Thoughts on Being Single

It is not good for man to be alone. Nevertheless, many of us are. In this world filled with vexing issues, tumultuous challenges, and inevitable vicissitudes, the fact is that a lot of us are alone. Not alone in a sense that we do not have people around us, but alone in the sense of a profound absence of that cosmic connection of amorous unity. Yes, I mean romance – an emotional alliance with another human reaching beyond that of quotidian acquaintance and concern. For me, the extent of this absence and the alone-ness of so many (myself included), is a very disheartening thing.

At the time of this writing, I happen to live in the largest concentrated population per-capita of young single adults in any area of the United States of America and arguably the world when compared culturally. The looming ambience of love, couples, relationships, and dating is like a dense fog – hardly navigable save for the enduring light of one’s own self worth despite the never ceasing barrage of…well…singleness. Myself and many members of my circle have far too much experience with this business of being single, and the countless weekend nights spent in solitude in the upper room of my house watching Netflix, reading books, or contemplating my lack-luster love life has allowed me to come to some enlightening conclusions.

Being single can be desperately discouraging or invigoratingly liberating – never at the same time and with very little in-between. If you happen to be single, your singleness, especially in the presence of married or otherwise mutually involved individuals, is an underlying conscience often at the forefront of everything you think and do. Third-wheeling, being the only one in a roller-coaster car, buying one movie ticket, eating both Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and bitterly wondering why they come in pairs in the first place instead of just one larger cup, or resorting to doing nothing at all on a given summer evening simply because you have no one are all tremendously real circumstances you might find yourself in regularly. Conversely, not being pendant of another person, saving money, enjoying little to no dramatic misunderstandings, avoiding the agony of unanswered text messages, and the simple mental state of not having to answer to anyone or anything can be healthy. In truth, there are two sides to every coin, and for those of you who were recently liberated from a less-than-ideal union of any sort, I congratulate you and realize that your attitude will likely sympathize more so with the invigorated than with the discouraged. Likewise, I equally acknowledge the hosts of people that frankly would give anything just to receive a “Goodnight :)” text from someone they fancy. Indeed, the Facebook relationship status option of “It’s Complicated” is an appropriate, profound, and totally underrated human condition.

Allow me to introduce a character that many of you might know personally or otherwise be acquainted with. This might even be you. I refer not to a specific individual, but to a figure or idea. This person is what I like to call the Empowered Single. The Empowered Single is one who, despite being single, has managed to achieve a respectable amount of secular success. This success may come in the form of academic degrees and honors, position in the workplace, world travel, money, attractiveness, possessions, or for some even all of the above. When the traditional model of our society is that of a married couple family prancing happily or posing perfectly in a carefully curated Instagram post, these Empowered Singles loudly demonstrate that being single can, in fact, work out too. This might be the recent medical school graduate you know who purchased a beautiful new home, drives a Tesla, and happens to still be single. Or the ex-boyfriend you have that has escalated the corporate ladder in high finance, has an exceptionally toned physique, and apparently also lacks a significant other. These among countless other types are part of our world, and despite the myriad of different approaches and outcomes of their success, there is one thing they all have in common – one constant I am willing to bet on, and that is that all of these Empowered Singles, or at least a large percentage of them, would trade much of what they have if not all of it just to have someone to share it with. And not just anyone, but someone. Genuine companionship. I think that everyone wants that. Everyone needs that.

The key to being single, according to my experience, is to focus equally on your own self-improvement in the meantime so as to one day be whole-heartedly willing and prepared to be everything and do everything for a someone. If your singleness and the downright implosion of your confidence and hope for real love has perpetuated to even the slightest degree that mine has, it is all too easy to compare yourself to those happily married or dating or even those Empowered Singles and get downright devastated and bitter – especially when they are your friends. If you are not being sharpened by success, allow yourself to be forged by failure. Consider this time alone a precious resource as you develop yourself and seek that upward momentum. This, in theory, should only add to what you have to offer. In turn, your righteous pursuits will lead you down a path straight to the person that, somewhere right now, is looking for you, too. You need to be ready for that. This is what I’ve concluded for myself, and I’m pretty happy with it.

Being single is the worst, especially when I feel like I have a lot to offer as a hopeless romantic – aimlessly wandering this barren wasteland of love. I don’t doubt that many of you feel the same. But that cannot hold us back, because this energy is too valuable to waste. So become someone great, and don’t give people an excuse to ignore you. I trust that things will work out one day for everyone whether in this life or the next. But until then, I’m in the process of becoming someone for someone. And though sometimes being single has it’s advantages (like rocking the single rider line at Walt Disney World and not sharing food), it is an inarguable fact that a table for two is always better than a table for one.

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