I seemed to have developed a certain amount of ambivalence with regard to my dating life which may be why this New York Times Article resonated with me. Sure, I still have my profile up there on OKCupid, and I answer the odd email that looks interesting, but my heart’s not really in it. This article gave me some insight as to why that might be.
I’ve gotten pretty cozy in my single life, even though with kids I’m never really alone. But I do I worry that I’m turning into stone.Â I watch The Bachelor (living vicariously much?) on a Monday night without having to jump back and forth to a football game. Do they still even have “Monday Night Football”? I wouldn’t know. I may be getting a little too cozy spooning with the dog (hey, don’t judge me. She’s small and likes to sleep under the covers).Â And despite my attempts toÂ “Call in the One”Â by clearing out my closet, my skirts and dresses are slowly invading the empty spaces like stubborn weeds.Â Â I gave up long ago my attempts at meditating in order to envision the relationship I hope to draw forth from some secret place in the Universe.
But it’s true what the article says: I might fall and there would be no one there to pick me up. I like the author’s conclusion that men have an instinct to protect and provide and thus need a partner to take care of the nest while they are out cavorting around the forest. Women, instinctively take care of the nest, and retreat there when the going gets tough. So, OK. I’ve retreated. No doubt its a widow’s instinct â€“ a way of protecting themselves when they have lost their protector.
See? I have an excuse. It’s instinctual widow behavior. Yes, I’ve just played the widow card.
But the truth is, I’ve grown to love my single life. I like taking up the entire closet with nothing but my clothes; I like not being judged for watching the Bachelor (who needs a guy for that?); And I love spooning with the dog.
Recently, I’ve begun looking for another full time job. As much as I would like to finish my book, my lifestyle of leisure is not particularly sustainable. At least, not until my book becomes a best seller.
I’ve been a little surprised by the reaction I’m getting with my news that I’m looking for full time employment. Just the very act of putting it out there has elicited some interesting information from my friends and family. Apparently it’s unanimous that “it will be good for me to get out there.” And I know that it will, which is why I’m looking. I know to them though, a big part of “good for me” equates with my finally meeting a great guy and settling down, happily partnered and no longer living the lonely, widow life.
It’s interesting to me that society at large pushes us to be coupled. And sure, it would be nice in so many ways to find a partner. In little ways I know I’ve forgotten about: A wink from a partner across the room at a party; a slap on the ass as you’re loading the dishwasher that’s not meant to annoy the crap out you; a calm voice when you get that call from the school telling you need to pick up your child; someone who can pick up a gallon of milk when you run out in the middle of making dinner.
But I think getting a job will be “good for me” for other reasons: expanding my horizons, gaining new skills, challenging myself, earning cash, getting health care, teaching my kids independence, buying some new clothes. But doing it as a dating tactic is hardly my objective.
So, yeah, I’m “getting out there.” But its not so I can find someone who will pick me up if I fall, its to prove to myself and the world that I can pick myself up when I do.