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Single in Agland

March 10, 2015

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWithout television it’s not possible to watch regularly “The Bachelor” but it’s hard to escape the buzz about it this season. Perhaps for the first time many realized there were – shock! – single people in rural areas. Perhaps they’re curious, in a zoo kind of way – about those who are single in flyover country. It’s going to the wilderness for some.

I have a friend in Chicago that, God bless her, doesn’t like being where there aren’t streetlights. She doesn’t drive and the city life is familiar to her. It’s a challenge, being single in rural areas. Some years ago, when email lists were popular, I started AgSingles as a way to find others who were also single and looking.

The modern age has altered singlehood in agland in many ways. (Warning: if you are going to take the rest of this post 100% seriously and get offended, do yourself a favor and keep strolling through the online world!) Life is too short to be unhappy and, with the online meeting ‘real life’ it’s not just The Bachelor looking for alternatives. Sites like FarmersOnly and Facebook pages for singles in the farming, ranching and agribusiness world have sprung up to connect those who may live in different parts – or nearby! – but don’t necessarily get acquainted in the day to day world. Yet.

After all, it’s well known the days can be long and online people can be – no way to say this nicely, fake. Oh, does that sound harsh? Not meant to! The stories are varied – the bronc rider who was afraid to saddle up  a lesson horse and climb aboard. The ‘country girl’ who squeals when the farm dog wipes muddy paws on her jeans.

Of course we all want to make good impressions – we want folks to like us, right? But how about liking us for what we are rather than what we seem to be? If someone is in their 60s and interested in others from 18-99 – with no information shared – do you really want him/her around your kids? I mean if your son works as well as you do it could be messy or the daughter is more appealing than…well it even sounds creepy! 😀 I mean if anyone will do.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen there’s weeding out the marrieds. I don’t think they’ve ever been in a small town church on Sunday. Maybe not in any other church either! There’s the stress of contact…and filling out the profiles sounds like there should be an “apply below” link.

Life has a way of dealing us surprises. Seeking at 25 is different than 55. At 55 we pretty much know everyone has baggage. That doesn’t mean they carry it around and examine it all the time! But if there’s not good times and bad times how much living has been done in five or six decades?!

It’s easier in some ways too. Hopefully the needy is gone, as anyone who’s been knocking around the world of agriculture for a while has learned that we’re all flawed but survive. Wanting someone to share good and bad times with is different than needing someone to breathe.

Love the imagery Trent Willmon put forth in “Broken In” – ok the cattle and horses were cool to watch too. Hey agnerds notice things! It’s not all about the roses and diamond rings and impressing friends.

It’s more challenging, in some ways, today than even 20-30 years ago. On one hand meeting for lunch can be just that – lunch, chatting. There’s the understanding (I hope!) that lunch isn’t a marriage proposal! There’s the thoughts of “I have this life…who do I want to let in it?” more than “who is available to plug in an empty spot.” For those out of the dating life for a while there may be reluctance to get out there. It’s comfortable at home with the critters, curled up with a book or perhaps on #agchat and there’s not the risk of rejection or awkward waits.

There’s a difference in ag country as if the cows are out, or a ewe down or some other emergency, that has to be dealt with priority. Agnerds know this while city folks may see it as an excuse. Then there’s how far does new-to-country life go? Is it someone wanting to be in the country or, an unfortunate thought, an activist looking for a new undercover angle of a different kind. It seems so risky!

Agriculture is risky. We risk every year if things will grow and make it to sale. If animals breed and birth and live to be sold or provide another generation. It’s all risk.

And the risk can be worth it, as looking at friends like Mark and Jenny. Life. It’s more than just one things. It’s many things and sometimes it all fits together.


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