What if…you don’t like being single? — 14 Comments

  1. it is always wonderful to share a life with the right person instead of being single and alone all the time, well that certainly makes a lot of sense.

  2. You emphasize the right to choose Rachel And you have chosen to be single surely equally everyone is entitled to have a partner which you overlook!
    Friends cannot replace a partner unless you really include “friends with benefits” and a person relies/enjoys on friends irrespective of status.

    To me as a married man it appears your suggestion is expecting singles who desire their right to a partner to accept single best. Isn’t this discrimination?

    Even if it is the wrong choice or single life is worthwhile I believe everyone is entitled to find out for themselves!

    • I don’t quite understand your comment, Mark. Where do you get the idea that I am telling everyone to be single? All I am trying to suggest is that the idea that everyone should be married is problematic, which also means that telling everyone the opposite is just as problematic. What I advocate is choice – and it is difficult to choose to be single when culture at large suggests that we can only be happy if we have a partner or, as you put it, that it’s impossible to replace a partner with friends.

      Discrimination is defined as “the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things.” How that definition applies to what you suppose my expectation is, is beyond me. Aside from the fact that it’s not my expectation that everyone chooses to be single – see my point above.

  3. i am a straight man that certainly hates so much being single, especially after my wife of 15 years cheated on me. i was a very caring and loving husband that was very committed to her, knowing what i had at home and didn’t have to go out looking for it anymore. it is very hard for me to meet a good woman again, and with so many women that are cheating today it certainly makes it worse for me to trust another woman again. being alone and single really hurts for me, and many of us very serious men do certainly want a love life again.

    • Thank you, Mark, for sharing! To me it sounds like you have been very deeply hurt and what you are hating is the lack of trust you are feeling. You long for a deep connection with another human being – and you are having trouble establishing that because you are terrified to get hurt again. Does that resonate?

      If this is the case, i’d venture to claim that it’s not so much being single that you “hate.” It’s that you are feeling stuck in it because you have a hard time seeing how you can ever be in a coupled relationship again. Being single, to you, must feel like a punishment – and you don’t even know for what! That must be rather frustrating in addition to being painful.

      I wonder if it would be helpful to reframe your situation because you are blaming your emotional state on being single, when, at least that’s what it seems like to me, there are actually some other things getting in the way (your pain around the loss of your relationship to you wife; the hurt that comes from being cheated on). Maybe if you address the underlying issues, you can open up to enjoying life no matter what your relationship status.

  4. Thanks for sharing your work in the CTC.

    I wonder if Carolyn Steinhaus ever got around to publishing her poem, “The Importance of Being Single.” If you’re curious, let me know, and I’ll write to her and ask her if I can share it with you.

  5. I think it’s important to figure out a way to love the life you have, even if it’s not the life you would have chosen. That’s what you have to work with. Celebrate what you love about your life AND make a list of how you want to change it. But be careful. Women who hate being single too often jump into relationships that might not be good for them…just so they can be in a relationship. Not a good move in the long run. The reason it’s important to operate from a place of what’s good about your life is that desperation rarely leads to a good decision. Good luck!

    eleanore – The Spinsterlicious Life

  6. Thanks for the encouragement and invitation to befriend being single. I really appreciate your perspective! Meets needs for spaciousness, inclusion, diversity, and companionship on this path of questioning and challenging the status quo in various arenas.

  7. Rachel

    One thing that you didn’t mention is this – you can have many friends but you may lose a lot of them to marriage, to different jobs, to moving away …….. but a partner is (hopefully) with you because you’re married. That’s why so many people who have lost most friends think that their solution to everything is to find a partner.

    Another thing you didn’t mention is that a male partner is “good” for certain things, but they can’t replace the female bond and certain parts of female friendships because males & females are just different. know what I mean?


    • I think you are suggesting that a partner could be a strategy to avoid loneliness. Though, that’s not the only way of avoiding loneliness. Nor is it a way of ensure constant companionship. It might be safer to find a few friends who are willing to pledge to stick together no matter what. I realize that this is unusual but my point is that there are other ways of getting our needs met that don’t require the usual path…

      I’ve been trying to build friendships with guys. It’s difficult because there are so many couplemanic expectations that make “just” a friendship difficult. But one reason why i persist is because i think that friendships with men add something that friendships with women don’t. Men can simply give a perspective that is difficult for us women to come by (unless we go to the extreme of being a man for a while or read a book by someone who has).

  8. One thing to point out to people who don’t want to be single…and this may be a bit of a tangent…is that discrimination against singles occurs whether or not the single person in question is looking for a partner or not (although it might be worse if they’re not looking). What that means is that even people who want to end their single status have just as much reason to fight singlism as those of us who want to remain single.

    • Yes! Very good point! A friend of mine made a similar point recently that i was very grateful for: Married people can be for singles empowerment, too! To add the dimension you are raising: They can also fight singlism.

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