Singles Only… No Change
I LOVE LOVE LOVE Valentine’s Day. It’s a day of reflection on… LOVE. Lately I have been doing a lot of reflecting. And I am at a place in my life where I am really and truly happy exactly where I am. Getting to this point has been a process. There was once a time I would DREAD Valentine’s Day because if you’re a member of Singledom it is a reminder that you are… ALONE. Maybe I am in this place of happy reflection because I ended a relationship and instead of feeling sadness I felt relief. I felt free and ready for the real thing and grateful that I knew I still had the ability to be vulnerable and open, but the sensibility to know when it was time to bounce and make my immediate exit unapologetically. Also, leaving a job where I was miserable to fully commit to finishing my novel AND working on my own creative endeavors was also a boast to my happiness.
There I go digressing… Long and short. I realized that being single isn’t necessarily a curse. Sometimes being single is the biggest blessing you could ever ask for. I also recognize that some people who are married or in long term/serious relationships actually envy the life of us single folks. I recognize that some stay in these relationships out of fear of being alone or anxiety of re-entering Singledom. We always think the grass is greener, don’t we?
Here’s what I have observed, there are so many variations of relationships that people find themselves in. We all know them… we all have seen them. And if we are being honest with ourselves… we are doing mental cartwheels that we aren’t in them…
The Ultimate Settlement
We have seen friends who have settled. They know they have settled and they know you know they have settled. Based on your conversations when they were single and what you all said you were looking for in a mate the moment you met their significant other and thought to yourself, “What the fuck?” you knew they were settling. And instead of being honest with you and saying, “Girl…. I’m tired, the dating struggle is real and I am just ready to have a husband.” They try to pretend like this man is what they have been looking for! They actually have looked you in the eye and said to you that this settlement is actually a prize. AND they even look at the fact that you’re still single and looking as though it is justification for their settlement. They think that your expectations are not realistic and you need to “grow up.” They look at your single life and think, “She’s still out there looking, if I wasn’t with (insert name) I would still be single and looking… I’d rather be with someone than be in the dating game.” Although deep inside they miss the freedom and beauty of being solo.
And to be honest, I get it. As a matter of fact, had I never been married and divorced I would have done the same thing once I was getting close to my 40’s. There comes a point for every woman who is single and have never been married where they contemplate the ultimate settlement out of fear. And I understand and I don’t judge it. But there needs to be some mutual honesty. I have done the leg work for you… settling is NOT worth it. You will always envy the life of your friends who didn’t, especially when they finally meet the right guy, you will look at your settlement husband with resentment. I PROMISE this is the truth. These folks actually need you to stay singe and “miserable” in order to make them feel okay with their basic life. I understand, no one is perfect, I understand adjusting as you grow and gaining more wisdom, I understand you aren’t going to get everything on your “list.” But I also understand there are non-negotiables. I also fully understand being single by choice isn’t a sacrifice… it’s a gift.
Have you noticed the married folks that get way too damn comfortable. Unlike the folks that have settled because they get tired of the Single Struggle… “The Comfortables” are even worse because they have an unrealistic view of what being single really is because they have been married for so damn long! They even think they have all the answers for folks who are dating because they have been married for so long! If you haven’t dated in the age of social media, texting, and as a woman in your mid 30’s plus… please have several seats. I will come to you if I ever need marital advice. But as far as dating advice… you don’t have clue! Nor can you possibly understand. You can empathize and listen… But that’s about it.
Getting back to “The Comfortables.” I’m referring to your girlfriends who walk around the house in their head scarves or bonnets and baggy ass unflattering sweatpants the moment they get into the house. Come on girl! You can wait to put that scarf on right before you go to bed. You can get some cute fitted leggings and tops and pretend to make an effort to look good for your man! I’m referring to the folks who have let themselves go. They got married and were a size 6 and after they pushed out a few babies they are now a size 16 and they justify it by saying… “I just had a baby.” My dear… your “baby” is now applying to college. I’m referring to those friends who have no hobbies and instead of spending their time in the gym and working on their own hobbies they are consumed with gossip and just being a parent. Also, the folks who have been married for years and only have sex once or twice a month! They attempt justify that bullshit by saying, “Once you get married your priorities change!” Get out of here! Not having sex with your significant other is punishment and just plain wrong!
The same is true for the guys. They were once romantic and brought home flowers and made love to their wives with passion and now they are comfortable as well. They treat sex like a chore. They now have big ass beer bellies. They know Valentine’s Day is coming up and have lame excuses as to why they aren’t going out of their way to celebrate and make their wives/ significant others feel special. You know those fools… the “Valentine’s Day is everyday… Valentine’s Day is about spending money not love.” Give me a fucking break! Get real. Every woman wants to feel cherished, valued, loved, and appreciated… and yes, they do want to be treated like that every day, but there is nothing wrong with giving into Valentine’s Day.
We members of singledom see these couples and we know as soon as their last child graduates from high school and they are off to college and they become empty nesters, those divorce papers will be filed. Some don’t even wait that long….they stay miserable and finally give up once the kid is in middle school.
As a friend you have tried to get them to come with you to the gym, take them out shopping, encourage them to do special things for each other, tell them to have sex with their husband or else someone else will, especially when you are in LA, you are already competing with the best of the best. Your husband is successful and you start taking him for granted, letting yourself go, and you stop fucking him?! You try to warn them and reason with them… but because you’re the “single” friend, they look at you the same way we look at them. They justify their comfortability by saying, “She doesn’t get it… wait until she is married and has kids, she’ll see… I’m a mom, I don’t have time to pamper myself I have playdates.” And before they know it, they are single again and deep down inside wishing they had played it differently.
