I was recently having a conversation with an older friend of mine. She is married and divorced twice, with grown children. After a few glasses of wine, she began talking about her life and recent dating experiences. I briefly told her my story and how my second marriage is…well, questionable. Her first reaction was sadness, but then she said to me, “Don’t do that, it is slim pickin’s out there, let me tell you!” Now I understand that it may be normal to offer support to avoid divorce, but to offer discouragement based on “slim pickin’s,” blew my mind. I just sort of stared at her for a moment, a little dumbfounded. A waiter came by just then and told us that the place had closed a half hour ago, so I never had the chance to respond to her.
During my drive home, I pondered her sentiments. Was she suggesting that a bad marriage is better than no marriage? Did she mean that even if I left a bad marriage, that I would only end up in another bad marriage because there are no “good” men left? I know many people who stay in unhappy marriages because they fear being alone. I never really understood this mentality. I would rather be alone with at least the opportunity for a happy marriage or relationship. If you can not be happy by yourself and with yourself, than why would anyone else be happy with you?
My first reaction was to take offense. That was her experience and I certainly didn’t believe that would be my experience. But what if it was. Would I be OK? Honestly, yes, I would be OK. However, it would be hard to say yes, not knowing two factors:
1. I don’t do online dating. Which means, I would probably not go through as many “bad” dates as my friend. I tried the online dating for about 5 seconds after my first marriage and it scared the hell out of me. So, I decided that when the time was right, the next one would find me. I wasn’t going to worry about it. (For those who have had great success with online dating, I am happy for you. I don’t condone it; it just isn’t for me. I’m not the dating kind. I think I’m the marrying kind. Although, I didn’t realize to be the marrying kind, you have to be the divorcing kind as well?? hmm)
2. I am not one to be alone. I just know that I will never be alone. I can’t really tell you how I know this, but I do.
Knowing these two factors, I feel confident that I would not have my friend’s experience. Did it still scare me just a bit? Yes. It did.