In pursuit of a balanced life

A guy once told me that he doesn’t think that single women who buy a condo or a house are interested in getting married and he tries to avoid them.

I realize that he said this before interest rates fell so low, but it’s a comment that stuck with me, although I never agreed with the assessment.

Should a single woman continue to throw money away on rent, waiting for a prince in shining armor to come whisk her away into a big castle?

I don’t think so.

I recently moved into my new place and although it’s a huge commitment, it doesn’t affect my attitude about marriage. In fact, I still wish I had someone to take out the trash and rake the leaves in the backyard. Just kidding. Sort of.

I also recently became a single mom – by adopting two puppies.

So within a couple of weeks I went from being basically a responsibility-free renter to a homeowner with two little furry dependents. Whew, I don’t think I quite know what I’m getting myself into. Or so I’ve been told.

I haven’t actually brought the puppies home yet – I’ve only bought a big bag of puppy food, snacks, bowls and Bitter Apple, so it’s been easy so far. I figure I can train myself as I train the puppies – in this house, we don’t leave our shoes on the floor; if we do, there’s a danger they will be chewed.

I know these changes will transform my life dramatically and although I had always thought of buying a house and training puppies as something you do after marriage, how long are you supposed to wait? Are you supposed to put your life on hold until you meet the right person?

When I was researching online for this article, trying to get some statistics on single women becoming homeowners, I came across a Web site called “Leather Spinsters on the Web: An E-zine for the Happily Unmarried Woman.”

I did find the statistic I was looking for: According to a 2000 article, statistics show 57 percent of single women now own their own homes.

But wait – what is this Web site?

On the site, a leather spinster is defined as (1) a happily unmarried straight or asexual woman and (2) a happily single woman who is not gay.

Whoa.

Maybe this is the attitude the guy meant when he talked about women who buy their own houses. But that’s not me at all! I don’t consider myself one of the people who must be dating somebody to be happy, going from relationship to relationship because I can’t bear not to be in one. But I wouldn’t say I’m “happily unmarried.”

Can you be “happily single” while at the same time be “unhappily unmarried?”

I think so.

Like with most everything else, moderation is a good thing. On the one hand, you need to still be open to meeting someone (JDate, singles events, giving up an evening to go on one more blind date) but it doesn’t mean that the pursuit of finding a partner should be the entire pursuit of your life.

This article first appeared in the June 13, 2003 issue of Jewish News of Greater Phoenix.

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