To Be or Not To Be With the One You Love?

16 Aug
How Do I Let Him Down Easy?
Image by Gossamer1013 via Flickr

My mother dated a man named John when my brother and sister and I were younger.  She was divorced and going through a season of rebellion against the rules of the holiness church that she’d spent her life in, I think.  She drank pink champale on occasion, went out at night to discos, and she dated.  John was memorable because he would bring my mother home after a daytime date and converse with us kids when he came into the house.  Sometimes he would say to my mother, “Let’s take the kids to get some ice cream.” 

My mother would say, “Oh, no, John, you don’t have to do that.  They don’t need ice cream.” 

He would say, “Come on, Connie, it’s right down the street.  It won’t take any time at all.” 

John would drive us to Carvel in his immaculate green Lincoln with the white leather interior.  He never complained about dripping ice cream. 


John really liked my mom.  My mom, though, did not return the affection.  She eventually married my stepfather, Greg, a handsome alcoholic 12 years her junior.  He barely spoke to us kids. 


(Insert psychological analysis of StillSingle’s singleness here).


From time to time John would send a postcard to my mother from Hawaii or Chicago or some other travel destination.  One one such occassion, years into her 20+ year marriage to my stepfather, my sister and I asked my mother why she hadn’t married John.  She said that back then she thought John was too old and too boring.


Last week my mother and I were discussing the men that I have met through eharmony.  I mentioned that there was one man who seems to like me more than I like him, and one man who I like more than he seems to like me.  The man who seems to like me more, I told her, is older, well established, eager to marry and have children, but his company doesn’t stimulate me.  The man who I like more, on the other hand, is around my age, attractive, and interesting.  While I was talking, the images of John and my stepfather came to mind.  “Am I following in my mother’s disastrous footsteps?”, I wondered.


My mother commented that I would have an easier time of it if I married a man who loved me more.


This may be true. 


But right now, I am holding out for a love that stirs my soul and for a beloved whose soul I stir.  StillSingle still thinks its possible to love and to be loved in return.


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2 Responses to “To Be or Not To Be With the One You Love?”

  1. Jack Doe August 18, 2009 at 9:25 pm #

    You are proceeding on an improper premise; you are not your mother! Unless, of course, you really, really feel that you are. But I don’t think that you truly feel that way. It just sounds like you are a little sad and disappointed. Your mother made her decisions because of who she was at the time. Being with someone who stimulates you is a lot different than being with someone who has a substance abuse problem. Some people crave excitement, someone with an edge or a bad boy. The trouble with bad boys is that they often do bad things.

    Being with someone just because they love you doesn’t sound like the road to a happy marriage. It may be the difference between existing and living or a job that pays the bills and one that you truly love. Life and love are complicated. Sadly, we often make things even more complicated. The fact that you met a guy who doesn’t feel quite the same about you (no matter how devastatingly handsome, smart and witty) doesn’t mean you’ve become you mother or that you will make the same mistakes she made.

    By he way, I enjoyed the blog entry. Blog on!

  2. stillsingle August 22, 2009 at 8:48 am #

    Thanks for the comment, J.Doe! Yes, I have to remind myself often that I am not my mother and that marriage for me is not going to be the same as marriage was for her. But it’s a v.real worry. I don’t want to wake up after years of being married and say, “Oh, no, I’ve turned into my mother!” This could easily, unwittingly, happen if I, like her, overlook a man’s lack of key character traits (e.g., patience, caring, kindness), and simply focus on more illusive qualities like attractiveness or chemistry. So I’ve been working on clarifying what constitutes a sound basis for choosing a husband. More posts to follow. 🙂

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