I was laying down to take a nap and saw a post from Humans of New York on Facebook it was a photo of a woman in Egypt accompanied by this quote:
“I’ve had horrible luck finding a husband. Most marriages in this country are traditional, and I have a middleman who arranges interviews with potential suitors. He probably thinks I’m a snob. Because I either turn the men down or scare them off. But you should hear the questions they ask me. Nothing about personality. Nothing about character. Everything is about money: ‘What is your salary?’, ‘Do you have a car?, ‘Is this your only apartment?’ I used to answer these questions, but I’m much harsher now. I’ll dismiss them right away. I’ve had men ask me to stop working. I had a professor ask me to stop studying because I have more degrees than him. Another man ended the interview when he learned that my ‘doctorate’ did not mean I was a medical doctor. It’s ridiculous. Some friends and family want me to settle for the sake of having children. But I have a viewpoint, and I’m not going to sacrifice that viewpoint just because I’m getting older. I believe in marriage. And I’d like children. But if it means I have to accept anything, maybe it’s best to not get married at all.”
Unable to nap now with my mind running wild in agreement, I went to share the post because it’s one worth sharing. But then I had to throw in a sentence of my own. Next thing you know one sentence turns into multiple paragraphs and it’s too long for an instagram post.
But what I love is the she’s speaking some truth regardless of difference in country, language, culture, or gender even. “But I have a viewpoint, and I’m not going to sacrifice that viewpoint just because I’m getting older. I believe in marriage. And I’d like children. But if it means I have to accept anything, maybe it’s best to not get married at all.”
It’s doesn’t have to perfect, but all humans should have standards when looking for a person to join the rest of their lives with. Marriage is not something to take lightly. It’s the merging of two people, two lives, two sets of flaws, two sets of good qualities, finances, dreams, futures, lifestyles, everything. Giving someone else the power to have say in your life and you in their’s. Giving someone all of you. I believe there’s so much good to this merging when it’s the right person. But when it’s not, the “for better and for worse” part of your marriage vows will be filled with a lot more worse. So, you better make sure you don’t just pick the first bozo to come along.
It’s like having a store and the products you’re selling are your heart, dreams, future, your sense of humor, and all your good qualities (that come with a free flaw if you read the fine print). You’ve put them all on an open shelf in a store. Not a glass case with a lock and key that can only be opened by you, the store owner. You have your most prized possessions, the essence of who you are, the good, the bad just sitting there unprotected. You start off pricing your products at a high price. But each week you stand behind the register as customers walk past your store without a glance or stop in looking for products you’re not in the business of selling. Or maybe that regular who comes in weekly and wants to sit and read a book a little at a time at the store instead of just purchasing it.
So you discount here, slash prices there, and week after week you lower the cost out of desperation. Finally, some bozo scoops up the whole shelf without paying a dime as you idly stand by. You don’t put up a fight even though you’re being robbed before your very eyes. Because hey, at least someone finally seemed like they wanted you, right? Of course a bozo like that doesn’t care about the items he’s taken and won’t properly care for your heart, cultivate your dreams, or help your future flourish. Instead, they get bruised, broken, dented. Some of that hope and a few of those dreams? Yeah, the bozo clown crushed and lost some of those. See, we take care of the things we value and worked hard to acquire. But this clown just took your discounted items off the shelf without paying.
While your time is being wasted and your inventory is being damaged, in walks a customer looking for someone... someone like you. This customer has visited a couple other stores but they didn’t carry all the products the customer was looking for. The customer came to your store in search for these specific items. He walks to the shelf and it’s empty. Which is unfortunate because this customer is someone who sees the value and is willing to pay the price. Someone that would have seen the glass case and what it held and then began to seek you out from behind the register in the pursuit of the items locked within the glass case. See, you hold the key. You set the price. That customer sees the value and comes to the register asking how to get into the case and the cost. You make the decision to unlock it and accept the payment.
Don’t settle because “it’s better than being alone.” If you think giving up who you are, what you want, and your future is better than being alone, you are “being alone” all wrong and frankly shouldn’t be in a relationship at all until you get that mess sorted out. Your life alone is free to be lived how you want. To chase your dreams. To build a future the way you want. To be free from the heartaches and conflicts of a marriage that never should have been. To avoid the blended family issues. To be whoever you want to be and answer only to yourself. To do as you wish with your finances and not take on someone else’s bad money habits. There are so many positives and reasons why being single is great.
Love, marriage, and a family CAN be better than all that freedom of a single life. But only if you choose correctly. And sometimes when your dream is love, marriage, and a family it means saying no to the wrong ones who offer it to you. Learn who you, what you want, and what your standards are. And learn that you’re better off alone than with the wrong one. Then live your happy, single, thriving life until you meet the right someone who make your life better, even with their flaws. Of course, there will be nights you cry because you’re alone. Times you blame overeating on the fact that you’re single and recipe serving sizes come in “for two” and “family size”. But better to cry one night a week because you’re alone and be happy the rest of the week than to be miserable in a hopeless relationship and cry every day.
If you cannot be happy and alone, you need to be alone more until you can be.
I can’t speak on when or if the right person will show up. I’m still waiting myself. But I can speak on being with the wrong person. I can speak on finally being content and happy while being single. Even on my loneliest, saddest night being single... I’m still happier, less lonely, and more hope-filled for the future than when I was in the wrong relationship.
Don’t get this message confused and think it means “soulmates” exist, because I don’t believe in those and it’s not what I’m saying. But just like shoes, there’s not one perfect solemate (see what I did there?). There are MANY shoes that don’t fit at all of make your feet look like clown feet. Then there are multiple shoes that fit great and look great on. But we all have a pair that seems to fit just right and we feel great in even though it has a small stain. And while there are those multiple shoes that fit and look great too, we just love this one pair best. It’s our favorite.
Find that shoe. Find that customer. Make wise decisions. Learn how to be happy alone. And toss your ideas of settling out the window along with your ideas of the perfect soulmate.