Being single is truly what you make of it. More so, being single is what you DON’T let others make of it. Just like with everything in life, there are certainly pros and cons. However, even the cons can be minimal depending on your attitude and how you approach the situation- particularly, tuning out those around you who have their opinions of your singleness. There were always be those who think a relationship completes them (and by them, they really mean you). Same goes for children. Others may think you are being unreasonable for expecting certain standards in a potential relationship. Trust me, I have heard them all. While I can’t speak for all the single people (ladies), this is my experience.
Being Single: The Pros
On my favorite radio show last month, they asked people why they enjoyed being single. This was the overwhelming response. Almost all the respondents said that they liked being single because they had the freedom to ___________. They had the freedom to travel where and when they wanted, freedom to eat cereal for dinner, freedom to go out with their friends when they wanted to…the list could go on forever. One of the hosts of the radio show said, “where were you that you didn’t have the freedom to do these things?” I believe there is some truth in that statement. In a relationship, you shouldn’t have to completely sacrifice/ lose yourself to be in that relationship. However, on the other hand, there will always be a certain level of compromise.
Take my grandparents for example. They have been married almost 62 years. My grandmother never gets to watch what she wants on television because my grandfather controls the remote- unless there is nothing on he wants to watch. My grandfather only likes to eat certain foods (because a lot of food doesn’t agree with him), so they only eat at certain restaurants when they go out. When my grandfather would go on a hunting trip each year, my grandmother and I would always go eat at a new restaurant. We would go something totally different- Thai, Mexican, Tex-Mex… She loved it!
While I am not opposed to compromise, complete and total freedom is certainly nice. I like coming home, deciding when and if I will eat dinner, what I will have for dinner, watching what I want on television, sleeping on the side of the bed that I want to, I can have the friends that I want to have, I can plan my life based only on when I work and what I want to do to fill in the blanks…again, the list can go on forever. I don’t have to justify anything to anyone. If I want to have a male best friend, than I can do that. When I want to have breakfast for dinner, I can do that. If I want to binge watch The Crown on Netflix or Numb3rs on Hulu, I can do that.
While a lot of this has to do with freedom, I see as it’s own pro. When you are single, you don’t have to split your time with your mate’s family. Growing up, I saw how difficult it was for my parents to schedule equal holiday time with both of their families. Each Thanksgiving and Christmas, we had to plan time with both my mom and dad’s families. As a kid, it’s wonderful. Two Thanksgiving dinners. Two sets of Christmas presents. Even as an adult, I enjoy it thoroughly- particularly since I don’t have holidays at my own house.
However, I have seen how complicated it can get once you add a mate into the mix. Imagine if a potential mate had two sets of holidays the way my family does! That would be four sets of holidays we would have to attend. While it is not impossible, the difficulty level of getting all the schedules to mesh certainly goes up exponentially.
Yes, compromise comes in to play again. However, from what I have seen, it often involves compromising what families you will visit and what families you won’t. Other than the year I’ve lived overseas, I have never missed a holiday with my family. This would be an incredibly difficult compromise for me to make. I would feel awful missing time with my family. However, as long as I remain single, this is one that I will never have to face.
When in a relationship, you lose a certain amount of privacy. Even when you go out and do something, you should share with your partner where you are going and what you are doing. Some may say that your partner should trust you and not expect this. On a certain level I think this is a fair statement. However, it is about consideration and courtesy towards the person you are with. Yes, it is about balance. However, being single means you don’t have to worry about that. Nor, do you have to worry about someone seeing you at your most awkward, your grumpiest, your clumsiest, your sickest…you don’t have to worry about someone seeing you when you don’t want to be seen.
Being Single: The Conclusion (Part 1)
There are plenty of pros when it comes to being single. I would say that, probably 75% of the time that I am completely at peace with being single. However, I would say there are cons as well. Stay tuned for when I share my cons in an upcoming post. In the meantime, be sure to post your thoughts in the comments! Are you about that single life…or not?