My friend R has always been full of helpful insight and wisdom. She’s been through more than any young woman should –and when I see her standing bold, beautiful, and optimistic; I’m enthralled with her courage.
We jokingly call our relationship a “long-distance friendship” –the majority of the time we’ve known each other, we’ve been in separate towns, and most recently, different states. We stay connected through Facebook messages and text messages –primarily consisting of “SOSes”. It’s a secret term we send each other when we need to sincerely, immaturely, and inappropriately freak-out.
If some of the letters I have sent to her were ever published –I’d be certified straight-out crazy. Luckily, as a writer herself, she knows how to respond in a manner that gets through to me, and she has prevented (and taken the blunt of) many of the ridiculous rants that come out of me.
As I’ve been trying to figure out if there is anything else I need to understand (or at least attempt to) about why I hate being single –I looked back on some conversations between us.
I’ve concluded that sometimes, it just sucks being single.
Maybe some will curse my poor word choice –but sucks is just really the best term for it. For some, it’s unmanageable (it’s been the way for me, which is why I’m writing this blog), and for others, being single is just something they put up with, but can handle without freaking out (God bless ‘em). But as a collective, there are parts of being a minus-one that a plus-one doesn’t have to endure.
Being incredibly honest with my friends on Facebook (probably to a default, but I’ve never been shy) –I asked them what sucks the most about being single. The response I received was incredible –from high school friends I haven’t spoken to in years to men (believe it) who feel the same way too:
“Having creepy guys hit on you and not being able to say, ‘I’m sorry. I have boyfriend,’ and really be able to mean it, while thanking God your man is not that weird.” -N
“Having no one to play in leaf piles with.” -C
“The most difficult part of being single was when my relatives or friends say ‘Gosh, you are such a pretty girl, why aren’t you married yet?’ – Like, duh, gee I don’t know, maybe it’s because I haven’t met anyone that I want to marry yet or maybe I don’t want to get married right now!” -K
“Watching everyone around you find someone who wants to be with them forever. It is like a constant reminder that there must be something wrong with you because no one wants forever with you.” -R
“There are so many things I hate, but what I think I hate most, is not being able to touch someone. To lay next to someone on the couch and watch a movie, to hold someone’s hand while we walk, to walk into a loving embrace after a bad day, to wake up next to someone, just to name a few. Now don’t get me wrong, I know being in a relationship isn’t all rainbows and butterflies, but that’s what I hate the most about being single.” -B
“The most difficult part about being single: knowing you’re a catch and that someone is out there for you, but having to play the waiting game until he shows up.” -M
“To me the worse part of being single is the lack of companionship; it seems like with a friend with benefits or a one night stand, a girl is seeking something that can only be found in a relationship built around trust.” -E
“I guess it’s not having the love from boys and pampering from boys that we girls enjoy. Like if you’re upset and stuff…it’s nice to have a boyfriend to go to… and it’s nice to have someone to cuddle with at the end of the day.” -S
“Not having someone to cuddle with on Sunday nights or not having the one person to turn to when things are bad. Yes I have my friends but having a companion would be nice.” –E
“The worse part of being single or what I miss the most about being in a relationship is sleeping alone. I really can go days without hugging a single soul.” -L
Notice a common thread? I did: being single sucks because…you’re alone.
If you’re stressed out from work and you want to pull out all of your hair and be incredibly frustrated –there isn’t someone to say, ‘its okay baby, come here, let me hold you.’ Or if you just had an incredible run where you beat your best time and you’re in a playful mood –there isn’t anyone waiting at home for you to seduce or an apartment you can just drop by to. Or when it rains (or on a lazy Sunday) –there isn’t someone there for you to curl up with.
Instead –you’ve got yourself. And of course, as E says, you’ve got your friends. But there is something different about companionship. It’s comforting. It’s soothing. It’s relaxing. It’s heartfelt. It’s warm. It’s…completion?
I hope this journey can teach me (and all of you, too!) that I’m already complete –even if I don’t have a companion. No, I don’t come home to someone gleaming over their newspaper at me, I don’t fall apart in a man’s arms (but R’s inbox is there for that), and Sunday nights are just like other nights –but I still have myself. And God is there too.
So far, it’s still hard to not have companionship; and my thoughts are the same as all of the ones above -but I can get there. And I want to. I don’t want to be plagued and pestered by thoughts of being alone or lonely. They don’t have the right to rule my mind, confidence, or mindset.
We enter this life alone and we exit it alone, too. We’ll fall in love in between –but at the end of the day, the end of the story –you’re happily ever after…begins and ends with you.
Let’s try falling in love with ourselves first. Then we can try this Sunday night cuddling thing.
PS –I watched a Nicholas Sparks movie last night –not a good idea for a single gal starting this experience, FYI.