a few weekends when the kids were away with their dad it also dawned on me, that marriage was created for a reason, had I forgotten? So with this epiphany, it came to my realization, that yes we want to become content with our position in life at this moment. This is my reality in which I can be happy; but I also do not want to undermine the notion that someday to be married again would also be a good thing.
With that thought, I ask the question, what do I miss about being a married couple? Here are a few things I came up with. (Do you have a list? Please comment and let me know, what do you miss about being a married couple?)
- Snuggling at the end of a long day, recapping your stress points even if they don’t make a bit of sense to the other party.
- Early mornings waking up while the kids are still asleep and sharing pillow talk or (you can fill in the blank here ;)
- Spur of the moment family picnics, where both parent and stepparent assist with preparation.
- Having your spouse tuck you in and take care of you when you are sick.
- Getting a phone call – just to check in during the middle of your day.
- Having to check in with someone when traveling and you reach your destination; to let them know you are safe.
- The soft feel of a hand on your back or arm on your shoulder, to let you know the other is near.
- Love notes left in obscure places
- Inspiring adult conversations
- Sharing the passion on your heart, your present goals and how you plan to reach them, while receiving positive feedback and encouragement.
Ok so my list sounds like it comes from an ancient episode of Leave It To Beaver, but I think you get the point. Not everything we left behind in our marriages was unhappiness and bleak despair. There are positive traits that CAN be a part of marriage; when it is a healthy relationship and both parties are working toward it being a true success.
So what is my point? Well I think I have three points.
- One: Be happy, content and positive in your outlook in your current position in life, even if that means embracing being single. Live life to the fullest, and make a difference in “your world” being proactive with your dreams and goals in the present instead of waiting for the perfect “man or woman” to come along.
- Two: Don’t give up on the positive contribution that marriage can have in your life. When the opportunities present themselves with dating, be open-minded. “The perfect guy or perfect girl” may not have the look or packaging you had imagined. Do not get so wrapped up in yourself that you acquire the mindset that you have no need for a significant other in your life anymore. There are good points about marriage and things to be desired from being a couple again, someday.
- Three: A healthy balance between these two perspectives is where we need to be which requires constant self-evaluation. (Either one or two by itself can become an extreme.) Even when you are in a relationship…. keep yourself in check. Appreciate “where YOU are” in life. You show appreciation by doing for others; and that is what “loving others” is all about. Remember it’s not ALL about us…
What do you think? Can we enjoy being single too much? I would love your feedback.