What’s it like to be Single At THIS Age? Hint: it doesn’t suck
What’s it like to be single at this age?
Even for someone who writes and reads and thinks about single* life in America, this is a tough question to answer.
Not because of my age, or yours. Because, regardless of age, the question I actually end up answering is, what is it like not to be married?
And that, my friends, drives me BAT. SHIT. CRAZY.
Seriously. Why can’t single be a thing by itself? Why is single always a NOT thing, i.e., NOT MARRIED?
Not married is the very definition of single. On the other (ring-less) hand, married is only NOT SINGLE when a married person is DTF, er, I mean, considering adultery. How is that fair? (And don’t get me started on how the single person is forever blamed when a spouse strays.)
OK, rant over. Outrage is my go-to emotion whenever I am confronted with examples of singles getting the short end of every stick and it tends to show up in blogs and conversations before I can get a diplomatic hold on myself. #sorrynotsorry
Try to overlook the snark that inevitably ensues whenever I open my mouth or laptop. I promise, I do know a little about what it is like to be Single at this Age—after all, I have been single at every age. I also know I hated being single, for long periods, for one main reason.
Being single is different.
Different is not good.
Maybe you have enough self-confidence to enjoy being different. Not I, not without a lot of therapy anyway. From the moment I was born, a blue-eyed blonde April baby to a family of brown-eyed brunette Februarians, I was the “one of these things not like the others.”
You know the next line in this Sesame Street sing and learn song, right? “One of these things does not belong.”
Right. My siblings teased me mercilessly, declaring I must be adopted and proclaiming that nobody loved me. So that’s what I learned, and boy, it does a number on a little girl.
I am still not over it.
With that as a back-drop, here’s what being single is like, for me, at every age so far.
From 0-9, as per Lady Gaga, I was on the right track baby, born this way, like everybody in the world. Can someone explain how single became “different?”
10-19: Single and supposed to be; boy crazy is just crazy.
20-29: Single and sure— sure that I can get married, later, because I sure was having fun.
30: Single and searching, and swearing I am not desperate. I wasn’t. I wasn’t sure I wanted to get married; nothing to be desperate about here, move along.
31-39: Single, successful and soaring—at work. Seeking, sweating and scratching my head at romance. One of these things is not like the others.
40: Single, scared and shattered. Unsettled, unhappy, unhinged. Maybe I didn’t want to get married but I didn’t want to END UP ALONE. I still shuddered remembering my panic.
41-49: Single, semi-stable and semi-suffering. Thinking about single-motherhood. Thought the better of it. Got a puppy. Then another puppy.
50: Single, surviving and stabilizing. Settling in. Alone, not lonely. Traveling, remodeling, making more friends. Exhaling.
51-?: Single, secure and sane. Surprised that life is good, I am in the best shape physically and emotionally. Finally, single doesn’t suck.
Whatever age I am or was or will be, sorting through being single- being different- can be a struggle for me. I can’t blame this one on my gene pool, nope. Instead I spent too many ages torturing myself with ‘why, why have I never married?’
Perhaps I prefer unwedded bliss but fear saying it in case the universe is listening and takes me seriously. Perhaps I prefer my own company, or perhaps the prospect of someone else living in my house is unbearable. Perhaps I don’t know how to close the diamond-ring deal.
Come to think of it, I did cancel a wedding and break an engagement. Hmm…
The trouble with questions like ‘why?’ and ‘what’s it like?’ when unwed is the subject is, the answers are generally negative, and generally I use them to beat the crap out of myself. Silly me. Really.
No matter what my age, all the anguish about my marital status obscured my otherwise pleasant existence– an existence I sincerely appreciate(d) at every age.
I adore living alone. I make a decent amount of money. My home is beautiful. My dog is so freaking cute and so freaking bad. My family is close and close-by. My friends—most of whom are single—are wonderful, reliable and fun. I have a fabulous wardrobe and no one nags me about too many shoes.
I love my life, just as it is, and I probably would have loved it a lot sooner if I was allowed to. You know what I mean? We can’t be content single in this country. No one believes us.
Would I like to be half of a couple? Sure but to be honest, I am often amazed that married people aren’t jealous of me. My days are simple, my nights are peaceful. If there is a mess, I made it. Oh, and
ALL THE CLOSET SPACE IS MINE.
What’s it like to be single at this age? Different. Better.
*The use of single on this blog is limited to the legal definition, i.e., not married. I like to KISS.