Friday, January 8, 2010
There is something to be said for what happens when you are single and what happens when you are married. I think for most people, they spend their single years either trying to get into a relationship...and when they finally get into one, they think about how great it was to be single. I find myself smiling at many students who tell me how bad their relationship problems are. It is hard to convince many of them that their current boyfriend or girlfriend is just a phase in which they have to go through.
I have made this point before that as a society we expect 18 years old kids to make a decision on their lives starting with picking a major they may not like by the time they graduate. Why is that any different when it comes to love? Love is just like any other subject in school, you have to be educated in it. Sometimes you pass and sometimes you fail, but in each case you learn.
The real problem that I have learned is that when I was single, I was not in the mindset that I need to better myself. Many times the thought process is to maintain a job and to date as many women as possible. Keep in mind, that when I was 25, I did things that I would never do when I am 35. In general, our thought process changes.
I can see how single people in general are afraid to get married. However, marriage is not bad. The problem is that no one ever tells us what marriage is about. I know that sounds strange but, it is very true. The only reference is what we see on TV. Of course their are books about how things should be, but I am a firm believer that we shape what our relationships should be. Society should never dictate anything to us.
I was talking to a fellow writer over the break about true love and marriage. She was amazed about how arranged marriages always seem to work out. Her belief is that love is learned and developed through growing and learning together. That means to me that as single people, we are too busy "trying to get it in" to try to really learn anything. Of course the love learning process is not just a two way thing. Learning to love someone also means you have to learn to love yourself. This is where I think we all get screwed. We think that we can make someone fill that lack of love for ourselves and replace it with theirs...
I have learned that being single means I need to take that time to fix me. I should have done that in my twenties but I was too stupid to even realize it. Being single means means I have to take care of myself. I need to maintain my health and I need to really set my life in order. Not to say that I could not do this when I was married, but what really happens is that when anyone of us gets into a long relationship, we get too comfortable. I got complacent. I let myself go.
On thing that people do not say about marriage is the fact that people no longer feel the need to impress their partner. It just happens. The once tight haircuts do not happen as often. The lack of exercise becomes apparent and before you know it you have let yourself go because the mind set is...there is no one to impress. Granted this is a bad way of thinking, but is it the truth.
So the being single should be about finding the path to our true selves. A relationship should not define us, we need to define our relationships. Marriage is not for everyone and perhaps I was not ready and I can admit that now, but the learning of who I am in the process is something that cannot be replaced or even duplicated.
Being single should be about falling in love. Some people fight this notion because love is a scary thing indeed. What makes us human is the ability to feel. Love is our key to happiness. No one can achieve happiness without love. People are not ready to trust or even to be honest. Some cannot be themselves because love is so hard to deal with. However, I am not talking about love for another person. I am talking about love for self.
I intend on falling in love very hard this year...with myself. (I hope I am ready)