In America; more people are single either through divorce or never married. Either way; people are single. The numbers may surprise you. According to the US Census Bureau (2012):
‘There are 112 million unmarried people over age 18 in the U.S., representing nearly 47% of the adult population.
44.9% of the unmarried population aged 18 and older are female. For every 100 unmarried women there are 88 unmarried men.
23.0% of the unmarried population aged 18 and older are people of color and 77.0% are white.
39.2% of the unmarried population aged 18 and older were formerly married and 60.8% have always been single.
68% of divorced or widowed Americans plan to remain unmarried.
These statistics reveal much about who we are as people don’t they? What I am finding most curious about is if men and women are single for the same reasons. Lately I have found more people who are single because they are pursuing ‘their goals’. Now of course there is nothing wrong with pursuing goals of any kind; but it begs the question: how many goals and how many lost opportunities for love will you have passed by? In other words- will you wake up 10 or 15 years later with more wrinkles, grey hair, and wonder what the heck happened?
While many may say that men can only do and focus on one thing at a time; how long does it take to focus and move on? Women on the other hand; are getting their hands equally as dirty with their own goals and dreams and pursuits- because in order to compete in a man’s world you have to become a man right?
I wonder when people will recognize that there will always be a business to start, a degree to complete, a software to write, another client waiting; and another networking even to attend before it all starts another groundhog year. At the end of the day when you meet all your goals and pursuits but have no one to share them with will you realize that all of it kept you single? And for what? Something that no one but you cares about? What then? Will it be too late? I sure hope not!
On this day, June 16th 2013 it is important to acknowledge and recognize the fathers in the world. They are everywhere. They are breadwinners, soldiers, athletes, CEO’s, plumbers, landscapers, attorneys, doctors, maintenance managers; and the list goes on. The one thing they are in the eyes of their children more often is hero.
As the times and our culture have drastically changed; we can see the trends where fathers are not lifted to the elevated status that they once had. Instead it’s the celebration of women for this and for that; all the while men and what they bring to the table isn’t as noticed. That needs to change. Our culture needs to recognize that both women and men are special; and that each have their own purpose. When working cooperatively more can be done than being divided. After all it was a woman by the name of Sara Dodd who created Father’s Day after her mother passed away. Her father not only fought in the Civil War; but also raised 6 children as a widower. What a hero!
President Woodrow Wilson wished to make the holiday official, speaking at the 1916 celebration in Spokane, but its commercial nature caused Congress to not pass the bill. President Cooling also made an attempt. It was not until Margaret Chase Smith, a senator from Main, stated that it was unfair to honor mothers and not fathers in 1957. Finally someone who sees the bigger picture! President Johnson finally issued a proclamation in 1966 and Nixon made the holiday official in 1972. It’s nice to know that through it all the persistence stood the stand of time and fathers are celebrated for who they are and what they do!
On this day; take time out to thank your father for what he has done for you. If you don’t like your father; forgive him for what he has done and realize that all parents make mistakes. None are immune. Be thankful that you know your father as there are plenty of people who unfortunately don’t.
A few days ago I delivered a lecture about the speech making process. As part of one of the activities I conducted a brainstorming exercise on the topic of marriage. The purpose was to list as many thoughts and ideas about marriage as possible within a 5 minute period.
Writing down all the items they ranged from divorce to divorce rates, the definition of marriage, children and man cave. Some took it serious while others had a little more fun and tossed out ideas like dating even though he meant his spouse. We continued with arranged marriage, culture and where to live. Through this 5 minute time session much was explored.
Upon completion we all looked at the list. A lot of items listed and they thought they did a nice job. One would think as the white board was filled with plenty of items to move toward the next step in the speech making process. This was until someone pointed out that ‘love’ was not on the list. How could that be? True enough; I looked again at the list and nope ‘love’ did not make it.
How is it that in a discussion of ideas about marriage that love does not equate? What really does that say about where we are as a society? Of course after everyone realized this it surely had to be added but the point remained. Love was not one mentioned.
Should we be upset or surprised at the current divorce rate if when we talk about marriage love doesn’t make the cut? What then is marriage about? Just signing a piece of paper for better health insurance or saving a few bucks on rent each month?
It’s a sad day when the reality is how little love counts in what should be the most important relationship in a person’s life. It’s also sadder when someone in the lecture says that a marriages survive on money and not love. If this were true the divorce rate wouldn’t be what it is. So this begs the question: if you were delivering a speech about marriage what would your three main points be?
I recently had a conversation with a women who was upset because a man in her life didn’t want a relationship. She couldn’t quite figure out what her issue was. She was trying and trying; and trying to do all the right things and it wasn’t working. So she tried more. Maybe this has been you. In listening to her I felt for her because I remember a time in my life where that was me. I thought that if I didn’t something different it would change things. If I did this; then I would get the results I wanted. If I did that he would have to see just how fabulous I was. The funny thing is that it never worked. It never does. It can’t. Let me explain.
