With Guests Ronda Del Boccio & Cynthia Clampitt
Gone are the days when people took pity on the singleton. Now the unattached are embraced and there’s even a National Unmarried & Single Americans Week. In this week’s Wellness for the Real World, Dr. Veronica chats with two guests who relish flying solo: author Ronda Del Boccio and travel aficionado Cynthia Clampitt.
There are an estimated 82 million single and unmarried adults in the United States and some will celebrate their status Sept. 19-25. Some are like Dr. Veronica, who is recently divorced. Others are like her guests, who have never wed yet are happy as ever.
“I think marriage is a wonderful thing,” Clampitt, 59, tells Dr. Veronica. “It’s just not for me.”
Ditto for the 45-year-old Del Boccio, known as “The Story Lady,” who comes from a long line of independent women and isn’t about to break the chain – though she confessed that she has come close a couple of times.
“There’s a lot of people that think you must be a ball biter or a man hater or whatever and I’m not,” says Del Boccio, a globally published, award-winning author whose recent books, The Peace Seed: Personal and Global Peace through Storytelling and The Instant VIP, were released this summer. “I’m none of those things. I just don’t feel the need to marry just to say that I am and being in that state if it’s not the right fit.”
Although Del Boccio’s rural surroundings – living in the Ozarks – don’t increase her odds of meeting Mr. Right, she doesn’t think her residence is a hindrance either. After all, she lived in Denver for 13 years, took public transportation and never met anyone either.
“I don’t think where you live in the only thing that is going to make it more or less likely for you to meet someone,” says Del Boccio.
Del Boccio is nearly blind yet not about to buy into the nonsensical thinking that she should take what she can get as long as the person is decent, has a decent personality and the two are basically compatible.
While neither Del Boccio nor Clampitt feel lonely, neither woman expressed a lack of intimacy either. Instead, it’s how they define it.
“The biggest part of intimacy is the connection with somebody and the conversation,” said Del Boccio, adding that she doesn’t place a high emphasis on sex.
Although Clampitt says, “Everybody knows I have a high regard for the opposite sex,” she still has, “intellectually intimate friends and emotionally intimate friends of both genders. I find that’s a more satisfying intimacy. I’m sort of a committed person and if I can’t be committed because I’m going to be jumping on a plane and running away, I don’t want to do that to somebody.”
The last things she wants to do is make a commitment to someone, rush home from a trip to be with that person then feel resentful because she wasn’t able to enjoy her travels as much as she wanted.
“I’ve got lots of guys who will give me a hug if I need it but other than that I find that most people when they get to the point of intimacy are looking for some kind of commitment and I’m not going to do anything like that casually,” Clampitt says. “I’m not sort of a casual, one-night stand kind of person. Commitment usually involves giving up the life I lead and since I don’t want to do that….
“If I found somebody who seemed like a soul mate, who wanted a life of adventure, I would imagine, possibly, if I could fit them into my schedule, adding them to my life.”
But if not, then she, like Del Boccio, is perfectly happy to remain on her own. Although at her age, that comes with problems – or maybe advantages.
“Most of the men I find that want to lead the kind of exciting life that I have are 20 years younger than I am,” Clampitt says. “I have lots of male friends who are younger than I am. But I find that guys my age are just a lot older than I am.”
She shared the story of when she was in Australia, at a backpacker cabin. Her fellow travelers were 20-25 years younger and were comprised of attractive men and ditzy blondes looking for guys, not to learn about Australia. Clampitt, an expert of the country, was in full raconteur mode, regaling the group with stories of her adventures crossing the mountains on horseback, Australia’s lore and history and aboriginal traditions.
“Every man at the place was at my feet until after dinner in which case they were looking for the airhead girls,” Clampitt said. “They wanted the stories. They wanted the adventure. They wanted the excitement and then they wanted somebody to shack up with that night and that wasn’t what they were looking for with me. I’ve been told more than once that men appreciate me but find me a little intimidating.”
And she gets it. If two parties are supposed to be in an equal partnership and one of the people is a super star and the other person isn’t, it could be intimidating, she tells Dr. Veronica.
“Guys want to be the hero and I love that aspect of men,” Clampitt says. “I rely on it… I love having men run to the rescue because they do have that ‘let’s-slay-the-dragon gene’ built into them and I love that. But it’s really hard to be the hero when the woman has done so much more than you have. If I were to settle down it would have to be with somebody who is immensely secure or tremendously accomplished. Part of the problem is we’ve neutered men to a certain extent. It’s harder for a guy to be secure.”
Clampitt doesn’t worry about growing old alone, pointing out that women outlive men anyway so chances are if she did marry, she’d be in the same situation. And she never sits back and thinks that she’s missing out on anything by not having a partner.
“Part of the reason I definitely never feel left out is because I do so many things they don’t do,” says Clampitt, who has visited more than 30 countries on six continents. “I just realized the fact that, wow, my life has been amazing.”