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Saturday
Jun112011

Why I'm Not Married

It's June. Wedding season is officially here, having been kicked off in April by the royal wedding. Hugh Hefner is marrying his child bride on June 18th and Kim Kardashian just got weighted down with a 20.5 carat engagement ring worth a little over 2 million dollars. Love is in the air—or at least celebrity marriages are lofting about. Am I feeling left out? Not really.

I recently read an article in Marie-Claire called Did You Marry The Wrong Guy? Typical women’s magazine subject matter—but effective. It got me thinking about my life and why I’m not married. I know why I’m not married, but it’s a question often asked by the men I date. They are looking for something wrong with me. They are looking for a flaw. Once bitten, twice shy. Too good to be true. All that jazz. Why can’t they just recognize a good thing when they see it and say “wow, where have you been all my life?” and quickly put a ring on my finger, before some other man gets the same idea.

While I don’t try to pass myself off as internally flawless, the rating given to the most pure diamonds, I do consider myself to be VVS1—or very very slightly imperfect. One of those imperfections is that I have cats. Most men hate cats. But, if they saw the way I cared for them, they’d want to come back in a future life as a cat with an owner like me. I don’t have children, so give me a break guys, and let me have my cats. No need for concern. I have a two cat maximum—until I get married. Then all bets are off. What's important to note is that while I may have some microscopic flaws, I'm not in any way synthetic or artificial. I'm the real McCoy and it takes a special man to recognize the value in that.

The Marie-Claire article says “according to recent research conducted by Jennifer Gauvain, a therapist in Denver, 30 percent of now-divorced women say they knew in their gut they were making a mistake as they walked down the aisle.” And yet, they got married anyway. Recipe for disaster: 1 part reluctant bride + 2 parts societal pressure + 1 part ticking clock. Simone Grant discusses this subject of being Long Term Single in a recent blog and comments on how people perceive the perennially single as being unable to commit. They see us as flawed because we have not been married. Yet, they see no flaw in being divorced. Pot. Kettle. Or as Yukon Cornelius said about peanut butter versus pea soup, "You eat what you like, I'll eat what I like." And I'd like to be single until I find the right man for me—the one I can envision spending the rest of my life with.

I was the child in school who never failed any subject. I might have gotten the occasional C+ in math or physics (which still haunts me to this day), but I never failed. So why ruin that perfect track record with marriage? For me, failure is not an option. While there is nothing wrong with failing at a marriage, it's just not something I want to do. Besides, I have been in enough “wrong" relationships to know very specifically what makes for the “right” relationship—for me, anyway. Now that I know what I want, I refuse to settle for anything less. I want to get married. Once. I want to get married and stay married and have a partner for the rest of my life. That may sound unrealistic to you, but it doesn’t to me. I have avoided making a mistake that so many women make, because they feel they should get married—that it’s time to get married. The only time to get married is when you know this is the person you can and want to spend the rest of your life with.

The answer to why I am not married is two-fold: I wasn’t looking. I come from the first generation of women who were told we could have our cake and eat it too. The cake being career, marriage, children, house in the suburbs, and a happy marriage. Oh, we ate it all right. A steady diet of career frosted with bittersweet sexism. I was too busy trying to have a career to look up long enough to find the right man. By the time I did look up, the biological clock was ticking loud and the batteries were running out—and now I'm not willing to compromise, because I don’t want to wind up divorced. I know. There are no guarantees in life. But why start out of the gate with a handicap?

I believe in fairytale endings and I believe in happily ever after. I will get married. Not for financial security, not to have a baby, not because I feel I should get married, but for the right reasons. For love. And I hope to hell it lasts!

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Reader Comments (10)

Great piece. We have YET ANOTHER thing in common: the B- in Intro Calc haunts me not because I care but because I have the same damned dream about that mean, skinny, homely girl, 24 from Univ of Michigan who made me cry in 11th grade then kicked me out. I agree with a lot of this. I LOVE my boyfriend, 10 months since our meeting this weekend and his 40th birthday, but I have no desire to get married now and I am older than you, 39 years old. Maybe at 43 I will have this I have to get married feeling but I do not , absolutely do not, do so now.

