mi punto de vista


On the radio today, this guy called in and had a problem he wanted advice on. Seems he’s been dating his girlfriend for three years, and one year for Christmas they spent it with her family, and one year they spent it with his family. She told him a few weeks ago that she had made plans to spend Christmas with her family, and he could go ahead and make his own plans. Then, more recently, she said that, because of the economy, she thinks they should not buy each other gifts this year. They both have jobs, and have enough money that they can afford a little something, at the very least. He thinks she’s going to break up with him after the holidays, and he’s wondering if he should preemptively break up with her before then.

This blog post is NOT about this guy’s issues. Yes, she probably does want to break up with him, she’s doing it in a crappy way, but preemptively breaking up with her, just so you don’t get broken up with, is stupid. Sit down with her, talk about it.

HERE is what this post is about. The radio jockey asked if maybe she told him not to buy a gift because she’s worried he’s going to give her an engagement ring, and maybe she’s not ready for that and this is her way of telling him. When asked, “Do you think she might think you’re going to propose, have you guys talked about that?” he answered with a very emphatic “NO. NOOOO. No I’m not ready for that.”

One guy ended up calling in and saying, essentially, “Hey, dumbass, yes she’s breaking up with you, because it’s been three years and you haven’t even talked about getting married. If you haven’t proposed after three years, you deserve to be dumped.”

I’m always fascinated with the timing of a marriage proposal. Some people only date for six months. Some date for ten years. Who’s to say what the right timing is? No one, I think. Although, I will say that personally, I could never see myself accepting a proposal after six months, and I could never see myself waiting for ten years. But I think by three years, it should be discussed.

I had friends a long time ago who had been dating (and living together) for (I think) five years. She wanted to get married. He “wasn’t ready.” She kept saying she was going to give him until X date and then she was through. At the time (at the tender age of 22) I asked her how, if she loved him, she could just cut and run, simply because he wasn’t ready to propose. She looked at me and said, “Just wait until you’re older, you’ll understand.”

And I do kind of get it. I go back and forth on the whole thing. If I was with a guy for five years, would I give him an ultimatum? I mean, if he isn’t ready in five years, when will he be ready? But if I love him, shouldn’t I want to be with him, regardless?

Then there are the couples who never get married. What is marriage, but a piece of paper and a ring? Again, I go back and forth on this one, too. Because I agree with that argument – if I love you and you love me, why do we need to stand in front of a preacher and sign a piece of paper? Does that make us love each other more? But, alternately, if it’s never legal, it’s a lot easier to get out with no obligation. I think making it legal makes it harder to split up – you actually have to work through things, instead of just throwing in the towel.

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The cliche about single people is that they’re single for one of the following reasons:

1. They’re afraid of commitment.

2. They’re too picky.

So yes, I am picky. But am I too picky? How picky is too picky?

I really don’t think there’s a satisfactory answer to that question.

We all know couples who pretty much fell in love at first sight. They had tons in common, were finishing each other’s sentences after the first date, and hey—they even kinda look alike. This isn’t to say their relationship is perfect, but there was never any doubt from the beginning that they were made for each other and would be sticking it out no matter what.

We also all know couples who really had to grow into each other—or at least one had to grow into the other. From the beginning they seemed to be polar opposites. The girl never imagined she’d be with a guy like that. Or vice versa. But somehow they’ve made it work. They’re very independent, have their own interests and friends, but there’s no doubt they really love each other.

Most of my relationships have been like the first kind. Obviously they didn’t work out in the end for various reasons. But the fact is, we didn’t ever really have to grow into each other. We were both hooked from the beginning.

For better or for worse, if I’m not feeling it after a first or second date, that’s it for me. I don’t like dating much to begin with, so if I’m not excited about it, I’m out. I also don’t like the feeling of trying to talk myself into things, especially when it comes to relationships. I’d rather just nip it in the bud before feelings get too involved.

But I’ve often wondered if I’m going about it all wrong. I mean, what if I’d gone on more third and fourth dates? Would I be happily married right now?

Illustration.

Sometime last year I met this cute guy. He was really nice, a lot of fun, and extremely confident—in the good way. He was leaving town that night, but got my number and said he’d call me sometime.

Sure, whatever, I thought.

You can imagine my surprise when he actually called that very night. We ended up chatting for almost 2 hours. (And I am not a phone person.) It was a lot of fun. He told me he visits my city a lot and would like to take me out the next time he was in town.

But here’s the thing. Even though it was surprisingly fun to talk to him, it was clear from the beginning that we didn’t have much in common. Our life backgrounds, our education backgrounds, our career backgrounds, our ideas of fun—all so very different.

I decided not to go out with him when he came back.

I know. But there were gaps that I felt were unbridgeable. Go ahead and judge me. But I did what I felt was best at the time.

