Finding Love For Two Bachelors

The fact that my dad and I are the eli­gi­ble bach­e­lors in the fam­i­ly means we get a lot of advice around the din­ner table. They bring up avail­able women. Friends of friends, daugh­ters of dance part­ners, or this-per­son-I-know.

It’s strange to come upon the sud­den real­iza­tion that my dad and I are at the same point in life. Does that make me old, or him young?

They ask us our tastes: Looks? Personality? Older or younger? I say, “Money”, but they know me well enough to know I’m jok­ing. A joke to hide my answer, for to reveal myself in this way is to expose a cer­tain vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty. So they side­step the ques­tion and ask me if I’m after any­one, think­ing that if I describe a per­son I’m inter­est­ed in, they’ll be able to fig­ure out what I’m look­ing for. It’s com­pli­cat­ed, I think to myself, so only reply with a “No”. They ask me if there’s any­one after me. “No”. That’s even more com­pli­cat­ed.

Last week, my grand­moth­er asked me how old I was. “28”, I told her. “Already! You’re almost 30. It’s time for you to get mar­ried.” She says if I stay in Hong Kong all the girls will be after me because I have some kind of gen­tle­man schol­ar look. My dad too; he’s the man’s man, who’s always been fun and pop­u­lar. And we have Canadian pass­ports. Apparently, we’re in demand.

But they also want to make sure we’re not get­ting involved with the wrong type of women. Someone who will take our mon­ey once we’re mar­ried, or force alimo­ny once they trap us with chil­dren. They tell us to keep an eye on each oth­er. I say that my dad does­n’t need my approval if he wants to get mar­ried, but I don’t need his approval either. So they tell us to bring our girls to meet them, to be sure they’re okay.

I won­der; is love this easy for oth­er peo­ple? Something oth­ers can con­trol, when I can’t con­trol it myself?

7 comments

  1. Finding love can be easy, depend­ing on your def­i­n­i­tion for love. Keeping love is the hard­er part, no mat­ter what you believe in. But we already know each oth­ers stances on love. You want­i­ng it to exist in your life, me, not believ­ing it should be the basis for a healthy rela­tion­ship.

    You can’t con­trol love any more than you can con­trol the way oth­er peo­ple think. That’s why to me, it’s hard because I nev­er had any­thing obvi­ous to win peo­ple over to begin with (looks, mon­ey, sta­tus, etc). I always took the long with rela­tion­ships and maybe at the end of the day, that’s the most reward­ing, most sat­is­fy­ing way to build one, even though, it’s the most lone­ly road to go.

    • You’re absolute­ly right that keep­ing love is the hard­er part; as peo­ple grow and change with time, it’s like you’re not with the same per­son any­more.

      My approach to rela­tion­ships is a lit­tle dif­fer­ent, prob­a­bly because of my child­hood expe­ri­ences; it cer­tain­ly is just as long and lone­ly a route, but as you say, much stronger in the end. I think we’re able to appre­ci­ate the rela­tion­ships that work because they’re so much more dif­fi­cult for us to find or main­tain.

  2. Don’t for­get that these peo­ple (your old­er rel­a­tives) are sur­vivors of mar­riages arranged by their par­ents. So to them, if they could sur­vive get­ting mar­ried to peo­ple they (prob­a­bly) did­n’t like, why would it be dif­fi­cult these days, when we could choose who­ev­er we like?

    It’s fun­ny that way :)

    • The fun­ny thing is that some of the mar­riages that weren’t arranged haven’t worked out. So how are the arranged ones sup­posed to work, when the ones who were free to choose have end­ed in divorce? Or maybe that’s why they think arranged mar­riages work; our rel­a­tives know us bet­ter than we know our­selves.

      • EXACTLY, Jeff. Exactly. LOL.

  3. The ques­tion is what you mean by “work.” If you mean love remain­ing thriv­ing and grow­ing between two peo­ple through their many years of change, or if you mean long-term sta­bil­i­ty with an assur­ance of a good envi­ron­ment for, say, chil­dren.

    Frankly I can’t seem to get both of those two con­cepts in the same pack­age no mat­ter what I’ve done. Ever.

    I still want to believe it’s pos­si­ble though.

    • You make an impor­tant dis­tinc­tion there. Although, I always pic­tured both as being depen­dent on each oth­er. But where­as you can’t get both in the same pack­age, I haven’t been able to find either yet.

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