Tiny Love Stories: ‘Why Aren’t You Married?’
One of the most frequent questions I get at conferences these days is one that’s been nagging me for the last few years: Why aren’t you married? (“Married” in this context means marriage, as in commitment, whether the person is a couple, in a life-long, monogamous relationship, or not.)
My answer is always the same: You’re just not the type of person I thought you were.
When I tell this to my students, I get one of two responses. The first is disbelief that I could ever say something so callous: “I thought I was the perfect person!” (As opposed to that perfect woman you saw in the commercials? Sorry, just not my thing.)
The other response is an incredulous smile that says, “You’re not a stereotype!”
I have my own set of reasons for wanting to stay single. I’d say they have lots to do with personality than a desire or need to be “married” in any sense of the word.
That’s the point: we are all on a journey to discover our true self, based on our own strengths and weaknesses and desires. Yet we all have our own perceptions of what’s right and what’s wrong. If you’re a perfectionist, for instance, you see the world in black-and-white, because that’s how something in your past has seen it. That’s fine, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have a more nuanced view.
That’s why I always tell my class, “There are plenty of people in the world who were you before you were born.”
If you’re looking for a relationship that is as committed, loyal, and open as I have been, you shouldn’t go looking any further than your immediate family. You need a family that accepts you exactly as you are, and that