If you’re single… you’ve seen it. That little flicker of the eye from your married friend – that look of, “you’ll find someone!” or “sorry you’re still single.” This exchange mainly occurs between two females, a married female (maybe even Mom, Grandma, Auntie?) and a single man, and on very rare occasions between two men. This topic is top of mind because I am headed to a family reunion next weekend and I will be quite literally, out of sixty people, the only unmarried female at this shindig. And I know I’m gonna get bombarded by the married ladies, so I’m mentally preparing here.
“Have you tried match.com?”
“Oh, I have someone for you- I should set you up.”
I would say 98% of these ladies mean well. And 1% may actually be a little jealous of your singledom. But there is 1% out there, that does actually feel sorry for you and your ‘plight’. This is because they were born to be married. They pictured no other life for themselves but being a wife and mother and nothing else. That is their soul’s ambition in this world. And guess what? This post is for you – the happy moms that feel bad for me- I’m pleased as punch that life is great on your side, but so is mine. It’s just different – that’s all – and here’s why.
1) We get to do whatever we want whenever we want.
Probably the single most amazing wonderful thing about being single. I want to do _______. Guess what? I can. I just do that thing. No need to ask permission. No need to take into account age requirements or height or schedules. I want to go to Disneyland today? Ok, I’ll go. Bar? Yep. Thailand next week? Great. Yoga four days a week? Sure, why not. I feel like lounging at the pool- by myself? Wait, with a huge group? Strike that, Palm Springs with a few other single gals? Done.
2) Alone time.
So, yes, holidays can be a little lonely- but we usually make the best of those times and latch onto family or friends. Maybe both in one day.. we can flit about easily because it’s just us. Maybe another one wants to join in for the ride. And it turns into some brews in Kenmore until 2am. That’s cool. Or hop into bed early and take a snooze. I’m not the one who has to put the bicycle together in the garage in time for Christmas morning.
The other 360 days a year that aren’t holidays are pretty nice. I tend to be pretty productive in my alone time. I get a lot done. And I love naps. I take a nap daily- it keeps the noggin running smoothly. I come home to a house that has remained untouched- the dish in the sink is mine and that’s it!
3) Sleep time.
4) Date a person, date two, date three.
Dating whomever whenever I want: Listen, I went out on a date with Ryan Gosling. Yes, that one. I’m not going to tell you much more than that, other than he is very, VERY hot. How many of you married moms would be able to accept a date with Noah from The Notebook? Ok, maybe that is your ‘freebie’ that you and your hubs decided on. But me? I was single. I just accepted, and it was one of my favorite date memories of all time.
Dating different people: I’ve dated all sorts of guys. Brain surgeons, fighter pilots, actors, producers, lawyers, business men, entrepreneurs, sales people, MBAs, of all races, religions, income levels. Some were one date, some were years. Every person showed me something new. I learned a new perspective, a new topic, or about interesting adventures. I was able to get to know these unique (and typically very handsome) guys because I was single. Yes, you may know some of these guys as ‘friends’ or your husband’s friends… but it’s a bit different to go on a date and be treated to dinner by them one on one.
The other fun part – although it does take some effort and planning, is that you can date a few people at a time. I know this sounds slutty, but I don’t mean it that way. It’s nice because it keeps things very interesting and really helps you see how one of these guys could/not be a potential future partner.
Meet new people to date: There’s opportunity any which way you turn. How many times have you been somewhere- the grocery store, dry cleaners, and met someone when you weren’t expecting it? Well, as a single person, this can happen to you somewhat frequently. I’ve met dudes on the shuttle bus home from a concert, in a bathroom line… I even met a guy once while waiting for a different date to show up. The best part is that you can always find a new date if you want to.