So am I going about dating all wrong? Especially as I get older. There’s no denying that the already-small dating pool is getting smaller and smaller each year. If I can manage to find a nice guy who treats me well, is firm in his beliefs, and isn’t a loser, do I go ahead and try to make it work with him?

In the eternal scheme of things, is getting married to a good man and raising children more important than compatibility of interests and intellect?

I’m not looking for someone who’s exactly the same as me. I definitely value my independence in relationships and would need to have some space to myself. But there are a few things that are really important to me. These are things that majorly affect one’s lifestyle, but ultimately have no bearing on whether or not someone is a good person or would make a good spouse.

So how picky is too picky?

I think it’s different for everyone. I still don’t have an answer for myself, but am trying to figure it out. I have recently decided to go beyond a second date with someone who is not what I have pictured for myself. But I do find myself getting kind of excited when he calls. So, let the experiment continue.

FRIDAY, MAY 8, 2009

Too often people want what they want, or think what they want at the moment, which is usually “happiness” right now. The irony of their impatience is that only by learning to wait, and by willingness to accept the bad with the good do we usually attain those things that are truly worthwhile.
I have a blessing which is sometimes seen as a curse. I am blessed with the gift of being single. For most of us thirty-something young professionals, or simply single people, it seems the world has already come up with its own sets of expectations on how we should live life. The world expects us to finish school in our early twenties, marry and have kids. But the thing is not everyone sees their dreams come true in the same way.

In this article, i shall try to endeavor to change the way the world looks at being single.

THE ART OF CONTENTMENT. For most of us, being single will be more of a phase than a final destination. This is the best place to practice the Art of Contentment. Someday, I am sure most of us will fall in love and get married. But the thing is, love will always be tested. Someone more handsome, more charming, richer, funnier, sweeter would come along. If you have not practiced the art of contentment as a single person, chances are you would be tempted to want that and not cherish your chosen one. Practicing the Art of Contentment as a single person means that you take what life gives you, good or bad, you’re willing to see it through. It means, you don’t walk away every time things get tough because it builds in you patience, perseverance, understanding and a hundred different virtue that people in a hurry will never have. Being single means you would find how it feels to be alone thus, allowing you to cherish every moment you spend with your chosen one. The Art of Contentment means you wouldn’t mind if life had to make you wait for so long to find the love of your life, because you know that the waiting would only make the finding much sweeter.

A TIME TO KNOW YOURSELF BETTER. Being single is a time of your life when you get to know yourself better. You can pursue different interests and passions without having to ask another person’s approval. It is a phase when you can keep focus on other things, discover your potentials and talents, and see yourself become more than what you expect to be.

ALLOW YOURSELF TO SURPRISE YOU. Stop wasting your precious energy trying to figure out why you’re still romantically unattached. It’s all in the mind. Take the time to go see your friends, spend time with your family, do charity work and you will realize that you are not, never for a moment, alone. Try to get to know yourself first before you try to get to know other people. To be truly loved means to be known and accepted for who you are. How do you expect other people to know you and to love you, when you don’t know who and what you really are?

A CHOICE BETWEEN GOOD AND BEST. Sometimes the dilemmas we face are not between what is absolutely bad and absolutely good. Sometimes, it’s between good and best. Treat this stage of your life as a phase to evaluate who is good for you and who is best for you. Sometimes you won’t hear music, or feel magic to know who’s best for you. The heart just knows and it doesn’t need any romantically charged scenario to decide on the matter. Trust in your heart, and trust that time will eventually lead you to, not to the perfect partner, but to the most suitable partner for you. Being single means our hearts have yet to choose the best one for us.

ALMOST NON-COMMITTAL. Jane Austen once wrote, that it is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man (or in our times a woman), in possession of a good fortune is in search of a spouse (just to be politically correct). Well, that was what the old school wanted us to believe in. Married life is a path most of us would take, however, it is not the only path there is. Relieve yourself of the pressure and stop making every single straight guy friend a prospect. You have no business “entrapping” them and asking (which is more like “putting a gun in the head”) them their exclusive attention, if you’re not ready for commitment yourself. Sometimes, when you spend too much time trying to find a boyfriend, you normally end up marrying the first loser who comes to your door. Take your time, the world will wait. Being married doesn’t guarantee anything at all. Sometimes, it only brings two miserable people together only to make their life even more miserable. Without the right intention, the emotional maturity, financial security and of course, unwavering love, you’re better off unattached.

LIVING LIFE. Don’t put your life on hold for Mr. or Ms. Right but don’t let it waste away with Mr. or Ms. Wrong. Life is about things that you do and happen every day. It’s not about the things that could have happened but never did, or things that you think would happen in the future. Live life NOW. Live it to the fullest and stop beating yourself up, trying to be perfect on a Saturday night date. Allow life to surprise you with its most wonderful blessing.