When I was in my 20’s I thought cheating was the ultimate betrayal. I always said if my husband cheated on me… I would leave him right away and without question. And I still feel that way. But that is an easier statement to make when you are looking from the outside in. When you have been married for 10+ years and have children, investments, properties, joint checking accounts, and other obligations it’s not that black and white.
Women are now getting more strategic in how they deal with cheating asshole husbands. Some go out and get a side piece themselves. After years of having a cheating husband who constantly disrespects them. They start looking at their marriage as an investment plan… they know California is a community property state and once you hit 10 years of marriage… you get half! Women are not playing around. They aren’t about to help you rise to the top of your career game for another woman to reap the benefits of their time spent with your ass. So they stay and instead of staying at home and being miserable, they get out, have fun, meet men and possibly get them a side piece. You see, unlike men, when women cheat, they are much smarter. They don’t allow feelings to get involved and most of all women know how to not get caught! That’s where men go wrong, they pick the wrong skank to cheat with. They pick the skank who gets emotionally invested and blows everything up in your face. I DO NOT CONDONE CHEATING. I am simply saying I understand why some people cheat and stay in the marriage.
However, there are people who aren’t even married yet and know their spouse is cheating and they stay because they are scared of being alone and starting all over again. Or even worse, they look at themselves as the prize because this man is acknowledging them as their number one in public and on social media while cheating on them. They feel like they are number one. If a man is cheating on you and you’re not even married… do you honestly think it’s going to get better. HELL NO! Once again, I DO NOT CONDONE CHEATING. I certainly think you are not a wise woman if you move forward with a man who is cheating on you and you all aren’t even married! Fear is scary thing, because it can paralyze you and you end up wasting your good years on fool!
Have you ever been with a man where you say to yourself…? “I know he loves me… but does he like me?” Isn’t that the worse feeling ever?! You see him around everybody else and he is charismatic and fun… then with you he is just plain ass mean! You go to hold his hand and he tenses up. You lean over to hug him and he leans away. You call him and he takes hours to return your call. And all and all you’re miserable. You’re in a relationship but you have never felt more alone. You still go to events and parties by yourself. Or you have a few good weeks where everything is loving, passionate, and exactly how it was in the beginning. But then within days, it’s the same shit. You start to lose yourself, because you feel if you can just accommodate his mood, or do the things you think will make him happy, or even worse, put your own needs and feelings to the side, and focus on his things will get better. You think to yourself… it’s better to be in this relationship than to start over… Or you hold on hoping and praying that the man you fell in love with returns. I have been there. And I must say, the only thing worse than being single and lonely is being in a relationship and alone.
The Holy Grail… Agape Love
Not every person who is married or has a significant other is miserable. There are some people who managed to get it right. They have gone through the peaks and valleys, they have kept it real with their friends who are members of Singledom. They let you know it ain’t easy and they have had moments where they are ready to run their man over. But there is mutual love and respect. They actually like each other and enjoy each other. I love being around couples who are each other’s best friend. I love being around my friends who are moms but they are still fly, have hobbies, and know how to take time for themselves. I love being around couples where I do not feel judged or pitied because I am still single. I love… LOVE. And it is possible to be in a healthy relationship. There is no such thing as being with the perfect man… but the man that is perfect for you.
Being single is brave! You have to put yourself out there on the daily basis. You have to risk being hurt, disappointed, deceived, frustrated, and alone only to try again. It can be downright exhausting. It is okay to admit there are times when you get lonely, there are times when you question picking up the phone to call an ex or a man who has proven to be a fool because that lonely feeling can creep up on you. Not only can that “lonely” feeling creep up on you…so can that “horny” feeling, especially when you’re a woman in her 40’s… you are in your sexual prime and sometimes you need a good tune up!!! You know I rarely talk about sex on my blog…. But I am just keeping it real.
When Valentine’s Day is getting close, it is okay to admit you wish you had someone special to call your own. Even on a random Tuesday it’s okay to admit that. That doesn’t make you weak. It’s okay to look at people who have found that Agape Love and hope and pray that happens for you. It’s okay to admit that sometimes being single SUCKS!!!! When did that become a bad thing to say out loud? Why do others feel the need to judge members of Singledom when they are having a moment (and it is just a moment) of vulnerability? In the same way I encourage members of Singledom to embrace vulnerability and be open for relationships, you must have this same vulnerability when you are single and alone and having a moment of loneliness. We have all been there. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t enjoying your single life. It means you are being human at the same time.
In the same way we can look at our girlfriends who are married or in long term relationships that aren’t anything at all what we would want our tolerate, we have to be able to look at ourselves in the mirror and do the same thing. We have to know when we are tripping, when we are envious of the friends in relationships. We have to be able to recognize when we look at them in the same way they look at us and wish we had “that” life and be honest about where that feeling is coming from. The grass can look greener from this side too. We have to know when we need to make adjustments or open ourselves up more. We also have to be willing to admit that when we long and have a desire for a real relationship that does not make us a traitor to Singledom.
The ultimate single girl holy grail isn’t necessarily marriage. It is learning how to be okay with exactly where you are in this very moment. Learning how to live in it. Knowing that we WILL get what we are looking for and so much more. The ultimate goal- Learning how to be single and not change the moment.
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY MY LOVES!!!!