Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Question of the Week: Question #36

After almost four years of blogging, one of my favorite columns has become Letters To My Future Husband. I love how it's evolved into this perfect way to share my story, both looking at my past and thinking about the future with Mr. Melissa Blake. Have a question? I'd love to hear it, so feel free to email me (mellow1422 [at] aol) or ask me on Facebook or Twitter, friends! Today's question is from a reader last week, who asked...

Could you ever feel fulfilled and truly happy if there is no Mr. Blake to grow old with? Have you ever considered that you might be simply a spectator in the game of love and never get the chance to know what it feels like to love someone and have them love you back?
This is a great question, and one that I've thought about before. In fact, I think most people have thought about this question at one time or another in their lives. It's sort of that inevitable looming question hanging over your head, sometimes more powerful in its potency than others. The term spinster has such a negative connotation in our society and brings to mind images of elderly women in rambling old houses with 10 cats. They're the sort of women that the neighborhood kids create legends around and other adults feel sorry for, as in, "Can you believe she never married? How sad a life must that be?"

I've never really liked that term myself. What's so bad about being a life-long singleton? Sure, it's human nature to want to make that sort of once-in-a-lifetime romantic connection, but honestly? I could find happiness even if it wasn't in the arms of Mr. Melissa Blake.
And, of course, it's important to remember that love isn't just reserved for the romantic kind. I've experienced so much love in my life so far and am so thankful that I've had the chance to love and be loved in return. That is the greatest gift of all, isn't it? It's the kind that isn't conditional. It's the kind that isn't superficial. It's the kind that is at once honest and unflinching. And, at the end of the day, it's the kind that fills your whole soul. So, yes, Mr. Melissa Blake may never come along, but does that mean love hasn't? I just need to look around to find that love has found me. xoxo

[Photos via Le Love]


  1. I was truly sad to read this post, Melissa. Love like the kind you get from friends, siblings, and pets do not fill your soul. It's romantic love. Pillow talk after being spent from orgasm - the kind where you snuggle with your husband after spending a lazy afternoon in bed. That may be one kind of love, but it is the best and most sacred kind of love. It almost seems unnatural that you have no interest in sex. After my accident, the very first question I asked my doctor was if I would still be able to enjoy sex. Even though my marraige ended, I am still hopeful for a lover who will make love to me and bask in the afterglow with me. I hope one day you can experience THAT kind of love.

  2. disabled girl anonAugust 7, 2012 at 3:32 PM

    I agree with the person above, even though I've had no experience with men yet. I think the romantic kind of love could heal all the areas of my life that I feel most useless/uncomfortable in. Love given by your family is the most unconditional of all. I'm not saying that romantic love should not be like that. What I mean is that you have to work on yourself if you wanna keep the flame burning, if that metaphor sounds right.

  3. Hi ladies -- good points. I didn't mean to give the impression that I didn't want romantic love one day. Of course I'd love to meet someone, fall in love and get married. But like all things in life, there's no guarantee, you know?

    Also, I don't think there's one type of love that is most sacred for everyone. Love isn't a one size fits all sort of thing. The type of love that is important to one person may not be as important to another.

  4. Disabled girl -- please remember to always love yourself first. A romantic love isn't necessarily going to fulfill all the emptiness and insecurities in our lives. that's something we have to look inward for. does that make sense?

  5. disabled girl anonAugust 7, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    You're right, although it became the biggest life goal of all to me.

  6. I, too, was sad to read this. You have experienced love from your parents, sister and relatives, that's pretty much a given. Your mom is a widow and it seems your sister is single, also. I think the three of you are clinging a little too tightly to one another. You have stated that you have dreams of moving and being independent...but could you REALLY??? Would you really have the guts to leave your mother and re-locate to pursure YOUR dreams abd career? Somehow, I just don't see that happening. You seem to spend alot of time together, too timid to move on with your lives, as if somehow that would diminish or dishonor the memory of your deceased father that you bring up constantly in your blogs. Your mother no doubt assists you and probably takes care of most of your needs, but at the end of the day, she cannot take care of your normal emotional or physical needs in the way that a woman longs for, and vice-versa. Frankly, I see nothing happening for you romantically, simply because you aren't doing much to attract that into your radar. Now you work at home, which keeps you even more socially isolated. I think you'd be wise to make peace with being single and alone and living with your mother, because I've been reading your columns and blogs for quite some time now and absolutely nothing changes for you, Melissa. And it just won't until you decide to be the independant adult you claim to want to be. And by the way.....you only have 8 more cats to go!!!!!!

