Rant: Tired of Defending a "Party of One"

As a blogger, nothing gets me going better than comments. It’s when people comment that we know we’ve said something not only worth reading, but worth considering, and sometimes even worth arguing.

Yesterday’s posting
inspired a bit of a discussion between a couple of readers, so I’ll excerpt those comments here:

Anon: “And that’s the secret about being single, it’s realizing life doesn’t have to only be in parties of two.”

Even when you realize it, you need to make a conscious effort to remind yourself of it every single day. We’re all being bombarded with that you’re-nobody-until-somebody-loves-you message 24/7, and it can be hard not to be swayed by it even when you know better.

CJ commented: I actually don’t find it all that difficult to ignore that kind of generalized message. I’ve come to really believe you can’t love somebody until you love yourself; stir in a general skepticism of ‘socially accepted’ concepts, with a dash of the cynical standby “people in large groups are stupid,” and it becomes surprisingly easy to dismiss whatever subliminal messages might be thrown my way.

Anon retorted: If you buck the pairing trend long enough, the messages become overt as well as subliminal. You may not agree with the ideals of society, but you still have to live in it & interact with it every day. Sometimes having to be constantly prepared to deal with flak for being alone gets old; sometimes it causes doubts. If you don’t find yourself occasionally susceptible to that, then good for you.

This is going to be a heated post, hence why it’s a “rant”. But it’s easy to think I’m aiming this at CJ, but I’m not. If you read the comments after this posting, I’ll expound in there. Long story short is, his comment just inspired me. Heh. For better or worse, hey?

I’ve always been the kind of person who would rather be single than fuck around swimming in a dating pool filled with less than desirable options. I go through dating phases, and either I find someone, or the search for someone begins to tire me and I think “All this bullshit energy I’m wasting looking for someone could be used to live my life instead, so what the fuck am I looking for, really, anyhow?” followed by a realization of, “I don’t even need this!”

Someone asked me the other night why I haven’t been at least trying to get laid, and the answer was simple, “A, my options for getting laid haven’t been inspiring, and, B, the only thing worse than not getting laid is having bad sex, so, I’m opting out for now.”

And because I think like this, you’d think it’d be easy for me to ignore the “You’re nobody till somebody loves you” old line that keeps running through society and crooners of an age gone by.

And you would be wrong.

I’m often finding myself feeling like a loser because I feel left out in love. It may happen for only 30 seconds, or it may happen for three days, but it happens. Why? Because I’m made of flesh and blood and I’m stuck in a world infinitely bigger than me. It happens. And it will continue to happen.

When people like CJ can flippantly say “Yeah, well, ignore it”, it makes me think of two things. Either he’s under 25 and hasn’t experienced the way flying solo feels when you get embroiled in your career, and life is full of long days and nights that become more quiet than not, and week after week after week after week, or he’s just never opted to fly solo long enough.

And it all changes after 30. When you hit 30 and you start opting to be alone, like the Anon had said, the messages get more and more overt. Especially if you’re female. Of course guys should stay single and play the field! He can get shagged by different women all the time! But if you’re a woman, you’re an old maid-to-be, or slut like Samantha from Sex and the City.

“Well, wouldn’t you like to settle down?” gets asked of us. Like it’s some big switch we flick on and just magically find the perfect partner. Oh, here, let’s just turn on that big shiny neon “MATE ME” sign on my forehead, right? It’s THAT easy to fall in love and spend the rest of your life nestled in those lovin’ arms. And it’s a green light from our desire to finding the perfect mate for us? Just like that? So simple. Sign me up! Yeah, sure. Right.

Or we get “Wow, I can’t believe someone hasn’t snapped you right up yet?”, which encourages mental retorts along the line of “That makes fucking two of us, genius” or “You shoulda seen who wanted to do the snapping”, but instead we smile sweetly and say something coy, like, “Why don’t you tell me?”

Then we’re told by the media, “Well, there’s so many people out there looking! Look at the popularity of eHarmony and Lavalife! Finding a mate has never, ever been easier! You just have to look! Whoop, there it is!

The trouble is, finding a mate is easier than ever, but so too is getting rejected and being treated like shit. The online dating world is fraught with inconsideration, it’s-all-about-me attitudes, and probably way more promiscuity than any of us really realizes right now. For every bit of its appeal, there’s just as much downside, and as easy as it is, it’s also like ordering a side of bullshit, too.

The further you get over 30, the more inclined you become in keeping to yourself, the more overt these messages get. God help you if you’re a woman in her 40s who doesn’t see the need to date. The media always has you pegged as desperate to take any date that comes your way. It’s always the woman in her 40s or 50s who’s got her ear to the ground for any moving-and-shaking in the newly-eligible-man category. Like, “Did you hear Larry just got divorced? He’s available again!”

It’s bullshit. There’s not a lot of acceptance for those of us who seem to think life’s all right with me, myself, and I. Instead, we’re painted as being damaged goods or just trying to make positive of a negative situation, when the reality is, we’re living the life we know can be good, rewarding, and fulfilling, and we’re just tired of shaking up the mix with unnecessary dating that seems to never go anywhere other than closer to a steaming pile of bullshit with a few orgasms thrown in for kicks.

What’s wrong with putting the brakes on and being that relaxed, carefree person who’s not worrying about the bullshit races that come with life? Why do we get made to feel like we need to defend our decision to not swim with the relationship tide?

Why should we even have to fucking ignore any subliminal advertising anyhow?

You know what I think? I think it’s because half the fucking relationship-forever people are secretly, deep down inside, in places no one wants to talk about, jealous as all hell that we’ve got complete control over our time schedules, and they just want us to be as consumed by obligation and lack of space as they are.

Yeah, well, you people ain’t fucking fooling me, man. I know my single life is a good one. Sure, relationships are nice. When they work. The rest of the time they should come with signs that read, “I’m so wrong for you, you should run like the fucking wind, honey”.

I’m going to keep my options open, and if someone fabulous comes along, I’m going there. Oh, absolutely. Going, going, gone. I’m not going to let opportunity pass me by. None of us should.

But I’m not settling for anything less than I’ve earned, and, until that day comes, book me in as a party of one. With no apologies.