Sunday, August 03, 2008

"Single right now, that's how I wanna be" or not?

Don't need to be on somebody's arm to look good 
I'm not saying I don't wanna fall in love, 'cause I would
I'm not gonna get hooked up just cause you say I should
I'm gonna wait so I'm sorry if you misunderstood
('Single' by Natasha Bedingfield)
Last night I watched Bridget Jones' Diary on television. I've seen it plenty of times before, but it got me thinking a bit about singleness and singletons (A self-description of individuals without romantic partners, particularly applied to women in their thirties introduced in the novel and film). Then an article in the Times Magazine form yesterday's paper turned that thought into the seed for a blog post. I'm also conducting a little market research over on the etsy forums. I'll throw in a random quotation from the article in The Times between every paragraph, to give you some food for thought!

There is so much stuff out there about singleness. A commenter on an earlier post told me to embrace my singleness. But what does that mean? How can I embrace my singleness? What are the differences between being single and being in a relationship? I have a feeling that this post may turn into one of those 'how long is a piece of string' type deals, but it'd be great to hear your opinions on some of these matters.

"That's the truth about being single; it can be horrendous, only I'm not allowed to admit it"

Being single all you have to think about is yourself. There's no one else to consider, no one else's feelings to be mindful of. You can jump on a plane and backpack across Australia, go scuba diving in the Caribbean, not worry when your pay check is spent and all you have is baked beans in the cupboard... So, why aren't I out there doing those things? I'm single, I have no responsibilities, why am I stuck here at home being boring and waiting for a man to come along? (Not strictly true, but to emphasise my point!) What am I doing with my life? How can I use my life better to achieve something, rather than waiting around for someone else? Surely I need to discover my own identity first, rather than hanging about for someone else to fulfill me.

"Prevailing 21st century thought [...] is trying to convince me that being single is the best thing that can happen to a person."

Several of the people who responded on etsy were single people who told me they thought singleness was a blessing. That they had too much 'baggage' of their own to go into a relationship with someone else. At what point does a person make that observation about themself? When does the thinking shift from 'when he comes along' to 'I don't want him to come along'. Is is even that they would turn down a relationship if the opportunity for one arose, or is it an excuse that people tell themselves enough times that they begin to believe it?

"The loneliness, the effort, that musty smell in your flat because you spend too much time in it [...] that's all in your mind. A fabrication. You're not bored, you just think you're bored because being single is fabulous! There are more than 3 million single people living in Britain today - everyone's at it, why not join in the fun?"

Personally, I'm single at the moment. I'd like to spend my time being single to achieve something. But, I have to admit that I don't want to stay single forever. I do want to do the wife and mother thing. I feel like a part of me would fail to be satisfied if that doesn't happen for me. I want to know the intimate more than friendship kind of relationship that comes with being married (As I've said before, I'm a Christian, and believe in sex only within a marital context. I'm sorry if other people don't agree, but this is my blog!)

I've always been one of those 'good with kids' type of people. I would love to have a chance to use those skills to care for my own children. I appreciate that I've just made the leap from being single to having kids, but for me, part of being in a relationship, specifically marriage is to procreate.

"If only there were some service that would reliably predict when any period of non-voluntary solitude would end, it would cut out the anxiety and allow single people to enjoy the good things about their lives: increased lucidity, productivity, creativity and self-awareness."

I don't think I've come to any conclusions at all here. I guess maybe I'm still confused about it all, or I'm just playing devil's advocate. But what do you think? Singleness, a blessing or a curse? Or something inbetween? If you're single, how do you embrace that singleness? If you're not, what should I be doing to embrace mine? And finally, anyone know any tall cute single christian men? ;)


carley said...

I love being single!
I had such an awful marriage, where I couldnt do what I wanted, where I had to ask permission for everything - to now living alone (ok with 3 housemates) I dont have to ask anyone anything.
I can eat what I want, I can go where I please, and I can date who I want to.

Being married vs single life for me - well, single hands down.
I must also add. .. I am 29, I have been single for 10 months - that was the longest time I have ever been alone in over 14 years of dating.
I went from a 4 year, to a 7 year, to a marriage.... and I have embraced "Carley time!" And long may it continue.

I dont need a man to make me happy, but one that can share in my happiness and fit nicely into my life- now that is a different story.

Bridget Jones was happy single.... She just smoked lots, went drinking, had good friends etc.
She was also happy with someone- so, I think the key is- Be happy in yourself, be a narcissist, then maybe someone will love you, as much as you love yourself x

Sarah Jane said...

I think that being in a relationship just to be in one would be an empty feeling, so judging the quality of my life from the view point of whether I'm single or not is a bit too simplistic.

I think that marriage could be a wonderful blessing, IF the person is a good match for me. Taking on a man just to have one would be worse than being single if he isn't a good match, so I'm always aware that what I want isn't to "no longer be single," what I want is to find a mate who enhances my life in that unique way that only a romantic partner can do, and for me to be able to enhance his life in return.

Because I don't want the "wrong" man, I'm more at peace with waiting for the "right" one. I'd rather it took him awhile to find me than I was sidetracked by someone who isn't good for me and missed him altogether.

I'm not sure if that's a conclusion either, lol.

Basically, I think that the best thing to do is try to live in the moment, make the life that you have the best that it can be and see what happens. And know that the feelings of loneliness and the frustration of waiting are very human emotions, so see them and understand them, but try not to let them own you.

Also, I do believe that there is someone for everyone, and I hope that you find yours at the best possible time for you. :)

Sew Bettie said...

I think you just have to play the hand your dealt so to speak. Your single at the moment so take advantage of the extra time to pursue your interests, pamper yourself, and meet lots of new people!

That's my $0.02 at least.