The Osmond Effect

May 17, 2011 at 7:27 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | 2 Comments
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I never could have imagined in my wildest dreams that I would be inspired by an Osmond story, but the news of Marie remarrying her first husband has got me wondering why it is that we live in a world where half of marriages fail?

I’m a romantic at heart, and while I know many couples say this, I’m still going to say it.  I only plan to get married once.  I don’t plan on getting divorced.  But as I watch more and more of the people I grew up with getting hitched, I know that down the road the statistics will likely sadly remain true.

Because people give up on marriage way too quickly.  At least, that’s what I think.  I think it’s true that you can make the mistake of getting married too soon or too young, but I feel like most marriages end because they are just too hard.  Relationships are hard! They take a lot of work and understanding, compromise and compassion.  No one should ever have to go 26 years and realize that they were right all along.  Their first love, who they left a lifetime ago, really was “the one”.

Life can get in the way and cloud your vision, and sometimes it may be hard to bring yourself back to the place where everything was roses, but you have to put up a fair fight.

When I was in middle school, my best friend (at the time) and I came up with ten rules for dating.  I don’t remember them all offhand (if I ever find the pocket size printouts we made for our wallets, I will totally post them), but the one that I do remember may be one of the most important.  Here goes: When considering getting back together with an ex, think about why he’s an ex.

Smart teenager huh?  Of course this was referring to silly 2 week “relationships,” in which the guy was likely a jerk, maybe didn’t even talk to you, and wanted to get back to you in his annual rotation.  But it rings true to me in different ways today.  But it’s a question that should be asked before you break up a marriage or any relationship.  Why do you really want this to be over?  Is it really not working, or are you just giving up because it’s too hard?

And sometimes the answer is that it isn’t working, but if you were so confident at one point to go through the process of getting married to this person, there has to be a strong reason why, after all that, that it’s not working?

I hope to live long enough to see the sanctity of marriage returned to its former stature.  And perhaps opening marriage up to all couples in love will make couples who traditionally have had the right to get married think twice about giving up on love.

Matchmaker

March 1, 2011 at 7:29 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | 3 Comments
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I’ve never been one to follow a crowd.  I’ve never belonged to a specific clique.  I enjoyed having diverse friends from different places, backgrounds, cultures.  But whenever it came time to get together, it was always difficult to find the right pairings of friends who would just vibe with each other without really knowing each other.  But I would always try. I’ve had my successes, and some utter failures, but I will always try.

Beyond finding the perfect mix of people to hang out with, I would also try to play matchmaker.  I would love to be able to say that I was responsible for two people finding love.  I had success in setting up a few dates and a bunch of one night stands, but never anything substantial.  Why don’t I have that gene that some people have where they just know who would be right for each other?

Well, it’s not really a gene.  It’s part intuition and part understanding somebody on such a deep level that you know what makes them tick, and then finding a perfect match.  But you spend so much of your life trying to figure out what makes you tick that how can you ever really know what makes someone else tick?  I guess that’s why so many people turn to online dating.  It’s easier to have someone else do it for you.

It’s also about energy.  There really is such a thing as chemistry between people.  But sometimes, you can misread that energy as purely physical attractive.  Geez why are these emotions so complicated?

I happen to have a lot of single friends, and for the life of me I can’t manage to set any of them up with each other! I’ve basically given up trying. What I have learned is that just because two people are single doesn’t mean that they should date. Like, at all.  But as you get older and there are less “fish” to choose from, do you find that you go on more first dates?  Seriously, the long term monogamous girl wants to know because I’m totally just guessing right now.

I guess I don’t have a future as a professional matchmaker. Lucky for me, at least I found my match.

Couple Friends: The Solution to the 3rd Wheel?

October 12, 2010 at 7:34 am | Posted in Friends Then and Now, Relationship Woes | 8 Comments
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Nobody likes being the third wheel, but then people bitch and moan when their friends with significant others don’t hang out.  So what do the singles do? They try to couple up as well, which they’d probably try to do anyways, but in terms of friendships and the solution to the third wheel, couple friends is where people usually turn.

When I was in high school, my best friend and I always tried to date guys that were friends. There was even a time when she was dating this guy that she gave me a group picture of all of his friends and told me to pick one out and they’d hook it up.  It was always fun to be able to hang out with my best friend when we had boyfriends that were close, and when we didn’t, it wasn’t as much fun.

In group settings, it’s not really a big deal. Who cares who is dating who when you have at least three other people to talk to who are in the same boat as you?  It’s in that smaller setting where people get uncomfortable.

My boyfriend and I were friends for two years before we ever dated, so we had a strong base and knew how to hang out just as friends.  We carry that element into our relationship today so our friends don’t feel uncomfortable when we hang out in small groups.  But you can’t always escape it.  You can be less affectionate if that’s what bothers people, or make sure you have conversations where your single friend can get involved, but at the end of the day, it’s the single friend with the issue.  We’ve all been there.

But I still feel like I’m in that “FRIENDS” (the tv show) stage of my life.  Still living in apartments, hanging out in apartments, still have single friends, not married, and just living life without the responsibility of anyone other than myself.  I feel like the concept of couple friends, at its highest level, has yet to come, like the couple friend stage goes along with getting married and having kids.  It’s hard to see how single friends will fit in to that scenario.

I’m not saying I’m ever going to ditch my single friends.  But single people tend to want to hang out with other single people.  Maybe couples are boring to them, since the chase is over for them.  Basically, we all tend to hang out with people who can relate to our current situations.  I’m pretty happy with my current situation, but I am aware of what likely lies ahead: couple friends, neighbor friends, PTA friends, old lady friends. It’s going to be interesting, that’s for sure.

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