Sunday, January 20, 2008

On Compatibility

I am single. And by single, I mean I haven't had a date in quite some time; I haven't been attracted to someone or had a crush in quite some time; and I can't remember the last time I flirted with anyone. Yes, folks, I am VERY single.

So now that this fact is out there for you all, let me tell you that because of this fact I know nothing of marriage or how a committed relationship works. I'm in the dark on that one. I can observe all I want. I can make speculations. I can think to myself as I attend countless weddings: They're perfect for one another! OR I give it three years, tops. OR I think that after she pops out a few kids he's the type to cheat. (Yes, I really think this stuff at weddings, cynic that I am).

What I have observed about marriage from my outside, naive perspective can be simplified to one statement: It is BLOODY difficult!

Now that I've established my vast lack of knowledge on the subject, let me move along:
In all my single time, I've come to conclusions about what I think I want/deserve in a mate. (Admit it, people, you make lists--if not tangible lists on paper than mental lists). For instance, education/smarts is a top priority of mine. If I can't have an intelligent conversation with a guy, it is over before it ever started. Maybe it is my day job. Maybe I'm an education snob...or a snob period. But a brain matters. To me.

But part of this "making lists of criteria" phenomenon makes me wonder if we singletons really know what we want/need. I know we think we know what we want/need. But do we really? As I've aged, I've gotten more cynical (more realistic?) about relationships and marriage. I don't think I could throw myself into love like I might have been able to at eighteen. I'm grateful for that. I'm glad I know what I want (or what I think I want). But is it really such a blessing that I can't throw myself head first into love without asking questions? Because, at some point, you have to have some blind faith and just go for it.
We hear so many ideas on what makes two people "fit":

Opposites attract
Find someone with similar tastes
If you have similar goals and standards,
any two people can make a marriage work

The list goes on and on. But what is it, really, that makes two people compatible? Because some marriages last and others do not. Statistics say your chance is 50/50 here in the U.S. For those marriages that work, is it just sheer determination and a kung fu grip that says "I will not let go of this, no matter what"? Do some marriages crumble because the relationship was built on faulty ground? And who is to say that a relationship that was beautiful from the beginning won't fall apart eventually or that two people who seem a bit oddly paired end up lasting the ages with a solid rock of a marriage?

As you can see, I have quite a few questions about this whole marriage/compatibility bit. I think that throughout the ages great thinkers and artists and poets and musicians and playwrights and therapists have been trying to figure this stuff out. We humans are tricky beings.

So, here are my confessions on this business...I sit here, singleton that I am and the truth is I don't know what to think. There are days that I sort of long for marriage while at other moments I feel this overwhelming sense of gratitude for my "lonely," "menace to society" "marriage impaired" state. We all know why I long for marriage. That's simple: BEING SINGLE JUST PLAIN SUCKS SOMETIMES. Sometimes I wish somebody else would shovel the driveway. Sometimes I want somebody bigger and/or stronger to carry in heavy items from the car. Sometimes I want my honor defended...or some other sappy romantic notion. But my sense of gratitude often outweighs those moments. I'm grateful for the perks of singlehood. My bed is mine and mine alone and there is nobody snoring/drooling/breathing on/farting beside me ALL NIGHT LONG. I bought two pair of shoes (on credit) that I really, really didn't need, but really, really wanted and I have no one to answer to for that venture. Except, perhaps, Visa.

But one day, I know that I have to give up my plush life and let somebody else carry in the heavy groceries. And when that happens, I'm just wondering if I can ever let go of my cynicism and reservations and my list and just. Let. It. Happen.


Mrs. Bennett said...

And that someone- when you find him - will fart on his side of the bed ALL NIGHT LONG.

LovingTheChaos said...
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LovingTheChaos said...

Something to keep in mind...YOU will be farting all night long too! :)

The Rookie said...
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Alice said...

Sorry, that second delete was me.

As a fellow Singleton sister, I also wonder if any of us really know what we want/need/or what might be best for any of us? The things that hook people up, keep people together, or split them up never seem to be the same when it comes to the nitty-gritty?

I must admit I have a harder time with the booger/loogey issues, hair left on the sink, pee all over the toilet and floor, than the fart. However, those stink too!

Adele said...

Best to fall in love with a friend. If not, living with your friend/husband is good. You keep forgiving each other. And you are not uncomfortable. Opposites make it easy/hard????

Blackeyedsue said...

DH and I were talking about this the other day. We were married young...very young. Although it was hard, we decided there were some benefits. DH has a friend who just got married. It is almost harder for them because they are both so set in their ways. It seems like there is constant pushing and shoving (not literally). We laugh and say we "grew up together." We were young and stupid and I think that if either of us would have had a taste for the single life much longer, we never would have gotten anyone. We helped mold and shape each other into the people we are today.

I think that neither of us STILL know what we want or need, but we are figuring it out together. We do know that picturing our futures without the other one in it is pretty sad and something neither of us want to think about for long.

Once you do resign your single status, you will wonder what you ever did without someone to warm up your bum on cold winter nights or having that same someone hold your purse while you are trying on said shoes.

And he will be DANG lucky to have you for a wife!!!!

Kristie said...

You summed up my thoughts exactly, especially the DATING JUST PLAIN SUCKS part. Sometimes I wish that "Mr. Right" will plop right down in my lap without all the hard work of getting to know him, meeting the parents, having the offical "DTR", etc. Then again I would want to make sure I had a choice in the matter and didn't end up with someone freaky. Best of luck to you on this crazy single life rollar coaster. I don't know about you, but I am ready to get off now.