I'm Single, but I'm Not Alone
Make no mistake: I’m single, but I don’t feel empty or lonely. So don’t pity me, don’t label me, and don’t try to find a partner for me. I am right where I want to be. Because being single is much smarter than sharing your life with the wrong person.
As we can all see, wanting or needing to be single at a given moment is not well-understood by society. In fact, even Aristotle used to say that only gods and beasts like to be alone. However, French moralists of the 18th century like marquis de Vauvenargues explained that solitude is to the soul what a diet is to the body: something we should all practice once in a while.
“I write to you to tell you that I’m releasing you from me, I’m ‘amputating’ you from me, be happy and don’t look for me anymore. I don’t want to know about you again, or for you to know about me.”
-Letter from Frida Khalo to Diego Rivera-
We should all learn how to be single and enjoy it now and then. In fact, people who don’t achieve this often face the difficult task of filling their empty spaces, curing their fears, and alleviating their insecurities in the worst way: by using other people or attaching themselves to the first person they see.
They do whatever they can to defend themselves against the demon of loneliness and their inability to be alone with themselves. But this isn’t the right way to handle it.
I’m single, but I’m happy
“I’m single, but I’m doing very well.” Although this phrase is becoming more common, it continues to convey a certain need to justify oneself, to make it clear that even though one lives alone, without a partner or anyone else by their side, it’s a pleasant solitude. A chosen experience that they enjoy, even though others don’t understand it.
Times change, there’s no doubt about it. However, the image of a single woman isn’t perceived the same as a single man. It’s as if time passes more quickly for women, as if they’re pushed to do everything as quickly as possible to adjust to a socially imposed biological clock. They have to have a good job, find a good partner, and become a supermom.
However, as we’ve said, times change, and women don’t necessarily obsess over finding a partner anymore. Many prefer to be found. Others set aside their biological clocks to follow their own mental and emotional compasses. They can feel complete with a partner, of course, but if the relationship fails, they’re capable of following their own path. Because they’re responsible for themselves, and they’re not afraid of solitude. They can find themselves again, and this is always healthy and comforting.
You’re not alone, you’re surrounded by life
When we have a single friend, we always try to find opportunities for them to meet someone. We tell them that it’s not good to be alone, that falling in love is always worth it, and that life is much more beautiful if you go through it hand-in-hand with someone else.
“Loneliness is dangerous. It’s addicting. Once you see how peaceful it is, you don’t want to deal with people.”
However, our single friends might say “I’m single, and I’m happy this way,” or “I don’t want anything to do with that.” Some will understand this, but most will see it as strange because usually, solitude isn’t seen as viable, but rather as an unfortunate setback.
If you think about it for a moment, you’ll realize that in reality, none of us are ever alone, we’re surrounded by life. And most of us have a group to belong to: family, friends, acquaintances, etc. Partners don’t always save us from loneliness, and that’s not what they’re there for. Sometimes, they even take us closer to the darkest sides of loneliness, like emotional loneliness for example.
Nobody is alone if they learn to love themselves. Because we all live inside our minds, because thinking, dreaming, projecting, and feeling are not solitary acts. We’re dancers in our own inner worlds. We’re healers of wounds, executors of forgiveness, and architects of our own destinies.
So make no mistake, I am not alone, because I am tied to life, because I have hope. I’ve stopped being afraid of fear. I’m a satisfied inhabitant of my own inner spaces and I look to the future without anxiety, because I know how to take advantage of the present.
We should all be capable of enjoying selected moments of solitude once in a while, where silence and inner peace ripen the fruits of the soul.