SWR Blog Crawl: The Real Price Of A Relationship

23 Sep

2010 SingleWomenRule.com Blog Crawl for
National Unmarried and Single Americans Week
September 19 – 25, 2010

It’s day five of the second annual SWR Blog Crawl for National Unmarried and Single Americans Week and it’s my turn to play host. I’m absolutely delighted (and to be honest, hugely privileged) to have author/film maker Michelle Cove write a guest post right here on The Single Filez.

Michelle Cove

Michelle is the co-author of the US bestseller I’m Not Mad, I Just Hate You! . She has written and edited US titles such as Psychology Today, Girl’s Life and SingleMindedWomen.com amongst many other publications. Michelle currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts and has kindly offered to be my guide if I ever decide to fulfil my childhood dream of stalking my favourite Bostonians, the Wahlbergs and the Knights (yes, huge NKOTB fan right here folks).

Today’s Blog Crawl post takes a looks at ‘The Real Price of a Relationship’. Michelle very rightly says “We are a generation of women very used to being in control (we’re often buying our own places, picking our adventures, getting jobs with some status etc.) and many single women find it hard to let go of that control when it comes to finding love”. How very true this is. I can honestly say Michelle’s post struck a chord with me, personally. Go on have a read, see if you can relate too and please be sure to leave a comment, you know you want to…

The Real Price of a Relationship
By Michelle Cove

“If he doesn’t call by Thursday, I’m not going out with him”… “I’m going to try this online dating service for two months but that’s it” … “If my boyfriend doesn’t propose in the next three months, I’m dumping his ass.” I have heard proclamations like these more times than I can count in the last couple of years, as I interviewed single women around the country for my book and documentary Seeking Happily Ever After (www.seekinghappilyeverafter.com).

It would be easy to label women who lay down dating-laws as “controlling.” After all, in many ways, today’s single women are controlling—but in increasingly amazing ways. They are earning higher paychecks than ever before; many are buying their own places; they are taking solo trips and international adventures; and figuring out how to build an entire life on their own terms. So it is easy to mistake these self-created relationship rules as one more way for women to sit in the driver’s seat. But actually, the rules are really about trying to protect one’s heart.

Believe me, I know. I joined an online dating service in my 30s, vowing to date 10 men. My plan? If none of the ten turned out to be “the one,” I would take down my profile and be done. Knowing there was an end – that I had some control over the process – made me feel safe. I proceeded to date a bunch of men, a few of them several times, and found the experience mostly pleasant. But I didn’t meet “the one” so I prepared to take down my profile after the 10th date. Right before I did, however, I received an e-mail from an intriguing man who wanted to know more about me. He thought we might be a good match. My first thought was forget it; I dated my 10 men, so I wrote back thanking him very much but telling him I was unavailable. A few days later, he wrote again, this time with an essay that made me laugh out loud. I hesitated, wondering whether I should break my rule. What if I went out with him only to face yet another disappointment? How many dates leading nowhere should one person have to endure? But then another thought passed: What if I was so hell-bent on sticking to my self-imposed rule that I missed the opportunity to meet someone wonderful? That struck me as sad—far more sad than potentially being disappointed. So I agreed to coffee, and that date lasted hour and hours. In fact, this lovely man – number 11—is now my husband.

Finding love and fighting for control have nothing to do with one another. In fact, in order to enjoy a healthy relationship, you have to allow another person some claim on your heart, and then watch with open eyes and faith how he treats it. You have to trust that you’ll be okay if it doesn’t work out, while at the same time, allow yourself the hope that it might. Vulnerability is the price you pay to be in a relationship, and I, for one, think it’s worth the price of admission.

Michelle Cove is the author of Seeking Happily Ever After: How to navigate the ups and downs of being single without losing your mind (and finding lasting love along the way) (Tarcher/Penguin, Sept. 23, 2010) and director of the feature-length documentary “Seeking Happily Ever After: One generation’s struggle to redefine the fairytale” (www.seekinghappilyeverafter.com).

Seeking Happily Ever: Available from today in the US and from 30th Sept here in the UK (Amazon UK)

9 Responses to “SWR Blog Crawl: The Real Price Of A Relationship”

  1. Keysha September 23, 2010 at 12:24 PM #

    Go Michelle! Go Single Filez! Great posting and hosting. Michelle’s words are really true. LOL @ “be done” I’d be rich if I counted the number of times me or my friends said that!

    I can’t wait for her movie.

  2. Rachel S. Cohen September 23, 2010 at 8:33 PM #


    Your story gave me goosebumps! Sometimes we really DO find things when we’re not looking for them. I just wrote a piece on my blog, Bitches in Stitches, about the opposite of what you discussed: girls who always have boyfriends. I have much more respect for girls/women like YOU who know how to do things alone or, like some women you’ve described, actually enjoy themselves alone! Here’s the link to my post: http://bitchesinstitches.blogspot.com/2010/09/never-single-always-attached.html.

    Please check it out and the rest of my blog as well. Way to go, Michelle!

  3. lindsey September 23, 2010 at 8:42 PM #


    Thank you for this balanced perspective – realistic and yet optimistic. can’t wait for the doc and book!!

  4. mychickenfeed September 23, 2010 at 11:18 PM #

    a great heart felt post michelle. i have always felt that my heart would open for the girl that felt right. I always worry that I don’t open myself up to so many girls as I don’t give them a chance. One girl told me I have a brick wall around my heart. I make the decision quickly/instinctively. my number is 11 is out there too, thank you 🙂

  5. Michelle Cove September 24, 2010 at 1:27 AM #

    Thanks so much for your comments, I’m glad that you all connected. And a good reminder that this is not just a single WOMAN’S issue; men too put up “brick walls” around their heart out of protection. Here’s to all of us choosing to take down the walls, and open our hearts while also keeping our eyes open…no reason to be wreckless with our hearts. 🙂

  6. Onely September 24, 2010 at 1:33 AM #

    I think the secret is not in making the right decision, but in making a strong decision that you believe in and being flexible enough to find the positive in many situations.

    If Michelle had decided not to engage with Number 11, because she wanted to stick to her Plan, then she would have likely been proud and happy that she followed through. She would have never known that she didn’t meet Number 11, and she would have likely been happy anyway. So either way, it worked out!

    You just never know, though–there’s always the nagging “what if” feeling that makes making a strong decision so difficult!!


  7. Michelle Cove September 24, 2010 at 12:47 PM #

    I hear your point, Christine. I think it’s really about looking inward and seeing what feels right for yourself instead of following a self-imposed (or society-driven) rule. So if after four dates I decided, “You know, this isn’t really for me” and quit b/c that felt right, that’d be a smart decision. If I quit and then said, “Hmmm, I kind of feel like I would like to try again now,” then that’s the right decision. And it’s true that it’s not always 100 percent right, sometimes it’s just “more” right than the other choices.

  8. SexyRoom January 25, 2011 at 3:22 AM #

    Thanks Michelle for the great post, I looked forward for the book and doc.

  9. deborahturton September 1, 2011 at 1:37 PM #

    Great Michelle! I love your post so much, very inspiring to read. Thanks for sharing!

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