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Jul 21, 2008

Single and Loving It – Too Much?

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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.


single mommy said...

I stumbled on your post through iheart. My divorce group would tell you after reading your post that you are in a healthy place.

We just covered this subject last week.. here's the post. If you click on I've come so far.. you'll find MY LIST.

Ms. Single Mama said...

Oh yay! So that means I'm in a good place too. Yippee.

This is SUCH an amazing post b/c I have been asking myself the same questions - am I getting too used to being a single, because it's so nice.

But I think, as long as you are open to the possibility you're okay - hence being in the right place.

Nice post, going to feature it in the best of the single parent blogosphere this week - so look out for that.

Katherine said...

I feel like I was just given an A on my report card... Thanks mssinglemama!

I feel honored.

Anonymous said...

I miss having someone to sit with at my son's baseball games.

I miss having someone to hold my baby when my arms get tired.

I miss having someone else to go investigate when I hear a sound in the middle of the night.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm in love. Your blog makes me so happy! First thing I'm doing after leaving you this comment is putting you on my blogroll!

I have wondered if it is possible to love the single life too much and then turn it into a crutch. I wrote about it in my post of G.U's (Geographically Undesirable men, who I find ridiculously disirable). And I think the reason I find them so perfect is because I get to have my cake and eat it too: enjoy an emotional love affair and still keep everything I love about my single life intact.

Now, the thing is, I'm totally falling in love with my Man from Moseley and so I"m becoming very aware of this very question you raise.
Can't realy move much further into a real relationshp until I stop loving my single life sooo much. ;)

I might know a little better in a few weeks- I'm going to visit my love in England! And I'll for surely keep you in the loop! Thanks for your great post...
I'd say A++!

dadshouse said...

Great post. Yes, the independence of "I" (15 times!) is great. And/But there are also great things about being married. Be open to possibilities, happy and grateful, and let life unfold.

The Exception said...

This was wonderful to read. I have been asking the same questions as a result of my daughter informing me that she doesn't want to marry in the future because I am happy on my own so she will be too. I was stunned. I am happy but I would be happy with a man around too.

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