A Hard Truth
I find myself mid-40s and single. I've never been married or engaged. I tend to stop relationships pretty quickly when my gut tells me the person is not right for me. Twice in the last few years I've found your column of great help. On both occasions I felt great pressure from family, friends and myself to settle down and stop looking for that elusive person, Mr. Right. Fortunately for me, I can't lie. It's impossible to hide my feelings, so settling is never going to be an option for me.
Saying that, I currently feel frightened and sad that I've not met my significant other. I do as you advise, "engage in life." I do have a great job, family, friends and life.
My reason for writing is a sentence in your article "When You Marry For Reasons Other Than Love." You say, "only a very few let this happen to them," "most destroy their chances," and "they are not letting this happen."
The question I ask myself is, am I doing something wrong? Am I destroying my chances and not letting it happen?
Is there a reason I'm in the situation I am?
Lindsay, when we wrote "they are not letting this happen," we were referring to those who settle and to those who are forced into marriage by their family, the passage of time, the desire for kids, or in general, want the end product of something they didn't have the beginning of.
Look at the divorce rate. It's one measure of those who didn't wait for the right one. What are the chances they will get it right next time when they married and got it wrong the first time? So many people marry for the wrong reason, then won't admit to themselves what happened. Often they blame the other person, instead of themselves.
Those are the people we were talking about—the ones who won't give themselves a chance to get it right. It is the opposite of what Shakespeare meant when he wrote "love is not love which alters when it alteration finds."
What is another factor? Not even tomorrow is guaranteed. There is no guarantee we won't get hit by a bus or contract a serious illness. That any of us will have tomorrow is not assured, but what do we know and what do you know? Faking it with the wrong one is more miserable than living your life and being honest.
It is what it is. You may not have the one for you. But you also don't have one you lied to or pretended with or settled for.
That's wrong because it isn't fair to them. It's dishonest. It's like having a child by a man who loves you, a man you don't love. It isn't real. This is not like making a mistake in the choice of a car. It involves deception of another human being.
It says a lot about you that you are unwilling to deceive another and unwilling to deceive yourself. Marrying the wrong one to get home and hearth pollutes home and hearth. Why all the cheating, why all the divorce, why all the unhappy couples living like roommates? They got what they wanted—married—without love. They are married without the essence of marriage.
We wish we could tell you where the right one for you is. We wish we could pick him up and drop him off at your house. But you are better off than those who are glumly married.
All we can say is keep filling your life with happiness. Keep growing, keep doing, keep out there. Have the best life you can. And we hope for you that the one for you appears.
The worst we can say about you is that you're honest. That's not a bad thing, that's a good thing.
~ Wayne & Tamara
Column for the week of March 30, 2015
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