I also think if you were born clockless, like I was, biologically speaking (but I'm punctual haha), there really is no reason to marry. I also agree with my father, who is right about many but not all things in life and my sister as well, who met her SOUL MATE at 50 yrs old (first marriage didn't last in her late 20s but not a mistake in her view): only get married if you absolutely cannot imagine not being with this person for the rest of your life. That is a high, high bar.

June 11, 2011 | Unregistered Commentervictoria ordin

I think you have touched on another fundamental difference between men and women in new relationships. Women are looking for all the reasons why he is "Mr. Right" and men are looking for all the signs that she not marriage material. Each gender is manufacturing excuses to validate their own reasons for marrying or not marrying. Both of which skew the reality of who that person really is. Neither scenario is fair to themselves or the person they are dating. Flaws are inevitable and give character. They give a person dimension and personality. Of course, unless they own cats...than all bets are off! LOL! Great post!

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMarrie

I loved reading that, really insightful and pretty good timing for me! No I'm not getting married tomorrow or anything but I've been absolutely craving my wedding day recently...I don't even have a man!

Time to focus on finding Mr Right instead of Mr Rich and Available!

One thing I can recommend to anyone however is a fake hen night! I had one a week ago and it was the best night of my life, all the fun of a hen night without the troubles of a future husband...I'm not mad honest!

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLittle Miss Me

Great piece... loved this. Many of the same reasons I'm not married. I want to be sure when I get married, and unfortunatley, I haven't been there yet (came close before everything went down with my ex and cancelled my wedding, but alas, things can change). I'm looking forward to the day that it's right. And will enjoy my life until then :)

June 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine

Thank you ladies for your comments... Good to know we aren't alone in our views!

June 12, 2011 | Registered CommenterLennie Ross

Looks like Hef's fiancee came to her senses...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110614/people_nm/us_hefner

June 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commentererkcyclisme

Thanks for keeping me up to date!

June 14, 2011 | Registered CommenterLennie Ross

I absolutely love this post. Actually, I pretty much love every post that you come out with! My favorite part of it was when you said:

"I believe in fairytale endings and I believe in happily ever after. I will get married. Not for financial security, not to have a baby, not because I feel I should get married, but for the right reasons. For love. And I hope to hell it lasts!"

So many people (and I'm not just talking about women) get into relationships for every reason EXCEPT the right one! I think that a real relaitonship does come down to love - but also to shared values, compatibility, life direction, and good old communication. What do people really marry for? Social status, comfort, financial status, fear of "regret, being alone, disapproval" and the list goes on. The fact is, when you marry for a reason where your heart isn't really in it - ultimately it will be unfulfilled. Let's not forget the people who are IN a marriage and are completely miserable.

Part of a successful relationship and possibly marriage (although I can't say much from personal experience ... yet) is picking a partner who is really good for you, having the self responsibility to bring what is required to the relationship, and communicating with each other to help serve each other's needs.

Lennie, I think you will be just fine. In fact, more than fine. =)

Hot Alpha Female

June 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHot Alpha Female

I agree, especially with the second to last paragraph. I will say that genuine men do have the same feelings about finding the right woman who will accept them for who they are, even though we do not have to worry so much about the biological clock.

I have been dating since mid October 2010, and have me several women who tried to have it all too soon and ended up marrying the wrong man. They still have great careers, but the social pressure to have it all did end up taking it's toll on these woman's personal life.

Lennie, you are obviously a beautiful and intelligent woman and the right men do exist. If I were to offer some advice, look for the man who says it like it is, and is straightforward about his life - the positive and the negative. If he lays it out on the table, and makes you aware that he is not perfect, perhaps struggling over a hump in the road during the last year, you can be assured that he has the confidence to admit his situation and learn from his mistakes and misfortunes. Confident men and women do not lie about who they are, the accept it and grow. Men who are straight forward are looking for someone who is straightforward with them. If you encounter a man who describes his life as a beautiful oasis, he is probably hiding something, because no ones life even if it appears to be that beautiful oasis on the surface is really ever without issue deep down inside.

Hope this helps and nice article! Cheers.

June 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

Thanks Paul. Agree with your thoughts. I'm always cautious of someone who comes on too strong or says everything is great. Usually they are hiding something.

June 17, 2011 | Registered CommenterLennie Ross

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