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[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?