Friday, April 18, 2008

Relationship Ponderings

I stumbled upon this article earlier this week, and it got me thinking. The general gist of the article is that the author, a single woman now in her 40s, thinks that it is better to settle with Mr. Good Enough than to be picky and wait for Mr. Right.

I'm married and did not settle for Mr. Good Enough, so I guess it's hard for me to be objective about this, but doesn't everyone deserve a chance at happiness? If I reached my 40s and never married, would I also feel this way? It's hard to say. I guess the older you get, the pickings seem to get slimmer, so would I get to a point where I'd just say, "Screw it. You're nice enough. Let's just get married." Seems so bloody unromantic! And if I did settle, would I always be wondering, "What if Mr. Right is out there somewhere, and now I'll never meet him because I've settled for someone who's just 'okay'?" Knowing me, I think I would be wondering the entire time, and it would drive me nuts.

I guess it brings up an interesting question. I think that many women get to the point where they want to get married largely due to societal taboos: the whole "old maid" image, and the urge to procreate. I don't have any evidence to back up what I'm about to say, but here it is anyway. I do think that a lot of couples who are totally wrong for each other end up getting married because both of them want a family. For women, I think that it's a more urgent matter because of the whole biological clock thing. I think that's probably why so many couples get divorced. Think of how many people you know in their late 20s and early 30s who get married and then have kids right away. Are they getting married because of love, or because they'll have kids with the first available human of the opposite sex who seems fit enough to father (or mother?) their child? If that's the case, then I think it's rather sad. Maybe I'm just saying that because I'm a hopeless romantic. Maybe I'm just saying that because I got married for love and not this urge to procreation, and I just don't know any better. I got married at 23, so I still had a few years to spare before my "biological clock" started ticking.

Perhaps the author of that article has a point. Think about it. How often does love at first sight happen? How many people WERE with the right person, only to blow the whole deal and realize afterwards that they've made the biggest mistake of their lives? How easy IS it to find your one true love? IS there a one true love? Relationships aren't easy, so maybe settling is the only way. But then again, why SHOULDN'T we strive for better? And maybe if we don't find true love, at least we know we didn't settle. Aren't we better off (and happier) knowing that we're with the right person, rather than just picking the first suitable sperm (or egg) donor?

Food for thought. I don't know the right answer to this question. I guess it boils down to this: do what's best for you, and try not to regret it. Easier said than done.

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