Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Love and the Single Woman

Most Valentine's Days in my life have been Valentine-less. Before my mother died in 1994, she always sent me a Valentine, but almost no boyfriend was ever so inclined, except when reminded, and it'd be a little weird to get one from my son.

And you know what? I don't really mind. This is not a gripe session. It's more an opportunity to think about what it means to be my age (64 3/4), single, living alone, professionally and satisfyingly employed, enough friends to feel content, and no strong desire to be mated.

Oh, I joke around about wanting a boyfriend (though anyone who applied would certainly not be considered a "boy"), but when push comes to shove, I'm not sure I really do. Would I want to give up my independence? Would I want to have company all the time? Could I make the sacrifices necessary to sustain an intimate relationship?

I look at the successful couples I know and admire and I just can't see myself managing what they manage---the day to day compromises and negotiations, the need to accommodate a partner's needs and wishes, the obligation to give up a part of my life to a partner's life. I just don't know if I could do it, after 27 years of living single.

It may be that I have just gotten out of practice, that if I were in a relationship of trust and affection, I could do it with little difficulty. It worries me to think that I may have been wounded enough by my past experience with marriage that I can't get past that and be successful in another partnership.

Whatever the reason, I am, at this time, Valentine-less and still valid. I love and am loved and that is enough. At least right now.


LinguistFriend said...

You sound as if you are maintaining a psychologically healthy stance in regard to that issue, although at times in the past you have sounded as if the
missing were stronger. No doubt that varies over time.
It is difficult to get much significant out of either Valentine legend, one about a Roman priest and the other about a bishop of Terni. On the other hand, I have just realized what a risk there is of combining Valentine's Day with All Hallow's Eve, or one of that sequence of holidays, and meditating excessively on dead relationships.
I am inclined to continue with a verse from Luke, and will save it.

LinguistFriend said...

I am taking a break from shovelling last night's snow, so here goes. What Luke 9:52 said, in a proverb-type expression, was "Noone who, once having put his hand to the plow, looks backward, is fit for the kingdom of heaven". I have thought of that one in times of major transitions.
It is only in Luke, however.
My favorite commentary on Luke (I.Howard Marshall, 1978) adds a citation that I vaguely remembered, from Hesiod's "Works and Days" v.443 (Loeb trans.): "One who will attend to his work and drive a straight furrow and is past the age for gaping after his fellows, but will keep his mind on his work". Ah, yes, now it is time to go back to shovelling snow. But, may you have a good Valentine's Day.

Stephanie said...

Mwah, Ms. Kitty!

Berrysmom said...

Don't think that merely the right amount of trust and afection can get you through the compromises of being in a relationship, my friend. I married for the second time after 15 single years; Berry's Dad had also been single for 15 years.

Man oh man, the fur did fly for about the first ten years of our marriage! Not only were we struggling with the loss of our independence, but we had had different models of marriage the first time around, so our expectations and assumptions didn't match at all.

I will spare everyone (including my husband) the gory details, but I will say that advancing age (I am 63 1/2) has caused me to appreciate very different things in my spouse than I appreciated in men when I was in my 20's and 30's. Perhaps age has its benefits, or maybe I'm just too tired to fight any longer--I'd rather count my many blessings and let it go at that.

Happy Valentines Day, Ms. K. You ain't got it bad at all!

ms. kitty said...

Thanks, all, I think. Stephanie, is that a thumbs up or down? or something else entirely?

Judy, your wisdom always speaks to me.

And LF, you offer a great deal to ponder.

Stephanie said...

It was a virtual kiss, Ms. Kitty. Mwah-mwah (to both cheeks).

ms. kitty said...

How lovely, Stephanie, mwahmwah to you too! And thanks.

Mile High Pixie said...

I can appreciate where you're coming from, Ms. Kitty. Not that you're looking per se, but I know in my life when I quit looking and became the person I wanted to be with, my hubby showed up on the scene. Even with him, I know that it's better to be happy with who and how you are than to chase after completion by someone who leaves hair all over the place and doesn't know or care what a duvet is.