I’m 45, Single And Childless. No, There’s Nothing ‘Wrong’ With Me. by M Notkin
About the page I’m linking to below by Melanie Notkin, I relate.
I was engaged at one point to a guy and broke things off. He wasn’t right for me. I was miserable in the relationship, and I was not about to marry someone who I couldn’t even stand being engaged to.
I do not understand why so many people assume that folks who have never dated, never married, or who have not dated in years, are suspect or lacking, they assume that there must be something wrong with the person.
Just because someone has never dated, never married, or has gone years without being in a serious relationship, does not necessarily mean there is anything wrong with the person.
It can be very difficult to meet a match as you go through life, and some of us are not willing to lower our standards to date just anyone (being single is a much better choice than being with the wrong person or with dating an abuser or a jerk).
I can hazard a guess as to why I’ve never married at my age, and I won’t list all the reasons here, and in the overall scheme, I’m not sure why I’ve never married.
I do have a few hunches about contributing factors, though.
First of all, I was raised in a Christian environment that taught me to be very passive about marriage. I was supposed to “wait on the Lord’s timing,” pray, have faith, and God would magically send me a spouse. But that never happened.
Secondly, though I had wanted to marry, I was not in desperation mode about it. I know it’s a mistake to marry someone who is wrong for you just for the sake of marrying.
Thirdly, I am a huge introvert. Meaning, I do fine alone and actually prefer alone time. I hate parties and social events.
I do fine with being alone for long stretches of time, so unlike women who are clingy, needy, and who base their self worth on if they have a man or not, and who absolutely have to have a man because they cannot stand being alone, I was and am okay with being alone. I also don’t base my value or worth in having a spouse.
I think some of my views are actually pretty healthy. I am not going to be rushed or pressured into marrying by anyone or anything.
You would think our culture would respect these sorts of wise choices, but more often than not, they do not. They choose to assume if you are still single at age whatever, or if it has been years since you dated, you must have some kind of flaw.
Here is the link. I have more comments below the excerpts:
(Link): I’m 45, Single And Childless. No, There’s Nothing ‘Wrong’ With Me. by M. Notkin published October 2014
- I’m at a bar, on my first date with Brian, a man I met online. I’m happy to be inside, sitting next to this man, warm and calm. At age 45, I’m no longer focused on the future; I’m no longer envisioning my life as one half of a young couple, thinking about our future children. I’m focused on the moment I’m in right now. This is life. This is my life.
- And notwithstanding it not turning out the way I had expected, my life is beyond my expectations. I have chosen to live my life to its potential, and I’ve never felt better about myself or more comfortable in my own skin.
- Brian is handsome, self-made and from his body language, I can tell he’s happy to be sitting at the bar next to me. He swivels to face me, smiling, and I smile back. The date is off to a great start.
- But soon enough, his tone changes. Brian has decided it’s time to find out what’s wrong with me. And after all these years, seasons of men, loves and likes and not-quite-there feelings, I recognize the conversation that’s about to begin.First, my dates prove their ability to be in a relationship. They describe their marriage and how it concluded, or why their recent long-term relationship finally had to end, as Brian’s had earlier this year. “We argued so much it no longer felt good to be in the relationship,” he volunteers. And now, as these exchanges go, it’s my turn to share why I’m still single.”Have you ever been married?” Brian asks.
“No,” I say.
“Have you come close? Like engaged or lived with someone?”
“Nope,” I add.
Brian presses his lips together in judgment. “When was your last long-term relationship?” he asks, believing my answer is the answer to whether or not I want to be in a relationship. Or, perhaps more importantly, whether or not I am capable of being in one.
“It’s been a while,” I softly respond, noticing my own disappointment, let alone his.
“But you’re attractive and smart. I can’t believe you haven’t had a boyfriend in a while,” Brian says, but I know his flattery is a guise to learn the great mystery of why I’m still single.
