If philosopher Viktor Frankl could put up with the Nazis, why couldn’t I put up with being single? As I struggled to feel ok about my situation, Frankl’s teachings kept taunting me. He survived a concentration camp. I had barely survived two years of being on my own.
I was a failure. I was shallow. I couldn’t stop thinking about why being single sucked. Here are just some of the reasons I came up with:
- Being judged. People make all sorts of funny assumptions about you. Like that you must be having a wild, swingin’ fun time. You must be promiscuous. You must have a massive disposable income. You must want to sleep with other women’s boyfriends. You must be too picky. Or too desperate. Or both! Perhaps you’re a bit too weird to have a boyfriend. And you must be sad and lonely.
- Being sad and lonely. (Ok you just are sometimes.)
- Being rudderless. At a certain point it’s hard to plan your life when you have no idea if you’ll get married or have kids. Yep, the whole “kids” thing can certainly lead to a few sleepless nights…
- Not getting any. Your coupled-up friends go to great lengths to cock block you when they fear you’re in danger of ‘lowering your standards’.
- Still not getting any. Having to be the moral handbrake for randy guys with partners. This is so unfair (and often ball-breaking as they tend to be handsome and charming).
- Yep, still not getting any.
- Social leprosy. You’re off the invitation list until you’re part of a nice, acceptable couple again.
- Low status. When it’s you vs a couple it’s always two to one. This is particularly galling in shared accommodation situations when your flatmate’s girlfriend gets her way despite not paying rent. (And you never get the couch.)
- High living costs. When you’re half of a de facto or married couple, your accommodation costs are halved. Your utility and food bills decrease. Holiday costs are lower. You no longer have a primal urge to deposit your income in bars in an attempt to find a mate. The negative economic ramifications for single people are huge.
- Social invisibility. Your problems are not important. You are one person, and therefore inherently selfish. (Not to mention promiscuous / weird / having an indecent amount of fun / sad and lonely.)
So it’s no wonder that without love, life can feel a bit pointless sometimes. Especially when you feel judged, isolated and marginalized because of a social crime you didn’t even want to commit. I’d like to see more love and less suspicion between ‘singles’ and ‘couples’. Hey, we’ve all been on the other side. And we probably will be again.
Anyway, I finally cured my single gal blues. All it took was moving into a place of my own.
My little 70s unit may not be a very profound solution.
But I really love it.