30 August 2007

On finding love

The last time I went to college (not that long ago) I ended up having to take a class on Marriage and Family. I was skeptical, but it was really pretty good.

One of the things my teacher said was that it is easier to get married when you are young, because when you are relatively unformed, your list of deal-breakers is shorter.

Damn right, dude. When I was a pretty young thing, my list was short: Does he like me? Is he cute? Okay, then.

As I got crankier and older, the list grew ever longer. You'd think that, as we grew wiser, we would become more tolerant. Wrong.

I was having coffee with my attorney, KD, the other day, and he talked about the most recent woman he had kicked to the curb.

"She just never caught on that the teapot belonged on the back burner, not the front," he said ruefully.

Ah yes. Those pesky details that make us cranky. The exMrStapler regularly castigated me for leaving the cabinet doors open and for my inability to make the dryer spit out all the socks I had put in it, leaving unmatched pairs (don't ask ME where they went. I honestly do not know).

I have to admit that I feel so good when I come home and shut the door to my tiny house behind me and it is just me and my dog...it worries me that I like it so much. No one to nag me. No one to ask me why I do things the way I do them. Just me and what I choose to do, when I choose to do it.

I never get lonely. But then again, I never have. Is there something wrong with me?

I look at the online personals ads quite regularly. I don't do anything about them, though. I just can't. Right now, my list is too long.


Mandajuice said...

I answered my husband's personal ad when I was 19. NINETEEN. A baby! And thank god because now? My list would be long enough to wrap around the globe twice.

BetteJo said...

OMG. I got married at 22 because I think I really believed it would be my only chance. Now? I don't want to be married, there would be so many deal-breakers it would be impossible to measure up. Last serious relationship the guy and I had decided someday we would buy adjoining townhouses and cut a door in-between. Sometimes we might leave the screen door open, that way we could interact without my cats crossing over to his side, and he could wash his kitchen floor for the 3rd time that day without being mad that I wasn't doing it. And then if we chose to actually go through the door occasionally, we could. But more often than not - I think that door would have been closed!
I LOVE my alone time!

Carolie said...

I thought I'd be by myself forever, and I was fine with that. I had a long list of deal-breakers, but three were so imperative that I'd recite them before I'd consent to a date with ANYONE.

I chased off a lot of guys with those three items, and I had many friends tell me I was "too picky."

But it's MY life, and I'm too old to compromise in many areas. My top three deal-breakers:

1. The candidate for my attention must like children...we may never have any, I may or may not adopt, but I teach and I have beloved nieces, and children WILL be a big part of my life.

2. The candidate for my attention must have a spiritual life. Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Wiccan, Pagan...whatever he wants is fine with me, but in my personal (and VERY SUBJECTIVE!) opinion, if he has no spiritual life/beliefs/quest/journey/puzzlement, he is emotionally stunted/immature.

3. The candidate for my attention must have lived ALONE for at least two years of his life. That means not with parents, not with a wife or a live-in girlfriend, not in a dorm situation...he must have figured out how to feed, clothe and shelter himself BY himself. Even if that meant Domino's every night and buying new underpants when all the old ones are dirty...it still means he can survive by himself, and doesn't need me to feed/clothe/shelter him.

Unexpectedly, a penpal for many years turned out to be the perfect companion for me, and vice versa. We're both very happy...and I'm glad I didn't compromise on any of my deal-breakers!

Julie said...

I'm the same way, even committed to a 5 year relationship. People ask us constantly when we are going to get married, but both of us just know it would mean sharing more of our space. We don't want to. I LOVE living alone and cannot imagine giving it up.

Anonymous said...

I just visited a singles site I'd never heard of (if you can believe that). I followed the instructions. I clicked boxes and ticked preferences. I hit 'go.'


Like I needed a computer to tell me that!

BOSSY said...

Some people will sacrifice a lot just for the sake of a constant companion. It's great you're not in that place.

super des said...

I'm glad that you're happy with just you and Goldie. So many people spend their lives in bars or whatever trying to find "the one."

I say do what makes you happy, otherwise there's no point.

jess said...

kvetch - that's fabulous!!! I feel like that every day.

When I was in the throes of personal ad dating a few years ago, I had a list of deal-breakers as well: smart, funny, no substance abuse, no physical abuse. Let me tell you, the smart and not-drunk/stoned combo platter was impossible to find (where I live, anyway).

And, um, were YOU doing HIS laundry when the socks disappeared? You were? Then eff him :-)

Anonymous said...

I'd be more inclined to allow your "something wrong" label if you had NO love in your life. But you do. You have family, you have friends. You're not living in a cave.

Not everyone needs a "constant companion." I'd argue you may have reached a level of enlightenment I'll never see. ;)

LoriHC said...

