I’ve been single for six years. This is a big deal to me in some ways, and I’ve started to notice recently that I feel some self-consciousness about it. I find myself wondering in moments how people see me and what they think about the fact that I’m decidedly single and have been these past years. There seems to be something about it that makes others uncomfortable, and yet my experience directly refutes that anything is fundamental wrong with not being partnered.
People sheepishly ask me all time if I’m dating someone, and for the most part my answer is no. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve dated lots, but there’s dating and then there’s dating. I’m not dating anyone, although I do date and it's been a really amazing process in many ways, yet I live in a culture where being partnered up, or at least sleeping with someone on a regular basis, is the norm, and I am not. I’m not celibate either, but I don’t do FWB nor do I hookup, I am simply and easily just single.
The very interesting part is that after all this time I love it. Over these few past years, I’ve learned how to be with myself in a way that allows loneliness to exist when it arises without allowing it to move me in any certain direction in order to get rid of it. I think being lonely is an existential experience, meaning we all feel it and is an intrinsic aspect of our human experience. I’ve decided that I’m not going to let feeling lonely be a reason to get involved with someone in order to avoid feeling it, nor am I going to distract myself with all sorts of experiences. Ultimately, this would just postpone the inevitable reappearance of said loneliness. The truth is, ironically, that the more I feel the loneliness the less lonely I actually am.
I’m not exactly sure how I envisioned my future when I was younger, but being single and living alone in my early fifties is not a scenario I ever imagined would come to pass. Being childless and living alone in a bedroom community on the West Coast was nowhere in sight or mind; however I can’t imagine myself anywhere else in the world right now. I have a lot of acquaintances and quite a few really close, intimate friends. I’m a pretty social person overall, so many of my needs for connection are met through these relationships. I get reflected in a wide variety of ways that give me a sense of the goodness that I inhabit, the intelligence that I’ve developed, and the wisdom that I embody. All lending to a solid sense of self and confidence that buoys me up every day.
My life is entirely my own, and somehow the universe has set me up to have an incredible amount of freedom to develop my abilities in ways that inspire more love, connection, and truth around me. My life is not perfect by any means, but I honestly don’t need a partner to be happy, and in some deep fundamental way this is very pleasant news to me.