The Art of Being Single: I Gave at the Office

My second wedding in Sedona

My second wedding in Sedona

A friend of mine told me the other day that he was concerned about me. When I asked why, he said he thought he saw me write that I was considering being a lesbian. “Oh, I think I did,” I said. “I was really just joking around, but, honestly, sometimes it’s attractive.” He was concerned that I would be depriving – that’s the word he used, depriving – some man the opportunity to be with a fabulous, beautiful woman. Hmmmmm… well, I think I gave at the office.

Now, to be honest, I know he was being nice and offering me a compliment. I really do think some guy would be lucky to have me for a partner. I’m smart. I’m successful. I keep myself up on fashion, health, and current culture. I love life. I think that I would be fun to be with over time. But, I’ve married two men and was engaged to one that didn’t seem to feel so lucky to have me. Or at least they didn’t show it by caring for my needs. And, the second was so distraught over the loss of me that he had an affair a month after I left with a young yoga instructor who dumped him like a hot potato when our divorce was final. That was real devastation over losing his prize wife.

I took marriage seriously. I was faithful to my husbands. In fact, I’m lucky that I’m a one-man woman. I’ve just never even been tempted by another man when I was married. I could tell you that I did it on purpose, but I didn’t. It’s just the way I’m wired. I say I’m lucky because I never even have to work on it. If I’m with a man that I care about, nobody else can even catch my eye. I cooked every night. I always felt it was a priority for me to have dinner on the table at night. Neither one of my husbands cooked, and I made it a point to feed them. I took care of social obligations. I made sure we hit birthdays, family functions, etc. I did it less in my second marriage because he didn’t seem to want assistance with that. I helped pay my second husband’s child support. I felt it was part of the package. I even helped pay it when he socked away the profit on his ex’s home for himself in a private account that he didn’t share with me. I felt marriage was a joint proposition, and I did what I could to share burdens. As far as sex goes, I won’t go into any more detail than I know how to take care of a man. I was a good wife. I often say that I wish I had me as a wife.

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My Grandmother and me at my first wedding.

Now, I wasn’t perfect. I expect a lot of out of life. I don’t expect material things. That’s never been a big thing with me. But, I do expect love and attention. I expect respect. I expect to do things that engage my intellect and my emotions. I expect maturity and engagement in solving problems from a husband. So, I’m sure I may be a lot for some men who are just looking for a traditional wife. I do expect a relationship of equals.

For all that I did for those marriages and all that I was, I wasn’t appreciated. My first husband called me 6 months after we divorced and told me he absolutely had no clue how much I did. He was astounded at the amount of work I put in at the house. I merely answered, “I know.” I’d been trying to tell him for years.  So, my friend, don’t tell me I’d be depriving some man of all these wonderful things that I offer. I’ve freely given them not once, but twice. I gave at the office.

The other part of that equation is that he’s presuming that there are men out there that want me. And, I’m not looking for affirmation that I’m a great catch. I know what I have to offer, and I know my faults. I’m very grounded in reality. But if they want me, and they are not with me, we’re assuming they can’t find me. I’m out there in the world. I have a blog. I’m on Facebook. I am EASY to reach. If you are a single guy, and you want what I have to offer, you know how to find me. I write enough about myself and am transparent enough that you can find out how to turn my head. There’s just not been anybody that sees the value in what I have to offer to come after it. And, that’s okay by me. If a man doesn’t see how special I am and feel I’m worth the effort, then it’s not going to change after we’re in a relationship. I don’t want to go there again. I gave at the office.

I have to say to my friend that I’m not depriving any man of any opportunity if I decide to pull myself off the market. I don’t intend to do that, though. I’d like to have a relationship, but I have to have one that allows me my freedom, too. This time around I’m going to be myself. If I want to cook, I will. If I have needs that are beyond his capacity to fulfill – and I expect there will be lots of those needs – I’m going to take care of them. I will be faithful just because that’s the way I’m wired, but I expect that my needs in the bedroom will be just as important as his. And, at this age, I’ve decided that sex is as important as respect in a relationship, and I will not settle. In that area, too, I gave at the office.

I’ve been in a process of coming to terms with being single over the last couple of years as I’ve spent time meeting men and dating. I like my single life. I like men. If I looked at marriage like I’ve looked at other things in my life, the reality has never measured up to the fantasy. That tells me that it may not be for me. I’ve been much happier in the single periods of my life than I ever was married. When I wrote my blog about the “deal” and coming to terms with not having it, one of my other middle-aged single male friends contacted me about his lack of desire for the “deal” at this point in his life. The “deal” is a lot of work and sacrifice. And, for those of us who gave at the office and the “deal” didn’t pan out, I understand how it might be hard to give so unflinchingly the time and energy it takes to make the “deal” work out. I get it…… so I don’t blame the guys who aren’t contacting me for the opportunity to have me on their arm. I feel the same way. I gave at the office, baby.

And, if you want more info on the myths about being single, read the below article from Match.com. Even though they’d like for me to find somebody on their site, they realize that singleness has it’s own advantages.

8 Myths About Being Single

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