February 29, 2012

I was watching a Facebook thread on marriage the other day, and I noticed that there seem to be quite a few unmarried women who desire wedded bliss. {There were also a few MARRIED women who wish they had wedded bliss, but that’s another post.}

Now, getting married has never been one of my problems. {ahem} I’ve done it again and again, and I say that with no embarrassment. We make choices for better or for worse, and while it would be nice to think that it’s always best to stay married, sometimes for worse is just so “worse” it precludes that. For numerous reasons.

Shit happens.

Sure, I would’ve liked the fairy tale–and in fact, the fairy tale did come to me, but it took 30 years and a whole lot of shit happening. I don’t feel the least distressed by my marital history because I know exactly what happened in each case, whether I share it publicly or not. I’m comfortable with it; others don’t have to be.

More important than how many times you’ve been married or divorced is how you come to a parting of the ways and if you’re able to identify and carry forward the gifts that every relationship brings, even when it’s unintended. That’s how I see it, anyway.

So I guess you’d have to say that I know a little something about getting married. I’m no femme fatale, but I have found no shortage of men interested in marriage. I’ve also known quite a few women who are stuck in their single state and I have a few ideas why.

“I just can’t meet anyone suitable!”
Let’s face it. If you’re middle-aged and attractively average, like many of us, if you don’t work in a huge company or otherwise have access to a huge pool of eligible men, a mate’s not going to be easy to find. It’s not like you’re going to stumble on them en route to the coffee machine. You simply have to find a way to increase your exposure to the kind of men you want to meet.

If you’re approaching 50 and you’re not meeting the tall, dark, handsome man of your dreams, you need to take a hard look at the facts. A 50 year old man can date backwards in age up to 25 years –and often does. His pool is much larger, and all things being equal, he’ll usually pick a 35 year old hottie who can still have kids versus someone who’s about to hit menopause. You are simply going to start considering those really nice guys whose appearance may not immediately ring your chimes. And if you’re pushing 50 and still choosing men by chemistry, and you don’t want to end up single— you might want to check in with a therapist.

“I’d never date online.”
Get a grip. You already spend hours of your day online and on social media. Online dating is no different. If you think online dating is for losers, you’re thinking like one. Go back to “I just can’t meet anyone suitable” and realize that online dating is a way to expand your candidate pool. Use it. It’s just another tool to get you to the right mate.

“All sorts of nuts are on the dating sites.”
I’m all for being cautious, but I’m also all for online dating. There are really great men online. There are also jerks, but you don’t have to respond to everyone who contacts you. There’s a trick to weeding through the masses to narrow down more appropriate candidates.

“None of my dates every works out.”
Well, that’s a little tough to crack. You need to take a look at the men you’re interested in. Is there, perhaps a selection bias? Do you like “bad boys?” or “shiftless losers?” If you’re truly confused, you can go back to men you’ve dated and tell them you…. ask them why they didn’t feel they wanted to go forward.

Dating is not a passive activity.

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