  7. disabled girl anonAugust 7, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    The comment above will surely be labeled as 'mean', but I think it provides some good points. You're right, the family dependence is a huge obstacle for someone like me or Melissa, who, I guess, will never be able to live without help. My family struggles with many things, and that makes the whole situation even worse. The truth is that we'll never get free, or maybe we will find a guy who's willing to take care of us every day. Which would be unfair to him, I believe.

  8. Melissa, you were right in your response that romantic love doesn't fix the things that are wrong in our lives. And marriage/ long term relationships with the WRONG person is never the right decision. I thought your post was lovely and well thought out. No one is guaranteed "true love" and that's why it is special. You're wise to believe in a happy and love filled life without Mr. Melissa Blake not because you won't meet him, but because placing all of your happiness and life's worth on someone else is probably the most unhealthy thing you can do. If you want to find love you will have to venture out of comfort zones and take leaps, but it sounds like you're in a good place at the moment.

  9. Disabled girl anon....what is MEAN about what I posted? Every word is true...go back and read Melissa's blogs!!! Melissa writes a good blog, but there is absolutely nothing she does to make her dreams of finding love a reality. Mr. Melissa Blake isn't going to ride into the little midwestern town in the cornfields she lives in and knock on her door. She absolutely refuses to on-line date and I still think that hooking up with someone who is also disabled in some way would be the sweetest story ever....think of how they could help one another, support each other and best of all, understand all that encompasses navigating life as a disabled person. She needs to surround herself with friends...go back and read her weekend posts....nothing but compulsive tv watching, reading magazines and playing Yahtzee with her mother. That is NOT mean, it's just a fact....that is what she tells her readers week and after week. And if she's content with that, then so be it. But apparently she's not (again..go back and read her blogs), so I just urge her to make something happen, shake things up a bit, do something totally out of her comfort zone, put together a social outing that doesn't include her mother. And see what happens!!!! And only a true spinster would post that "staying up past her bedtime" is her idea of rebellious behavior!!!! SERIOUSLY?????

  10. Anonymous,

    Your post is true and the truth does hurt sometimes. Like Melissa, I spend all my weekends at home. Before the accident, my husband and I took weekend trips (his job rarely allowed him to take full vacations), we went out with friends, we attended a lot of concerts, during football season we tailgated, and once a month my husband took me dancing. Now all I have are memories. At first, my friends came around. I saw less and less of them because everything had to be planned around my medication schedule, physical therapy schedule, and their willingness to lug around my scooter. I can walk, but not very far. I don't want to be alone for the rest of my life. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't hope to wake up and find this was all just a dream. But suitors are not in great supply when you are disabled.

  11. disabled girl anonAugust 7, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    I did not say that I think it's mean, I just know how people react. Actually Ive been following her blog for 2 years. I may surprise you, but I mostly agree with what you say. The variety of feedback Melissa gets is very interesting. Still, I will always feel somehow connected to what she writes, because I know how it is to have a disability. We have totally different personalities though. Im very tired right now, but maybe Ill write a longer comment on that later :) cheers.

  12. Thanks, Laura, I am in a good place right now.

    And Anon -- until you've experienced the suicide of a loved one -- especially a parent -- there's no way you can ever imagine all the emotions that come along with that. My father's death changed me, obviously, in a lot of ways, and I'm starting to realize that it's changed my goals in life. I don't necessarily had the same goals I had before because, in a sense, I am a different person now. Some things that were important to me -- like moving to NYC -- once aren't necessarily my goals now.

    Just because someone lives a life that is different from yours, a life you think is boring and safe, doesn't mean they're living the wrong life. And it certainly doesn't mean they're doing something wrong.

