We all know the bleak stats.

So why would anyone ever get married… or have kids… or love and/ or engage in any kind of committed relationship?

 How does one muster up the nerve to take a chance and dare to choose a person… a PATH… and expect to walk on, straight ahead, with blinders, for fifty years or more?

Once upon a time, marriage was more like a business decision. Searching for the “right “ spouse was often left to elders, first overtly, then covertly, who claimed they “knew best,” about these things.

Forget love . When love happened, or developed, it was just a happy accident.

Women carried the brunt of family responsibility back then too. A man’s job was to make enough money for his family.

“Masculine privilege” sort of “allowed” him to indulge in extra-marital “love connections,” which were mostly overlooked by his mostly powerless spouse.

Consider the impact of these historical cultural shifts:

  1. Birth control pills gave woman more choice..
  2. More women became educated.
  3. Thus, they became less vulnerable, financially and otherwise.
  4. Falling in love became standard criteria for marital choice.
  5. Divorce became more of an option.

Then, fast forward to this current age of MINDLFULNESS.

Our  “LIVING IN THE PRESENT” generationhas pushed the marital expectation even further.There seems to be an imperative to hold out for thatSPECIAL SOULMATE… to settle for nothing less.


“Clemintine,” now 35, carried her “absolute criteria” list for even thinking about, thinking about coupling up with a new “prospect.”

She handed me a list:



“He is rich, tall, (at least 6’3)… blond, funny, under forty. He hates football games and doesn’t do silly stuff like train for marathons.

“He will allow me to decorate our home as I see fit.

“He drinks booze, but not a lot.

“He enjoys going out to dinner.

“He understands that I hate to cook.

“He never watches porn.

“He has no contact with any ex-girlfriends or their friends.

“He is someone, who loves his family of origin, but doesn’t see them very often.

“He has never been married before.”

I read her list out loud and Clementine started to cry.

Put some words on your tears, I encouraged.

Finally, she said, “I’m afraid of being alone.”

Now that all her friends have married, she feels she needs to stick to her criteria, more than ever, to justify why she’s waited so long.

Poor Clementine is suffering from “ANALYSIS PARALYSIS,”  the state of over-analyzing or over-thinking a situation so that a decision or action is never taken.


  1. Seeking so-called perfection is a recipe for misery.



  1. Internet-swiping aps provide seemingly unlimited choices for meeting your “prince” or “un-princess” (which men seem to prefer).
  1. if we spend so much time trying to make choices, “ANALYSIS PARALYSIS” can decrease freedom to choose…

Some suggestions for Clementine:

  • Look again at the real people who have come through your life.
  • Practice with those you know best.
  • Concentrate and celebrate their assets… as well as their quirks, if only in your own mind.
  • Take a vacation from your internet dating sites.
  • Use the time you’ve gained to concentrate on developing some new/old talent or interest… or new friends.

It’s a paradox… the more choices you have, the less you are satisfied.


So… why would anyone take a leap into love?






Thanks For Visiting,

Email Dr. Linda

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