What’s So SENSATIONAL about Being Single?

So I told you last post that I’m gonna be auctioned in a few weeks as a ‘Sensational Single’.

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!”?

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!

  1. Pete said:

    dealbreakers? do i see a picture of tina fey in your (blog’s) future? 🙂 good job, pam. good reasons, one and all. i think you’re right, though. the newly single can’t and probably shouldn’t see the wisdom behind your perspectives. after all, a little pain is good for us.

    • Pam said:

      Haha! all in good time, Pete! and you’re right, a little pain is good. I’m sorry to hear you’re going through this right now…that sucks.
      maybe I’ll address how I’ve handled this sort of thing in the past. here’s a preview post: not very well!

  2. yes yes yes!!!!!!!!!!! i will be buying myself a louis vuitton bag at the end of the year when i reach my goal – married – i could have NEVER spent that kind of money on myself – single – i can spend my OWN money however i see fit!!!!! yay us!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Pam said:

      🙂 good for you, Wendy! It IS nice to be able to spend on ourselves without needing approval. (for me, that’s the nice chunk of change it costs to do gymnastics every month!)

  3. Ducky said:

    You know pam, i think you are brilliant. i personally feel that your top 7 are so real and true to alot of single people out there. some just get caught up in what society is telling us to do and dont take the time to stop and think of all of the advantages and perks for rinding solo. you are an inspiration for me and i am sure others feel the same. you are tenatious and truely a free spirit.

    well said.

    ps. can i have your number? ha.

    • Ashley said:

      Give him your number and get through one of your never-have-i-evers!!! 🙂

      • Pam said:

        Haha…something to consider!

  4. Ashley said:

    I think another thing can be said for that “When Harry Met Sally” picture above: being single really opens your eyes to the importance of true friends. Whether I’m in a relationship, wanting to be in a relationship, or having a blast being single, the one constant for me has been my close knit group of girlfriends who have helped me get through it ALL and who ALWAYS manage to be a perfect Plus One. 🙂

    • Pam said:

      Definitely agree! One of the most important things to have for “Singlehood Survival” 😛

  5. Omar said:

    “There are only two choices, married and bored, or single and lonely.” Chris Rock

    You are absolutely correct, once you are in a relationship, your inner soul is sucked out of you and all there is left is a shell of yourself. Everything you hold dear as being independent is completely thrown out the window for a relationship. The media likes to twist our minds thinking there is such thing as a “perfect relationship” which over time it dwindles down to just occasionally going out to eat, going to the movies, the physical attraction (or lack there of for other couples), and trivial life drama. The only interesting relationships are the bad relationships, because you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow.

    • Pam said:

      And I think we have our Cynic…

      Hmm, I actually DON’T think one’s inner soul is sucked out…not all the time. But I do think you have to be 100% happy with your life before someone else’s presence can NOT throw things out of focus. It’s hard. That’s why my philosophy on serious commitment is delay, delay, delay… Your 20s are difficult enough trying to eke out an existence, find a niche, pursue your passion, oh yes AND save for your future…etc…ugh.

      I’ve met some rare birds who can keep their wits about them and accomplish all. Very rare.

      • Omar said:

        Cynical? Really? I guess I can dig that. Bill Maher said, ” Everyone says t that we are too cynical, no we are too stupid.”

        I understand the delay philosophy when it comes to relationships; however, when you fall for someone, and i mean fall for someone, it is hard to keep the same mindset. So to me, it does feel like you are giving up part of yourself to become “us”. You give up things that you love to appease the other person. But if you delay at the same time, you might miss out on a great opportunity. It is a win/lose situation anyway you look at it

      • Pam said:

        Huh. Well, what do you mean by really “fall for someone”? You have to decide beforehand if a relationship, a serious commitment, is something you want. If it’s not something you can prioritize with other goals and commitments, you need to make that decision and stick to it, and just date casually. I think too many people just go with the flow of infatuation all too often and get caught up in it. Not sure if that even addresses what you are saying, but those are my immediate thoughts right now.

        Great opportunity? I think those are exceedingly rare. After all, there are plenty of fish in the sea! I personally think making a commitment to someone because you’re afraid of passing them by is a recipe for disaster…a decision totally emotion-based, and one person is gonna be wanting the relationship more… Always err on the side of being single!! But I’m speaking as someone who doesn’t want to make a commitment a priority right now. Again, might be misinterpreting what you mean!!

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