Never Married or Divorced at 40. Which is better?
On my walk with Chance this morning, I stopped to talk to a fellow dog mom. As it often occurs, we ended up talking for a bit. I learned that we are the same age, we got our dogs around the same time, we both love the greenways in Nashville, we both have one adult daughter, we are both trying to get healthier and we are both accountants. That's a lot in common, but there was one major difference. She has been divorced for five years and I, on the other hand, have never been married. So, as I continued my walk, I contemplated which status is better.
See I have dated a lot . . . a WHOLE lot. I've done every online dating service you can name. I've been in and out of relationships most of my adult years, been engaged a time or two and yet I just haven't closed the deal. Not because the men weren't good men, but because the fit wasn't right. I do not claim to be afraid of commitment, but I do claim to be afraid of committing to the wrong person which could lead to a divorce or worse, just being plain miserable. Plus, being raised by two parents who loved each other and lived as one for over 49 years, it's hard for me to consider that divorce would be an option for me.
Some of the men I've dated have had a real issue with my never married status. They literally can not wrap their heads around it and I get a lot of these types of questions or remarks: Commitment issues? (Already covered above.) Do you ever want to get married? (Well sure, to the right person.) Maybe you aren't the marrying type? (Really? is there a such thing?) Maybe no one wants to marry you? (Ok, this one is a little offensive, but the answer is I've had opportunities... I did run from them but the opportunity to marry the wrong person existed in my life multiple times.) Aren't you scared to be alone when you are old? (Yea the thought crosses my mind, but I'm not really scared to wake up every day and I'm alone now. Well I have Chance, but you know what I mean.) Maybe your expectations are too high. (Well that one might be true . . . considering the pool of potentials out there at my age. Slightly kidding here, only slightly though.)
I honestly think most people would be more comfortable if I said I was divorced. Maybe it's because that's more relatable considering over 40% of marriages end in divorce. (Psychology Today, 2017). I've also dated divorced men which begs questions like: Why are you divorced? Can you commit because obviously your first commitment ended? What's your relationship like with your ex? How are you as a co-parent? Do you see yourself getting married again? What did you do to contribute to the divorce?
I believe there are stigmas around both statuses, but I can't help but ponder on which is better. Someone who didn't settle in marrying the wrong person? OR someone who got married thinking they had found the right person only to discover years later they weren't for whatever reason? I really want to hear from you!!! Your experiences and opinions. Would you be more likely to date someone never married or a divorcee? Or is this a moot point?
Until next time,