Monday, November 7, 2016

Repairs Unwarranted

Feel like a good vent? 

To a good chunk of the world, if singles should dare to exist, it must be because they have something "holding them back." Mommy issues. Insane expectations. Fear of commitment. 

He had gone out with more than one girl that he could see himself marrying, but his mamma put the kibosh on all of them; no wonder he's alone! She hopes that the man she marries has a plan for the future, and he sees nothing beyond waiting tables for the next few years; silly goose, doesn't she know she has to compromise? He is dating her seriously, but not proposing; it must be because his uncle got divorced. 

But then, beware of the RED FLAGS. One should be flexible, unless there's a RED FLAG. (I'm still not sure where bendiness is warranted and fleeing screaming for the hills recommended.)

The "professionals" have been unleashed. You've heard about them, the "dating coaches." Too quiet on dates? C'mon in, we'll make you into a Chatty Cathy. Too loud? We'll get you on the perfect mellifluous decibel. Don't know what's "wrong"? We'll figure out how you're broken, and fix you. Because if you're single, you're broken: You need fixing.

So if I'm single, of course it's because I messed up MANY opportunities I had for wedded bliss, while still wobbling along the narrow line in not compromising on those RED FLAGS. 

Since, indubitably, every couple out there is . . . just the same. So it's an accident that he's quiet, and married, right? Or that she's loud, and married, right? Or that he's . . . something, and married? Since we aren't all supposed to be different. We're all supposed to be the same. (Sarcasm, people, sarcasm!)

Here's a story that I know well. Luke married his first girl, Orgiana. Orgiana was quiet on their dates. Newbie to this whole business, he had difficulties mustering up conversation. 

Their outings consisted of long stretches of silence.

But that didn't matter. He saw a woman of brains, who didn't speak carelessly; her experience until then had been with loud jerks, and she was drawn to that same thoughtful deliberation. 

He thought she would say no. She thought he would say no. 

Nearly fifteen years later . . .  

As for me, I don't think there is anything I need to consult a "professional" about. If a guy isn't for me, he's going to think I'm too quiet, or loud, or something. That's not on me; that's on him. There is a lass out there who is his ideal. 

The majority of the men I have had the displeasure of being introduced to ticked off nearly all the categories of RED FLAG; no way is a relationship possible. 

I don't think I'm broken. I'm merely unattached. Kindly don't confuse the two.   


Daniel Saunders said...

I don't actually get people telling me why I'm still single. Maybe they're too polite, or they know I'm ill, or theydon't know I'm single, or I just don't hang around in kiddushim or weddings or other places where this happens.

I do, however, get people blaming me for my mental health issues and giving advice (bear in mind my psychiatrists and therapist have said there isn't really anything they can do for me, medically or therapeutically at the moment - I'm trying to get reassessed for scarier medical treatments). I should exercise more, eat differently, socialize more, start dating (!!!), buy a light box, try alternative medicine... It's true that I should take more exercise and while I don't eat too unhealthily, it would probably be good to eat more green leafy vegetables and oily fish (also: dark chocolate is supposed to help anxiety - woo!). But I get a feeling of victim-blaming sometimes, like it's my fault that I have depression and OCD and if only I did X then everything would be fine. Because forget all my unresolved underlying issues, eating more salmon will cure me overnight in a way that years of medication and therapy didn't.

Anonymous said...

Dating coaches = fad. I really don't see the trend lasting. Just like "life coaches"-- I bet ten years from that job title will cease to exist.
Also, I've heard plenty of gossip and speculation about why some people were still single, most of which was proven to be nonsense when they did finally get married.
Probably one of the biggest life lessons I've learned from being an older single is to mind my own business and not to gossip about others.

Some Poems Don't Rhyme said...

Sometimes people really do need help navigating a shidduch; that's where mentors and "dating coaches" come in. It's not always as simple as, "if you like someone, it will be smooth and easy."

Of course there isn't always a reason why someone is still single, but sometimes there is. Don't assume, but tread carefully!

And to DS, changing lifestyle choices help your mental health on a different level. Of course you should be dealing with underlying issues. If you've recognized that, then hopefully you are doing that. If it's not working, then you need some sort of boost...healthy living and pushing yourself could be that.

Daniel Saunders said...

SPDR: I do need a boost, but at this stage having people tell me to push myself and live healthier (I don't have a particularly unhealthy lifestyle) just feels like victim blaming. If I did X, I would be well. Actually, I wouldn't because I have major issues that no one (psychiatrists, therapists) knows how to deal with. I'm hoping that medication changes might give me more of a boost, although now we're on to scary options. Healthy living is good in itself, but I don't expect it to help shift a major treatment-resistant depressive episode that has been going on for years.

As for pushing myself... been doing that for fourteen years. Doesn't work. Just lets people underestimate the amount of pain I'm in, because they assume if I can get up and go to work (sometimes), I must be OK.

Daniel Saunders said...

SPDR: I'm sorry if that came across as rude. I didn't mean to be. I just feel pretty desperate and hopeless at the moment. I feel like I've tried everything over the last decade and a half, and nothing really helps, but I end up getting blamed.

Some Poems Don't Rhyme said...

DS, I hear what you're saying. I apologize; I didn't mean to invalidate your pain or what you're dealing with. You're right, no one can ever say "you're feeling like this because of that," especially if they haven't the slightest clue anything about you.

Obviously your lifestyle isn't (wholly) responsible for your poor mental health. I was responding to your comment regarding how healthy living could turn around what you're sure is years of underlying issues. Sometimes we get so caught up in the past that we lose sight of the full picture. It's a more holistic approach. "Underlying issues" can trigger and perpetuate mental illness, affecting neurochemicals that are mostly responsible for your mood and/or anxious thoughts. Eating differently and changing things up in your routine can influence that. It's obviously not enough on its own... There are multiple other directions to take though. It's not an exact science, which I know is probably really frustrating and scary for you. I hope things take an upturn soon. Good luck!

Princess Lea said...

DS: No situation can free anyone from victim blaming. In fear, people will try to find a reason. One morning in high school, I fainted. A girl came up to me afterward, chatting maniacally, that of course I fainted because I didn't eat breakfast.

For the record, I have NEVER EVER skipped breakfast. I love food too much.

And it was ME who fainted! But somehow she managed to make it about her. This is what victim blaming is—fending off the terror by letting the mouth move thoughtlessly. It's meaningless. The annoying thing is, that the blamees have to have faith in themselves and turn to Teflon.

Anon: I love that! Yes, MYOB and guarding the tongue is the best way to go.

SPDR: That was not my point. If someone is in a relationship that could have potential, that is one thing. It's when someone's inherent qualities are blamed for their singleness and that they require alteration (before they actually date) that I'm quibbling with.

All I know is, there are enough people with very off-putting characteristics who have spouses. Those marriages weren't just "oops"s.

shhhh said...

<3 just, this! yes! what she said!