I loved living alone, too, and didn't think I'd ever marry because I liked my life as it was too much. I didn't rule it out if I met a really good match for me, but I certainly wasn't looking. That someone found me (when I was 33 and he was 34) and that we were a good fit amazed me. Still does. I wouldn't have given up my solitary life for anyone less.

mar said...

so many people don't understand that love does not always mean finding one person (of the opposite or same sex) and getting married. i am exceedingly happy when i'm on my own and in the past year i've found someone else who likes his alone time, too. of course, at 28, i feel like i'm much too young to be married & tied down. and at 23, so is he.

and suebob, thank you for the comment. it really means a lot. i thought about e-mailing you, but decided to wait until there was a definitive diagnosis.

Design.by.Kina said...

My Gosh! I'm only 25 and I enjoy living alone! I wonder like you sometimes, am I normal? lol

I do date, but I'd rather just wait for the guy that clicks really well before I give up my happy solitary little life... anyway! Enjoyed your blog!

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like you're just content. Someone may come along who makes you decide that doing what you want when you want yet by yourself isn't such a promising thing, and you'll make that jump. Just shows that you're comfortable in your own skin, I think.

QT said...

You are more than normal - there are so many days when I wish I didn't have the BF nipping at my heels like a hyper Jack Russell to go do this, go do that.

Oh, to come home, take off my clothes, and just lay in bed watching movies. What would that be like???

Anonymous said...

Not a damn thing wrong with you. I'd so much rather be happily single than unhappily coupled. And happily coupled has its trade-offs too, especially for anal-retentive types like me.

Blog Antagonist said...

I've never lived alone. I've lived independantly, but because I live in a big city where it's almost impossible to afford decent housing when you're young and single, I've always had roomates.

I've been married 14 years and though I love my husband with all my heart, I don't think I would be lonely either. At least not for a while.

And yes...I think I that it would be much harder for me now to accept certain things.

Suzanne said...

I met my hubby when I was 19, too, and was a child bride at 24. I've never been good at being alone, though. I don't think there's anything wrong with people who enjoy aloneness. Better to be that way than depending on someone else all the time. There is a great book, "Adultery" by Louise DeSalvo, that points out that even in relationships, we are still alone, just with someone else in the way.

Anonymous said...

I have been happily married for 17 years and we have five wonderful children. Although I am very happy with my current life, I often think I would be just as happy as a solitary person. I do enjoy my time alone...
Lurker Chris

Alex Elliot said...

I'm always impressed with the number of women who DO get married. Of course, I dislike most of my friends' husbands. I don't think they're very supportive of their wives.

the mystic said...

I was 28 when I got married. My husband was the first person I continued to like for a WHOLE YEAR and so I knew he must be "the one." ;)

And though we've lived together ecsstatically happily (before kids) and reasonably happily (after kids) for over ten years now, I can't say I never get nostalgic for the years I was on my own.

It was a good time with work and friends and ridiculous dates and drawing or belly-dancing or whatever class struck my fancy.

Ironically, now that I've been married and have kids I think I'd enjoy being single even more -- because I wouldn't be obsessing over when I'm going to get married and have kids!

So, in short -- NO, I don't think there's anything wrong with you.

Anonymous said...

In no way are you alone on this. You know, I am going through my marital dramas right now and the only thing that really worries me about being alone is having no one else to count on for the little things that I take for granted.

I've lived with two men in my life and my husband but find I am always happiest when I live alone. Maybe a long term boyfriend who doesn't live in is the answer? LOL.

Unknown said...

When you figure it out could you tell me the secret too. I'm just not interested and its beginning to worry me too!

Heather B. said...

I just wrote this long ass comment and now it's gone. But to recap:

1) I like being alone as well. I now have to force myself to be around other people and since it's slim pickings in upstate NY, I travel to places like Oklahoma City in order to force myself to be social

2) I don't think there is anything wrong with you. I also don't think there is anything wrong in knowing what you want, no matter how old you are. I think with age comes wisdom and knowing yourself better and you know how you'll react to certain people and certain qualities. That doesn't make you too specific that makes you smart.
I was discussing the whole relationships (or lack thereof) with another blogger the other day and we both agreed that sometimes these things don't warrant the hassle or the drama. These 'things' just happen when they happen.

And that there would be my two cents.

TheyDHD said...

*laugh* I have 4 lists!

1) What I absolutely will not put up with, ever.

2) What I absolutely must have, no matter what.

3) What I can put up with if I have to.

4) What I would like to have, but don't need.

I redo the lists about every 6 months, even if it is just to check it over. It helps me keep perspective, and look at what I really want out of life.

The same could be said about anything, not just a life partner.

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