One of my friends recently started a 30-day writing challenge, and since I had nothing to blog about today, I thought I’d have a go at topic number one. I may or may not complete the challenge, but I almost certainly will not do it in 30 consecutive days! It can be a source of inspiration on days when not much has happened…
Topic One: Your relationship. If single, discuss how single life is.
It has taken me most of my twenties, but I can now finally say it: I am good at being single. I don’t mean I’m good at putting on a brave face and enduring this terrible, lonely, manless existence, which is what people tend to presume is going on with long-term Singletons. No, I mean I work well as a Singleton. Singledom and I get along. We’re a match. We function. We are happy together. We just fit. We’re right for each other.
And yet, when I tell people I’m single, the reaction is generally not happiness for me in the way that I go to celebrate their happiness in relationships at weddings and so on. Strange, that! Instead, they try to encourage me, perk me up, assure me I’ll find someone. No one has ever asked me if I actually want this to happen.
As an introvert and a self-confessed loner, I need a lot of time by myself. Also, I happen to like my own company! And while I love my friends and family, and enjoy socialising with them, I can’t be constantly with them for extended periods of time – I need to get away and just be quiet. I love living alone, and struggle to understand how many single people speak of their loneliness at coming home to an empty house. They, on the other hand, struggle to understand my preference for it! While I relish the moment when I arrive home and close the door behind me, shutting the rest of the world outside (no matter how much fun I’ve just had in it!), others seem to dread it, and even put it off. One of my friends told me last year that her idea of heaven would be a future where she has a huge house that is always full of people, and spends her days looking after them. There will be children everywhere, she said dramatically. I want to sit down at the big table filled with all the children chattering and being noisy, and watch them eat the meal I’ve prepared.
I looked at her in undisguised horror. Heaven?! That sounds like my idea of hell! When asked what my own ‘heavenly house’ would be like, I thought about it and told her to replace all the people with cats. I’d be happy in that house. Just me and my cats. No noise, no crying, no arguing, no compromising. What do you know? It turned out that my vision of heaven sounded just as hellish to her as hers did to me!
I don’t want the traditional life. If I’m happy on my own, why would I try to change it? And honestly, my only experiences of relationships have convinced me that this is the right life for me. While I’m single, I’m free, happy, friendly, and content. Put me in a relationship and you’ll see that confident person gradually disappear and be replaced by a self-doubting, needy, codependent, insecure, jealous creature I don’t like in the slightest. Yes, maybe that’s just evidence that I’ve been with people who were wrong for me, but lately I’m more inclined to see it as relationships being wrong for me. I’m all or nothing: if I fall in love, I do so with every ounce of my being, and I don’t know how to retain enough of ‘me’ to remain self-assured and happy with who I am. It’s all about the other person, so much so that I lose sight of my own identity. And damn it, girl, that’s not right!!
I am single, and I want to remain single. I don’t even date. Most people find this odd, and I don’t mind that – I accept that it’s not the norm. But it’s what works for me! After all, dating is basically like trying on various outfits until you find the one that fits best. I’m not looking to buy, so why bother with the trying?
And honestly, the more I see my friends going through those crazy mind games, dating nightmares, misunderstandings, arguments, failed relationships, miserable relationships, boring relationships, relationships that suck the life out of them, and all that stifling/restrictive commitment… the more I observe of this lifestyle, the more certain I become that I do not want it. Yes, there can probably be good relationships, but there can be good singleships too! My life is fun. It is meaningful. It has value. It is exciting. It has love and laughter and friendship. It has freedom. It has adventure. It has everything I need to feel fulfilled. And it is MINE.
So, while it is indeed possible that romantic love may find me again one day, I’m not looking for it. I have no need for it! I’ve chosen a different kind of life, and that’s OK. I don’t feel sorry for you when you tell me you’re married with children, as alarming as I find the idea… so please don’t feel sorry for me when I tell you I’m single! Be pleased that I’ve found happiness, not sorry that I haven’t found someone I’m actively not looking for.
Single: not an unfortunate label I’ve been unwillingly assigned, but a choice that’s working very well for me!