But wait. Sensational? And…single? Did I skip a beat? How can those two words stand together without causing a cosmic explosion?! Society tells us that single people cannot possibly be happy!
In Facebook speak, “single” means you’re: NOT in a relationship; NOT tangled up in some “Complicated” affair (that you’re admitting to, anyway); and NOT matrimonially bound. W-2s and passport applications, on the other hand, don’t give a damn about who you’re dating, not dating, or non-dating. ‘Single’ just means unmarried.
Either definition, they’re rubbing it in your face. You are ALONE! And baby, you are miserable!
The world paints singlehood in an ugly picture—and many of us buy it. We forget that being single isn’t just defined by the presence or absence of an ‘other half.’ And here I must reiterate one of my core beliefs. If you are always on the lookout for someone to fill the void, that’s not being single; that’s being pathetic. (Trust me, I’ve been there!)
Now, I’m not knocking marriage or love. But that doesn’t mean you need to be in full-out search mode all the time.
(*A caveat: if you are NEWLY single, i.e. newly no longer part of a couple, the wound is fresh and open—you won’t become a giddy first person singular overnight. So if that’s your case, please read on with bitterness and then read again once you’re feeling a bit human again.)
The Top 7: Why I Think Being Single is the Most Awesome/Important Thing You Can Do as an Adult (Besides Be Employed):
- You decide what’s important to you. When paired up, we tend to be REACTIVE instead of proactive. We value our significant other’s opinion and hold it to a high standard. It’s nice to make a decision without needing input!
- You can pursue outlandish/expensive/weird passions and hobbies freely. These things tend to go on the backburner when someone enters the picture. If you simply don’t WANT anything except a spouse, 2.5 kids and a picket fence, and that’s ALL you want to devote your life to, fine. Okay. You’re a lot more selfless than I am! (And a lot more boring.)
- You have the freedom to make decisions, big and small, that only affect you. Whether a sudden decision to travel the world or a failed attempt in the kitchen, you’re usually only uprooting (or poisoning/starving) yourself.
- You learn to take care of yourself. Budgeting, doing laundry and taxes correctly…you should be able to do these solo. (OK, maybe not the tax thing.)
- You can be totally spontaneous. You’re much freer to go with the moment. Say yes. Change your mind. Reschedule plans, throw common sense out the window, buy a cross-country plane ticket at 2am that leaves in 10 hours. Whatever!
- You can figure out who you are and what you want. Ever considered the possibility that you DON’T KNOW? What do you REALLY want from a significant other? When we’re just seeking constant companionship because we don’t wanna be alone, we gravitate toward instant gratification: Someone to “understand” us (FYI, I have never “understood” another human being, nor do I wanna try). A permanent plus-one for holidays and weddings. Someone to hold us at the end of a stressful day. Etc.
These little things barely scratch the surface. They seem so important, but I think it takes a LOT of mature self-awareness, and a lot of clearheaded non-desperation, before you really get to the nitty-gritty issues of compatibility and lasting love…and isn’t that what everyone really wants? (So I’ve heard. I keep hearing good things about this “love” business.)
Which brings me to the most important reason to be single of all:
- When we’re suckered in a relationship (after relationship) under false (read: desperate) pretenses, or are always in “lookout”mode, we are that much further away from finding the right person! Your dream match might not happen to be single during those small windows when you’re unattached or drowning in self-pity. Remember that scene in When Harry Met Sally when Carrie Fisher tells Meg Ryan, “If you don’t get him first, somebody else will, and you’ll have to spend the rest of your life knowing that somebody else is married to your husband!”?
DOESN’T THAT IDEA JUST TERRIFY YOU??
I’m totally kidding. That is NOT the most important reason. I still think the other, more selfish, reasons are way better! But if you don’t buy my other reasons quite yet, I’ll resort to scare tactics!! Don’t wish away your single years!
Okay, enough serious talk. I’m not ready to give up being single yet, but I can be proactive. Next post: my top dealbreakers & dealmakers!
Am I crazy to like being single? Leave a comment!