A woman doing more to get a man isn’t going to get him. If he isn’t interested; he isn’t interested. No matter how many meals you cook, cards you send, sext messages you send it flat out won’t work. If you weren’t interested in a man would it work on you? Of course not! You may even go so far as to tell your friends that you have a stalker. You laugh yet know it’s true. So why would you expect that it will work if you do something? Are you really that much better, prettier, smaller waisted, bigger chested, wealthier, sweeter, kinder, sensual; or intelligent than any other women on the planet? Probably not. I rest my case.
The point is that you as a woman have to know where your identity comes from. If you are seeking a man to create it you are kidding yourself. There is no way possible for a man to do this; especially if he doesn’t know who he is! How can he be something for you that he is not for himself?
It’s quite an unfair expectation to believe that a man can become your identity when that is not his job. Period. No man was created for the sole purpose of being your identity. That is your job to figure out. Many women want a man to ‘complete’ them so they say although in reality; they want a man to create their identity so that it will give them purpose. Ladies; you need to understand that you have a purpose and that when you know your purpose you will know your identity. When you know your identity you will be able to recognize and live in the value that you have. Anything less is settling and you are too good of a woman to settle now aren’t you?
If a man doesn’t want a relationship with you it doesn’t mean that you have done anything wrong. In fact; most likely him not wanting a relationship with you has ‘nothing’ to do with you! Stop making it all about you when it’s not! Stop accepting that rejection over your life and realize that your identity is not based upon a man with whom you aren’t even in a relationship with! Let him go and celebrate in who you are! Rejoice in the fact that you know and move on. There are plenty of men who would welcome you and all that you bring to the table. Don’t lose another minute over someone who isn’t ready for the fantastic you that you are!
Everyone has secrets. Just ask them. What most don’t think about is what secrets are hiding in their closets. Now of course I am talking about your wardrobe closet. Every closet reveals so much about the person and most don’t even realize it. When I help people organize closets it’s amazing the stories of life that I am told; just by looking at the contents. What does your closet reveal? Well; continue reading and find out!
1- Complacency: I see this quite often with those who work in Corporate America. The basic black slacks and white button down; the epitome of boring. Sure black made hide body image issues but really? No color and everything is the same. Typically this person is a creature of habit and doesn’t want to be bothered with thinking about what to wear as it takes too much time; or so they say. They work in a professional environment so the need for anything other than that isn’t necessary. Well; if you want to get a date or keep your husband happy; some color and a cocktail dress to show off how beautiful you are won’t hurt! Just ask your date or husband. You may be shocked at the answer. You must realize is that work isn’t your entire life; it’s just one area of your life and a proper wardrobe should be able to meet all the areas of your life.
2- Identity Crisis: This is often noticed quickly when people are attached to labels. ‘Oh that’s my Chanel’ or ‘I can’t part with those Louboutins’ or even ‘I paid a fortune for that Prada’ when in reality no one cares what you paid or that it’s a label but you. What it reveals on a larger scale is that the person’s identity is created through the labels. While there is nothing wrong with liking certain brands, labels, etc. etc.. it’s the reason behind them and having so many that is the underline issue. If you love whatever the item is- does the label matter? If the fit is amazing- does the label matter? Of course not! For someone who has a closet filled with labels what it does it takes away from the person creating a wardrobe that fits their identity all on their own without needing to be branded by a tag that no one sees.
3- Boredom and Dreaming: When I see closets filled with new items with tags on them this reveals a couple of things. The first is that the person doesn’t have enough going on that there is a need for shopping for something to do which reveals boredom and 2) the person is dreaming of a life not being lived. The other reason would be that they just learned how to shop for their lifestyle and have made a few purchases; although the tags won’t stay on for long! When people have what they need in their closets they are using what is there which means tags aren’t left attached. When a closet is filled with many items with tags there is always something going on underneath that is a big red flag. What need are the items being used to fill?
4- Letting go of the past: Trends come and go. People gain and lose weight and life changes. It just happens on a daily basis. When I see closets where women have suits with the dickies and the sweaters with the jingle bells hanging off of them it causes me to wonder why. Why are these items taking up space- and so much of it! Typically; going deeper in conversation with these clients I find that there is always a reason. People keep memories of good times in their lives. Items in a closet reveal this and sometimes more often than we like. It’s ok to move forward and keep the memory but is there really a need to keep the item and the memory? The past is in the past for a reason and all too often remembering how tiny you were, how great you looked; and how wonderful your life was is good- but why not create that for your life now while you are here in the present?
5- Fear of Expression: When I see a closet filled with the same thing and maybe in a different color it reveals that someone just bought the one item in every color which may be perceived as smart shopping; although how many of the same sweater sets does a woman need? A bit of variety never hurt anyone yet many women yet that fear holds them back. What is comfortable is what people tend to settle for when in reality; freedom of expression is much more freeing than anything!
Every woman and man has more going on in life than living in a single dimension. There are many facets to everyone’s lives and a wardrobe is a reflection of that. There isn’t ever a reason to just be boring and settle for looking basic when it’s so simple to look fabulous and even on a budget. Don’t you at least owe it to yourself to look great and feel good about it? I think so! So what is your wardrobe secret that you want to be free of? If you share with me yours I will share mine too. You go first!