My wife and I attended her niece's birthday party yesterday. It took place at a venue replete with indoor bounce houses and other activities for kids. Her niece invited a few of her friends from school and, naturally, their parents accompanied them.
One of the parents in attendance was a single mom who, as it turns out, lost her own mom at an early age. She was the only person in the group who was single, and I couldn't help but notice how well she carried herself. To say she was talkative is an understatement -- this gregarious woman talked endlessly the whole time we were there! One of the things she said was that even though things didn't work out with her child's father, she feels blessed to have her daughter. I couldn't sense any bitterness in her voice at not having a man in her life.
A co-worker of mine finds herself in a similar boat. Her two kids are roughly 10 years apart in age. I've never asked her whether both have the same father. Still, she doesn't seem resentful in any way about the fact that she wound up as a single mom. It's as if her two kids are enough, and she doesn't need a man to fill a void or "complete" her life.
With men, though, it's a different story. I've noticed that the longer they go without a partner -- whether it's a one night stand or long-term relationship -- the more irritable they become. As I've documented in prior posts, studies have proven that men generally desire sex more than women do.
But, if we dig deeper, there's more to it than sex. Men seem more prone to consider themselves failures -- and in turn suffer more frequent bouts of low-self esteem and depression -- when they go a prolonged period of time without a partner.
Women are more adept at channeling their desire for sex or male attention into other pursuits, like partaking in activities with their kids or joining book clubs.
This is not to say that a woman never frets over being in a dating slump. Many out there hold out hope that Mr. Right will come into their lives sooner or later. After all, human beings naturally seek out the warmth and affection of a partner. It isn't easy to simply resign oneself to the single life, and it becomes especially difficult to be alone on Valentine's Day, Christmas, and other special occasions throughout the year.
Still, women generally seem to be better sports about it than men. Even if the men have kids, they're more predisposed to feeling that something is missing in their lives than women in the same situation.
Have you found this to be the case in your life or in the lives of people you know? Share your thoughts on the blog or on Google + and remember to check out prior posts by clicking here: How to Understand People