Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Relationships – purpose

Today’s blog is a little difficult for me as I struggle with this issue myself for some time. Firstly, my struggle needs to be put in the following context: I’m 55, single, divorced and have 2 kids. Secondly, I’m neither interested in remarriage nor in raising kids again. Thirdly, most of the times, I enjoy being alone 24/7. Loneliness is just a feeling that creeps onto me around holidays like Christmas. So, what’s the purpose of a relationship nowadays ?

I never had this question on my mind before. When I was young, social pressure dictated that you had to be in a relationship, else something was wrong with you. Nowadays this social pressure has nearly changed 180 degrees. Hedonism rules, especially in cities. This change doesn’t only affect young people but also affects my state of mind. In the absence of outside / outward social pressure, why even bother to be in a long term relationship again?

My blogs of yesterday and the day before, already mentioned the word ‘purpose’. I felt slightly uncomfortable when writing that word then. On a subconscious level I deliberately didn’t dive into it. Today, I feel I must. For myself, mostly. If others gain from it, so much for the better.

The purpose of “building something together” was quite clear in my parents’ case as they both worked together in their self-owned store. I never received any support from my ex wife when buying my house or working as an independent contractor / freelancer. When I’m in a cynical mood then I ask myself whether my purpose was ever much more than fertilising her eggs.

In fact, raising children seems to be the predominant purpose of a relationship nowadays. Subsequently, the couple – more and more often – gets divorced. Obviously, this feeling creates major doubts regarding the purpose of (subsequent) relationships. Motherhood is not the only role in a relationship. Being a friend and a lover is equally important. Managing this triangle is far from easy though.

Most likely my continued hesitance in starting to date again, is related to my struggle with the purpose of a new relationship. Younger women want to raise a family and I sure don’t want to revisit that one again. Many women still believe in marriage but that one is still a trauma in my life. Other women are desperate in finding a new man while I am far from desperate. Some months ago, my mother already said to me that it will not be easy for me finding someone suitable.

Perhaps the purpose of a relationship is having a friend and a lover. The combination of a friend and a lover should – normally – result into a longer lasting relationship. Yet, male friendships could substitute one part of the equation and the other part of the equation is available in various shapes and forms. So, what’s the purpose of entering into a new relationship?

Actually, the only reason for entering into a new relationship is LOVE. It’s the only feeling that either clouds any rational reservation or clouds character / personality flaws which otherwise would have been deal-breakers. That’s the scary part of love: it makes you do “stupid” things.

Basically, I still don’t know what is MY purpose for a new relationship. Moreover, I don’t look forward to acting “stupid” again (e.g., new marriage, new kids, new divorce). That is probably why I abstain from dating. However, sometimes I forget all these considerations and just try my luck again.

Defeat is not the worst of failures. Not to have tried is the true failure. George E. Woodberry


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