Updated: Dec 20, 2018
This one is dedicated to all my single sisters, especially those who have never been married or had children. I know some of this may apply to the single men out there , but the experience for women is very different . Sorry guys!
I recently posted something on Facebook about an elevator encounter . No, it’s not what you think ! Minds out of the gutter please 😝
Here is how it went down :
Following that post I received several private messages from women who have had similar experiences, being looked down upon because they were not married, or did not have children. The overwhelming feedback I received prompted me to share my very personal life experiences. At 51, after a shit ton of soul searching, I am here to tell you, children and a husband do not define who you are. DO NOT allow anyone to tell you anything different!
The circle of single friends that I left in NY, are all beautiful, smart, strong , successful and self sufficient women. There is nothing wrong with them despite what some would like to believe. They, like myself have chosen to be single rather than settling for an unfulfilling, unhappy relationship .
Allow me to start at the beginning so that I may give you some insight into my background. I want you to get the full picture . I grew up in a very tight knit community in Brooklyn NY. Most women in this community get married very young and have a ton of children. I must stress that this is not an effort to bash where I came from. I have seen my community help one another in times of need with charity , counseling, etc . My best, most loyal and supportive friends to this day, are friends that I grew up with from that very community. These friends that I know practically from birth, were all married young , have beautiful families with children and grandchildren and are happy.
In fact, back in the day I thought that would be me . Things didn’t quite work out that way. As the saying goes, “man plans, G-d laughs”. Truer words were never spoken. I would attend wedding after wedding , always hearing those encouraging words “you’re next”. I went on set up after set up date , often told I was being “too picky”. After one of these such dates , being set up with a guy that had the mental capacity of a flea, I was done . I was tired of what I like to call “penis-vagina“ matches. I called my mom hysterical. I was never insulted when set up with a guy who I was not physically attracted to because while there has to be attraction, beauty is only skin deep, and attraction can develop over time.
BUT to set me up with someone who obviously was more than a little “off”, I know this is going to sound cruel, but NO! I remember it so clearly . It was torture . Finally I told the guy, just let me off here,I have to pick up something from Bed Bath and Beyond. I could not bear another minute . I remember telling my mom, “ I’m right near the 59th street bridge and I’m about to jump”. I conveyed my experience to her and told her if that matchmaker ever calls again , please tell her that I am a lesbian . Not that there’s anything wrong with that! My mom cracked up , but I was not trying to be funny. I was dead serious ! Mind you I was in my 30's at the time . Hardly an “ old maid “, a term I find disgusting, but that’s another topic.
It should be noted that this particular matchmaker tried to set a friend of mine up with a guy she had already dated, and it was not a match. When she expressed this, the matchmaker’s response was “ what do you think you‘re getting at this age ?” She’s lucky she never said that to me, because I may have punched her in the face . My friend was 32 , wound up meeting a great guy , had kids and did not have to choose marriage over happiness. Guess what? You can have both .
That matchmaker‘s words were irresponsible, and she should find a different hobby . There is no telling the damage that horrible woman could have done with that demeaning statement. Oddly enough the best blind dates were set up by guy friends . Not exactly sure why that is, but thought I’d include that little tidbit. #perspective . I really wish I had documented some of my #epic date experiences. It would have been a best seller and would have made for some great reality TV. Call Andy Cohen!
A very beautiful friend of mine and her brother both waited for the right person. They ignored the ” you’re too picky” BS comments and followed their hearts . What a concept !! Those were two of the most uplifting, fun weddings I have ever been to because I witnessed love and I was inspired .
As I got older and evolved as an adult , I realized that I didn’t quite fit into “the mold”. I am not going to lie . I had always wanted the white picket fence, the husband , the kids etc .
I read countless self-help books on relationships, that covered how to attract the man of your dreams, how to understand the opposite sex, etc etc. Much like fad diets , relationship books are a bunch of BS . There is no single cookie cutter way to land a husband . No direct cause and effect . If you follow these instructions will find the man of your dreams . What a bunch of crap. No two personalities or experiences are exactly the same. There are too many variables involved in relationships to say a “how to“ book is going to get you the relationship you seek.
What I learned from all the reading was that sometimes you can be doing all the “right things”, but there is no timetable for finding love. Living life to its fullest should be on your
“ to do” list. The most important thing you can do is love yourself. If you don’t love yourself how can you expect anyone else to . It takes a lot of work to get to this place but self love will improve your life dramatically. Then who knows what can happen ?
I have had 4 serious relationships that seemed to be moving towards the marital route . Three out of four WERE NOT ended by me . Did I cry when they came to an end . I certainly did. I was sad when I came to the realization that this may not happen for me. In retrospect. I realized that each was a learning experience.
Most recently I learned what a narcissist is. Once I realized his game , and how toxic this relationship was I understood that although it was painful, it was a blessing, not to mention educational! In each instance, G-d was watching over me.
Each time I dodged the marital bullet that would have surely ended in divorce. I stayed in touch with the mom and sister of one of the dumpers . They both told me I was better off without him and their son/brother is a moron. I think I speak to his sister more than he does !
He actually reached out to me years later . It was bizarre. I knew there was no going back.
I really have to thank my parents with helping me see the light in one instance .Their very subtle guidance brought me to the point of ending a relationship that was wrong for me. I held on, despite all the red flags thinking I was being “ too picky “. After all the guy was a really nice guy with a really cute dog. Sometimes that just is not enough . We saw the world very differently. My glass was always half full , his half empty.
