I love being single. I write about it, I live it, and just the other day I bought a candle I hadn’t bought in a year and I was thinking why does that smell so good, and I realized, the last time I bought that candle was right after my ex moved out. That was the smell of Freedom with a capital F, as well as lavender and vanilla.
So truly, I enjoy my single life. I love alone time, my freedom, and I trust that this phase of my life requires solitude. With that said, I love love, too, and I do sincerely hope to find a compatible partner that wants a healthy, fun, committed relationship one day, but I can say without a doubt I am truly happy without one, and if it never happens, I will be ok. I love my life, my friendships, my family, my art, my writing, my freedom, myself, and yes, my cats.
I know that while I’d love to pair up with someone great, I could still have a really fulfilling life if I never do, and that the grass is truly always greener.
Somehow, my Facebook and Instagram algorithms don’t know that I’m ok with being single. They know the clothes I’ll click on and want to buy, but they don’t know that I am happily single.
In fact, they are so clueless to this fact that they advertise engagement rings to me every single day, multiple times a day. The Botox ads have started showing up as well, as I inch closer to the other side of thirty. The pressure is real. Did OkCupid set them up to this? I would ask, but I’ve deleted all my dating apps for now. Maybe the two companies are conspiring to try to get me to re-download them.
I’ve noticed, too, that even though I don’t wear a ring on my ring finger, as I navigate my way towards thirty, the number of people I meet who ask me if I have kids, or make assumptions that I’m married grows.
The moral of the story is, I’m nowhere near being engaged, but those rings are really pretty — just kidding, sort of. The moral of the story is that being single during a pandemic has brought up some of the deepest solitude I have ever experienced, and even as a self proclaimed love-my-single-life kinda gal, it’s shaken me a little.
Accepting and Leaning In
The fact that single life can be challenging, however, is no reason to rush to find someone. Relationships have their own challenges, too.
The idea we are running out of time, or losing our reproductive viability or whatever other bullshit we’re supposed to be worrying about is often a fear tactic used to sell us things (Botox, anyone?) and a surefire way to end up in a rushed-job of a relationship.
So even though many of us have been faced with periods of being deeply alone this year, what if we came to radically accept it, and saw it as an invitation to strengthen the relationships we have with ourselves?
Even though I’ve been faced with a new kind of solitude, it’s liberating to accept it.
The truth is, we are alone. We’re together, with our people, and interconnected, but we are also alone, and that’s ok.
You Can Buy Yourself a Ring, a Dress, a Bouquet of Flowers, Chocolate, and a Good Vibrator
I have to say, I do not covet any of my friend’s spouses, (although I’m happy to see friends with truly good people) but some of those rings, man, they’re really sparkly. They’re really nice.
You don’t have to wait for someone else to give you the jewelry, the flowers, the chocolate, the compliments, support, or the vacations you seek. Give yourself the love you are waiting for.
Being Single in Modern Times
The pandemic initially challenged my love of being single, since it is often isolating. At first I was ashamed to admit that, but I know I’m not alone.
People in relationships are seeing true colors. People have died alone to prevent the spread of COVID-19. When all is said is done, that old adage rings true- we are born into this world alone, and we will leave it alone.
So I Put a Ring On Myself
So, I bought myself one of those pretty rings. I’m engaged to myself, and when I look at it, I know it means, “I’ve got you. I choose you. I love you. I’m here. I’ve got your back. I always will,” because you have to show up for yourself. You can’t break up with or divorce yourself, so you might as well commit to loving yourself ‘til death do you part.
When I look at my ring it also means: I don’t have to wait for a pretty ring, or settle for a so-so relationship just to get one. I can actually just buy one.
I’m not ashamed to want something glittery and a little fancy on my hand, and I certainly don’t want to have to wait for someone to gift it to me.
It means something for me to be able to treat myself.
What I realized though, was that I could hop on dating apps, and try to fill this longing, this fear of being alone, of dying alone, with the company of someone else, which I knew, internally, was a losing battle, since we can never rely on other people to fill us up. That is always an inside job.
Learn to Love It
I decided to own my situation instead. Sure, I may want partnership, but I’m also choosing to own and love this phase of my life instead.
So, I’m engaged to myself for now. The ring is gorgeous, because I know my own taste best.
It’s a little loose for my ring finger, so I’m wearing it on my index finger. Maybe this way there is room, and no confusion in the future, if another sparkly ring ends up on my hand.
I said yes to myself. The biggest perk is that I never have to worry about divorce, or a prenup, or in-laws, because it’s just me and me for now. And we are very happy together, because we’re choosing to be.
Plus, the relationship we have with ourselves is the only one guaranteed to last ‘til death do us part.