Not long ago, I quit my job. Probably not the smartest move in the middle of a recession, but it was time to take a good long look at my life and what I was doing with it. I was an assistant professor on the verge of applying for tenure, but as a single woman who loved the city the very thought of a making a long-term commitment to this largely exasperating job located in a small, isolated town filled me with anxiety. Soon my ambition began to crumble under a weight of ambivalence and apathy. Faced with what looked like a list of insurmountable obstacles to overcome in less than a year, I decided it was definitely time to go.
Ironically, I ended up in that small, isolated town in Virginia because I had resigned from my previous job in a small, isolated town in Georgia for all the same reasons except that I had fallen in love and been rejected twice, so I felt much worse about being single. To be honest, at times when I was satisfied with many other aspects of my life, I was never content with being single. Since high school I had yearned for a boyfriend with whom I could share my affections and experience real intimacy, but all I ever found was rejection, imitations of love, or empty promises. What happened to my husband and family the â€œAmerican Dreamâ€ had promised me since I was a child? Why was I still alone when so many of my friends were falling in love, getting married and having babies? I wanted answers and when I didnâ€™t get them I became angry, despondent and resentful. I started to believe I was unlucky, star-crossed or maybe even cursed. When I turned 40, I began to just accept the probability that I was going to be single the rest of my life- until I quit my job.
With the weight of the world suddenly off my shoulders, I felt like the possibilities were endless. I had a kick-ass summer and it wasnâ€™t long before I had networked myself into enough projects and part-time work to relocate to Baltimore. Every day seemed to confirm that I had made the right decision and I was filled with a renewed energy. I curtailed the drinking habit I had developed from attending weekly happy hours, started working out consistently and eventually dropped 15 pounds. Still, when I thought about dating again, I was paralyzed with fear. It was just easier to convince myself I had already tried everything to find true love and none of it worked and things were hopeless.
That was my state of mind when I discovered beyondblackandwhite.com. I have always been open in inter-racial dating, but so far my encounters with it have been less than ideal. The commentary in the forums on BB&W was so lively and safe; it felt like the perfect platform to explore my relationship issues with people who shared very similar and vastly different experiences. Recently, a kind and happily married woman suggested I read Finding a Husband after 35 by Rachel Greenwald and something just clicked. I liked the idea that someone out there proposed they had a proven method for finding a husband and all I had to do (for the moment) was read. I could choose to follow their advice or decide it was all bullshit and ignore it, but at least it was a step. I logged on to amazon.com which suggested I also might like If Iâ€™m so Wonderful, Why am I Still Single? by Susan Page, and would qualify for free shipping if I threw in Love in 90 Days by Diana Kirschner (damn those marketing bastards at Amazon!) So now itâ€™s on like Donkey Kong folks- Iâ€™m taking these books on a road test and bringing you along for the ride.
Why, you may ask, would this woman want to broadcast her search for love on a blog? Itâ€™s a good question and I canâ€™t say that I am not without apprehension, but I do believe in the power of the collective. Iâ€™m hoping your encouragement and feedback will keep me motivated and accountable to reaching my goal. Itâ€™s too easy to give up when no one is watching (how is that New Yearâ€™s resolution coming along?) At best, I could be on my way to creating a real, lasting love relationship in as little as 90 days; at worst, I may be able to inspire some other involuntary singles to start their own search.
Stay tuned for regular updates on my quest for true love.
Leona Carson is a designer and freelance writer from Philadelphia, PA who also teaches college courses in theatre. She is on a quest for a lasting love relationship that will lead to marriage by the end of the year .