When I was young,
I never needed anyone
And making love was just for fun.
Those days are gone.
Once, my friend Maria was driving me home and made the mistake of asking me about my dating life. (Doesn't she know better than to ask me about this? It's not like the answer ever changes. Silly girl.) When I told her I wasn't seeing anyone and hadn't had a date in a long time (sometimes I have to look up the word "date" just to make sure such a thing still exists), her response kind of left me speechless: "You're too nice of a guy to be single! You should find someone!"
I know that comment was meant to be a complimentary, but the underpinning to it was distressing. Then and there, I had a Carrie Bradshaw moment: I couldn't help but wonder,* What is so wrong with not having a "partner" in life?
(* Actually, I loathe this particular sentence construction, but it's the one Carrie always uses.)
I think of all the friends I've known,
But when I dial the telephone,
Not wanting to take up the debate with Maria in the car then and there, we moved on to other topics, but having thought about that exchange, I realize that in my ripe old age, I am more secure than ever in my prioritizing system wherein dating and "meeting someone" are low on my list of life's necessities.
Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't mind dating and eventually being settled into a relationship at all. If one comes along, great. What I don't subscribe to is some people's seemingly incessant need to constantly be coupled at every given moment in their lives. I also don't believe that being "in a relationship" is some Holy Grail that merits an all-out, all-encompassing search. I believe in letting things happen as they will, and being content along the way.
All by myself
Don't wanna be
All by myself
Maria is actually a case in point. Once, while she was in what she considered a serious relationship (she was about 1.5 years into it), a guy hit on her in a store. Flattered, she told him she was with someone, but he handed her his business card anyway. Six months later, when her long-term relationship dissolved, she called this guy and they went on a date. She had kept his business card all that time! What would possess someone to do that if they think the person they're with is the last one they're going to date?
[Needle scratch on record. Zzzzrtptbt!]
I have a decent job. I have a decent circle of friends, despite what some of my bitchier posts on this blog may indicate. I've got a decent apartment. I've got hobbies and pastimes and stuff that I enjoy doing with or without a partner in life.
I enjoy being the master of my own
domain destiny. I enjoy the fact that when a friend calls and says "Do you want to go out?" I don't have to check with someone else before I decide. I like the fact that I can live like a slob if I don't feel like cleaning without worrying that someone else will hate the state of the apartment. I like being able to plan my vacations without having to coordinate vacation schedules with anyone else. Do you know how many times I've heard friends say "Oooo, I wish I could go with you, but I don't think my bf/husband/gf/wife will be able to take vacation time"?
(It does kind of suck to have to try to cook for one, though. That never works. I always end up making mega-servings so that one batch of food lasts me a week.)
The world is a big place. In the end we're all "alone," whether or not we're living with someone we love. But whether we're "lonely" is a wholly different question. I know some people who have been married for years who are the most lonely people I've ever seen.
I may not have a life partner, and in that sense I am "alone" at the moment. But I'm certain that I'm not "lonely."
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
When I was young,