Romantic relationships are a concept by which we seem to measure our success in life.
And it’s all crap.
If you’re single, people tend to think you’re sad and lonely and so they are forever trying to set you up so you can be as “happy” as them in their marriages.
Your relationship status should never be indicative of your level of happiness. I know plenty of miserable marrieds as well as singles who are loving life. Conversely, I know a lot of singles constantly on the prowl for The One who won’t feel content until they find the person, and I know some happily married couples who are the envy of all who know them.
A relationship has never been less important to me than right now. I just don’t care. I’m not looking. But I’m not not looking, either. It’s just that I would far rather be alone than try to force something with someone who isn’t right and have to work, work, work at making it work.
Once or twice in my life I’ve experienced the right connections with people who put everyone else who guest-starred in the love story of my life to shame. A flow so intense it caused me to actually believe in true love even when I spend so much time in my mind deconstructing that idea. So how can I go forward in anything less? I just don’t want to when I’m so content alone. As I well know after coming out the other side of a 9-year marriage: there is nothing lonelier than being in a bad relationship and I won’t do it again. Ever.
And it looks like I’m not alone in this.
According to a nationwide study by legal website, Avvo, relationships are less important to women than they are to men. Almost 20% more women than men report that they’d rather be “alone, successful, and happy, than in a relationship where they’re not happy.” Women are also less likely to regret a divorce.
Yep. While I regret that my divorce caused a lot of people pain, I do not regret the divorce itself. It has instigated so many wonderful life lessons and self-discoveries. The relationship was toxic and was destroying both of us. But he didn’t want the divorce.
So what does this mean? Are men more romantic? Does the notion of a relationship cause their hearts to beat faster?
Eh, if you want my honest opinion, I don’t think it’s that. I just don’t think that, for men, it has a whole lot to do with the love aspect of relationships. I think men like to be taken care of and women are the greatest caregivers in the world. It starts with mom. If you’re sick, who do you want caring for you? There’s something about the gentle yet assured touch of a compassionate woman that makes everything better. It’s why we all want our mommies when we’re sick.
I think men crave that particular blend of care and compassion. Can you blame them? It’s an extension of mom. A woman who is gentle and solicitous when they’re sick while handling all the bullcrap of adulting: keep a household, pay bills, make meals. It may sound sexist but women are traditionally the ones who do these things within relationships. It’s slowly changing as society becomes more fluid with gender roles, but it’s also a biological thing — women are more nurturing.
As for me, men come and go and I don’t place much stock in any of it anymore. But not because I’m jaded or pessimistic. I love men. God, I love men. I’ve met some beautiful men in my life. Men who get it. Deep-thinking, curious, smart, compassionate, soulful men who aren’t afraid of connecting but are equally happy alone. Men who genuinely care what I think about things and who like to talk about anything and everything. Men who read. Men who have an eye for beauty in everyday life. Men who aren’t caught up in ego and ambition and money and career. Men who enjoy simple things.
I am a sucker for these men. And when I find one, I’ll consider a relationship. But not because I want to be taken care of or need someone to make my life easier. It will be because I genuinely can’t imagine not having them in my life.
Until then, I just believe in me. My children and me.