Is Someone not Married only Half of a Person?

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a woman in my 50s, and I would love your input on some of my life choices.

A member of my family had debt a long time ago, and because of that, we ran away as a family from our hometown. My parents and siblings have passed away, and the person I was dating also passed away from illness. I live alone in a home I was finally able to buy for myself.

I am completely dogged at work, but I want things to slow down once I turn 65. I haven’t really had opportunities to make friends, and the circle I’m in is full of elderly people. Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the circle isn’t meeting right now anyway.

I’ve given up trying to get married, but I would love to go out with a man again. When I visited a marriage help center, I heard about a plan where you can find someone who also doesn’t want to get married but who would like a life partner. However, I’m worried about putting too much money into the man or being swindled.

What should I do? Are people who don’t get married and don’t have children really just half of a person?

— O, Kyoto

Dear Ms. O:

Your letter is the only clue to your consultation. I have only one thing to tell you — you need to change how you think to have an intimate relationship with a man.

First, worrying about a future that hasn’t happened yet but doing nothing about it is a waste of time. If you’re worried about wasting money, then why not decide on a spending budget first and then just try meeting someone? You can’t decide on things like whether to marry someone until you at least meet them first.

You are not half of a person for not getting married or having children; you are half of a person for being self-deprecating and getting too caught up in that one way of thinking about life. Thinking either the glass is half empty or half full completely changes how you view the world around you. Instead of the negatives in your life, focus on the positives.

First, you have a job for the next 10 years. You have a circle full of people who can give you advice on life, having lived longer than you. You had the financial strength to buy your own home. You even found love. For someone such as yourself to go from being debt-ridden in your youth to being in the position where you are now, I think that is a life worthy of admiration.

There is a song “Let it Go” from a hit movie, but please consider the wonderful life you have already and treasure it.

—Hazuki Saisho, writer