13 November 2012

On Being Single


Very recently this article was published by the BBC about being single, suggesting that couples are often mean to singletons, as the writer has experienced. This is not something I've noticed as all my coupled friends are absolute darlings, and I love hanging out with them. However it seems to a sparked quite an uproar and there are some very interesting 'Single Stories' now on the website in response.

I thought I would show you a few of the more impassioned ones!

I currently live in China and the first thing people usually ask me is if I am married. I am not married and already 30 years old - something that is hard to understand in Chinese society. Thus, I agree, whether it is Western or Asian culture, being single is seen as odd and that is totally wrong. But I think the truth is that most single people are not happy about being single. It may sound trivial to say "all you need is love" . It's not to feel complete, not to meet family's expectations, not to kill the loneliness. We human beings need others to be truly happy. Hanna, China

After spending most of my life being married to various people, I find being single like a breath of fresh air. No, actually it is more like being released into Paris in springtime after being chained up in the Bastille for a few hundred years or so. So we are not supposed to be alone, are we, you cosy and smug little lovebirds? Well I pity you, and I am so glad I am not like you. I don't have to be part of a double act all the time. I say what I think instead of the sickening "We like x, don't we Sweetie?'', with the mandatory affirmation. Shudder. I do what I want to do, when I want to do it, and how I want to do it. If I want company, I go out and get it. If I want to slam the door on the outside world, watch any old TV I like, eat pizza, drink beer, and just chill out - hey, what's to stop me? And when I see those poor little men rushing around pandering to their "better halves" and scampering home by curfew, then like James Brown, oooo, I feel goooood! By the way, I can already see you lovely couples reading this. And she says "We wouldn't like to be single again, would we darling?" "Of course not, dear." John, Brisbane, Australia

I am a spinster. I earn my living and will live and die as my own mistress. I am not single as single denotes available and seeking someone. I choose to be a spinster- meaning I live alone and I am not seeking a partner. I am not gay. I have had long term heterosexual relationships. I have always wanted to live as my own mistress. I neither desire man, woman nor beast. I came into this world alone and I will depart alone - so why should I be afraid of my own shadow? I have always described myself as a spinster because like those unsung heroines of old women such as myself are derided, ostracised, feared (that you are so desperate you are artfully scheming to snatch their partners from them), pitied and above all have to earn their living. Yes I do need the company of others to evolve but not the singular companionship of a partner. No I am not a misanthrope. I am simply a confirmed spinster. Rosie, London

I am 33 years of age, although still young in some people's eyes. I am happily single amongst the majority of my friends, whom if not in a settled relationship already, then the current direction of the relationship they are in is going in that manner. But those who are not in any form of relationship all seem to be chasing this ideal of being part of a couple. But I am sorry, that is not my aim in life. I am perfectly happy to be single. It is uncomplicated. I don't have to appease anyone else other than my dog. I am free to do whatever I want and when I want. I'm responsible for my everyday living, my luxuries in life, my way of living and my own happiness. I think nowadays there is too much expectation on being part of a couple. Why should I chase that? I was born as an individual and encouraged as I grew up to think for myself. So I certainly don't think I am missing out in anything. I say to all my friends, I love being single and can never see a time I will think any different. Arlene, Glasgow

I am a 50-year-old, childless spinster. I nearly married a couple of times and fell deeply in love with a third, but it wasn't to be. The gift of personal freedom is a rare and beautiful thing, we just don't know how to use it. Once you do it really changes the way people look at you- they don't feel sorry for you because you are spending Christmas on your own, because you're not, you're spending it in Bali on a spa retreat and come back in the New Year lithe and rested. Secondly, never look at a couple and assume they are having a better time than you. Don't be jealous of someone else's life - you don't know they may be having lousy time behind closed doors. You can be isolated and lonely in a relationship - at least if you wake up on your own you are free to do something about it. No one is more surprised than me that not only after a few years I began to find the single life seductive. It is possible to be single and have a really nice life. Sarah, Perth, Australia


1 comment:

  1. I can't remember ever wishing I had a boyfriend, and now I have one I still cherish time alone. I think people who don't like being single just don't know how to entertain themselves! I do appreciated that sometimes it's hard not to be affected by other people's expectations ("when are you going to find yourself a nice fellow to settle down with?" etc) but that doesn't stop when you're in a couple either ("when are we going to see some grandchildren, then?")!

    I guess if you are happy with yourself, then you'll be happy whether you have a partner or not.