Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Love isn't love till you give it away

"You wouldn't understand, you're not a mother."

I know the person who said that to me didn't mean for it to cut like a knife. But then, maybe she did? She's said things to me like this several times in my life. "When you're a wife, you'll understand," she says with her head condescendingly tipped down, her voice full of airs and pretension. I used to let it roll off my back, her opinion meaning nothing to me. But lately, it has really started to hurt my feelings and break my heart. Why must she always treat me like an immature, selfish teenager, just because I've never been married? Does wisdom, authority, and knowledge, suddenly come with a gold band? Do the last 17 years of living alone, providing for myself, getting an education, traveling the world, and serving others somehow not give me adult credentials?

A few nights ago I saw a cute couple flirt with each other. They have been married for over 25 years, and have several children together. He came up behind her, slipped his arms around her waist, hugged her, and kissed her. They flirted and teased for a minute. It was very cute.

And it broke my heart.

Up till that moment I wasn't very sure that I wanted to ever get married. As you may recall, I began "Relationship Week" really not knowing if love was something I wanted to pursue anymore. After seeing their  exchange in the hallway, I found myself jealous and mad for a moment. I hadn't realized how much I wanted and missed that. I do want to be married someday. I do want to love someone else.

I like who I am. I am happy single. I don't need a gold band to justify my life and existence. I don't need a man to make me happy. But I'd sure like a man to share my happiness with.


  1. Anonymous7:50 PM

    She meant it to hurt. If you can, divest yourself of this patronizing, hurtful person. You don't need that in your life.

  2. Don't give up! Someone very close to me has found love for the first time at 50 years old. I'm getting such a kick out of watching the two of them flirt and interact with each other. I think in her particular case, she appreciates it more because she had to wait so long--while I sometimes take it for granted--a good lesson for me.

  3. "Give up defining yourself - to yourself or to others. You won't die. You will come to life. And don't be concerned with how others define you. When they define you, they are limiting themselves, so it's their problem... You can only lose something that you have, but you cannot lose something that you are." Tolle

    Love your guts.

  4. I agree with Heidi. You seem overly concerned with the relationship thing. Just live your life.

  5. Comments like hers come from being smug.
    I've heard them before too - and my internal response was to feel sorry for that person because they never really understood loving someone until they either A) were secure or B)had given birth.

    It's the same as people who think that a parent/ family can't love an adopted child equally to a 'homemade' child.
    Or like my confusion in hearing men who have daughters suddenly, finally, understand the way girls/women/wives/girlfriends should be treated - really? you didn't know that until you had a daughter of your own? How ignorant!!

    And of course you want someone to love. We all do. Those who deny it are lying.
    (I'm a little irritated at Melinda's comment - but as I don't know where she's coming from, I'll leave her the benefit of the doubt.)

    There is a blessing in being able to share your life with someone who knows everything about you and loves you anyway! Someday, you'll find the most incredible man who is just right for you and will love you like crazy! He'll get to know you and constantly want to know more. I believe that.
    It just takes some of us longer than others. God's insurance that we never become smug @-holes!!

    <3 <3 <3

  6. I wish some of those who are married could learn more sensitivity in their comments. We have so many church classes/talks on how to be a good mom/parent/wife,etc and how to support/strengthen the family. But I have rarely heard things where people learn how to support/strengthen those who are single.

    I once had a coworker who said another coworker and I get more stressed in certain work issues because we aren't a mom (and thus can't multitask stress as well as parents in her opinion).

    But I know it hurts. One time at work (nursing home) one of my patients, a new lady, did not want to come to therapy as her husband was also a patient and she wanted to sit and visit w/him. Now I am very mindful of these things and accommodate but still needed to work w/her. When I tried to explain this lady looked at me and said "are you married?" It hurt as it was said in a way that marital status decided whether or not I am sensitive to her desire to visit her spouse, I replied it doesn't matter. Anyway.

