Single in the suburbs

Apparently, some people have a problem with this.

Mind you these are most likely the same people who are in a relationship built on convenience with expectations for someone else to “complete” them and fill in the gaps, usually resulting in disappointment with a dash of resentment thrown in.

Or they’re just nosy.

Either way, some people have a problem with other people being single. I can understand it when the “older” generation expresses confusion over hearing that someone my age is choosing to be single. Most of them married young, and while in love, it was also a strategic and expected move for financial and generational security. Heck, if you didn’t have kids, who would work on the farm?

But even today, most of society expects both men and women to get married, preferably before age 30 and have at least two children (one boy, one girl.) Being single is seldom seen as a choice, but rather the result of bad luck or crappy effort. Being alone is more often seen as boring, depressing, negative and a condition to remain in for only a short period of time.

Kind of like the flu.

To shorten this period of self-imposed spinsterhood, single women are supposed to date with regularity. If they don’t have a full dance card or at least a couple horror stories each month, people seem to take that as a go-ahead sign to join together the only two single people they know in an unfortunate event called a “blind date.”

Every time I get my hair cut, my hairdresser asks me, “So, are you seeing anyone special?” When I tell her no (just a whole bunch of unspecial people, ha ha) she will giggle conspiratorially–with scissors in hand, mind you. She will then proceed to tell me about another single client that would be perfect for me. Considering we have a 20-minute conversation every five weeks, I’m sure she’s more than qualified to make that judgment.

I smile until she puts down the sharp objects.

Don’t get me wrong! I appreciate the concern expressed by couples everywhere when they find out I pay my own mortgage, sleep alone in my bed or have no bridal registry to send them so they can go buy me a set of towels or a wok. It’s just that I don’t really see what’s so wrong with being single in the suburbs.

When you’re single, you can do what you want, when you want, with whom you want without having to answer to anyone. It allows you time to quietly sit and attempt to complete a thought, clean your house naked without worrying your partner’s friends will walk in and to never have to worry about the position of the toilet seat.

Being single also forces you to clean, (kind of) decorate, take an unnatural interest in home improvement stores, plan your own meals and activities, keep yourself entertained and take responsibility for paying your bills.

You can become intoxicated on the smell of a man’s cologne as he walks by without getting the evil eye (unless it’s from his girlfriend…or boyfriend.)

And if you have a headache, you don’t need to pack your bags for a guilt trip.

Is there anything wrong with being in a relationship? Of course not, and I would be remiss if I didn’t add that I do miss the companionship sometimes. With a partner you have a built-in confidant/therapist, baseball-watching buddy and standing weekend date. If both parties share the same values, goals and commitment towards once another, it can be spectacular. For this to happen, they also have to be okay with being alone.

In my opinion, the whole point of a relationship should be to share yourself with another person. The point shouldn’t be to try and get from someone what you think you’re lacking in yourself. For some reason, people often find this concept hard to grasp.

I am not one of them.

I’m okay with being single and can handle the quizzical looks and questions, even patiently explaining that I will in fact survive without someone to boot off my end of the couch. If it happens? Great. If it doesn’t? That just means I enjoy the middle of the bed a little more.

Apparently, some people have a problem with this.

I am not one of them.

What’s the best part about being in a relationship for you? Do you ever miss being single?


If you’re single, are you okay with it or always searching?

19 responses to “Single in the suburbs

  1. This is why we’re meant to be buds, for real.

    Some dude literally assaulted me this weekend with some schpeel about how how I’m an unnatural woman because I all I want in life isn’t to get married. I pretty much puked in my face. He also told me 5 times that he played sports in high school. Gosh, I almost couldn’t keep my panties on after I heard that one… Guys are so lame. I honestly wish I had it in me to turn the other direction. Girls are way less lame…

  2. Being single is great. I used to think I would never get married because I couldn’t imagine finding a guy who would give me the space I need. But, I did find a guy like that and now I don’t miss being single. I was never into dating. What a pain.

  3. I think that being alone may be one of the reasons I focus on food and try to control my body in that way. I know I’m only 19 and might be a little too young to worry about that – especially with college, the RD internship, and securing a career to worry about first, but maybe I’m lacking a close significant other who shares the interests and passions in life that I do.

    I’m not doing a lot of searching, that could be my problem. I just don’t think there would be someone who enjoys my hobbies as much as I do (cooking, eating, jogging/running, guitar, the occasional video game, healthy living, reading, etc.). I liked being single in high school because I could hang out with friends and not feel tied down like I did while I was dating someone. Now, with less friend interaction (college and life make friendships distant) I wonder if I could handle it again.

