Marlo Thomas and Alan Alda’s retelling of “Atalanta,” the ancient Greek myth about a fleet-footed princess who longs to travel the world before finding her prince, became the theme song of my life.Once, in high school, driving home from a family vacation, my mother turned to my boyfriend and me cuddling in the backseat and said, “Isn’t it time you two started seeing other people?This morning, I took a peek at the questions coming into my blog. This is more than TWICE the number of couples who met through bars, clubs, and other social events. That’s the sound of your preconceived notions being shattered. Now, to be fair, 38% of marriages came from work and school. So clearly that must mean that those are “better” ways of meeting… About 100% How many people are paying for online dating sites at a given time? What this illustrates is that, proportionally, 5% of the population (online daters) accounts for 17% of the marriages in the past 3 years. Go out for one night of drinks and appetizers with your girlfriends.
But this strange state of affairs also presents an opportunity: as the economy evolves, it’s time to embrace new ideas about romance and family—and to acknowledge the end of “traditional” marriage as society’s highest ideal. Allan and I had been together for three years, and there was no good reason to end things. Their need is greater, and their condition really deplorable.
He was (and remains) an exceptional person, intelligent, good-looking, loyal, kind. (A friend who suffered my company a lot that summer sent me a birthday text this past July: “A decade ago you and I were reuniting, and you were crying a lot.”) I missed Allan desperately—his calm, sure voice; the sweetly fastidious way he folded his shirts. A report on the unprecedented role reversal now under way—and its vast cultural consequences. It comes near to being a disgrace not to be married at all." Ten years later, I occasionally ask myself the same question.
That we would marry, and that there would always be men we wanted to marry, we took on faith. One of the many ways in which our lives differed from our mothers’ was in the variety of our interactions with the opposite sex.
Men were our classmates and colleagues, our bosses and professors, as well as, in time, our students and employees and subordinates—an entire universe of prospective friends, boyfriends, friends with benefits, and even ex-boyfriends-turned-friends.
This unfettered future was the promise of my time and place.