- … “So, what’s the issue?” he asks. “I can’t believe you would still be single. You must be picky.”We’re entering the “dating-deduction” phase. Brian will keep trying to deduce what’s wrong with me until he hits the jackpot.”Of course I’m picky,” I say with confidence. “I want to be in love with the man I’m with and he deserves to be loved. If being ‘picky’ means I won’t settle for a lesser love, then you are right: I’m picky.”
- … “Some people choose to focus on their careers and some choose to have families,” my date says emphatically, making the assumption that because I haven’t had a family, I’ve made my choice.”I didn’t choose to have a career over falling in love, getting married and having children,” I reply, my voice again slightly raised.
- (Link): Click Here To Read The Entire Page, (“I’m over 40, never married, childless, and no, there’s nothing “wrong” with me”)
Additional thoughts: I find guys like the “Brian” mentioned above to be very annoying. I probably would not have been anywhere near as patient and nice as Notkin was to the guy.
I would have told Brian that it’s rude and presumptuous of him to make negative assumptions about my singlehood, to pester me about my single status, and all further questions about it are off limits.
By the way – I wonder why people divorce.
I don’t think making it to the altar to start with is a great feat, if you lack standards. I think marriage is harder for people who are not willing to marry just to marry, but if you are willing to drop standards and marry due to societal expectations, you can marry quickly.
Anyway, the double standard drives me nuts.
Many in our culture assumes a never-married 35 or 40 year old is suspect, but I have the opposite bias.
I often suspect people who have been divorced are the ones who have issues.
If you were a great, or normal, or a stable person, your marriage should have worked out.
What’s wrong with you, Mr. Divorced Guy, that you could not stay married to the same woman, and here you are, hitting on me on a dating site?
See how that works? I bet divorced and married people don’t like being subjected to these sorts of prejudices, but they do this all the time to people who have never married, or who have not dated in months or years.
It’s possible this Brian guy is a literary device that Notkin came up with to summarize the many negative assumptions culture holds about never married singles, but I have seen similar attitudes in real life or on other websites about singles.
I sometimes see total losers who get married (I have a series of posts on this blog called “They’re married??” you should check out for examples, see also this post for examples of total losers and dregs who for some reason managed to snag a mate), and I sometimes like to ask these people, “How did an ugly / weird / child molesting weirdo loser like you get a spouse????” – but I’ve so far not asked anyone that question.
I mean, seriously, if culture is going to stigmatize people who never marry and assume there is something wrong with us, I say never married adults need to ask their unattractive, fat, or weird, loser married friends, “How did you get married? I don’t get it. You have no redeeming qualities I can see, yet someone married you – was it desperation on their part?”
Related posts on this blog:
(Link): My Secret Grief. Over 35, Single and Childless by Melanie Notkin
(Link): Otherhood – An overlooked demographic – the Childless and Childfree Women and Singles Especially Women Who Had Hoped to Marry and Have Kids But Never Met Mr. Right (links)
(Link): Christian Blogger About Divorce, Pastor Andrew Webb, Thinks All To Most Mid-Life Never – Married or Single – Again Adults Are Mal-Adjusted, Ugly Losers Who Have Too Much Baggage
(Link): Salvation Army Bans Duggar / Quivering Cult’s ‘Retreat’ (Called ‘Get Them Married’) that Promoted Arranged Marriages for Teen Girls – Quivering Advocates Are Anti-Adult Singleness and Anti-Celibacy
(Link): Why is the childfree singleton a curiosity? by V Blackburn
(Link): ‘Why Are You Single’ Lists That Do Not Pathologize Singles
(Link): Another Obnoxious ‘Why You’re Not Married Yet‘ Article
(Link): A Long Time Single Responds to a ‘Why You’re Not Married’ Article
(Link): Myths About Never Married Adults Over Age 40
(Link): Slut? Selfish? Sad? No, just a single woman (editorial)
(Link): 34 Year Old Single Woman Harassed by Relatives at Wedding Over Why She Is Not Married Yet Asks How To Get Them to STFU About Her Singleness
(Link): I’m Single, But I’m Still a Whole Person (article)