The Single Solution
Not lonely. Just single. So goes my mantra these days as I continue to redefine and reconnect with my single self. I’ve been single for a while now and the newness of it has pretty much worn off. I may be alone, but I’m never lonely. I’ve been re-inhabiting my singledom with aplomb and have really been enjoying the benefits of being Vail Party of One.
However, not all people share the opinion that being single is just fine and dandy—for a fine young dandy. Too many people think that single is a problem in need of a solution and there is just no way to convince them otherwise. The idea is that you are not a complete person getting all that life has to offer if you’re a uni-human. To wit:
Not long ago I was spending a relaxing Sunday evening curled up on my couch watching a movie when my phone rang. My voice mail picked up and I heard a man talking. He began to say he’d gotten my number from a mutual acquaintance who thought we would get along. I was a little stunned and somewhat intrigued so I picked up and started a conversation with Mr. Anonymous. We had a nice, long chat and I gave the guy big kudos for having the balls to call. I also told him I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend or interested in dating. So, after our friendly chat we went our separate ways.
Death, Divorce and Desertion. Boom! You’re single again.
While he was very nice, I was perturbed that my friend would just unilaterally hand out my number to someone. I understand her heart was in the right place; I was just concerned as to where her reason and judgment had fled. Over the course of the past two years or so, I had told her on many occasions that I was not interested in meeting anyone and that I was concentrating on my career, friends, making new friends and just enjoying the freedom of being single. Sure, I would ‘date’ when the mood would strike, but I wasn’t interested in anything more. Apparently, I wasn’t clear??
I think she heard what I was saying and translated it into emotional defensiveness and ‘putting on a brave face’ when defending my single status. After all, no one is TRULY happy being single; we’re all just biding our time until that perfect other comes along. Hence, she gave out my number. Not a good idea.
The real problem that I see in all of this is a lack of respect for other people’s choices. We live in a world that pummels us with messages about the ideal partner, the joys of love, having it all with that special someone and enjoying the benefits and security of marriage and family. That’s all well and good for the business of matchmaking, but let me tell you, the security is only perceived. The Three D’s can nuke that so-called security in seconds: Death, Divorce and Desertion. Boom! You’re single again.
Being single is not a problem in need of a solution.
The other problem is it puts immense pressure on some singles to run out and mate as fast as possible. This can result in making some pretty bad choices all in the name of being a couple. Better to be in a miserable relationship than being single, right? Wrong. A bad relationship can wreak havoc on your life, your mental and emotional state and your physical health. Yet, some folks just ping and parry from one bad coupling to the next, hoping and praying that this one will be the one that works. Desperation dating doesn’t get you love—it usually gets you trouble and a chronic broken heart.
Embracing your single status can be liberating beyond belief. It changes how you perceive the world in which you live and your place within that world. It changes the way you perceive others. When you are not out on the prowl for the next perfect relationship, you stop looking at others as potential mates and just as people you may or may not be friends with. You also put the kibosh on not meeting the high expectations of finding your perfect paramour every time you step out your door. Trust me, people can sense the desperate and the lovelorn and for the most part, it sends them running for the hills.
Being single is just a state of being. It’s one of the many ways we can live and function in the world. It’s not something to be overcome, challenged, feared or balked at. Single people don’t need to be pitied, scorned or fixed. Being single is not a problem in need of a solution. We’re fine just the way we are.
photo credit: Amy Loves Yah
Tags: Andrew Vail
, broken heart
, party of one
, the single solution