Being single doesn’t always mean lonely; being in a relationship sometimes does

Just read an article that informed me that statistically being ‘single’ is the new norm in North America, for singles now outnmber the married or those in committed relationships.

WTF is that? What a bunch of cowards. Afraid to face the agony and the ecstasy of that aforementioned ‘committed’ relationship.

So, there are many reasons for reluctance to join somebody at an altar or even in a cozy common-law bed. One of the primary ones is, of course, economic. But there are others, including widespread aversion to commitment. And, of course, the lack of availability of suitable life partners. I’m not so sure about that one. I see lots of females every day that I think would make jim-dandy life partners – even for a couple of days.

But I jest.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be single. Oh, don’t worry, there’s nothing matrimonially wrong chez nous. But I wonder as, I suspect, do many married or committed people. What would it be like to be a free agent; to come and go as I please; to have sex with anybody with whom there was a mutual attraction; to have complete and total control of the TV remote.

Since I became an adult I’ve mostly been married. But there was a time, after the end of my second marriage, when I was single. Maybe I shouldn’t say this, but I actually really liked it. Oh sure, there were lonely times and sometimes the evenings seemed terribly long, but that was why God gave us porn sites.

When I came out of that marriage, and after I’d gotten over the emotional agony of its demise, and that took a while, I vowed that I wasn’t going to marry again. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted a steady girlfriend. What I wanted was to be comfortable with myself in my own skin and not be beholden to the approval of anyone.

I worked at that and, as can so magically happen with something you work at, a comfort level evolved. I had me a nice apartment. I got a cat. I’d put flowers in a vase on the dining table and, unlike sleazy bachelor pads, I kept it neat, tidy, vacuumed etc. It was cool. I liked it because I came to like myself.

I didn’t become celibate – puhleeze, that would have been a bit much – and did have some female friends “with benefits”, but I also had female friends that stayed fully robed in my company. They felt ‘safe’ with me and that was a compliment. They felt safe because I wasn’t after anything they didn’t want to share. If they did want to share, so much the better, provided they weren’t expecting anything permanent. More importantly they became friends. Friends who taught me a great deal.

During this time I had a brief relationship with somebody I’d initially met on-line. Actually, I had a few on-line encounters, but this one evolved into a real-life situation, and it was great.

Ultimately, at the end of my ‘alone’ time I met Wendy and have never looked back. At the same time, however, while I’d formerly always been afraid of being alone, I ultimately found out it wasn’t so bad. I could ‘do’ it and not feel lonely.

And I never really did feel lonely in my single time. In instead, I felt oddly liberated. In fact, I’d often felt lonelier when I was married

My alone time was vital for me to get to know me. Despite my bad nuptial track record I didn’t see myself as a bad person. And that was how I know I was capable of moving on into a new relationship.

 NB: I didn’t know they made ‘randy’ wedding cake toppers. How cool is that?





6 responses to “Being single doesn’t always mean lonely; being in a relationship sometimes does

  1. I totally agree, Ian. It does one good to find out who one is without a partner. To even like ourselves. I actually spent a Christmas alone. I prepared with movies, books, and a list of people to phone if I felt down. I was ready for the inevitable falling apart. Didn’t happen. I was annoyed by phone calls. They took me away from my book. I think it is the only time I read a whole book in one day! It would be a terrible adjustment now. But I am glad I know I have done it, therefore I can do it.

  2. If i ever find myself alone, I don’t think I’ll ever let a man live in my house again. It’s gonna be all about me. Friends with benefits, sure. A committed relationship, no problem. You’re just not gonna move in. MY remote!

    • I’ve thought too that I could do likewise. Yes, bring on the benefits when you come over, but otherwise I’m OK. Sometimes solitude can be blessed.

  3. I guess I’m an odd person. I’ve rarely lived alone. Okay maybe never since my daughter was with me (a few months in 1995). I do have many hours to myself (almost 40 hours a week) which I need and adore. But since I was about twenty, I realized that I would always want someone around to play Scrabble with.

    • Oh, don’t misinterpret what I say. I cherish my partner’s role in my day to day, and miss her like hell when she’s not around. At the same time, though, I feel perfectly validated whether she’s here or not.

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