    P.S. And bring on those other 8 cats! All the more love! ;)

  13. Melissa, I experienced the death of my father, also, so I do know a bit about what it's like to lose a parent. Not by suicide, but the bottom line was.....to end his life was your dad's choice and no one else's. You, your mom or your sister are not responsible. I have a bit of a theory about you....perhaps you are actually afraid of experiencing and opening yourself up to love another man completely. After all, a father is always a little girl's first love and he left you forever and it hurts. Really bad. But writing about finding a man to love is a safe fantasy that you can indulge in. It makes you sound "normal". You are only limited by where your imagination takes you. That's why I think alot of your blogs directed to men are somewhat..and you'll pardon the use of the word..immature. Most people have experienced at least one date in their lifetime by age 31. You have yet to do that. But you want to..you know you do. But yet, you refuse to take the next step and retreat to the safety and seclusion of your house and your mother's protective "Ms. Bear" persona. That was probably adorable as you were growing up, but you're an adult woman now....you should be tackling some life problems on your own. By not putting yourself out there socially or romantically, you never get hurt again. No man will love you deeply and then **POOF**, just disappear from your life. I think you are terrified of the possibility that a man may leave you again if you choose to participate in the real world again..and not the "world" as viewed through your sitcoms where you have the liberty to just shut them off and forget about them.

  14. Hey, I thought you might like to be a part of Speak Now? Check it out!

  15. Anon -- I've actually written about your theory last year in a blog post. Remember that a person can't possibly share every miniscule detail of life. Even if I don't give a play-by-play of my life every day, I am enjoying my life, a life that is very full and worthwhile to me. I have a job I love. I have the best friends in the world, friends that ARE NOT my sister or mother and hobbies and activities that I enjoy. Despite the physical limitations of my disability, I DO handle life's problems just like any other woman my age would.

    Hope this clears things up.

  16. Hi Elisha, thanks so much for the link!! :)

  17. Melissa.....I understand about not posting every single second of one's life. But if you do indeed have a social life with friends....why do you never mention it? If you do have other hobbies and interests...why do you never mention them?? It's always the same thing...family reunions with your mother.....lunch at Applebees with your mother and sister.....taking a walk with your mother...going to an apple orchard with your mother, going on a picnic in the park with your mother. What EXACTLY do you do with friends? And hobbies??? What DO you enjoy??? If you're so willing to share what you do with your mother...then why don't you share what you do with friends or the other hobbies you participate in?

  18. I love listening to music, shopping, reading, traveling, going to the movies, writing, of course -- all subjects I've integrated into my blog.

    I also love going out to eat with my friends... xoxo

  19. Well, I liked your post, Melissa. But I am tiring of Anonymous. Very much.

  20. Have to agree that there is no one kind of love that is the "best" or "right" kind of love for anyone. Or maybe even for the same person at different points in their life. And whether or not a person's soul is filled is for that person alone to determine. What fulfills the soul is as individual as each person. Sharing a link here to something that was shared with me probably fifteen years ago. It meant a great deal to me then and I think it is always applicable. http://www.ewtn.com/library/YOUTH/JOYGIFT.TXT

  21. A very thoughtful post Melissa, and I salute the fact that you are secure, strong, and confident enough to not rush toward what you 'should' be doing, according to other people, and possibly making a mistake you'll regret the rest of your life.

    There is no time by which you must be married, just as there is no reason you have to marry. You are here to live your life for yourself and according to your own moral code; no one else's.

  22. Hi Melissa,

    I loved your answer to this question and I think that's the best way to look at it too. So I was pretty surprised when I found all these strong opinions in the comments. I really don't see why aiming to be perfectly happy and/but alone in the first place, is a bad thing to do. You can easily turn it around and ask people/society why we are so hung up on relationships?
    I see people often use relationships as a distraction so they don't have to deal with the fact that they are unhappy with their lives or themselves. Better to fix that first and then get a good relationship if and when the time comes. Or just live a nice and fulfilling life by yourself, in which you'll have more time left for the things you love to do and the family and friends you like to spend your time with.

