When it comes to relationships, with few exceptions, we fall in one of two categories. We’re either married (and bored) or single (and lonely).
Let’s start with those who have said, “I do.” Oftentimes after a while, relationships shift. Kids, work obligations, and other responsibilities fill the space that once was used to rendezvous. Everyday sex happens less and less and you see your single friends having fun—footloose and fancy free, snapping photos in Uptown or trying cool new restaurants like Spork. Sometimes, married folks go out with their single friends, have a blast, and at the end of the night are filled with mixed emotions. We love our families, but feel like we might be missing out.
On the flip side, singles spend time with married friends who always seem to have it together. Their lives seem perfect: kids, vacations, the house, the job, the spouse. All of this can leave single folks feeling inadequate and hoping for Mr. or Mrs. Right. We dream about little league games, making dinners together, regular sex, and a well-rounded life. When singles leave their married friends’ homes, they wonder whether they’ll ever have these experiences and are pray that someday their life will live up.
We’ve all heard it before, the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. I’ve been on both sides of this particular fence and what I can express is that we use limited logic to ascertain other’s happiness. I’ve been single and lonely, hoping I would find the right person. I’ve felt unlucky amidst seemingly happy married couples. But I chose to see what I wanted to: friends who were always delighted to be married, and loving every minute of it. I thought their lives added up.
This, however, is not always the truth. Today, I’m married and often go out with my single friends, some of whom are constantly having a blast, popping champagne, and living it up. The longer I spend time with them, the more it seems that all single people are dodging a bullet. The point is: We all wish for something we don’t have and we look to others’ lives as a compass for our own. We judge our happiness based on the perceived reality of our friends in different marital brackets.
Let’s give this a rest. If you are single and want to settle down, don’t feel limited and disheartened. Don’t worry about when love will show up, but rather live your life as you want and attract happy people into it. Age has no baring on true love so try to put that aside. Most importantly, appreciate being single while you are. Once you get married, you’ll look back fondly on these days. If you are married, don’t just remember your past single days as a myriad of nights on Greenville Avenue. Think back to when you wondered if you would meet someone and feel grateful for your reality. We tend to see the singles living the life, answering to no one, and doing what ever they please; however, is this version a true representation of reality?
Enjoy where you are in life, realize how awesome it is, and understand that the grass is never greener on the other side, it just appears that way sometimes!
Ashley Berges is a Dallas-based life coach, family therapist, and syndicated radio talk show host of Perspectives with Ashley Berges, which can be heard on 570 AM KLIF and 660AM KKSY.