    Shake your head, keep strong and keep being the great you that you are.

  7. Oh, Erin, I totally understand. I went to a movie with some high school friends I hadn't seen since, well, almost high school. They all got married around 20. They didn't even ask me about myself, my travels, career, what I'd been up to. They just bragged about how lucky they were to be married so quick and to have the husbands they did and the kids they did. I was like "wait, the same husband who wants to work on his "opera career" and you are now supporting? The kid with the pics on facebook that looks like they are always messy or crying? You are PROUD to be married off so quick? You haven't even done anything with your life but clean spit up off your shoulder and coddle your "other half" like a baby. You didn't even know who you were - and still don't - when you got married. And you are bragging to me? Let me tell you about my life...

    Well, I wanted to brag, but I didn't. I just listened to both of them tell me why their lives were supposedly better. And thought to myself that I was lucky because I was still young enough to have the husband and kids someday, but old enough to have actually experienced some awesome things in life. Take that married at 20. Hope you are satisfied with just marrying the first thing that came along. What will you do when you are 40 and your kids are grown? Retire?

  8. Julesbeckistan11:54 PM

    I admit I'm guilty of this, with my divorced sister. I'm not sure why anyone would say this to you, though. When I've said it, it has been in complete frustration with her refusal to try and understand anything other than her own myopic view of how life should be and, to be honest, her disdain of those who choose to have children.

    I honestly can't imagine anyone syaing this to you or under what circumstances they might even think it, because you always get it (where I'm concerned, anyway!) You almost always understand, or if you don't, you're still there. You empathize with and support everyone you care about. My opinion? Whoever said it to you has issues. You DON'T deserve a spot at the children's table, dang it! You earned your adult card more than, I'd say, anyone who moved straight from mommy's house to husband's house.

  9. SJ - yuck. Those ladies are obviously insecure and putting their worth in the fact that they are married, instead of who they are.
    Sounds like a good way to bore a husband into leaving if you ask me!

  10. I think most of the time that people say something hurtful it is coming from their own issues and has nothing to do with you.

    Completely off topic, but I am a new mom and since I had the baby my neighbor is always telling me I should do X, Y, and Z and asking why am I doing A, B, and C? "We know what we're talking about; we've raised three kids," he always says. I feel like he's always being pushy about it. It has been bugging me and I always think, "Well fiddle-dee-dee, how many times have you raised MY kid? I'm not an imbecile, I research stuff a ton, I'm in my thirties, not an amateur."

    It recently occurred to me that HE was feeling disrespected BY ME and defensive of how he has raised his kids. It just goes to show anyone can act like an ass at any time.

    And yes, feel free to feel sorry for married people who can't talk about anything besides their spouse or children. It is easy to forget how to talk about anything else and then find yourself with a single person and just be tongue-tied. Luckily I have avoided this fate so far and often have an easier time talking to single people, but then I feel dumb around other marrieds. I still cling to my single friends like grim death. :-)

  11. Grim death - hahah

  12. I understand where you are coming from. I have a person close in my life, that got married young, and just DOES NOT GET IT, and often makes statements that can be hurtful. I think from her perspective, because she learned certain things in life after being married, she thinks no one learns those things until they are married and so therefore no can understand certain things until they are married, and it's just not true. She doesn't mean to be hurtful, she just has a narrow perspective on life.

  13. Anonymous8:46 AM

    People don't say hurtful things. You allow yourself to feel hurt. We are ultimately responsible for our reactions. Even though it seems like certain comments trigger emotional responses, you choose your emotions. If you refuse to feel hurt and anguish over something, then it won't bother you what other people say. This is coming from someone who has lost all her body hair from an autoimmune disease, and has suffered from seizures for 20 years. Stop blaming other people for unhappiness.


Thanks for leaving a comment!

Working Girl

Recently, I've been picking up work as a background extra on various projects. In the past month or so I've worked on 3 different m...

Keep Reading! Popular Posts from this Blog.