- Gender and Relationships
Happier Single or Happier Married?
Are some people just meant to have a lot of cats?
Only kidding...making an age old joke about the cat lady, a spinster/single woman who has a house full of cats. But it makes you wonder if some people are meant to be single. With the divorce rate at 50/50% we could take a wild guess that a perpetual single life applies to about half the population.
I absolutely believe some people are not meant to be married or even in a life-long romantic relationship/partnership. Hmmm...definitely my husband's older brother who's been married 6 times (currently divorced). Our culture suggests otherwise. Everybody should find that one person even if it takes a few times. It's bad enough if you are single, but if you want to be single....WHOA watch out for the backlash. You might be labeled a hermit, anti-social, weird, or gay (sorry about the lack of political correctness).
We search, it's almost an innate quest, for that one true love. Someone worthy of spending our lives with. Since the beginning of time, people have divided up and decided upon roles in various ways on various terms, but one thing always remains constant...two people working at life together, side by side.
Men: What does single life look like for a man? In general I think men do a little better getting away with being acceptably single. He's perhaps just a bachelor, good-looking guy playing the field, being choosy. But even those guys, like George Clooney, can't get away with it forever. At some point people begin to wonder 'what the hell is wrong with you'?
A guy friend of mine recently married, finally, for the first time at age 39. Why did he wait so long? I pin-pointed that out approximately 13 years ago when we first became friends. Immediately upon visiting his house one day, I noted his mom stopped by for her once-a-day-visit and began doing his laundry, brought him some dinner, and cleaned his house. What's wrong with this scenario...well he doesn't need another woman with his mom hanging out all the time and not many progressive women of the 21st century are going to be his maid...unless he pays really well.
In psychology, we would just chalk this scenario up to his mom loving him too much. Yes, most of men's relationship issues are either mom loved him too much or not enough. Biologically speaking, men have an eternal seed, so to speak and can father children into their golden years so we don't put too much pressure on them for being single for a while.
Women: Women, however, are waiting a while to get married. Longer than ever in history. Many will say it's on purpose and many will attest to wanting that special someone but not finding Mr. Right (Disclaimer: just because I mentioned Mr. Right doesn't mean he exists. He doesn't). Women can literally obtain all they need (and want), by themselves. They don't need a man and biologically speaking, they don't even need a man to have a baby. But I think deep down women do want to find their eternal partner. And the biggest problem is they're pickier than ever. All the guys they passed up in their 20's are looking pretty damn good in their 30's but too damn bad they're married.
Some myths have been fed to women about not needing a man. I never thought of getting married the equivalent to needing someone. Yes, we could all do everything by ourselves, but for some this may or may not be fulfilling. That is a personal question for yourself. Ladies, when you look like Demi Moore you can get that young, hot Aston Kutcher when you're 40. Otherwise, marriage or partnerships should be on the front burner and you really need to think about whether you are the happier married person or happier single person.
If you're not ok being by yourself for the rest of your life, then thinking about finding someone should not be a goal after you travel, after you get a career, after everything else. Hollywood sells you headlines such as "40 is the new 30" ( if you have a maid to take care of your babies and lots of money to get IVF treatments to have babies at 40+).
Don't get me wrong, I'm not pushing marriage onto women, or anybody else, but I'm in that age bracket where many of my friends (guys and gals) are feeling the effects of waiting...wondering why they can't find anyone to share their life with. That's why I'm writing this hub. I want everyone to start thinking about this question before you go along with society's age-old tradition of finding your other half- maybe that's not right for you so free yourself of the angst and get on with life. Or maybe you think you have a lot to accomplish in your 20's and love can wait.
Favorite quote for the married folks...
"We need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things, all of it, all of the time, every day. You're saying 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go unwitnessed because I will be your witness'."~~ Susan Sarandon in SHALL WE DANCE (movie).
...And this is probably why I am married. It's true. I love being by myself. I love solitude, but I also love philosophy and if I ask myself at the end of the day, 'what does it all mean'?, I can answer 'it means a lot' because my life is very intertwined with my significant other- our kids, our lives have grown together and he pretends to care what I had for breakfast if I tell him. I've always been big on the small stuff and that's where you find meaning.
Tying the Knot: Best Types for Marriage
I believe my husband was meant to be married- he's loved the idea of it since he was 18. He's very traditional and loves the comforting and familiar. On the other hand, I was opposite. I saw my parent's marriage fail so I wanted no part of it- planned my life to be single. In fact, I shocked a whole graduating class(mine) when I finally got married. Nobody in high school thought I would. I'm very independent in nature and getting married was a leap into the unknown for me. However, if I had stayed single I would have been just fine, but 'just fine' doesn't seem like much fun to me.
And this is why I can give only generalizations for the typical marrying type:
- You've been planning your wedding since you were four.
- You value traditional values. Tend to be very faithful and loyal.
- Responsible in your own life and realize the responsibilities that come with marriage; shared finances, possible illnesses (you or your spouse), children.
- You personally want to find someone, not your mom hounding you, or because all your friends are married, or you're reaching a certain age.
- You envision your life similar to a freind's marriage or parent's marriage.
- You want one person to share your life with.
Ball and Chain: Best Types for Being Single
According to Psychology Today online blog, Bella Depaulo, suggest some traits are inherent in those that do better being single. Yes, some people break the myth of our social culture and do fine without a significant other. And for God's sake can cease the madness, that tortuous search for their soul mate. She states, "American culture is saturated with matrimania, the over-the-top hyping of weddings and coupling"..."45 percent of all adults are unmarried. Americans now spend more years of their adult lives unmarried than married".
You can put your feet up...and do whatever you want (no one else to tell you otherwise), but you may need some of these traits:
- When you think about time alone, you breathe a sigh of relief and happy thoughts occur.
- Being lonely never crossed your mind.
- You like to make your own decisions without someone else involved.
- When you think about marriage or long-term relationships, it seems like something you "should do", but maybe don't personally want to.
- When you think of important people in your life, you're fine with it being a mix of family members and friends.
- You prefer making future plans by yourself without anyone else (maybe friends only).
- When something bad happens, you like handling it by yourself, maybe call a friend.
- Second Marriages and Step/Blended Families
For second marriages, statistics are gloomy. At least 70% of those marriages fail. In fact, they are more likely to fail if they involve step-children. There has to be something to this statistic amd not just because step mothers are evil
- The Work Spouse
The work spouse is a potentially key relationship when one's actual spouse or boy/girlfriend is not able to be there. As people work more and spend less time at home, these hybrid relationships have begun to catch on. In one 2006 survey, 69% of worke