Monday, March 27

On dating and marriage

This has to be one of the most depressing newspaper columns I've read in a long time.

The headline reads "Marriage is for white people." But the ultimate conclusion is marriage doesn't have to be for anybody.

The author starts off writing about how she was a bit sad that she wasn't married. But at the end of the article she decides she can do "pretty good" by herself.

That deflating conclusion can be summed up with this questionshe cites: "Why should well-salaried women marry?"

Why indeed?

And add to that the cofusion of relationships. One woman the author talked to said, "it's hard to know "what normal looks like" when it comes to courtship, marriage and parenthood."

If a woman thinks it's hard to know what normal looks like, what is a man like myself supposed to think.

The thing about training for a marathon. It's pretty much my own private adventure. It's the goal that I'm trying to conquer pretty much.

So I'm not even thinking about asking anyone out. That doesn't mean I don't sometimes think about dating. Just because I'm OK with being alone when I run, it doesn't mean I'm not lonely, if not when I'm on the road than at every other moment.

But if I were dating, how would I manage? It's always strange when a girl says that all I want to do is make out. Me? But then if I don't make some type of move, then I lose again.

It's so crazy. When I was younger, skinny and wearing thick-glasses, girls only joked about going out with me. Now, I'm older and more confident - it would be hard not to be more confident - but I'm still incredibly confused about relationships.

Anyway, why think about it too much, eh? I have a goal to run 26.2 miles in South Bend on June 3. No relationship can make that any easier. I've got to take every step on my own. I'll try the dating scene again when the race is finished.


Blogger Rebecca said...

The quote, "Why should well-salaried women marry" was from Alice Dunbar-Nelson--two years after she asked that, she became Mrs. Paul Laurence Dunbar. She was a poet who married a poet... was he still an elevator operator at the time?...

It is a depressing article, and maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think that many of the characteristics that the article cites as preventing men from being attractive partners ("children and their mothers from previous relationships, limited earning power, and the fallout from years of drug use, poor health care, sexual promiscuity") apply to you. So stats might not mean much for you personally. And who needs to know what normal looks like?

March 27, 2006 10:45 PM  
Blogger BL said...

And who needs to know what normal looks like? I don't know.

I suppose part of the problem is always confusing needs and wants.

Sigh. Maybe I should be an elevator operator.

I'd probably meet more women that way. Female poets or poetry lovers even.

March 28, 2006 6:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find myself in similar moods nowadays: I dated a lot during undergrad and loved the women I got to know and love dating. Period. But when I started teaching high school, I found that I loved this new experience of living entirely on my own, having always had roommates or housemates before then. When I started teaching, I was really looking forward to getting married, and was in a long-term relationship. That ended in time, but this new life by myself really threw off my dating stride. I've been back in grad school for a few years now and never really have picked up on it. So I get it. But I don't get it.


I wrestle with these guilty thoughts,
and I'm losing.
You're all I am,
I'm what you're not.

––Over The Rhine

March 29, 2006 2:11 AM  
Blogger BL said...

Here's anothing thing that sticks with me, something I don't understand, but part of the reason why I want to know what normal looks like.

When I was in college, I went on a couple of dates who I really seemed to click with. Then one day she asked me if I thought the body was bad. I said no and didn't think much of it.

A couple of weeks later, in a class I had with her, some guy referenced a Christian mystic we were reading and asked the professor if he thought the body was bad.

And all of this girl's friend in the class started laughing. I don't know why I still remember that. I don't even know why I'd thought those few dates had gone so well.

But something about being laughed at by half the class sticks with me.

And so I do wonder about what normal looks like.

March 29, 2006 6:04 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...


I don't think I get it.

Why were they laughing at you?

March 29, 2006 8:44 PM  
Blogger BL said...

Well, I don't know. Maybe I'm just crazy. I've no idea why I can't get that day out of my head so many years later.

But it was strange. One day she and I were having dinner and out of the blue she asked if I thought the body was bad. Strange question, no?

Then a couple of weeks later, one of her friends in the class asked the professor the exact same question related to something we were reading by a mystic who had these visions of being kissed by Jesus or something like that.

And then everybody laughed.

Maybe I just felt dumb because I didn't get the joke. But it did hurt to feel that people were laughing at my social ineptitude.

I mean clearly they weren't laughing at the kid who asked the question because he was in a popular rock band and one of the cool kids in the class.

March 30, 2006 7:02 AM  

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