#Marriage v. #SingleLife by Rajah E. Smart, Ed.D.

Updated: Feb 5

Soon, I'll be celebrating 15-years of marriage. Reflecting on the time my wife and I have been together, it has become routine, secure, and safe. Trust and believe that is not a terrible thing being 45-years of age. Recently, someone told me of their preference for being single. To each their own of course, but the question caused me to reflect upon single v. marriage.

In my early twenties, one could say I was a bit of a whore. Hey, I enjoyed sex and attention. However, I'm not glamorizing nor saying it with a negative connotation. On the contrary, the endless nights of seeking a new woman, going on dates and putting in the work of listening when I wasn't at all interested, talking about nothing long enough to engage in relations, going to house parties, clubs or bars, allowing them to ramble on endlessly about their lives including make-up, what a friend said, clothing, work, and other non-essential topics pertaining to my world. As a single man, I came and went as I pleased and kept more money in my pockets. This fact alone is an alluring detail about being single. Well, that and the freedom to "talk" to any woman at any given time or break up with women or they break up with me...no loss either way. The women had to be skinny, fine hair, big booty, not ever use the restroom, fart, burp or anything deemed not ladylike. Surface requirements to quench my thirst. As a man, those times were needed to understand what marriage means. The days are like jumping from woman to woman to maintain the preference.

What I have found in marriage for 15-years is one must move past surface items such as weight (doesn't mean she can be 300 pounds either), have patience, strength, love, the ability to listen without waiting to respond, the ability to shut up and not say a word, be non-judgmental, supportive, know your partner, understand that being unselfish is critical, and more. My wife gets on my nerves sometimes, and I'm sure I drive her up a wall, but I enjoy her company most of the time. In all my goals, she is there to support me, and I am there as her drive. I know exactly how she'll respond to certain stimuli such as what makes her laugh, smile, and become angry and she knows the same of me. What's interesting about marriage is that once you open up and show a person who you are, they choose you despite any issues. You become partners. At this age, we appreciate our differences, sometimes reflect on our past and don't miss the parties, drugs, and more. Why? Because through all of our challenges, we can communicate to fix them knowing we will obtain a solution. When the smoke clears, that person is there to help. When you can look at one another and say, "Shut the F*#!% up" or "Kiss my a@@" and both laugh about it, it is refreshing.

Does that mean she doesn't irk me? Hell no. Her driving scares me, the shows she watches suck, she has a smart a@@ mouth, and always has something to say. However, those things are small when compared to the volume of what she brings to the table. The words I said about her, I'm sure she could apply to me, but that's alright. Why? Because I know the words are valid.

Do I miss being single? I would not want to subject myself to the single life and live through it again. Also, being with this woman for this long has me "trained" as we eat at a particular time, go to places we enjoy together, invest time in watching crime shows, having peace, and simply being in the same room. It is incredible what you can come to enjoy with the right person. We have been together so long that if something were to happen to her, I would never re-marry and probably buy one of those blow-up dolls (used for dramatic effect) as those would perhaps better conversation than what I hear now. I have officially become an adult and a married man. I sometimes laugh at how our activity level has changed from our younger days to now. I knew we were officially married when we looked at one another, and both agreed we were too tired to have sex and would rather lay on the couch.

Marriage is worth it when you have the right person, and I'm not writing this from a religious perspective. Like single life, marriage is not for everyone and not everyone should. I should know, I attempted it before and wanted to smother her with a pillow. In these 15-years, I can burp, fart, on the couch and in the bed with freedom or the lack of judgment as she will surely pay me back in full.


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