What Does Valentine’s Day Mean to You?

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loveless couplesTomorrow is Valentine’s Day, a holiday that has very different implications depending on where you fall on the “significant other” spectrum.

Two of my female friends in their forties presently are not part of a pair. Both of these women regularly profess to wanting to find a love interest, badly. They share with me their sordid stories of blind dates, struggles with online dating services, utter frustration over the perceived lack of a strong pool of potential single male mates in this town.

Personally, I can’t think of anything more torturous than trolling unknown places, virtual or real, for a mate. It’s easy for me to say, they tell me dismissively; I’ve been married for almost half of my entire life. They, on the other hand, feel compelled to persist in their quest.

I marvel at their persistence, though at times it seems to border on the desperate, especially when one of these gals recently told me to be on the lookout for any of my friends who might be divorcing soon. Though I warned her that she probably wouldn’t want to take on the baggage of a new boyfriend who was probably in an emotionally fragile state, plus his kids, she replied emphatically, “Well, I don’t see it that way.”

Okay, then. What she sees, I’m guessing, is the prospect of being swept off her feet by a man on a white horse, or a white sports car, and living happily ever after. And maybe this first part of the story does happen to most of us at one time or another, leaving us temporarily starry-eyed and giddy.

But after the wedding dress is stored in the attic and the ring starts to lose its glimmer, and unromantic factors like kids and mortgages and stressful jobs and aging parents enter the picture, the giddiness tends to subside.

Statistics support the notion that many long-term couples often lose their luster (or lust, as it were) for one another. Married couples report having sex an average of 68.5 times a year, which comes out to a little more than once weekly. Fifteen to 20 percent of couples have sex no more than 10 times a year, which puts these couples in the “sexless marriage” category, according to an article in Newsweek. 

Home builders seem to be catching on to what appears to be more of a long-term trend than a mere blip on the marriage screen. The National Association of Homebuilders predicts that by 2015, 60 percent of new homes will be designed with “dual master bedrooms”. This, in response to consumer demand. Sure, some of it has to do with multi-generational dwellings, in which aging parents come for long-term stays with their grown children. But I would venture to guess that’s not the only reason for the dual master suites.

After all, one in four married Americans sleeps in separate rooms, according to an article on CNN.com. Nuisances like insomnia, bad backs, and snoring cause many couples to sleep apart. But why is it that these problems rarely seem to surface until a couple has been together for some time? In the throes of a new hot and steamy relationship, you rarely hear of couples having trouble sleeping together.

So, for those women “on the prowl” for a man this Valentine’s Day, I caution them to think twice before plunging full-throttle into a long-term relationship. Judging by the statistics, maybe they’d be better off with a one-night stand.




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