Single and Looking?

Originally posted: August 2000

I initially posted this “snippet” in August of 2000. I’ve been through some changes since, but I’m still “happily single.” I’ve received a lot of inquiries about why I’m still single (as well as pressure from the parents about finding someone).

I have had some great things to be happy about being single. Let’s face it; many people out there have someone that cares about them, someone to come home to, someone to go see a movie with, or whatever else. Yet how many men actually do what they want when they want to? I learned long ago that wives make decisions regarding small things, like buying a new refrigerator, car, or house, while husbands make decisions on big items, like world peace, invading another country, etc. (and you wonder why I’m still single, right?). I’ll admit that being without a “significant other” does have some disadvantages, but there are many advantages to being single as well!

Let’s start with on some advantages of being single that I’ve experienced. To start, you may think you have someone supporting you, but my experience tells me that person is really more of a distraction. Your loved one is always on your mind. You wonder what he/she is thinking about, whether he/she will want to have dinner tonight, or whatever other thing you may worry about. When you’re single, there’s only one person to answer to: you! You know what you’re thinking, and you know what you want to do. This has allowed me to remain impulsive; if I want to see a movie in twenty minutes, or I suddenly have the urge to hit golf balls, I can.

Second, you don’t have to answer to anyone. When I was going steady with someone, I was under some scrutiny about what I was doing, where I was going, and whom I was with. I don’t do that now. If I want to stop at Starbucks after work for a cup of coffee, there is no one that will stop me. I can take a drive in the country without someone asking me why I disappeared for an hour, I can choose which movie I want to rent, and I can choose a restaurant that I enjoy rather than some restaurant that specializes in “mall food.” Another thing is that I can drink if I want to and not get accused of being an alcoholic. Believe me, having two or three beers on a Saturday night in a social setting spread over three or four hours does not make one an alcoholic.

Third, all of my money is spent on what I want to spend it on. If I want to buy a new guitar or a dozen new golf balls, no one is there to tell me that I’m “wasting” my money on such stupid things. I have my hobbies, and I’ll appreciate them the way I see fit. Also, I don’t have to buy flowers for someone who doesn’t appreciate them, as has occurred before. I totally dislike buying flowers for someone like that. If I’m going to buy flowers, it’s because I care, and I know the woman receiving them will enjoy them rather than giving me, “oh, they’re nice,” throwing them on the couch, and wanting to go to wherever it was we were going… sorry, bad experience.

Additionally, I can look at anyone I want without feeling guilty. I can say things like, “that woman looks nice in that outfit,” or “interesting how her shoes match her bag.” I can even look at certain magazines without feeling guilty (not that all of the women in Golf Digest are all that hot, but…). I’m a red-blooded male, and it’s in my nature to look.

Finally, I can remain mobile and flexible. If I want to move to another state, I can do so without worrying about the other person. I can move at will, and I don’t have to think about leaving someone behind (I will miss my nieces). I can even go on vacation without worrying about taking another person (that’s why I have a CD changer in the car). Speaking of driving in the car, I can listen to the music that I enjoy listening to rather than fighting someone over the radio (music is my refuge from the chaotic, hectic road… who’d think Metallica could do that for a person?).

Now I did mention some disadvantages to being single. First, I don’t have anyone to talk to. Although I have several friends, how many of them can I really pour my feelings out to? Well, how many that want to hear me pour my feelings out? Second, there are the hugs and holding. I think this is self-explanatory. Third, although some believe the guy should be the breadwinner, you still don’t have additional financial support. If I’m short on going to see a movie, I don’t mind sharing the cost or going “dutch” (although being the old-fashioned type that I am, I would insist on paying). Finally, there isn’t someone there to help with the household chores. One thing I don’t mind is making dinner, but I only cook for one and do my own dishes. And there are all those other wishy-washy things, like kisses, holding hands, staring into the other’s eyes and realizing what a lucky person you are, wanting so much to spend the rest of your life with… sorry, I digress again.

Now I’ve been on my own for a while. I have thought about whether or not I enjoy being single. Weighing all of these advantages and disadvantages leads me to conclude the following:

I’m impulsive: I like making decisions on the fly. Examples include going to see a movie, hitting golf balls, or just going out and taking a hike through the woods. I can do these at the spur of the moment.

I like to spend time alone: I like to make my own noise (what I sometimes call playing the guitar) and make my own decisions. I’m not saying that I like being alone all of the time, because I like social settings as well. That brings me to my next point.

I like being social: I do enjoy spending time chatting with others. I think people at work will vouch for this. I would also like someone to speak to at home, whether it is a roommate or a loved one. However, since I live in a single-room apartment, this can be difficult.

I’ve developed some of my own new habits: Living alone for over a year now, I’ve already found new habits (yes, they’re healthy ones) that I’m really fond of. Among these include, watching certain things on television (such as the History Channel and the Discovery Channel… sorry, no talk shows here), playing my guitar, and hitting golf balls at the driving range (excellent stress relief, I believe).

Let’s face it, there are advantages and disadvantages to being single. I like the fact that I don’t have to answer to someone, but I don’t have someone around to speak to. I like to discuss things, and I like to listen, but after hearing what some people have to say, I have also learned that ignoring people is not a bad thing. I have gotten used to being single, but now that I’m out of school, perhaps it’s time I moved on, found someone, and settled down. After all, being single can be a lonely thing, and once you find someone that you just “know” is the person you want to be with, you can’t stop thinking of her, wondering if she feels the same way, whether things will work out.

Take my word for it, I don’t know if I truly like being single, seeing how my non-single experience has been in the past. If it’s going to happen, it will. But it’s been fun so far!