Sunday, January 28, 2007

I've got love on my mind

A friend recently shared her frustration with me about dating. She's tried everything the books, magazines and Oprah experts recommend -- going to church, joining clubs based on her hobbies, volunteer work, Internet dating -- and she still hasn't met a man she'd consider pursuing a relationship with. She's like me: a thirtysomething who doesn't really want to date for dating's sake, but is looking for more than just someone for drinking and casual sex. (Not that there's anything wrong with either.)

I admit I've been floating on a sea of sighs since returning from my friend's wedding a few days ago. There wasn't a single available man there (well, maybe the DJ, but I didn't ask), so most chicks would have found the event a total bust. Not me. I was heartened by seeing all the happy, obviously still-enamored couples of all ages enjoying themselves as they giggled over drinks and boogied on the dance floor -- sometimes with their kids as adorable partners. I'm aware I have no idea what's going on in their relationships; for all I know, they fought in the parking lot as they approached the door. But for those few hours, everyone was caught up in the joy of a new marriage, and the thrill of being on hand as a man and woman, misty-eyed, pledged themselves to each other.

That wedding day, juxtaposed with my friend's frustrations, gave me pause. It reminded me of something I think most of us tend to forget: We can't take love for granted.

There's no guarantee each and every one of us will have a healthy, loving relationship. Look at all the single people out there. Look at the high divorce rate. And how many folks do you know in unhappy relationships?

Life is such a crapshoot. Folks who find love experience fate, or destiny, or sheer, stupid luck -- whatever you want to call it. I wonder, do people in love realize what a gift they've been given? There's nothing set in stone that says every human will have a mate.

As a single person, does that knowledge depress or scare me? Both, a little. Am I less inclined to date? Of course not. The need to share, to connect, to love is innate in us. I've told my friend to keep searching. Maybe she (and I) will be among the fortunate ones.


Anonymous said...

It actually takes TWO of you to write this garbage?

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 8:16 pm: if you think it's garbage, read something else. Anyway, Deirdre, I'm glad you left the wedding with a positive attitude about the possibilities of love, instead of wondering why you haven't met Mr. Right yet. Although what this blog needs is some juicy stories about your re-entry onto the dating scene. Since Alisha is off the market, she can give insight on relationships from a newlywed perspective. Deirdre, it's up to you to give the spicier side of singleness...and on a more serious note, could you look into the statistics that say that almost half of African-American women will never marry, and give your views on that?

Anonymous said...

Great article, Deirdre. I like that you are optimistic, yet also don't gloss over the "one day you'll find the right guy" because you're right, some of us may not!..i'm 'only' 24, and while not close to being ready for marriage, i am growing bored of the casual sex and drinking buddies. i'm out of college and working now, and that makes it hard to meet people, except for in bars, and that usually-though not always-only leads to yet another casual sex/drinking buddy scenario. it would be nice to find an actual relationship, but many guys in my age range seem think relationship equals marriage. anyway, i love reading this blog, keep up the good work!