This past weekend, I was looking through threads on a forum that I visit every now and then. Without giving away what type of forum it is, I will say that it is frequented by people who are introverts. I ran across a thread that basically asked how everyone there planned to find love, given their age and personality (this was, I think, the 30+ section). A pretty good percentage of the people who responded–and many did–gave some version of the first thing that came to my mind for myself:
In other words, a lot of people there had “given up.” And because of the type of people who visit this forum, this was probably the only place I’ve seen where you can say you’ve given up and you have way more responses of agreement than the typical (and cheesy) “you’ll find someone when you’re not looking” or “there’s someone out there for everybody” and all the other garbage that people who have given up don’t want to hear/read. Sure, there was a little bit of that. But in general, it was person after person who believes he or she will be single forever and doesn’t plan to do anything about it. As I said, given their personality type, these people probably won’t do anything about it. This is not to say they will remain single and won’t find love, but not doing anything decreases your odds–especially if you’re a guy (because guys are still expected to be the approacher and women still approach men less than men approach women).
I got to thinking about what that thread might mean, and I did a little internet search for support.
My theory? More and more people are giving up on finding love.
What might this mean?
Well, in the US over the past 20 years or so, we had reached a point where–as far as marriage is concerned–something that was less common became, essentially, the norm. That something is divorce. I’m starting to think the new wave of what’s normal, as far as marriage is concerned, will be less and less people getting married, more and more people being on their own. While seeing that a lot of people are out there proclaiming “I give up” sparked this belief, there are many other things out there that probably will play a role in this theory becoming reality, if it ever does.
Some of these things are complicated and ironic to think about–in particular, the increase in interracial dating/marriage and the increase in the number of people understanding that they’re not heterosexual. Although I do believe that gay marriage will be legalized throughout much of the US in a relatively short period of time (when you think about other “civil rights movements”), there are still other complications with that–the difficulty of finding gay partners vs straight ones, the number of people who still won’t feel comfortable coming out of the closet but don’t want to enter into a heterosexual union and so on. And interracial relationships, however un-PC it comes off to some people to point this out, work in the favor of certain racial and sex groups to the detriment of others. Certain groups seem to be gaining a wider net of options while others seem to be losing options. It’s complicated, so I’ll leave it at that.
I could also, perhaps, point to people who have been married and divorced and just don’t ever want to get married again or think marriage is not for them. Or people who have “learned a lesson” by looking at their parents and their failed marriage(s). And, of course, there are people who get fed up with relationships or being rejected.
Obviously, a lot of people who say they give up are full of crap. Like…these people who are 19 or 20 years old talking about “I’ll never find someone” when they’ve barely been out of diapers. But the older people who say this have a lot more power to set my theory into motion, because if there are a lot of people out there who feel this way and, thus, will not approach anyone or get on online dating sites…this will affect other people, will it not? Maybe it causes other people to give up, for one thing. It certainly can keep connections from being made…unless, of course, you’re the type of person who either believes in fate or who believes that pretty much no one who “gives up” actually gives up.
Personally, I’m thinking that I just need a reality check every now and then, and that’s why I never can completely steer clear of “love.” It’s like that thing that we all have–maybe a friend or a previous job or, even, an ex–that we ditched for a pretty good reason, and then at some point we think back or even go back because we couldn’t remember why we left in the first place. That’s the only purpose romantic relationships seem to serve for me, at least at this point in my life–they remind me of why I try to steer clear of relationships. I have not been sufficiently brainwashed by society, I don’t think, to keep trying out relationships for the more romanticized reasons. I start pretty much every relationship or emotional attachment knowing it’s not going to work for whatever reason. Most of the time in my life, I don’t even want a relationship. Rarely have I ever wanted to be married.
So, I’d recently gotten my necessary reminder, and I’d been keeping it at the forefront of my mind. This was cool, until my mother recently starting making a point that gives me pause–who is going to take care of me when I get older?
This, along with money, are the only things that ever scare me about being single forever. I know this seems unbelievable, selfish or both to a lot of people. But these are the two things that make me think, “Whoa, maybe I really do need to find someone.” Although I would honestly guess that money being a motivator is not unique for a lot of people, especially [heterosexual] women. I’m just not sure how much of finding someone to be with is about that for these people and how much is about more romanticized notions.
But for me, the thing is if I were making a good amount of money, I wouldn’t worry about this. I would simply be able to pay for really good care. But since I likely will be poor all of my days (if for no other reason than student loans), I do have to think about what my life will be like in a couple of decades. I’ve also realized by looking around that being single literally doesn’t pay. There are people who make what I make, and they have a house, a car, independence and can, more or less, pay all of their bills…because they’re married to someone who is also bringing in money. If this is not the case, then you have to be partnered up with someone in some way to make it. One of my co-workers has a roommate. I live with my parents. At least in the US, it is becoming more and more impossible to get by here as a single person. It’s too expensive living and being single. You have to have more than one income, especially if you’re a woman (because we still get paid less or do jobs that pay less than jobs that tend to attract more men).
With the way that morons are destroying the country, it will only become even harder to live here. Republicans want to get rid of any governmental assistance…stuff like social security, unemployment benefits, medicaid. And it will probably happen, or those programs will provide less than they currently do. And Democrats seem to talk the talk but leave everything status quo, whether it’s because Republicans veto everything they think will help or because they just don’t know what to do or–like all other politicians–are just flatout full of schitt…or, if you’re Obama, because you’d rather be out at lowly NCAA Tournament games between 16 seeds (I mean, dude is neglecting his job not even for the national championship game–it was 16 seeds playing to officially get into the the Tournament. And the game itself was horrible, btw–not even worth his time).
For the first time, I am really starting to see why some people look for someone who has money. I might have to give this more consideration.
In the meantime, I am back to thinking about something I’ve thought about a few times before–an arranged marriage. I’m thinking maybe I should just grab a guy I can tolerate and ask him for a business-like marriage. I’m sure there’s a gay guy out there I can talk into this. The only problem is I can’t make this type of marriage work any better than I could make a marriage-for-love work. A business arrangement carries the very real possibility that one of us will actually meet someone we want to be with and want out of the arrangement. There’s no guarantee this person will take care of me when I need it most, nor is there a guarantee that I will always have this person’s money to help me out.
Hmmm, marrying financially well is looking better and better as I type this…especially a rich old man. 😉