My marriage to Terrence never should have happened. If we really assess the situation, we probably never should have met. I was a single mom with a broken heart who was in no way ready for love. He was a hurt bachelor who had vowed to never get married. I lived in Philadelphia. He was in San Francisco. We met in the lobby of a hotel in Indianapolis 4 years ago, and we just celebrated our 1 year anniversary last month.
How romantic comedy of us, right?
I read a statistic by Pew Research that said 44% of single mothers with children under 18 have never been married. Another stat said that only 26% of Black women and 32% of Black men are married. Basically, if you add everything up, there’s no way the stats would have added up to Terrence and me getting married. But we did. Despite the numbers, we not only survived a cross country relationship for 2 years (even though 4.5 months is the amount of time most long distance relationships start falling apart), we flourished all the way down the aisle.
I love data and statistics. I’m a creative, so I’m attracted to data because it tells a story. The numbers don’t excite me as much as how the numbers came to be. In the case of how Terrence and I met, although it’s so outlandish, when you “crunch the numbers”, it all kind of makes sense. We were two of about four young Black professionals at the conference with close to 400 attendees. We were bound to find each other. There’s about .1% of men who would be willing to deal with my daily dramatics, and about the same percentage of women who would be able to deal with how loud Terrence chews his peanuts. Kidding! (not really!)
Regardless of what data shows for any situation, though, I’m always open to the unexpected variable that can throw all the numbers off. The fact that I had a child when we met? Or that he was in grad school and working full-time? Both key variables that actually helped sustain our long distance relationship. Because we were both otherwise occupied, we had just the right amount of time for each other. It was perfect timing.
It’s interesting to try to figure it all out, but really, I don’t care. I’m just really glad that fate intervened where statistics might have left us hanging.
This post was inspired by Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) by OKCupid co-founder Christian Rudder, where he analyzes online data to find out that people who prefer beer are more likely to have sex on a first date. Join From Left to Write on October 9th as we discuss Dataclysm. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.