I spent my entire adult life -- with very little break -- as part of a couple before my divorce. My ex-husband and I have lived happily apart as a new couple; happily together as an unmarried couple; happily together as a childless married couple and happily together as a new little family. The last few years were spent living unhappily as a married couple with a child and unhappily apart as separated married people raising a child. Now we are divorced, living apart --happily for me -- and raising our young son together.
In light how much time I spent as a twosome and how new I am to singledom, I have realized how strange my feelings towards coupledom have become. Am I envious? Surprisingly not. Though I do feel a twinge every now and then when I see an ad for an intimate restaurant or a romantic vacation experience. Though we all know that that stuff is special-occassion romance which although important to a relationship, has very little to do with work-a-day marriage.
What I find rather funny is my bewilderment. I find it perplexing that two people find each other in the first place and want to spend enough time together that they choose to actually live together. How do they do that? Why do they want to? I ask. And have to remind myself that I did that once too. I am amazed that it actually works sometimes. I am happy for friends who find it. I love seeing couples who love and support each other's interests and goals. I am embarrassed for those who find it -- or think they have found it -- and give up stuff for it.
Maybe it's an age thing as we all become more ourselves are we get older. Maybe falling in love and being part of a couple is for those whose lives and habits are still malleable enough to meld together. And of course, those oldsters that stay together have already sorted everything out and welded two lives so that nothing can pry them apart. Whatever it is, falling in love and staying together is a miracle and one that should be celebrated.
So for Valentine's Day I wish all my happily married or happily in love friends some great high-maintenance romance-- you deserve it after the work you have put in to make it work. Have the lobster, stay at the nice hotel and drink an extra glass of champagne for me!