Every now and then, one of my friends will say something about how the right man for me is “out there somewhere“. Or my house-church group will pray for me to meet someone “nice“. Or a person I have more or less just met will comment on me “keeping a positive outlook on relationships” and such like.
And my mom always worries about me still being single at 30+. At least she has stopped talking publicly about how she worries about me being all alone. She prays for me and that’s no problem.
Make no mistake- I love my family and friends to death, but why the hell is it NOT okay to be single? This isn’t the 1800’s!
Is it so absolutely impossible for people to believe that I might LIKE being who I am?
And it’s not only because I am a sceptic when it comes to romantic relationships- I am- but also because I’ve been a parenting solo act for so long that I couldn’t imagine changing my lifestyle to fit someone else into it now.
Ja, okay, I am a pessimist, not because of my parents relationship- they’ve been married for 32 years, and my grandparents were married for almost 60 years before my Grandad went to heaven. But other relationships around me haven’t all turned out well. They haven’t all necessarily ended as such- but those involving children are especially messy (as always).
Here are some sad examples: a family member of mine (who will remain un-named) married a single mom, adopted her child, they had their own baby, then divorced. The divorce and ensuing battle has been very ugly. He has since decided to annul the adoption and fight for custody of his own child.
Not that there wasn’t adequate reasoning behind his decision, but my issue is that the adopted child was always a “not ours” to some members of our family, if you know what I mean. And don’t tell me children can’t sense that!
Here’s another example: my sister married a divorcee who has custody of his two children. They also had their own child.
My issue- THEIR child is “special” because he’s “really ours”. Another family member (also remaining un-named) married a single mom, and as much as he loves her children as if they were his own- a few people have been heard to comment that they wish he could have “one of his own”.
NB! Not everyone reacts to other peoples children like that, but it happens enough to put me off completely.
And let me make myself VERY clear here- under NO circumstances will I EVER allow my little boy to be put into a situation like that and take the chance of him being hurt
The other side of my personal coin is that I have a problem allowing other people to parent and discipline my child. Not my family- I know my parents and siblings have similar outlooks to mine on child rearing standards. We expect the same sort of thing from our children so I trust their judgement. But strangers? That’s a WHOLE ‘nother basket of turtles! I honestly don’t like the idea of a boyfriend disciplining my son. The knucklehead must respect him as an adult of course. But why should someone have the right to discipline my son if I don’t know he’s a long term connection. And I can’t leave something like that until we get married, that will be just too confusing for all involved!
And let me add another side to my coin (I think that’s three now). I believe in my heart of hearts that when a couple is married, their relationship comes first. Their relationship with their children MUST come second. After all, when the children leave home the parent’s relationship must be strong enough to survive being alone together most of the time. My reasoning is this- I can’t take fourteen years of singular devotion to my son and set it aside in favour of a man who hasn’t been there all along. What kind of emotional hammering will my son take then? I don’t think any amount of counselling or explaining can make him think its okay.
Now you know what’s in my mind. Use it, don’t use it.