Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Love Lounge: Susan Boyle has first boyfriend at age 53...so what?

I first saw the PEOPLE headline before I went to bed on Sunday night.

Susan Boyle Has Her First Boyfriend at Age 53.

Of course I had to click on it.

The Britain's Got Talent alum is seeing an American doctor she met while on tour. The two met while staying in the same hotel, and, although the relationship is still in its early stages, he's a "the perfect gentleman," Boyle says.

As you can probably imagine, I've been turning this story around in my head for the last few days. Mostly, because I can obviously identify with it. Our culture is so preoccupied with people reaching specific milestones by a certain point that anything out of the ordinary is sure to elicit a few gasps and quite a few "Ahhhs." These milestones, sure, are used as a way of categorizing and explaining the world because, really, who has time to deal with the social chaos that would ensue in their absence? It just makes sense and makes things a whole lot easier.

I can see that. Really, I can. But as someone who has walked in Boyle's unconventional-dating shoes, I can't help but cringe at the fact that this even made news in the first place. In fact, it stings quite a bit, actually. It's no secret that I've never had a boyfriend -- it's a fact I've never tried to hide. It may sound strange to some people, apparently, but it's something I've NEVER been ashamed of, either.
Why does Boyle have to be held up to the world as some sort of weird anomaly? The first sentence of the PEOPLE article even used the word finally, as if to say, "Wow, it's about time she has a boyfriend. What is wrong with her?" Her life must be complete now, right? I mean, how on Earth was she able to go some 53 years boyfriendless?

The. Horror. Of. It. All.

People grow and move at different paces in life, and my heart just sinks a bit when I see this sort of judgment pop up. Aren't we past this sort of old-fashioned thinking?? And when you think about it, just because it hasn't happened for me yet doesn't mean it's never going to. And it certainly doesn't make me weird or some sort of freak of nature. I look forward to that meeting that special guy someday. And guess what? I bet it's going to be as special as if it had happened when I was 14 or 15. I'll probably still be as giddy and as nervous as ever, but isn't that just part of the excitement? Some things do transcend age, I think.

Can you relate, friends? When have you felt unfairly judged or scrutinized? How did it make you feel? How did you react to the situation?

10 comments:

  1. I feel judged sometimes bc I'm almost 40 and never been married. I try to shrug it off and be strong, but it honestly gets to me :(
    Thanks for the heartfelt post :)

    xoxox,
    CC

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  2. Awww, thanks, Carrie!! Be proud of who you are!!

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  3. Yeah I cringed at that article about Susan - good for her though.

    I'm married but no kids on the horizon - can you imagine? The horror! ;) (I love kids but a family history has prevented that for me and I'm ok with it).

    Live and let live I say.

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  4. Yes, this bothers me too!!! I have a family member who is in her 40s and single. This person wants to be single, likes their life just the way it is and it upsets me to no end when people pass judgement and make insensitive remarks. And even if being single wasn't by choice, why is it anyone else's concern? Just because someone doesn't live their life the way you do, doesn't give you the right to make rude comments about it! Different lifestyles, beliefs, choices, et cetera should be celebrated! It's part of what makes the world a more interesting place to live in. There isn't a perfect little formula set of how our lives should be and how and when events, milestones, etc. should happen. The Susan Boyle article shouldn't be news at all, but since it is - why can't it just be something like, "We're glad to hear that Susan Boyle is happy," and just leave it at that? Adding the word "finally" in there is just BS!!!

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  5. Wow, you just opened my eyes to the injustice in this. I hadn't seen it from your vantage point at all and I'm glad you pointed it out to me.

    I always thought Susan was soooo adorable. I loved her from the moment she came out on that stage! And then when I heard she had a mental breakdown after being thrust in the limelight a few years later, I was so, so bummed and hoped she was okay. I imagined that that overnight fame was likely hard to deal with.

    So anyway, my thoughts were focused on how happy I was for her to be dating someone. Thinking, that's probably fun!

    But your point is well made and I'm glad I heard it. You're right that it is a lot of focus on a societal norm. Good call on that. Thanks for opening my eyes!

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  6. I'm in my 20s and I have never had a boyfriend. I see nothing wrong with it. I think that sometimes you need to fully mature, and learn to know yourself, before you share yourself with another.

    xx

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  7. Oh sure, I've definitely been judged and know I will continue to be judged based on stereotypes about women, race, and academic backgrounds. We just have to keep proving we are more than just our profiles right?

    xoxo,
    little luxury list formerly Chic 'n Cheap Living

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  8. "we are more than just our profiles..." -- I LOVE this. Such a refreshing and positive way to look at the whole thing. And life in general. :)

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  9. p.s. thanks for all these kind words. I'm glad this post resonated with so many of you! xoxo

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  10. Preach. You are a whole, wonderful, beautiful woman (and so is Susan Boyle) who does not need a boyfriend (or girlfriend) to complete you or validate your existence. You have worth whether you are romantically involved or not. (Often, it is easier to recognize your value when you are not trying to meet someone else's expectations in a relationship.) Be strong and keep preaching it, sister!

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xoxo

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