choosing our paths in life
Once again, I found myself sitting in Central Park this past weekend with two of my single girlfriends (J and N), discussing relationships. When the single ladies get together, there really is no way to avoid this conversation.
The topic of children came up, as we are surrounded by pregnant friends or new-mother friends. Babies abound this summer! And we are thrilled for our pals and welcome our status as “Auntie”. But there is that feeling that we all feel, that we don’t necessarily want to admit to, of longing for our own family. The “why not me?” (dreaded) feeling. We don’t want to take away from all the happiness that our friends are experiencing with their new, growing families, but it can be difficult to temper the deep gutted feeling of wishing it were us.
In light of this on-going discussion between the single ladies and me, at one point I made the not-so-profound statement, “If all we wanted was marriage and a family, we could be married and have that family. We’ve all dated that guy or guys that liked us much more than we liked them. And if we had stayed with him, it probably would have led to marriage.” One of my friends was more skeptical, “Well, I don’t know. I’m not sure I’ve dated someone like that.” Is she nuts? Of course she has. We’ve all dated someone who was so much more into us than vice versa. Especially if you’ve been dating for 20 some odd years, as we have.
I stated my “we could be married” declaration for N for the first time on Saturday, and she whole-heartedly agreed. And with a laugh, added “…and divorced!” to it, because if we had married one of these guys that we were not so enamored with, it would be like settling and we might have wound up unhappy and looking to leave the relationship.
I’d like to believe that we’ve made the conscious decision NOT to be married at the present time, because we do not wish to settle. Our expectations aren’t sky high. We don’t expect Prince Charming. But we also don’t believe in settling. We all should make every effort to thoroughly vet our, hopefully, life long partners in crime. I very much do hope to find the perfect man for me and to be married and have my own family someday. But if “he” never comes along, well, I am happy enough with who I am to be able to live my life content and fulfilled.