One day my mom called me and said .. “So what’s going on with so and so“. I told her he was going through a lot of personal things and I didn’t want to pressure him. The next words she said , are words that have stayed with me ever since . “ If “Joe” proposes tomorrow, will your life be better or worse “. Holy freaking crap! I had never looked at it that way. I went through aspects of the relationship piece by piece and realized .., omg my life would be much worse ! When I admitted that fact, my mom said to me “well then you know what you have to do , do you really want to get married just so you can say, “look i got married?” Um no!! Seconds later my dad called me and said “Did you do it yet??” . I was surprised because I thought my parents loved him . Little did I know they felt that he was ”sucking the life out of me “. They did not want to tell me what to do but wanted me to come to that conclusion on my own. What I learned from this relationship was if it’s not working, move on . Do not sell yourself short!
I remember my lowest point as clear as if it was yesterday. I was in a really bad job, and was dumped by the guy who I believed was “the one” . One of my very best friends gave me something that changed my outlook and my life . I will never forget this and will cherish this 50 year old friendship forever.
She handed me a book, “ The Secret” and told me just read it. I was a skeptic but I was desperate to get out of the funk I was in . At that point I would have tried anything . The premise of The Secret is based on the law of attraction. What you put out into the universe is what you attract into your life . If you live in the Debbie Downer mentality, that will become your reality . Sorry but it’s true . Misery attracts misery , negativity attracts negativity.
If you don’t like the direction that your life is going in, you must take action. After watching and reading ”The Secret” , I learned how to flip the switch . I lifted myself up and out of the dumps and changed my thoughts . The mind is very powerful . I have used these tools time and time again, and this has a helped me get through many difficult times, not only relationship wise .
Ok, so I have shared my life story with you. Now I will share some basic tips that I have learned throughout my 51 years .
1. No one can make you happy!
You must create your own happiness . If you cannot find happiness on your own , trust me , no relationship in the world is going to give it to you .
2. It is possible to be alone and not lonely .
Do I ever get lonely ? Sure I do , but so do people in long term relationships. I actually like my own company and I've been told “ I’m pretty freaking awesome״. I’m going to agree with that statement. Traveling , dining and just doing stuff on your own are some of the most freeing experiences. You cannot imagine . You are also more likely to meet new exciting people when you are alone. I have stories ! There is nothing to fear ! #justdoit. You will thank me later.
3. Be the person, people want to be around.
This brings me back to ”The Secret”. People can sniff misery and desperation a mile away and steer clear of those types . I know I do ! Keep busy trying new experiences. There is so much life has to offer!
4. Count your blessings
To get to number 3, a great exercise is to grab a pen and paper and write down all the #blessings in your life. When you physically see it in black and white , it will immediately change your mindset. People have a bad habit of always looking at others who have more than them. What about those who have less? There are way more of those less fortunate. Why focus on jealousy rather than enjoying your blessings . Gratitude is a thing, and a major component to happiness.
5. Learn the art of not giving a f&$@ck!!!
This brings me back to the elevator incident and the messages I received following that post . I was recently hanging with a buddy at Acqualina. During Passover break , the community I grew up in escape NY, to warmer climates , one of which is Miami . As I walked to the pool I hear a screeching voice behind me . Like nails on a chalkboard, this woman who had been friends with my sister a gazillion years ago, recognized and called out to me . #fml!!! She started grilling me about my life, why I moved to Miami blah blah blah. Then came the question, ”So you never got married?“ with that look of pity on her face . I’m sorry, do I look miserable to you ? No, I didn’t actually say that , just thought it while holding my tongue, and maintaining the fake smile . Did I mention I‘m a great multitasker ???
The lesson to be learned is, learn not to care what others think. THIS is life changing . Now when I get that pity look my answer is “Why? Do you know someone ?” That shuts them down immediately because they really don’t want to get involved, and could not care less if you’re single or not . They are most likely miserable and are trying to bring you down as well. DO NOT LET THEM! This particular girl should know her hubby used to chase me when he was single . #truestory
6. Exercise is your friend
Do not underestimate the the affect that the endorphins released during a workout have on your mood. Think about the high you feel after a workout, a brisk walk with good music or anything active. Get out of the house . Trust me , this is the best medicine plus it will keep you healthy . A win win if you ask me !
It has been a long journey but I am so thankful for all the experiences that have made me the woman that I am today . I have truly evolved in so many ways. I had put out in the universe that I wanted to live in Miami , and boom here I am living the dream. I have a great job, I am surrounded by great friends and family, and life has become an adventure. It took me long enough but it’s never too late. Carpe Diem!
I’m not ruling out marriage or a long term relationship provided that it’s with the right person. I’m going to have to LIKE that person a lot if I’m going to spend many years with them . Love without Like just does not work long term. At least it doesn’t work for me . I choose to be happy whether single or in a relationship. I pray that ALL single woman get to this point, if they are not here yet . You must know your worth. Do not let anyone dictate what your life should look like. Do not settle for anything less than happiness .
There will be difficult times but they will not last forever. Fight to get past those low points and do not wallow in misery. Feeling sorry for yourself accomplishes nothing. Been there, done that . Never again. If this blog has opened just one woman’s eyes, than I feel like I accomplished something . I am no therapist but I am always open to listen and help if I can! Feel free to contact me any time . Even if you just want to vent ! We all need a sounding board from time to time. I know this doesn’t quite fit into what my blog is about, but I’ll file it under health... mental health! Plus I'm sharing all my escapades that bring me happiness! Follow the Toes!!!