    I wish you all the best, be it with future Mr. Melissa Blake or an extra 8 cats;)


  23. Wow, people sure have a lot of opinions on how someone they don't know should live their life! My response was fueled not just by the fact that I think Melissa's post is spot-on but also because I know far too many people who were unhappy in their lives and used relationships and marriage to try and "fix" these things. They wanted to be with someone so desperately that they stopped caring if it was the right person for them. It's all well and good to tell Melissa how to live her life when it's just words on a screen, but having watched my friends be miserable because they're contemplating divorce at 27 or 28 I've got to say I think Melissa is so wise for taking her time. As she has told her readers time and again, she does not rush into things and does not take action under pressure so stop dictating how you think everyone's lives should go. It's not making the dialogue on these comments very interesting...

  24. disabled girl anonAugust 8, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    When I woke up today I was like "I'm not going to even slightly judge people I don't even know personally" but the truth is that... I've been following this blog since 2010 and I have so many differnt (better or worse) thoughts going around it. The question is, does Melissa appreciate comments like that? Comments which are long, objectively not rude and sometimes filled with tough truth or controversial points of view? I always see that tendency, whenever some Anonymous comments appear. Some of them are very interesting (at least to me) to read, but later there's that stream of positive comments from other bloggers and it's really hard to not come off as a jerk since everyone know which type of comments are more approved by the author.
    I do read your blog everyday Melissa, I sometimes spend 1-2 hours on it daily, re-reading some old stuff. I'm trying to be sincere. Even if I don't always agree with the content of something, it doesn't stop me from reading it. :)

  25. Hi disabled girl anon -- good question and thanks for asking. Of course I appreciate constructive comments and questions. But constructive is the key word. I'll never stand for bullying, insulting or belittling of any kind on my blog -- and that includes both comments directed toward me as well as other readers. I've always wanted this space to be a safe and uplifting space.

    Here's the policy I drafted a couple years ago...


    Hope this clears things up! xoxo

  26. I like your attitude here. You obviously want romantic live but can accept that it may not happen and that you can find joy in your life if it doesn't. I think that's a healthy attitude. I hope you are open to meeting people and seeing what comes, some of meeting the right person is just about being open to possibilities. Some people also pursue it more aggressively through being set up on blind dates, online dating etc. but I don't think that's for everyone. But it does seem to work for some. I hope you will find your person one day!

  27. Melissa,

    I am glad that you appreciate the love in your life from your family, which is of course important and a lot of us tend to take for granted! :-)

    I think you are edging closer to a very important realization here. I know those "It happens when you're not looking!" stories get very tiresome - but right before I met my boyfriend, I wrote in my journal about how I had finally accepted being alone, and I meant it. For the first time in years I felt at peace after years of being blue over being single but not really doing anything to change it because it was scary and upsetting.

    Another tiresome cliche that's so true - "The worst he could say is no." It's true! If you've really come to peace with your lifestyle as it is now, it'll be easier to take risks.

    Best wishes,


  28. Contrary to a lot of other comments, I think your answer is perfect. If and when romantic love happens, then by all means, jump in full force. The thing about romantic love is that it has conditions and it doesn't always last. The fact that you're wise enough to realize how much unconditional love you're surrounded with impresses me.

  29. I understand the point the "mean anonymous" was trying to make because it could have been said about me at one point. I am not disabled but found myself wishing for Mr. Right or at least a date with Mr Almost.
    Then it suddenly dawned on me that I was sitting in the middle of my bed, watching Sleepless in Seattle, surrounded by Fritos, chocolate chip cookies, 3 cats and the remote.
    How could Mr. Right find me (or me, him) inside my house? It is not about online dating or hanging around bars but it IS about at least putting yourself out there to be found. Once I realized what I was doing to myself, I signed up for a writer"s workshop, joined an art group at a ceramics/coffee shop and enrolled in Italian 101. Did I find Mr. Right there? No, but I made terrific friends who introduced me to great guys they knew. Bonus: I had a script to give an agent, a beautiful hand-painted platter, and felt more prepared for my trip to Italy.
    The prince didn't meet the princess in her house. He found her at the ball. Once I figured that out, my life changed. I think that is what anonymous meant. Even Cinderella had to make the effort.
    Don't worry. Your Prince will come! Mine did. Just don't make it so hard for him to find you!

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