Living a singular life has its benefits and it has its drawbacks, just the same I’m sure, as a co-operative one.
When you’re single you can look at look at other people’s relationships and you tell yourself just how lucky you are that life is so uncomplicated because you really are only responsible for yourself. Life is manageable on your own, avoiding the complexities of intimate relationships is part of a whole long list of strategies you have in your toolkit to manage doing life alone and staying [mostly] sane.*
But I’m pretty sure we weren’t made to be alone, just look around you – all our favourite movies are about connection. I split my sides over Crazy, Stupid, Love on the weekend. It’s an absolute cracker that tells the truth about the complications of relationships (and a half naked Ryan Gosling only adds to the movie’s appeal) … But even the unromantic movies are all about relationships… about people’s connections to each other…
And yet, here I am 44 and going home to a cat, not a lover and so I have organised my life to make it work. I have an incredible community of people around me who never make me feel as though I’m alone, nor am I ever made to feel like I’m any less given that I’m single while the larger group of them are married. I have the cat so the house isn’t empty, and I spent time and money traveling to be with the people who love me the most, my family, whose relationships are crazy complicated and part of the reason I have no cause to regret being on my own…
But I’ve been life solo a long time that when the prospect of changing things arises I’m caught on a knife edge… Safety or Danger? Do I take the leap into complications or do I retreat, keeping things on the level, minimize risk and stay with the status quo?
Who am I kidding?
I’d trade my singular status in a heartbeat which isn’t something I usually freely admit, even to myself.
I’ve told people that I’m happy, and comfortable, and acutely aware of just how complicated life could be if I let myself go there – and it’s completely true. But it is equally true that I don’t want to do this on my own forever. Yes, in a way, life may well be less complicated now and could get more complicated if I was having to account for someone else in my world.
But given the choice between safety and danger?
F*ck it, I’d choose living dangerously… it’s how you know you’re alive.
*and of course, by you, I meant I…