We’re at the age where we’ve had friends divorce, but generally the question with them has been why it took so long. We’ve been through transitions and tragedies. One set of us is still going strong at the 19 year mark.
Bottom line: neither of our partners is a flake with self-destructive tendencies.
I do not think either of our partners will have a mid-life crisis in a bad way. Sure, maybe a mid-life crisis, but not the stereotypical kind where the guy sheds the wife and tries to find himself, in the end either finding nothing or a much younger wife. I imagine our partners will instead find a new hobby or a new piece of electronic equipment, possibly a new career or a new start-up. It is unlikely that they’ll turn into internationally traveling bums like one of our former classmates.
Our guys keep busy. If they were idle rich they’d probably tool around with inventions. And gaming. And books. And not feel like they were missing something in life. They know how to entertain themselves so they don’t end up like a lost character in Emma who wouldn’t get into trouble if she just kept busy. Idle hands and all.
Even though #2′s partner isn’t my physical type (let’s just say our preferences on body hair are orthogonal), I used to sit next to him in various classes in high school and I like him a lot. He’s a really nice guy. Grounded. He’s already done his pudgy nerd to athletic stud thing and somehow seems to have survived without it causing him to question who he really is. (Same thing with figuring out his finances and you know, growing up.) Honestly he’s the first guy that #2 ever dated that I approved of. Not sure where she used to find those jerks but her partner is totally a keeper.
My partner, of course, is practically perfect in every way. The definition of keeper (or, you know, Mary Poppins… but he’s way sexier than Mary Poppins).
Maybe it’s our Midwestern pragmatism. But I think we and our partners have a good sense of who we ARE, even if we don’t always know what we want to DO. That who am I question just seems irrelevant. There are yummy foods to be eaten, wonderful books to be read. (In partners’ case add also: games to be played.) Navel gazing takes away from that. Sure there are professional goals and so on, but that’s either to get more money or because we’re aware that we’re playing a game and you progress in that game by hitting those goals. That and our research actually has some meaning– the questions are interesting and the answers are somewhat relevant. Some day we might decide we want to play new or different games, but that isn’t going to spark some sort of existential crisis, even during the search. My partner searches for a new hobby every 1-3 months. Careers take a bit longer, but it’s the same idea, just more lucrative.
I strongly recommend dating an engineer. Someone who spends more time with reality and less time navel gazing. Someone who appreciates what he has and builds on it rather than jumping on whatever the latest fad or far-out conference presentation is. Someone that you would trust to foster kittens in your house if he wanted to.
And this is why one should marry an engineer (or computer scientist).
(Really hoping this post doesn’t jinx anything…)