Quick piece of advice to married friends: I don’t mind setups- I don’t. But the thing is- I don’t actually really need them. Just like I don’t need online dating. I’m not saying this to sound cocky, but I am an attractive girl with a good personality, so meeting people comes very easily to me. So the only request I have for a set up is that you are setting me up because you honest-to-God think I am going to marry this person. Not because we’re both single and cute and darn it, we just love him and we love you and want you both married and happy. It is because you think we could be soulmates- otherwise, no offense, it’s kind of a time-waster. I’ll make the best of it and meet new people- which I love doing- but it ain’t going to be a romantic connection 9/10 times- if not 10/10 times! May be a good idea to not set up anyone- unless they ask you to.
Self: When you are alone you have a lot of time to yourself. Especially in your head. Bubble baths, naps, meditation, reading- all without interruption – especially if you live alone like I do. It gives me a chance to get to know myself better and work on things about myself that I want to explore further.
Work: I can take promotions, move, change jobs with ease – no worries about neighborhoods, school districts, uprooting families. It gives me an opportunity to work up the ladder without having to sacrifice the remaining members of a family.
Life: You’ve seen from previous posts that I completed my Yoga Teacher training (apparently my certificate is on the way!). And I’ve completed a fashion design certificate as well… all things a married mom could do, no doubt. I will say of the married moms who took the course with me- a couple didn’t make it through.. the ones that did had to have the support of their hubs. I don’t need that- since I’m single, I can just do it. And I keep doing it. I keep signing up for things and learning new things because I have the time and availability to do so. Continual and continuing education.
Travel: Well, everyone can travel if they want to – but when you’re single, travel’s a little different. Maybe you go on your own, or maybe you go with a friend. Regardless, you are only in charge of yourself, and no one else- so you can float about, change plans, meet new people, stay awhile longer… it’s all up to you yourself and you. One of the best things about traveling alone, is when you get lost, you truly do find yourself. And what a great confidence booster that is.
As a single person, this is probably what I take advantage of the most- I am going on three major international trips this year, I did one on my own and met a ton of people, I have one with family, and one with a friend. I can get away like that. I can and did book a trip to Thailand two weeks prior to departing. I can fly to Sydney and stay with whomever I like. I’m single.
I do make plans much of the time like my married mom counterparts, and usually they are plans just related to me. But living here in the South Bay requires a bit of spontaneity. If you are a single person, I am convinced this South Bay characteristic is just easier. If someone stops by or wants to walk on down to the beach- and it’s just you? Well, sure, why not. Nowhere to be, no kids, no spouse. Let’s roll on down to the beach/concert/a coffee/the sunset. Keeps you on your toes.
7) Money money money money.
When you earn the money, well, you keep the money. Manis, pedis, facials, trips, cars, houses, donations, all for you. Down payment, mortgage, rent is all you as well. Everything I’ve done, or owned – I’ve done for myself. There’s some pride in that.
8) Love and Friends.
Since we don’t have a wife/husband and in many cases, no kids- our ‘love’ relationships are going to be a little different. Maybe it’s our immediate family, a best girl/guy friend, nieces/nephews, work friends. We rely a little more on others because we aren’t in a marriage. When something’s going down, I reach out to girlfriends first. When I’m thinking of taking a promotion, I call my Dad. You may have these relationships too- the difference is that these our our only relationships, so they become that much more important to us.
I think everyone knows what’s crappy about being single. We’ve all been there at one time in our lives. I wanted to show you what’s awesome about being single, so instead of feeling sorry, be happy for your singleton friend. Wish her the best. Don’t uproot her plane seat so you and hubs can spend an extra hour together on that flight. Don’t stick her at the table with all the married moms at a wedding. She really wants to be at the kidless couples table or the single’s table. Don’t always just talk about baby shiz.
Ultimately everyone wants to find love, and you have, dear married moms, and hopefully it’s amazing and lovely. We want that too. But this is what life has handed to us, and we’re gonna maximize our opportunities, no matter what. And to my single brothers and sisters? Enjoy it. We’ll be married moms/dads before we know it.