I’ve been a bit leery of telling any personal stories regarding romantic relationships, but now seems like right the time to do it.
Steve H. tells us why he didn’t want to go to a New Year’s Eve gathering last night. Turns out that someone wanted to fix him up. It’s a valid reason, as far as I can see. I hate being “fixed up” as well, because, generally speaking, none of my friends (and relatives) have any idea what kind of man I’m interested in. It’s not their fault, however; it’s simply because I don’t go on about how there are “no good men out there” nor do I have any great concern about my single status (divorced for twelve years).
But after reading several of Steve’s diatribes regarding the foibles of the twenty-first century single woman—all of which contain all too many truths--I feel compelled to give the perspective of this single woman.
In the comments, the almighty Allah muses that many attractive women past a certain age may have “dark personality traits” which keep them from being married. Well, I will turn forty-four this year, get occasional appreciative glances from those of the male persuasion—black don’t crack, baby--and, most certainly, have several dark personality traits. One that has kept me from remarrying or even having a recent boyfriend, however, is perfectionism (one can decide for self whether this is a dark personality trait or not). I’ll have what I want or I’ll have nothing.
Be advised, I’m not talking about having a blindingly handsome guy or a filthy rich one. My requirements seem pretty basic: a guy that believes in God (Christian), loves me, loves his family, tolerates my family, works hard and is reasonably intelligent. The overarching factor in a guy that catches my attention is summed up in one word: integrity.
Is that too much to expect? It seems to be so, especially that first item. You see, I was married to a guy who laid claim to that. When we took our vows, it wasn’t a vow to each other, but a vow to God; “for better or worse”—or so I thought. But when “worse” came about--when I miscarried the child that he and I had planned for--he was ready to bail and after much pleading, negotiating, arguing and so forth, I finally let him do so. (The Ex isn’t the total villain here, I had a BIG warning sign before the vows were taken, which I chose to ignore.)
There are many out there who have far worse divorce stories than mine, but what I learned from my own situation is this: if a guy can’t keep his vow to God, why should one expect him to keep a vow to anyone else? And if a guy doesn’t believe in God, all bets are off. After all, such is far more likely "do what’s right in his own eyes." (Yes, I know; all too many Christians fall into this category, but I’m playing the odds here.) Get old, fat, or merely become old news? Trade her in for a newer, sleeker model with whom the novelty hasn’t worn off; yet. No thanks. I’d rather sleep alone.
I’m not married or attached not because of a dearth of recent offers or because I’m an old, unmarried, childless bag whose biological clock alarm is ringing at 100 decibels (zzzzz). It’s simply that I haven’t run across a man in whom I have a reasonable amount of trust and I’m not willing to settle for less.
Now I imagine that some might say that my “marketability” is declining with each passing year and, from the perspective of many single-and-looking men, this is correct. Does it follow, then, that I should lower my standards? Only if you buy the idea that one can only be happy when mated for life and that any mate is better than no mate. I don’t.
When I was in my mid-twenties and had been in the Air Force for about five or six years, one of my compadres—a man—asked me why I wasn’t married yet. (In the military, even fugly women who aren’t lesbians usually have one or two suitors--especially at overseas locations--and usually end up married to a fellow military member.) The first part of my answer was the dead-on truth: I didn’t join the Air Force to find a husband (my ex-husband was a civilian). The second part, however, was due to still being held a bit in sway by the feminist ideology: I didn’t need a husband to validate my attractiveness as a woman or to be happy. Later on, when I was in my thirties and divorced, I questioned the second part of my answer constantly. Recently, however, I decided that I was right all along, but for different reasons than those of the feminist type.
Part Two will be up directly.