Not Married, Not Bothered
Welcome to my latest personal “Diary” entry in a series where I talk about what my life is like as a solo non-breeder. In case you missed it, my last post talked about my lack of offspring, “No Kids, Thank You”. This time, I continue on from that theme in – Not Married, Not Bothered. As you might have guessed, this update is about the concept of marriage.
Full disclosure, I was married, briefly a long time ago…so I have been there as it were and my life and viewpoint would perhaps differ had I never had that experience.
Getting Married is Not an Accomplishment
Not married? Either way married or not married, it’s really OK.
Did you see the article ‘Getting Married is Not an Accomplishment” in the Huff Post some time ago? It’s an interesting read, and I could not agree with the author more. (She did a follow-up piece that you can find here about finding happiness too – if you missed it.)
You see, growing up, I never even wanted to get married. Oh sure, I liked the idea of the wedding,…You know, that “special day”, surrounded by family and friends, beautiful dress, lots of presents, but I never actually wanted to be married.
The concept never really resonated with me. I mean the idea of living with someone, and being legally tied to them for the rest of my life – be it ten, twenty, or even fifty years – simply made me shudder. Don’t event get me started about the whole “waking up next the same person” (or just having sex with) sort of thing.
Funny how we often end up getting that which we do not want…
My Marriage of Necessity
Ironically, in the ’90s, for about five minutes, I eloped with my Scottish penpal. The ceremony took place one Friday evening in Nevada. So I, in fact, got the marriage that I didn’t really want to begin with, and missed out on the wedding to boot!
Incidentally, at that time, Sir Hubby didn’t really want to get married either, but in order for order for us to spend any real time together, it was necessary.
To add to it all, two weeks after our brief visit to the Justice of the Peace, I moved six thousand miles from the only home I had ever known. I proceeded to watch, in misery, as my marriage began to dissolve, almost as soon as we had hit the tarmac in Glasgow.
Yes, reality set in. My penpal and I had, as it turns out, very little in common. We had known each other for only a matter of months, and it didn’t take long before our fairytale ended, and our mutual misery set in.
We were both young (especially him), and we did our best at the time. For a few years we gave it a shot, but it didn’t work out (not too surprisingly).
That was OK by me. It had a positive effect on my life, and brought me to where I am today. I am doing what I am doing because in some small part, that marriage shaped me. It helped me grow, and it taught me what I do and don’t want, so I’ll always be grateful for that and to him.
I suspect he’s not as grateful for the whole experience as I am, but that is his choice, of course…
Perspective is a mirror not a fact.
When it ended, I “speed-rebounded” into another relatively long-term (using the phrase loosely) relationship. It was great while it lasted. I felt like he was an angel, or a soul mate, who arrived in my life just when I needed him. I was so very grateful to him for “showing up”. Sadly, that too, is also also be filed under “not meant to be”. (More on that in “My Own Breakup Story” here and my Thank you Letter to him here.)
Anyway, since that ended, I’ve dated a handful of “good guys”, but I only recently came to the realisation that I had unconsciously chosen men that were not good fits for me. At all.
My subconscious, it seems, has been working over time when it came to my romantic choices. Let’s see, there was the would-be priest, the workaholic, the virgin-living-at-home-still, the born-again-bi-polar-smoker,…to name but a few.
Each gentleman, though good guys, simply ended up affirming the fact that I didn’t really want to wind up in another a long-term relationship.
You know what I’ve actually discovered? I not only like being single, I actually prefer it.
For now anyway.
Flying Solo is Good
Like not having kids, people seem to find it strange, or even disconcerting, when a woman doesn’t have a steady partner (that they know of).
Other paired off women can sometimes seem as though they’re looking at you with pity eyes. If it’s not pity it can also be fear. So many women seem worried that I may have designs on their partner or something…
It’s like “Single women are not to be trusted.” You know in some cases that can be true. I know women like that – whereby any man is “fair game” – regardless of their status but frankly I’m not one of them.
Still there are other women (and men!) though, who look at my life with envy. I know because they tell me so. Even the ones that are happy in their own relationships sometimes with they were single!
Drama Free Me
I love the peace of flying solo the most. There is very little drama in my life. I can do what I want, when I want, with whoever I want. I can take off for a night (or several), or leave the country for a month at a time, and don’t need to consider anyone else’s feelings on the matter.
I love that freedom. Not everyone does, of course. Some people insist they’re “better at being in a relationship”.
Different strokes and all that.
You know what? I’ve been single so long that it’s actually hard for me to imagine being in a serious, committed relationship, or even wanting one again.
Don’t get me wrong. I like men. A lot. I always have – even from a very early age. I like talking to men, laughing with them, flirting with them, and of course being intimate with them. I just don’t really like the concept of living with one again.
I often say I’d like a Tuesday and Saturday guy. That would seem to suit me. Two nights together, five apart.
Well it’s a good theory anyway.
Taking the Long Way Around
As I type these words, I am in the Scottish Highlands, in a old mansion from the 1800s, enjoying my peace and quiet. The four hundred miles I’ve traveled alone have allowed me ample time to think about my solo, non-breeder life. The things that are great, and the more challenging aspects too.
I threw together a playlist for the journey – and out of 1000 songs, this one came on a few times, which made me smile, rather wryly.
The Path of Most Resistance
Looking back over the many decades I’ve spent on this earth I can see that I seem to have chosen a very different path to everyone else.
It’s sometimes feel like I’ve chosen a more difficult path, the path of most resistance if you will, but really it’s probably not.
No I’m not married, am I’m not bothered. No, I haven’t chosen to have kids, that’s OK too.
From what I can see my life is not better, or worse than anyone else’s. Having been single, and been married, I have found that the grass is not greener on the either side. Both have pros and cons. It’s just that this grass is mine – in all its glory – and all its challenges.
Though I feel lonely at times, I can remember feeling even more lonely when I was married. I sometimes have flashbacks to those nights when I’d be laying next to my husband in bed, and yet aching to the core with sadness and loneliness.
My solo loneliness is never that bad, and it is way less frequent than when I was married. That could simply be maturity and have nothing to do with marriage or not – but I simply feel more whole now. The loneliness now is sporadic, and often hits on a random Saturday night, when I am experiencing FOMO. That’s when it hits me. I’ll save thoughts on that until the next time: ‘Diary of a solo Non-breeder: Saturday Night FOMO’.
For now I am happy living just as I am. Will I ever get married again? I doubt it, but honestly, I never say never. As soon as you do the Universe will make a liar out of you.
For now I will keep on keeping on, and be open to everything and attached to nothing. It’s the best way to be, in my humble experience.
I just know that I am fine no matter what. My peace, wholeness and happiness is not based on my relationship status. I am enough just as I am. We all are…