Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm in the majority?

I'm fascinated to find out the results of the current census. Clicking from one link to another, I came across one statistic that said that 51% of women are currently not married, but then I learned that percentage includes women 15-18. So I did some more searching and found that in 2005, fewer than half of all American households contain a married couple, though I don't know if that stat includes spouses current living elsewhere (e.g., military spouses). One of the links (sorry, don't have the URL) stated that unmarried women were an important voting block in last year's election.

What's most fascinating to me is how many of us, however, still feel marginalized.

Most of the books I read and movies I see that feature a single woman (or man) (parent or not) usually end with that person finding their "soul mate." That always lets me down. I wish just once, one of these pop culture stories would end with that singular person living happily ever after alone.

This is not to say, however, that some people shouldn't be married. My parents, for instance, are an enormously happy couple. I know many more.

I just don't think it's for everyone. Whether or not there is "the One" for all of us doesn't necessarily mean that we all find our One, or stay with our One.

I believe in love, fiercely. I just believe that there are so many kinds of love that are often overlooked, but just as magical or beautiful or meaningful as a marriage.

I love Kori. I love Nancy. I love RadDude. And Natalie, and K, and my sister, and my cat, and certain songs and musicals, and so many people that I've met here in one of my passionate loves: the blogosphere. I do not believe that love is too strong a word to use with any of them.

We all know people that aren't married. Some of them are lonely, sure, but even happily married people get lonely sometimes! Loneliness isn't a disease from which someone needs to be cured. It's an emotion, and it comes and goes just like any other. I'll admit, I had it bad a few days ago, but now it's gone. And prior to that, it had been a very long time since I had last felt lonely. More often than not, actually, I find myself wanting to be alone when I can't be!

Whether or not I'm in the majority doesn't really matter. I still have plenty of love to give.

23 comments:

Kori said...

See, this is one of hte many things I love about you, and I wish I could be more like that.

jenn said...

I like what you said about loneliness. I think I was way more lonely when I was married than I am now. Sure, it comes and goes, but marriage isn't a cure.

Great post!

Laura said...

Loneliness, does it really have to do with who you keep company or how you keep yourself company?

I wonder how statistics can show the emptiness of a marriage or the fullness of a group of single friends?

Natalie said...

Awww, love you too!

I think Jenn summed up my feelings on the matter. I was very lonely when I was married, especially this second time, and it's that loneliness and isolation that ultimately led to the demise of the marriage. I think I am a much more content human being now, though I have my moments of self-pity and I definitely haven't given up the concept of finding (not necessarily looking for) someone right for me.

I am rarely lonely, though.

FreedomFirst said...

You are absolutely right.

MindyMom said...

Well said - again. If more people could be content with themselves, and feel that love "alone", the love they share with another would be that much more solid and lasting. They wouldn't "need" to feel it come from someone other than themselves but could share it.

dadshouse said...

Hear hear!! I have written several blog posts ranting about movies and books that further single parent stereotypes in a bad way. People can be happy single.

Maureen said...

Wow, how true about the movies nowadays... who says what's "normal" nowadays anyway? NOT that your not normal... far from it. Each person should find what works best for them, not what "society" deems appropriate. Great point.

Happy Blog Hopping!!!

Tara R. said...

There is a big difference between being lonely and being alone. There are times when even married I am lonely, but I know that there are so many wonderful people who love me and are supporting me, that I know I am never alone.


(BlogHoppers!)

Melisa with one S said...

This was a great post. I agree that you have to go with what works for you.

I'm bloghopping! Thanks for having me over, but I gotta go!

Mocha Dad said...

I wrote a post about marriage on my blog. While it's right for me, I understand that it is not right for everyone. There are many single people who are happy being single and many married people who are miserably lonely.

Mommy Melee said...

Bloghopping!!!

I've seen Rent 16 times, most of them in the front two rows from camping out.

Hell yeah, musicals.

Agent Provocateur said...

Tara's comment is absolutely what I wanted to write.

Happy Blog Hopping!

Karen MEG said...

April, you are so right. I know some people who are married who feel quite lonely sometimes.


And I think it's wonderful that you are still so full of love to give (beyond that for your girls, whichi is awesomely immense). And glad that it'll happen when the time and the person is right for you.

Bloghopping and glad to do it, as that's how I found you in the first place...

KaiserCracker said...

Love to you and your cat! *clink*

Heather said...

Not to be redundant but I agree with Tara. There are so many differences between being ALONE and being LONELY. It just takes reaching out. Which can be easier said than done.

Happy Bloghoppin' :)

Dingo said...

To continue our Izzie/Alex conversation, one of the reasons (besides the obvious) that I hate huge, gotta do better than the Jones' weddings is because it's all about getting married and not about the relationship. Although I think Alex and Izzie will be okay until she kicks the bucket. And it really was a beautiful wedding.

Anyway, for women, our whole lives are groomed toward the fairy tales where the ultimate goal is not to love ourselves but to not be complete until we love and are loved by a man. Does anyone recall Jerry Maguire "You complete me?" I call bull balls on that one. Although I did sigh and shed a tear or two at that one. Then again, it could've been because I'd rather lick flaming sandpaper than watch Tom Cruise.

Smartasstic Mom said...

Blawghopping!

Wooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!

(yeah.)

LunaNik said...

This is the third time I have re-written my comment...my commenting skills are waaaaay lacking since my hiatus so I'll just give up for now and say...

HELLLLLOOOOO April!!

hotmamamia said...

How does it feel being in the MAJORITY? There is some power in that...psychological power if nothing else!

I LOVE being alone at times...being REALLY, REALLY ALONE...I can clear the cobwebs out at times like that. I have even embraced lonliness at times because it helped me to look deep inside myself to examine WHY I felt that way, and I learned a lot about me...so even lonliness is not always that bad.

It's good that you have a clear picture of these two self-centering times...a nice thing to pass on to the girls....

won said...

I was asked if I were married or happy.

I responded proudly with the latter.

Alicia (aka Dr. Mom) said...

I. Love. This.
This is such a fresh perspective and so beautifully articulted! I am currently married AND happy. I was alone as a single mother for several years as well, after my FIRST marriage where i was married and the LONLIEST i've ever been in my life. You're right. Its an emotional state, not a situationally-determined inevitability based on marital or dating status.

Mark said...

Yes loneliness and being alone are two different things and loneliness can happen to anyone, single, married, living together. Loneliness is a state of mind. Thanks for sharing.