Females of America are ready to go over to a girlfriend’s apartment tonight to enact a little sisterhood ritual that takes place over one season each year. They’ll be sitting around the couch, eyes getting watery, and tissues at hand as they fall helplessly in love with pilot Jake Pavelka and get jealous over the 25 women who get to spend time with him. Don’t worry, I won’t be talking about “The Bachelor,” premiering tonight on ABC at 8/7 Central nor will I be discussing the recent “scandal,” if you can even call it that.
No, I’m talking about being a bachelor, or rather, my identity as one. Despite not having my own TV show or 25 beautiful women vying for my attention, I too, am a bachelor. And I’m not the only one. Back in October, I wrote about my anxiety of being single, and how it seemed that my circle of single friends is getting smaller and smaller. Nothing has changed. I still feel like I’m living in a real-life “What About Brian,” and I’m Brian, the character who is the only one of his friends to be single. Odd man out.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I like the bachelor life. There are some things I don’t have to worry or stress about that committed guys have to. I could ask my married fraternity brothers Kyle, Michael, Jason, Nick, and Brandon M. or the recent engaged guys, Brandon K. and Dustin about the challenges they’re facing in their relationships right now. But I’d like to imagine, that as a post-grad, one of the biggest obstacles for every marriage often relates to money. In this economy, where getting a job is like getting into Harvard, money can cause stress on young couples. Couples are asking themselves whether they have jobs that can provide for their new family, whether it can pay for the rent, the phone, electricity, gas, car, and insurance bills, or even basic necessities like food. No, I don’t have to worry about all that. As a bachelor, all I worry about is for myself.
*Sighs, and nervously laughs* And boy, do I worry. Where is my Juliet? I want to “take her somewhere we can be alone” and share in this “Love Story.” And as my friend, Georgia (who is like my older sister), gets married this Saturday, I can’t help but understand Taylor Swift’s own anxiety of waiting. Is this what it’s going to like for the next couple years, every time I attend a wedding? I hope not. Guys aren’t supposed to worry about stuff like that. All I have to look forward to is the fact that the people of my generation tend to marry a lot later in life, as we continue to further our education.
But luckily, I have a great model for marriage. Ironically, as “The Bachelor” premieres today, my own parents celebrate their 27th wedding anniversary. Sure, there are other marriages that have lasted longer, but my parents are there for my own two eyes to see. They have survived a lot, from relocating their family to another country, to at times struggling to meet ends meet, to experiencing the deaths of two children (my siblings).
I can’t help but try to understand why theirs is a marriage that works. And I realize that despite the fact that my parents are opposites (my dad’s shy, and my mom’s out-going), they’ve displayed an incredible sense of patience and understanding. They’ve learned to compromise, and when they fight or argue, they don’t do it in front of their children. They usually go to separate parts of the house until they’ve calmed down. And most importantly, their marriage is selfless and a constant reminder that love is an act of humility, a willingness to serve and be served. The funny part of all this is that my parents are children of divorced parents, and according to various psychological studies, children of divorced parents are more likely to end their own marriages. Known as the vicious divorce cycle, my parents (and other children of divorced parents), have vowed to show that a marriage can be healthy and successful. So here’s to you, mom and dad. Thank you for being a great example in my life, of what a marriage could be and should be.
So as I ponder over my bachelor identity, I leave you being entertained by this guy version of Taylor Swift’s “Love Story,” to remind you that I’m not the only guy waiting to be some girl’s Romeo. Are you my Juliet?