Friday, March 16, 2007

Bachelorhood

The body, the mind and expectations do change as we grow old. A scary part of growing old is adjusting to the absence of things.

For me, being single has been the status quo for a long time. When I was younger, I keenly felt the loneliness, the gap in my life where there should be a "significant other", a life partner. I used to joke to my friends about being a bachelor, but there's a big difference between being merely single and being a bachelor. When you're merely single, a relationship is part of the life plan and you're always ready to readjust your life to include the "one" who you've been waiting for to change your life. When you're merely single, the single guy's life is grudgingly accepted as an expedient arrangement imposed by temporary circumstance.

When you become a bachelor, that means you've stopped waiting for your love story. It's not a conscious decision, it's more like something in your mind, where you keep your youthful hopes and dreams, has gone silent, perhaps even died. That's where I am now. I've become the thing I used to joke about with friends - a bachelor. I feel comfortable being single, even set in my ways, and it's hard for me to imagine having a girlfriend. The intense bursts of loneliness are fewer and farther between, and a relationship no longer feels like a priority. Where I was once passionately ready to radically re-order my life (if Traci hadn't rejected me), a relationship now seems no more than a curious sort of consideration.

I still want a wife and family in a remote sort of way, but it feels like such a dim possibility now. Not ever getting married or having kids seems far more realistic. Bachelorhood is a sad place to be.

Eric

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