While I would like to get married and possibly have children someday, that may just not be in the cards. All that being said, I find myself constantly celebrating members of my family and spending money on weddings and children's birthday gifts, but when it is something that is important to me, it gets overlooked or downplayed. I'm starting to become resentful.
I have invited members of my family well in advance to personal events important to me (getting rebaptized, for instance) and they all said they'd attend, but as it got closer they backed out for things like brunch with the grandkids — or they just don't show up. It's like they don't take things having to do with me seriously.
When do singles get celebrated and supported for life choices outside of weddings and procreating?
If I spend time, energy and money on their (and their kids') life events, when will they reciprocate? If I never get married or have children, am I just out of luck? Don't these life celebrations just seem like they're stacked against single, childless people?
I'm still here, and I have feelings, too!
Still Here: I completely agree with you that more “traditional” life celebrations such as showers, weddings and birth celebrations leave out singletons. That does not explain your own family’s lack of attention toward your graduation and baptism, however. I wonder if you have a family member (a parent, perhaps), who could advocate for you, in order for you to receive the attention you deserve. If your own parents are the root of this problem, then you should deal with them and assertively make your expectations clear — and express your disappointment with clarity when they let you down.
I like the idea of singletons finding big and celebratory ways to mark important life events — such as landmark birthdays, starting a new job or moving to a new home. Perhaps you have a group of friends who can support you in throwing a “singleton shower,” where you send out “save the date” cards and come together in a spirit of celebration to play games, trade stories and in general celebrate your own lives and life choices.
I’ll share ideas from fellow readers.
Dear Amy: I met a man the summer of 2017 in the USA.
Unfortunately, when summer ended, I went back to my home country.
He spent nine months convincing me that he wanted to be with me and that he loves me. I fell for him. This summer I traveled back to be with him, but things didn't go as expected.
We worked together daily, but we saw each other only about 10 times outside of work.
We fought a lot over his jealousy. We never established a serious relationship and today I don't know if he has serious intentions.
I love him, but I don't know what to do.
Wondering: You returned to the USA to test this relationship, and it was tested. You didn’t fail, but the relationship did.
I hope you don’t really love someone who manipulated you into traveling across the world to be with him, and then rejected you when you did. If he wanted to be with you, he would have moved heaven and earth to see you more than 10 times over the course of the summer.
Jealousy is not love. Jealousy is not even “like.” Jealousy is the reaction of an insecure person who wants to control you. It is one hallmark of a toxic relationship. You should pay close attention to this very obvious red flag and maintain your distance from this person in the future. There are better people out there, probably much closer to home.
Dear Amy: Great job suggesting that "Anti-Pot Luck Guy" should be rude to people who invite him to a potluck! I couldn't believe that you would advise someone to be so rude responding to an invitation.
Upset: I said that if this man wanted to ensure that he would never be invited to another potluck, he should grouchily express his frank loathing of them. I also cautioned that this response would cost him some (possibly valuable) friendships.