Monday, October 08, 2012

The Blessed and the Damned

If you're single and in your 30s, it's for a reason.  Not a bad reason necessarily, but there's always something.  It makes dating at this age an almost apologetic affair -- a lot happens between your early 20s and the point 10 years later where you're awkwardly, hopefully sitting with someone over coffee as the result of some computer arranged online pairing.  You've probably picked up a few bad habits and had time to gloss over more than one hard reality.  It seems rude to bring it up; in lieu of geological exploration, better to skim lightly over the surface and then tussle good-naturedly over who pays the check (he does).

If you make it to date three or four, however, the pickaxes come out and true excavation begins.  Just ended a long-term relationship because you were a bit of an ass, you say?  Well, that's to be expected.  Yeah, I move every two years and have a degenerative neurological disease, but I was kind of hoping you'd overlook that.  By this time, you've accordingly progressed from coffee to hard liquor and started to recall all the reasons you were single in the first place.  It's less "Are we destined for one another?" and more "Could I put up with your crap?"

Yet, no matter how often you see that hard-hatted, coal-mining third date in the distance, you still sit politely through date one, list of pet peeves and deal breakers folded neatly in your back pocket, limpid smile, careful phrasing of pre-planned questions based on his profile-declared love of his dog and skeet-shooting...  "Why, whatever are we still doing single at 30?  It's a mystery, to be sure."


Anonymous said...

Katie, I wish I knew a nice, single, worth man--you are a such a catch I couldn't set you up with just anyone. Give us a call or email if you have time to get together. We also have room for Thanksgiving:)

Anonymous said...

Interesting perspective. I'm in the Foreign Service and didn't get married until my mid-30s, after dating a fellow FSO for several years (including separated tours). Never really considered the age thing as important, it was more a question of living an interesting life, meeting interesting people, and seeing if eventually I wanted to marry one of them (and vice versa).

But then again I'm a guy as well as an individualist, so didn't feel any real personal or societal pressure to get married by some arbitrary age. I'm glad I did it when I was ready and with the right person. One of the things I made very sure of before proposing was that I had no feeling like I was "settling" for my significant other. Not that she is (or I am) perfect, but I didn't feel like I was truly missing something, either.

Good luck.

Katie said...

Let me very clear on this point: I'm totally cool with settling.

Sharon! I haven't forgotten you, I'm just consumed with work. Let me figure out a good time to visit.

Joanie said...

May I recommend going tdy to a US military base?? It worked for me (although, at the time, it was the last thing on my mind) Check out those PolAd positions!!

Heather said...

Just wait until you hit 40! (Sigh.)

Anonymous said...

I'm in the same boat... just keep your head up, eyes open, and make sure your heart and mind connect.