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Raised By A Single Mom? You May Be Doomed To Be Alone

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Smiling couple in front of a house
And, according to Lena Chen, that's not necessarily such a bad thing.

When I announced on my blog that I didn't believe in marriage, I expected the typical reactions: Don't you want a ring and proposal? (No.) Will you ever trust your partner's commitment to you? (Yes.) What about children? (What about them?)

I got those questions, along with some comments in support of my views. But what I didn't quite anticipate was that a random commenter would insinuate my beliefs were "f**ked up" because of the way I was raised. lemondrop: Relationship Whoa—A Family Affair

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CNN published a piece last spring suggesting that single mothers are teaching their daughters to embrace independence by staying single, but I wonder just how true that is. My mother, who was in an unhappy marriage for nearly 20 years, has always wanted me to be in the kind of relationship she didn't have. A fiercely independent woman herself, she recognizes that self-sufficiency is important, but it doesn't mean that one has to do without love.

My parents grew up in poverty and married in China with the understanding that my father would first seek his fortune in America before coming back to take my mother with him. I know that their marriage was not without love, but I also know that my mother's understanding of it is different from mine. lemondrop: Awkward Family Photos Makes Your Folks Less Embarrassing

Throughout college, I dated with reckless abandon, looking not for stability but for a partner who "got me." My mother never did understand what I expected from my relationships. For my parents, love was a luxury that they could not even begin to comprehend after a childhood without potable water or meat. Marriage meant stability, but it didn't mean passion. After they immigrated to America, they slowly began to make a living and a life together. lemondrop: How I Did It—Moving to China

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Written by Lena Chen for lemondrop.

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