Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Not there yet

Recently, my mom brought it to my attention that I'm not married.
"You know what's weird? Most girls meet someone in college and get married. But you, you're about to finish getting your law degree and you didn't meet anyone in college or law school. You're not close to getting married at all! It's so weird!"

Actually, my mom says a lot of things that she pretends are just curious observations or gentle reminders but are actually said for the specific purpose of being hurtful. But this post isn't about that.

It's true. I feel like at 26, I'm one of a small pool of American women who is not married, not close to being married, and passing her prime.
I'm not ugly. I'm not fat. I don't live in an apartment full of cats. I'm not a hoarder.

Some people are quick to point to the fact that I've been in school for so long as the reason why I'm not married. I don't think that's it. I know a lot of people who got married before law school or during law school or who are marrying after law school. I don't think men are turned off by the fact that I'm educated--which is something my mom thinks. She's a dinosaur.

I'd like to think the reason I'm slowly (and possibly surely) entering the dangerous territory of spinsterhood is two fold:
First, I don't think of myself as someone who is ready to wed.
>I'm irresponsible: I've had several cactus plants die under my care. I leave the dishes in the sink until the smell begins permeating everything I own.
>I'm too self-involved. I look forward to spending money on myself. I take off my pants everyday, first thing when I get home. I don't keep foods or beverages around for company.

Second, I don't date the kind of men who are looking to marry...yet(?).

Pretty recently, my friend, Chau, invited me to what was apparently a blind date.
I thought it would just be the two of us but when I got there, she was sitting with four other people: her boyfriend, another couple, and a man. To say the man is unattractive would be unfair because attractiveness is contextual and perceptional (or, as some would say, "in the eye of the beholder"). But he wasn't my type, so there was that.
We were at a bar that I go to A LOT so I excused myself from the table and went to order a drink. The gentleman I was there to entertain followed me, asked the bartender to put the drink on his tab, and went to the bathroom.
"Chau's trying to set me up with that guy. He seems super nice but I'm not into him. He's not my type," I told the bartender.
"Guys like that usually are really nice," the bartender said. So maybe this guy was a tad unattractive.
But I stayed and talked and it became apparent that this man was looking for something long term.

This quality in a man repels me like nothing else.
 My thing about guys who are looking to get into a relationship that leads to marriage is that they are either one of two breeds: (a) they are really just looking to get laid and saying what they think would put my suspicions (and morals) to rest; or (b) they are indiscriminately looking to marry.
My problem with the type b kind of men is that I want to be someone's choice. I want to be with someone who loves me for all of the quirks and disgusting habits and phobias that are unique to me. I want someone who is looking for me. I don't want to be with someone who could be just as happy with anyone else.

For a long time, several years ago, I dated a type b kind of guy.
More than that, we lived together.
My type b boyfriend did some of the most romantic things that I've never since experienced: he'd send flowers when we argued, he'd write down things I liked, things I didn't like, my dreams. For being that kind of man, he deserves a lot of praise.
But, our relationship was also the most volatile and violent and turbulent and terrible relationship I've ever been in on levels that I've never since experienced.
He needed me and my attention in ways that were too heavy a burden for me as a twenty year old. I would collapse under this pressure and need air and space and time away from him. In these moments, needing someone to give him that attention, he'd cheat.
Eventually, one of his side relationships became more important to him than ours and he began exclusively seeing (and living with) that girl.
With me, my type b boyfriend was everything that I was--he liked the same movies, the same music, we dressed the same, we would change our online handles to match. But I noticed that in his new relationship, he became just like his new girlfriend. And I realized that he was never like me but rather playing a part to please me. He is the kind of person who adapts to and accommodates everyone he dates and is looking for the "one." You don't have to be particularly special, any one is capable of being his "one."

I don't think all people who are married at my age or earlier have found or are type b people.
I think some people are honestly lucky and privileged to have found someone they hopelessly love.
All I'm saying is that I believe women who are my age and unmarried are so by choice: they are any number of type b men out there, we could all  be married.
I am not just looking to be married, I'm looking to actually be happily married and for that I can stand to wait even longer.

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