The Love Series – Part 5: In Praise of Singledom

 

This month, my blog is all about love and dating, but I also wanted to touch on Single-dom.

I am currently single and, I have to be honest, I am really bloody into it. So frequently, being single gets a bad rep and I have never really understood why – sometimes it feels like people are frustrated that they can’t quite define me in the way they understand. It’s very much the societal ‘norm’ to be in a relationship, and most of us consider marriage or a traditional family unit to be The Goal – with being single considered to be a ‘sad’ or ‘miserable’ existence. Whenever I’m catching up with friends I haven’t seen in a while, I am ALWAYS asked how my love life is, before questions about my health, work, or friendships. And when I say ‘oh I’m single’, it’s often met with ‘you’ll find someone’ or ‘at least you have your flat’ which feels really detached from how I feel about it. I want to find someone – eventually – but I’m really not getting twisted about it, I honestly don’t really care that much and in brutal honesty, I find the concept of doing what Everybody Else is doing, kinda boring (sorry). 

Still, I sometimes find that this societal norm unconsciously creeps into my own perception of myself – I catch myself thinking I must be ‘unsuccessful’ because I haven’t found The One – despite the fact I have a great job that I love, I’m a home owner, I have great friends and, in materialistic honesty,  a wardrobe of clothes that makes me really happy.  When I confront my own unconscious bias, I realise I’m not even sure I LIKE the idea of marriage, and I remain unconvinced that monogamy is healthy or even works for a lifetime. And I would MUCH rather be on my own, than experience the sheer loneliness of being in an unhappy relationship. 

Ultimately, I have to admit, that part of me BLOODY LOVES being single. Often, the thought of being in a relationship just makes me feel really, really tired. Dating can be really amazing, and there’s nothing quite like being in love, but when I see couples arguing, I feel that smug glow of knowing I am immune to that special kind of pain. I can make my own decisions, and revel in my own weirdness, and there’s no one there telling me I move around too much in my sleep, eat weird food, that my jeans are the wrong size, my underwear is too slutty or that I spend too long in the bath (*criticisms care of my various exes. Many thanks, huns.) I don’t have the AGONY of being scared someone has cheated on me, I don’t have to worry that my male friendships might upset someone, I don’t have to get dressed on Sundays. I can just Be Me, with the added benefit of feeling very mentally strong: I am living my life by myself and I am reliant on no one BUT myself for my happiness – it’s so bloody liberating.

I spoke to my pal Francesca about her experiences of being single – as someone who can also see the Joy in it! Over to Francesca (and sorry for such an extensive intro!)

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How long have you been single?

I never know how to measure this. I consider myself to have been single since I was 19 – so 19 years! – but I suppose I have had a few short-term relationships that I just don’t think count, for various reasons. Properly single: 6 years.

Are you single and ready to mingle or not currently dating?

Not dating. I did a bit of dating a year ago, and it was shit. The last time I’d dated consistently was 8 years earlier and it was All Of The Fun. What the hell happened? Why is it so AWFUL now?? Recently, I either dated guys who were overly keen (which freaks me out) or crazies who wanted to bring back the death penalty. Endlessly depressing – I bowed out pretty darn quickly.

What’s the best thing about being single?

I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. I can sit and watch TV all weekend and I don’t have to feel guilty about it. I can decorate my flat exactly how I want to because it is MINE. I have a whole king size bed to myself without someone being all limby and snoring next to me.  This stuff makes me pretty happy.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about being single? I find lots of people presume I’m really lonely or desperately searching for someone, but actually I’m not at all!

That I’m desperate, especially as I’m pretty old so my ovaries are rapidly shrivelling into raisins. I’m actually far, FAR from desperate, even though I did (do?) want children. I think, if anything, I’m getting more particular with time. I’m perfectly happy on my own, so the person who will make me want to stop being single will have to be pretty great. I wouldn’t settle now, I just don’t see the point. And I certainly wouldn’t want to have a child with the wrong person, just for the sake of having one.

Do you see yourself having another relationship in the future?

I hope so. Not to get all weird about it, but I don’t really want to die without ever having had a big love and sharing my life with someone. But, equally, I can’t see it happening any time soon. This may be because I’m not exactly putting myself out there and it’s impossible to meet anyone.  Also, I actually think I’d be a pretty

great girlfriend.  I’m independent and so used to my own space that I’d be happy for a partner to do his own thing.  I don’t think I would be very needy.  That certainly wasn’t the case when I was a lot younger…mental.

Are there any parts of being in a relationship that you miss?

Affection. Having someone there to talk to, to cook for, to share a bottle of wine with, to cuddle up on the sofa with, to have lazy weekend mornings with. My friends are largely women and gay men, so I do kind of miss having contact with heterosexual males. It would also be fabulous if someone wanted to pay half of my mortgage and deal with the special presents that my cat brings me.

What advice would you give a newly single person?

If you’re under 35 (and, importantly, female) then freeze your eggs. RIGHT NOW. Be a cliche – get a cat!  Buy all the stuff you like that your partner would have hated. See your friends – often. Embrace box sets.  And, for the love of god, don’t just go out with someone for the sake of going out with someone.  You’re better than that.
PREACH! Thanks so much for your time ❤ You can follow Francesca on Twitter here – @EffBeeee

Thanks for reading guys! To see more of me, follow me on Twitter @susieblues or on Instagram @susiebluesyy or on Facebook @susiedoeslife

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