Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Suddenly singles VS. Long time single : What are the rules?

Years ago, younger singles were very influenced by fairly tales and grandmothers who said, "someday soon your true love will come along and you will get married, live in a beautiful house with a white picket fence, have a bunch of children and live happily ever after." Things have changed. Fairly tales and grandmothers are still around, but younger singles have many more options. More experienced and wiser parents have realized that the best thing you can teach your child is self-respect, self-confidence and never having to depend on anyone. Focus on a career, a business niche or a good job. Marriage and a family have taken a back seat to independence.

Is being a Long-Time Single a life choice or that you just haven't met the right person yet? I have met several extraordinary women who have never married. This category also included women who married the wrong person or married too young, divorced and never remarried.

Most claim to be happy with their "freedom." Some have gotten close, but couldn't close the deal. Most have told me that as they've grown comfortable in their own skin, the though of "taking care of somebody," compromising on too many issues, taking on additional responsibilities with baggage, where to live, and keeping two places are just creating too much of a change "in my comfortably happy lifestyle."

Some long-time singles have found the "one," but refuse to get married. Why bring in the lawyers and government? If we choose to end it, we will. We don't need divorce lawyers and a day in court to punish us emotionally and financially for choosing to move on. Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn have lived together as man and woman for many years, not husband and wife. They appear to have a wonderful relationship without that "License to Bind." It is a more modern way of behavioral relationships. I know a few older gentlemen who believe asking a woman to marry, giving her a ring, their name and "legitimizing" the relationship is the optimal expression of love. I also know some older women who feel that only marriage morally legitimized their sexual behavior together. "What would the children, the neighbours, and the friends think if we're sleeping together and not married? It's a sin!"

Whether by death or divorce, the Suddenly Single have the burden of dealing with the loss of a spouse. I have deted a few women who have suffered the loss of a loved one, endured a substantial time for mourning, then got encouraged by friends and relatives to "get out there." Some are ready; many are not.

A cab driver heard from his single male passenger that the passenger just played golf and had a hole-in-one. THe cab driver said, "Congratulations, but I know a guy named Harold who got a hole-in-one at least once a month. Harold was also a championship tennis player who played in the U.S. Open, was an award-winning ballroom dancer, a gourmet chef, an accomplished musician who wrote dozens of songs, played ten instruments perfectly, was perhaps the world's greatest lover, made millions in the stock market and millions more in his business. " The passenger was amazed. Who is this incredible guy? Do you really know him? "He passed away," the cab driver said, "I've never met him, but my wife was married to him."

Some people never get over their loss. They tend to compare their current date with the embellished memory of their dearly departed. Unfortunately, no one can measure up.

Rule #2 is ...A bit of advice - if you're the spouse of the dearly departed, be aware that no one wants to hear about him or her repeatedly. You can say we visited there, or we saw that show, but try hard to keep your mourning private. And if you're the date, keep your antennae at full mast. If it seems that they mention their lost spouse too often, they probably are still in mourning. If it doesn't diminish, they are not quite ready for a new person in their life.

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