I spent ten years in a dreadful emotional roller coaster of a relationship, but I have been a free man for over two years now, and at the risk of spewing a corporate jingle, I'm lovin' it.
I have a few ... *ahem* friends with benefits at the moment, but I'm not actively looking for anything more permanent. This surprises some people, but I don't feel any particular pressure to catch myself a husband or two any time soon. If the Universe decides to drop one in my lap, I won't complain, though.
Am I perhaps overreacting to the previous decade, or am I just being lazy? ;)
* * *
It is actually the more well-adjusted person who can live happily alone in his/her own skin without the need for a mate. Personally, this bear has times when he enjoys being by himself and even gets a bit irritable when he doesn’t get the chance for some “me time.” (Yogi is great about this, actually, and gives me some space when I need it).
Although statistics and studies show that married couples tend to be somewhat more happy than singles, that doesn’t guarantee matehood will make you happy, especially considering that nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. Here’s an interesting article on the subject: http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/married-people-happier-than-singles.htm. Also, people who have been through a divorce (e.g., me) have a harder time being happy, so, if you consider that, then getting married gives you a 50/50 chance of later becoming much less happy than the average person.
I find your attitude about this very refreshing. You are living your life on your terms and letting love find you rather than desperately seeking it out. I’ve always felt that the more desperate we are to find a mate, the more unappealing that makes us to potential mates. A couple of examples: before I met my mate and he was working in a news room there was this woman who kept hitting on him. He told her she was gay (it wasn’t a secret) and to leave him alone, but she was convinced she could convert him (she was also after his salary, I think). She kept hanging on him like some kind of leech, and her desperation made her look pathetic; thankfully, she eventually gave up.
Another case: again with a homosexual person—in this case, my sister. She was at a party once and, because she wasn’t squirting hormones of desperation out of all her pores like the other young women at the party, the men were drawn to her, chatting with her, and having a good time. She had about half a dozen surrounding her at one point because these guys found her appealing, which she is: she’s pretty and she’s intelligent. I’m sure there were other women there, too, who were bright and lovely, but they were on the prowl. It’s a turn off. I also recall a tenant my mother had named Susan. Susan was getting up in years and her “biological clock” was ticking. She wanted kids badly, so badly she started sleeping with almost anyone. These guys saw an easy mark and they would sleep with her and dump her. Sad.
Ironically, Papabear believes there is actually a higher chance of your finding a mate if you are not actively seeking one out. The reason is that, unlike other people, you won’t be looking in the wrong places, such as bars and online chat rooms. Instead, you will be out living your life, doing things you enjoy, where you are more likely to meet other people who enjoy the same things you do, which can lead to new friendships and even love.
I don’t think what you are doing is an “overreaction” to your split with your previous mate because it doesn’t sound like you are avoiding dates because you are afraid of them; rather, you are enjoying the single life, which is a healthy thing. You are not being lazy, either. If seeking out love sounds like a job to you, then that is a pretty strong clue you are not in the mood for it right now, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Enjoy your single life, your FWBs, and just being yourself. You have nothing to apologize for, you have no duties to fulfill to your fellow man, you are not obligated to have a spouse or devoted significant other. The only thing you should be concerned about is whether or not you are happy, and it sounds to this bear’s ears as if you are happy.
A note on comments: Comments on letters to Papabear are welcome, especially those that offer extra helpful advice and add something to the conversation that is of use to the letter writer and those reading this column. Also welcome are constructive criticisms and opposing views. What is NOT welcome are hateful, hurtful comments, flaming, and trolling. Such comments will be deleted from this site. Thank you.