The Reluctant Monogamist

Although not as reluctant as my twin, I too have found myself checking the ‘single’ box a tad longer than I’d ever expected I would… A bachelorette at the ripe Camyage of  40-something. What happened?!  What didn’t happen? How did I get here- still single?? Well, I have many theories about what factors in my life serve as culprits. One theory: my focused attention- to myself; to my work and career; to my fitness; to my twin and all aspects associated with that theory. But maybe what really happened was my lack of focused attention to the ONE- the very mystical and very illusive ONE.

Interesting enough though, quite recently, I’ve been hit with a revelation: What if (bear with me now) what if I had been looking for the one when I really should have been looking for the ones…. Uh-oh, I said it, I did. In case you were wondering, no, I am not a polygamist. I’m not into sharing my man, our life, our children and our bed with other women- that’s not what I meant. But I can’t help but wonder: were we as humans even meant to be monogamists?

It’s beautiful to know that there are people out there that have found their one– the one they could not imagine their lives without; the one they come home to every night; the one defined as the soul mate; the one they were born to meet and share the rest of their lives with (until they decide to divorce). Isn’t it all just so romantic! But how is it that just one person in gazillion can be everything that you’d need for the rest of your life? That’s A LOT of responsibility for that one poor soul!

A short while ago, I found myself in a situation where I had my grip on two men- at the same time. Each man was wonderful; however, each, very different. Each provided me with a very different kind of affection and attention- neither ever clashed. One didn’t do more than the other, they just did it differently. And I can honestly say that I sincerely cared for them both. The thing with which I had trouble wrapping my head around was how my feelings for one NEVER took anything away from my feelings for the other. In fact, interestingly enough, they each supplemented the other! Huh? How could that be? Every love story I’ve read and watched always ended happily ever after with one– not three!

I realized- even then, that what I was doing, most would regard as cheating; yes, whoring myself; leading them on, perhaps. But nothing about it ever felt wrong. The wrong I felt lied in the fact that I felt no guilt! They provided for me in such different ways that I began to question whether just one man would be enough for me… That revelation sent me spinning! What’s a girl to do?! Am I destined to be a ‘cheater’ or am I to now seek to enter the world of ‘open relationships’ where all parties involved are on board? Was it just this case or is my one still out there- ready, willing and able to provide me with a love that two individuals could not. And maybe- just maybe that’s what finding the one means… maybe.

To be quite honest with you, I’m still not convinced that there is a one. Perhaps I will meet someone that will appreciate me, love me and fulfill me ’til death do we part as we settle into what society deems to be the norm. Perhaps all my desires can actually be satiated with the right one. Perhaps I will always seek ‘supplemental’ companionship. But hopefully, no matter which it is, hopefully, I’ll find exactly what it is that my heart and soul need.

photo credits: the crosswalk.com and thissexysinglemommy.net

Marrying Yourself to Prove Self Love?

A friend of mine turned me on yesterday to an article he found online about Yasmin Eleby, a woman who decided to marry herself on her 40th birthday. Apparently she had made this promise to herself that if she did not yet have a husband by the time her 40th birthday rolled around, she would make that commitment to herself. I read the article and then read her back story in a separate article in which she was interviewed. Eleby claimed that she wanted to show others her self worth, her self love and her self respect. She said that it was about her loving herself and not having to seek attention from others (http://www.abelleinbrooklyn.com/backstory-40-y-o-woman-married/). I’m sorry, but if you’re not trying to seek attention from others, what are you doing throwing yourself a huge wedding ceremony complete with ten bridesmaids, a cake and a reception?

Obviously, this is a symbolic gesture and it speaks against the tradition and institution of marriage while promoting self love and self acceptance. I respect her for going through with something as big and symbolic as this but there are certain things she said in her interview that I disagree with. She said she can’t believe that her loving herself has offended people. I think she’s missing the idea that it’s not her self love that people are offended by- it is the unusual way in which she chose to express it.

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I don’t believe in this idea of marrying yourself just to prove you honor and love yourself. Why are you trying to prove it to others when you already know it for yourself? In the end, you are really the only one who matters. Eleby obviously already loves and respects herself by the mere fact that she has not yet settled for just anyone in desperation just to be married. That should be proof enough for her. She doesn’t need to parade that around. I think that there’s a reason why she has not yet met her mate and she needs to take this time as an opportunity to look inside of herself, her life, her actions, and her thoughts to explore why. I don’t wish to judge her because I have not walked in her shoes. But I do think she has given up too quickly.

My friend who turned me to the article went on to make a good point: “it seems like this woman really is a very eccentric person and there is nothing wrong with that. I truly believe that she had a Big 40th birthday party and her wedding was just the theme.” Perhaps that’s all it was. Her story does remind me of a 2007 Lifetime movie called I Me Wed, where the main character Isabel Darden decided to marry herself and actually followed through with it. Her story was different in many ways. Isabel Darden was a 30-something year old successful woman who bought and flipped houses. All of her friends were getting married and her friends and family both pressured her about settling down to be happy. She assured her friends that she was having fun dating and she had everything she needed so she did not necessarily need a man. She was living life to the fullest and was not in any rush to be married. But the emphasis was surprisingly on being married in order to be happy. So she set out to prove that she could be happy and fulfilled without a man. There were a lot of good points raised in that film but let’s face it, it was a Lifetime movie so yes, she did end up meeting a man soon after her wedding announcement. Interestingly enough, she felt she had to go through with the wedding anyway because the media got wind of it, she inspired a number of single women, and so many people were going to attend the wedding. She went through with the ceremony but the last scene of the movie was her real wedding with the man she met soon after her announcement.

Again, she was trying to prove to others that she could be happy without a man. I believe if you are truly happy, screw what everybody else thinks! It’s all about you, not them. You have nothing to prove to anyone but yourself because you are the one living with yourself day in and day out. While I know that  I myself can be happy without a man, I still want one; I want to be in a meaningful relationship. The difference is that Isabel from the movie enjoyed dating and living the single life. Sometimes dating can be fun for me but most of the time it’s just another painful reminder of how lonely I really am. Isabel did not feel lonely. She felt the pressure from her family and friends. I myself am not being pressured by anyone but me. I think about my age and I feel the pressure. I see friends I went to grade school and high school with who are married and have families and I feel the pressure. My younger cousins are getting married and starting families and I feel the pressure. I’m doing it to myself. I do love myself. I can be happy without a man. I don’t need to get married just because society says that’s what I should want at this age. Or maybe society has dictated that to me and I have internalized it as something that I truly want for myself. Either way, I know what I want for myself at this time and I’m not giving up on the idea of having it.

There are a few women out there making the same bold move marrying themselves. I will not be one of those women nor do I wish to be. Instead, I will keep on having faith that one day soon, I will finally meet the man that I was meant to marry.

 

Image found on weddinginspirasi.com.