Writer: James Combs
It’s one of the most infuriating questions anyone can ask me. I rank it right up there with “Why are you so quiet?”
In fact, it’s worse than that because, for me, there’s no clever way to answer, “Have you ever been married?”
Having to tell a woman “no” comes with a flashing warning sign. Her eyes grow big and she tilts her head sideways as she carefully studies me. Thoughts race through her brain.
It’s never fun to be psychoanalyzed, but none of those things accurately explain why I never uttered the words “I do.” Truth is, some of us are single at heart and relish the single lifestyle. We don’t need a boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife to be the sole source of our happiness and make us feel complete. We’re not about to enter into a substandard relationship just to appease the masses and avoid being stigmatized.
Don’t tell this to serial daters, but there definitely are benefits when you are not wrapped up in a life for two. I don’t have to worry about relationship drama, fighting with the in-laws, or shelling out lots of dough to win a child custody battle. Nobody is keeping tabs on my every move, allowing me to indulge in my favorite activities and habits that would make a prospective wife fret. Like watching 12 straight hours of college football in total peace while letting empty beer cans accumulate around my recliner.
Still, there’s immense cultural pressure to get married, and those who aren’t basking in the romantic glow of love are held in lower esteem than our married counterparts. Perhaps it’s time for singles to turn the tables and start psychoanalyzing those in relationships and marriages. After all, they provide us with plenty of ammunition.
Troubling things are going on in the world of “love” today. The divorce rate hovers around 50 percent, adultery is as common as death and taxes, and an estimated 1.6 million men in the United States are paying child support for children that are not biologically theirs (paternity fraud should be a crime, but that’s another story for another day).
And let’s not forget that one in three women have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Personally, I’d rather watch SportsCenter alone for the rest of my life than be the type of man who batters a woman and makes her feel hopeless, helpless, and entrapped.
Please don’t think I’m against relationships. I think it’s wonderful when a man and woman truly respect and honor a lifetime commitment of marriage. At the end of the day, though, we all should be judged, as Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, “by the content of our character” rather than our relationship status.
OK, rant over. I’ve got to hop in the shower. But before I do, I’m going to let my underwear slide down my legs, flip it in the air with my right foot, and see if I can catch it with my left hand.
Ahhh…the single life.