Singleness 101: an Intro

[This post was originally published on hrmag.com as part of the First Person Singular blog.]

Single ‘sin-gel adj

The first definition given for “single,” courtesy of the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “not married.” Hmm, I love to be defined by the absence of something.

The second definition is “unaccompanied by others.” Umm, thanks, Merriam-Webster! I’m feeling really awesome about all that individuality and independence and uniqueness that I, and I’m sure many others, associate with being single. Thanks for ranking those definitions so low on the list!

Oh, hi there. So who am I to give advice about  your romantic status? What do I know about relationships? Er, not that much…but I do know enough to truly appreciate being single. And now,  I actually kind of love it. And I’ve come with my list of  a few absolute non-negotiables to being single:

  • Rule #1Don’t rush through the process. Take care of your demons, find yourself, follow your passion…the whole New Age-y shebang. But really, just know this: being single is NOT a cosmic punishment, and it’s NOT what should be considered a phase to just “survive.” Sorry, but the whole in-between-relationships-and-always-looking-for-someone-to-fill-the-void is not being single—it’s being pathetic.
  • Rule #2Enjoy the freedom. Honestly, this is the best time to take advantage of free time and to put yourself first. Being self-absorbed in your twenties is practically a birthright. Just don’t go overboard. Play nice!
  • Rule #3: Revel in the misery of your non-single friends. Just kidding! Ahem. What I meant is, appreciate that the grass is always greener, and your unattached lifestyle is possibly the envy of many, whether they admit it or not. Go ahead, be a little gleeful.

This is your Hampton Roads guide to being single and (maybe) finding love, from the perspective of a confessed skeptic. It’s about being ALONE and about relationships – finding them, keeping them, leaving them. Read, comment, and poke fun (if you must) about my singular (but definitely not miserable or lacking, Merriam-Webster!) journey.

Tell all! Are you a happy single, or are you a miserable single?  If you are in a relationship or married, what’s the longest you have been single?

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10 comments
  1. liz said:

    Hey chicka…love your writing…Keep it up

  2. beautifully written and truthful pam!!! love rule #1, rule #2 still applies even if you are in your 40’s like moi, and rule # 3 – being divorced, i completely appreciate my singledom 🙂 xoxo — see u soon!!!

  3. Ernie said:

    Im single, last 4 years or so, very much enjoy!!!

  4. Pam said:

    @liz: thanks!! 🙂

    @wendy: thanks Wendy! So glad to hear it! See ya soon!

    @Ernie: I’m so glad to hear it! Thanks for reading, and keep coming back!

  5. Lisa said:

    I’ve been single for 8 months and I feel like my life is booming with more and new opportunities. Had I still been in that relationship I don’t think that would be the case.

    I am enjoying being single! Sure, there are times that I want to be an “us” or “we” but I’m confident that will come. Just like Michael Buble says, “I just haven’t met you yet!”

    • Pam said:

      Yay Lisa! 🙂 Life can definitely expand when one is single, and glad you are making the most of it! 🙂

  6. Tanya said:

    Pam, great written! Enjoyed all 3 posts, please keep it up!

    Single for the last 4 years (we don’t once in a while dates/one night stands, right?). Most of the time I enjoy it, though think I developed such a lifestyle that had I even met the `right’ person I might not have the will power to give it up. With 3 nights a week being 100% busy and 4 nights a week kind of busy it’s hard to have a relationship (the last date had to be rescheduled for over a month, which, I guess, gives the guy an idea just how `interested’ I am…)

    • Pam said:

      Haha! thanks Tanya, glad you liked it. I completely agree about having developed a lifestyle that you don’t wanna give up. And I don’t think it’s that easy to know right away when the “right” person comes along (maybe for some people…definitely not for me), but it’s better to miss out than to make a mistake and waste time, in my opinion! 🙂

  7. Pete said:

    i am so sick of hearing people talk about how great it is to be single. granted, i’ve only been single for a little while, but it sucks so far. pam, while i see the logic behind everything you’re saying, i can’t get past the fact that cooking for one, doing laundry for one, sleeping on the whole bed instead of my old half, having no one with whom to share my most intimate fears, joys and challenges, and all the rest of the independence that so many value just truly feels terrible for me. i suppose it’s a process. i’d sure appreciate it if you could elaborate on some of the specific things that make the single life something to treasure…

    in my entire adult life, until now, i’ve never been single–not for one day. how am i supposed to teach myself to enjoy a lifestyle i’ve always dreaded? i’ve always felt that the only path to true individual fulfillment was being married and raising a family, sharing my life with a partner who completed me (yeah, that’s jerry maguire). counter-intuitive, i know, but i can’t go back and unbelieve what i’ve believed so strongly for so many years. what the hell is a guy to do? how can i find myself if i’ve always defined myself according to my relationships? i know this is a whiny comment, but come on… being single can’t be all that fun. don’t any of you miss curling up on the couch and grinning at someone who knows you better than anyone else in the world?

    • Pam said:

      Believe me when I say that I have not always been a happy single person!! It is most definitely a process. I will gladly elaborate in future posts about how I was once the mushiest, most relationship-craving fool ever! Not happy being single, not by a long shot.

      In fact, I would NEVER have been able to write openly about being single exactly a year ago even, when things ended with the Ex. *I* ended it, yet I was in a daze for quite awhile, trying to put my reality back together. There’s always that miserable phase after a relationship ends, and I don’t think anything will ever change that.

      Hope you keep reading, and I’ll at least elaborate on why I myself l-o-v-e being single 🙂

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