In light of all of the above, I have recently begun rethinking my assumption that I should be looking for a life partner. I am in my early 30s and feel okay with the idea of being alone in the foreseeable future. Yet I wonder if this is shortsighted; at some point, will I regret that I didn't meet someone while there were a lot of partners (theoretically) available to me? How do I know for sure?
— Okay With the Idea
Okay With the Idea: Conveniently, I don’t think anybody “should” be looking for a life partner. Add enriching things to your life, yes, and “circulate” enough to meet new people (I’ll take the quotation marks away when enjoying a bunch of group activities are safe again), and keep an open mind to new directions your life can take — all of these are great ideas for anyone — and those open to dating can also extend and accept invitations as part of that. Healthy all around.
But actively evaluating people for their life-partner suitability is so specific that I think it actually interferes with — and overly influences — our natural screening processes.
In fact, I could even argue that trying to meet someone while the selection is bigger could lead to your pairing off with someone who’s perfectly fine .?.?. which then keeps you from pairing off with someone great for you but whom you only meet by accident 15 years later. In that case, actively looking for a life partner for the reasons you describe would actually be more “shortsighted” than simply continuing not to try.
It’s all just a crap shoot anyway.
Since the object is to be happy with the life you have, and you’re happy with the life you have, I’m loath to advise messing with it. Why do something to fix a hypothetical “at some point” when it might mess with your very real “now”?
Some readers’ thoughts:
●As I went through my 30s, I always tried to describe myself as happy with my life as it was, but open to finding someone who enriched it — as opposed to looking for someone as a life partner. It is all nuance, but the world is nuance after all.
It also isn’t just binary, you don’t have to declare, “I’m always going to be single,” or, “I must find a partner.” Be open, and then if you find someone, it will be for all the right reasons. As I did. I met my wife when I was 39.
●You don’t need a partner, but you don’t need to exclude the idea of a relationship, either. There are others out there who are looking for a great relationship with a great person with no expectations of expanding that circle. Good luck!