Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Perhaps the biggest fear of all

My aunt, bless her heart, is a 73 year old widow. She looks fantastic for her age, dresses very stylishly and (age appropriately) hip. She's more energetic than most people I know. Her husband died after years of health struggles and she is dating with a vengeance. Every night, she is at a single's activity or dance. She has a date with a different guy several nights of the week. She is chaste, so I don't want anyone to out there to think that my aunt is a floozy, though. She very much wants to get married. Like yesterday already. I think that's a bit frightening because one day, she'll meet a guy and there will be a connection and it wouldn't surprise anyone a bit if a few weeks later, she's married. But I digress.

While many don't understand this fervor, I think I do. After chatting with her countless times, I believe her mindset is this: She doesn't want to die alone. She has calculated that she probably has X number of "good years" left. And, she has even fewer years while her physical attractiveness holds up. Whether any of those calculations are accurate, it doesn't matter-- that's her perception and her reality. And that's why she feels she needs to find someone and get married while she can so that she will have someone to live out her days with.

When we think of people's greatest fears, we often think of Death. Snakes. Heights. Speaking in public. Flying in a plane. For me, it still remains snakes-- rattlesnakes. But I think something else should be at the top of list: being alone. Dying alone.

As one who is dating again, it is easy not to go from one relationship to the next-- all in an avoidance of being alone. And that is a really super sucky way to date, if you ask me.

I can honestly say that I'd rather be alone than married to the wrong person again. Or even dating the wrong person again. Maybe I've become too picky. But I like "picky." I have started getting to know the new me and I kind of like this girl in progress. I'm still growing and figuring it all out but I like it. Because I've learned the hard way that it's far worse being in a relationship with the wrong person.

So what's the answer? Jumping in or being alone? Well, for one, if you have family and friends, we are never alone. Second, being true to ones self is critical in finding emotional peace and stability. Using another person as a crutch or as an avoidance for the person we are in side accomplishes nothing.

These days, I try to listen more than I speak, which provides great opportunities for me to empathize and learn in new ways. Another thing I'm grateful for? Absolutely.