Singled Out

For most of my life, I've been single.
Yes, I've had 2... almost 3... long term relationships with dead ends, but really, I've pretty much still been viewed as the single.... spinster type. And, of course, I've dated a multitude of frogs with no real hopes for any future.

While I've craved the joys of snuggling up to someone on a daily basis as do couples married or simply living together... and this thing called love....   The things I don't crave are the daily bickering, arguing, the usual insecurities that follow us from previous relationship baggage we lull around endlessly, hoping it will just spill out behind us permanently without a second look... The list can go on and on.

I don't shit on all of that.
And I endlessly and hopelessly try, try again regardless of all the failures I've had and clearly, continue to have.
It's part human nature and the loneliness that sometimes accompanies it, and it's part societal standards and following the pressures of being with someone.
Just keeping it real.

Still, there are PLENTY of good and positive things about being single that most people fail to realize.
You don't have to check in with anyone on anything.  You can just pick up and leave at the drop of a hat.
You can flirt endlessly with others knowing nothing will come out of it but also knowing that you're not hurting anyone's feelings.  I mean, we're all adults, after all.  You can say anything you want, do anything you want, however you want, within reason and without having to answer to anyone.  Why settle for just anything in order to join the multitudes of miserable couples?

But the absolute worst part of being single?
Having several epiphanies about who your "friends" really are.

How does one relate to another?
Well, one of the most threatening thing to a so called stable couple is a single (and attractive) friend.
Remember what I mentioned earlier regarding insecurities and baggage?

When you are single and fairly attractive and pretty much all or most of your friends are in relationships, you start to get shunned.  I'm not sure if they realize at all times that they're doing it. But it certainly happens.

You go to dinner and people who don't know you constantly ask where your husband or boyfriend is and when you tell them you're single, they give you an uncomfortable smile, make some small talk about the weather or the news and walk away stating that they believe someone else is calling them over, even if there's no one there.

If you take a friend of the same sex, they automatically assume you're a gay couple, regardless of what they are told.  Because why on earth would you be in your late 20's or early 30's and not be attached?
If you take a friend of the opposite sex, they automatically assume it's your spouse.

And here's the kicker in this scenario... if everyone knows you already, they will invite some pathetic single person you would NEVER be interested in and try to set you up indirectly by seating you with them "accidentally" and talking them up every single second they can get about that person's coin collection or costume obsession.  And if you're lucky, you'll have something in common with them... "Tracy, did you know John rides the train and enjoys pizza?"  Here it is John knows so much about Tracy, because he's already been filled in, sexy pictures and all, and Tracy had no idea she was going to get bombarded with an intervention.  By the end of the night John is already talking about marriage and how many babies he wants, and Tracy is just looking for a way to escape without John being able to stalk her escape route.  Weeks later, Tracy's wondering... "how the hell did John get my number?" after his 10th heartbroken messaging stating that they are "meant to be" and should go to Vinny's for the perfect slice of pizza where he is planning on proposing with some gaudy $2 ring.  Yeah, I went there.

Eventually, these same couples start to look at you like you're clearly hopeless because you won't just settle for the very next person to come along.  When you point out things like, that person has grandchildren or that person is an ex-convict, they tell you that you're being too picky.  And they stop inviting you to places.
There will be a basketball game for instance, that they will have extra tickets for that they need you to use, and instead of thinking of offering them to you, because you clearly don't have someone in your life (not like you can take a friend or anything), they only offer the tickets to other couples.  Never taking into consideration that you may have even gone by yourself and enjoyed the same damn game.  Because that's impossible right?  All single people MUST be miserable and find no joy in doing some things alone.

Then you have your semi-decent friends who are in relationships who still try to hang out with you whenever they can by planning shopping trips, brunches, things you wouldn't normally do with your partner but wouldn't be taboo to do without them.  Those little excursions die off as well because now their partner doesn't feel comfortable letting your friend hang out with you.  Because surely, if you're single you must be a bad influence trying to convince your friend that they should leave them, taking them to strip clubs or whorehouses, right? Still aren't you lucky you still get the occasional "Happy birthday" text from these individuals?

I can honestly say, without a doubt, that I have 4 sets of friends, that are couples, one of these couples is actually family, that has NEVER ever made me feel like I'm a pariah.  Everyone else has basically weeded themselves out of my life.  These friends are the ones you should hold near and dear because they usually don't judge and just allow you to live freely, never asking you the annoying questions of whether you're dating anyone or trying to date anyone.  They basically leave you alone and let you do your own thing, still inviting you to their events, gently letting you know that if there is someone you'd like to bring you can, but never any pressure, and that's that.  Those are the keepers.

As for those of you reading this right now, guilty of being part of the plague I've mentioned earlier... I ask you to stop being so judgmental.  If you don't plan on keeping your single friends around unless you're single yourself, then you're not a real friend, regardless of how you attempt to portray yourselves.
If you're the type who only reaches out to your single friends when you're having a problem in your relationship, don't be surprised when you're the one who gets shunned.

This post was brought to you by the letters I and S... and sponsored in part by the number 2015.




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