There is an Agony Aunt column written by Cary Tennis in The Salon.
I like the column. The problems being mentioned are very real and personal and Mr.Tennis never underplays a problem or become personal. Some of his advise are excellent.
More importantly, some of the comments to the column provide more learning than the column itself.
Like this comment by a reader to a problem raised by a lady.
The complainant was a 42 year old lady who had never married and did not have kids. Despite being beautiful and successful, she never got around to getting married. As she put it, 'she could not find her equal'. Now she was 42, Unmarried, Childless and looking forward to the future with fear and anxiety.
The comment from one of the reader's is very illuminating. It teaches us a lot about the world and about ourselves.
Here is the comment. Read on...
Are you really equal to your equal?
I wish I could cite the book where I once read this theory, but all I can do is admit that it is not original with me. Essentially, the idea was this:
Imagine that people are ranked from 1 to 10, not just according to physical beauty, but factoring in all other positive attributes, like intelligence, sense of humor, and socio-economic status. By the principle of independent assortment, the 10's will marry the 10's (why should they settle for less?). The 9's might want a 10, but the 10's are already with other 10's, so they marry other 9's. And so on down the list. There was a mean-spirited remark I used to hear in high school: "uglies for the ugly." I hated it, but I guess the idea is that the 1's end up marrying the 1's.
There is one problem with this logic. Someone who is a 6 might simply be unwilling to settle for another 6, though that is all he is worth. Nothing short of an 8 will do for him. He may date an 8 occasionally, but somehow things never work out. As a result he will never marry. In other words, the further down the list you go, the more you will find people who refuse to settle.
Consider your remark: "I was never willing to settle. I wanted a husband who was my equal ...." Forgive me for saying this, but perhaps you overrate yourself. What you consider your equal may actually be a point or two above you.
This does not mean you should lower your standards. If you are, say, a 6 who just can't settle for anything less than an 8, you would not be happy with another 6, and there is nothing you can do about it.
As one guy put it (again, I can't remember where I read this): "For years I looked for the perfect woman. And then I finally found her. Unfortunately, she was looking for the perfect man."
Even if you accept this analysis as applicable to your situation, it may not help you with your sense that your life has no meaning. But I have found that it sometimes helps to know why you are unhappy, even if there isn't anything you can do about it.
When I was reading this comment, I was thinking of people I know, who for all practical purposes should rank high up there - they are handsome, intelligent, kind, generous etc - but due to their inferiority complex, consider themselves to be much lower in the scale than they actually are.
So who knows, you may actually be 8 or 9, but consider yourself to be 3-4. It is important that you wake up and realize your potential.