Monday, August 4, 2008

Marriage isn't always the goal!

We’ve all had those windows of opportunity that for whatever reason we didn’t take. Some of those windows related to careers and others to lost business opportunities. The window I’m referring to is marriage. I recently heard that window slam shut. It hit me suddenly but clearly that I do not want to be married at this time in my life. I was rather surprised by this revelation. I have been divorced for 31 years and had until now assumed I would remarry some day but I was so busy being a single mom I never engaged in activities that were condusive to meeting someone. Then at the ripe old age of 52 I began a relationship with a childhood sweetheart I hadn’t seen in over 30 years. It was new yet familiar; our shared past afforded a continuity that I thought had been lost to me forever. The window of opportunity was still open for me at the beginning of our relationship and had we acted upon it earlier I would have happily gone into marriage for the second time. But now that we are 7 years into the relationship I find that I have changed. I have become increasingly aware of the advantages of being a single, mature woman. I still love him but the desire to be with him 24 hours a day is gone. Where did it go? I still care deeply about him but have also become aware of just how much I enjoy my solitude and independence.

I read recently that 7.6 million of the Baby Boomers have never been married. Of those that have been married, many of them have either been divorced or widowed. If they find themselves single, they are not necessarily interested in marriage again. Like me, some are content to have raised their children and made sacrifices of their own personal interests for the betterment of their family but now have the unique opportunity of pursuing those dreams again.

More and more, women are financially independent. They don't need marriage to make ends meet. They are content with spending time with their children and their grandchildren. They are enjoying a freedom that it has taken them years to achieve and many enjoy dating when it means they can go out and have a good time, but then they get to go home to their house where things are done their way and they don't have to worry about someone not hanging the towels up right or leaving crumbs on the counter.

So marriage may not be the goal and that window of opportunity may now be closed but it doesn't stop mature individuals, both male and female, from enjoying a strong social network of contacts. I may not be interested in commitment or marriage or blending my life with another's at this stage in the game but that's not to say romance doesn't happen, I just no longer feel pressured by the blush of youth to rush into anything and like a fine wine, I want to enjoy my age with great comfort.

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