So, one day I'd like to get married, but in the meantime I don't feel like dating. I was struggling with this opposition in therapy this week. I told my therapist that I didn't feel like monitoring another online profile, going to single events, or having friends introduce me to single guys. I lamented that I felt shut off from the fun of dating and that I felt badly about that. She pointed out that it sounded like I was making dating a should (read #2 here). I am not sure why dating feels like a should for me. No one is pressuring me to date or giving me a bad time about being single. But it does feel that being 34 and single, I should be out there trying to meet someone, especially if I want to one day be married.
The pressure I feel is both from my internal judgements and from society (I love blaming society :)). We live in an age were women are more free to be single and childless, but I have to admit that, though I am grateful for that freedom, I am still catching up to it. I think as a child it was more socially impressed upon me that I would probably be married and having children in my twenties. And since I haven't landed on that path, I am asking myself, "What's wrong with me?"
I keep circling around these contrary feelings- wanting to be married and not wanting to date, celebrating new feminist ideals and yet also wanting some amount of the traditional path- and I've ultimately decided nothing is wrong with me for having these conflicting ideals. It helps me to step back and ask the big question- do I like my life even if I am sometimes confused, fearful, and hesitant? Mostly the answer is yes. I'm living my life day by day and learning new ways to accept myself. I like to tell myself it is all a work in progress, even if it doesn't make sense.
If you have any thoughts or stories to share that relate to this post, I'd love to hear! You can comment below or on my Facebook page.