    Thanks for writing this post and making me give a good thought about it. And I don’t believe there’s any problem with being single at any age if that’s what someone wants or if that person is OK with it. It’s their choice and if they’re happier that way, then that’s 100% acceptable.

  4. honestly, i think it’s all about balance. i’m happy bc i’m in a relationship where i feel loved and comforted but am still able to lead an independent life of my own. balance. moderation. ahh, the terms appear again


  5. I’m single. And I’m okay with it.

    I sometimes miss what could be…don’t know if that makes sense.
    Like I have brief (once in a blue moon) moments where I kinda want someone to look at me and think “wow…she is just so amazing’.

  6. I think I’ve discussed this with you before, and you know I agree 120% percent with you.
    I’m open to date, but I’m not desperate. The only thing I do want no matter what is kids. But if I dont meet the right person for me, I’ll totally be open to doing the donor thing or maybe adopt. I dont feel pressured to have kids, but I crave raising some one. Hell, I might just end up raising a puppy or a koala in the end, but I would like to nurture some sort of creature, and it would be a pretty cool perk if it looked a little like me.
    Honestly, I think its actually looking better these days for us singletons. Its not the 50’s anymore where if you were single, you were cast off like the Salem witches. I guess the one gripe for me about being single is not having a man to kill off roaches and fix my tv or computer, but I guess thats what my dad is for!

  7. Amen to all of that. I’m in a relationship right now, but I’ve NEVER been the type to feel as though I needed to be in once constantly; I was single for the vast majority of college and never regretted it. Love all the points that you made, I think it’s a shame that so many people assume that someone who is single is inherently missing out or lacking something they are “supposed” to want, in many cases the opposite is true.


    i could have written this post i swear. i am an independent, freedom loving gal and being single allows me to do all the things i want to do when i want. that’s not to say someday i won’t meet a great guy who i am ready to settle down with, but i see no point in wasting time with people i don’t care about just for the sake of having a “boyfriend.” like mama e says, love will come when you least expect it. until then, us single ladies must enjoy what we have, because before we know it, we WILL be like miranda cleaning steve’s poop-stained underwear.

    p.s. i *LOVE* miranda’s “whole lot of unspecial people” line. that lady rules.

  9. The best part about being in a relationship is when I feel like … Crap! And the hubster holds my hair while I am sick and rubs my feet until I fall asleep

    And I know you didn’t ask for this but I am offering it up anyway 😉 the worst part is the decorating IF by some miracle we agree on it then we are always on two different schedules and one ends up annoyed (this week that’s me because I want to finish the tiling and I did all the major work and am now waiting for him to do all the detail work)

  10. Oh Abby…I would love to put this on my confession page but I have a feeling my hubby wouldn’t like it. I miss being single a lot of the time…for example, last night he came home from a “work” dinner at made enough racket to wake up the neighborhood. So I went to sleep at 11, woke up at 4am and the little bit of sleep I had was totally interrupted. Now if I was single this wouldn’t have been the case at all!

    Good for you for being happy with where you are in life…I think it is ridiculous that people expect you to conform to something just because you are at the age they deem it necessary.

    All I can say is that misery loves company…and most people in a relationship are often miserable. 🙂

  11. Yeah, hope you don’t mind me stealing the FYI bit…yours are much more entertaining though 🙂

  12. I think somehow I got lucky this go-round with my relationship. Until I met my hubs, I had no idea that a relationship could be healthy, fun and fulfilling. Sure, there are times of disagreement and compromise but it’s not like in my prior relationships were a discussion would turn into a major power struggle.

    I never thought I’d get married to be honest. And I think that your perspective is really healthy but I totally understand how irritating it might get when people are constantly trying to fix something that you don’t think is broken (everyone I know has been trying to fix the fact that I’ve been married forever and don’t have any kids. In this case my theory is that misery does love company and god forbid I should choose to wait or to not have kids at all….sorry to spew!)

  13. As long as you are happy with your choice, nothing wrong with it, be it single or married. I used to think I won’t get married ever until I met my wonderful husband. Don’t get me wrong, I respect those who prefer being single, that’s their own choice and I do not judge them. I hate it when people judging you just because of your life choice.

  14. One of the best things about a relationship is always having someone there to help you sort through your thoughts. Seeing which are rational and which are irrational.
    The worst is always having to explain why you are in a particular mood. At least these are some of the many reasons.

  15. I’ve been a relationship for about 5 months now, but it never would have worked out if I wasn’t totally comfortable with being alone first. I lived alone, in a studio apartment, cooking and cleaning for myself for about 6 months before we started dating. And that helped me figure out a lot about myself. I’ll still continue to live alone until I get married one day far off, but my boyfriend does come over most nights for dinner and/or to hang out. We both have the same values and enjoy our independence though, so it works out great right now.

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