I have been thinking a lot about coupledom lately for a few reasons. For one, marriage equality has been at the top of the headlines lately. Another reason is the approach of the 4th of July. I used to love to go out on that holiday but after having several years of very bad dates on that day, I have come to dread it. The third reason relationships have been on my mind is the fact that I had an extensive conversation with a friend on the subject of love and relationships, which brought several issues to the forefront.
It made me think about the following questions: a) do I want to be in a relationship? (b) if so, what kind and with what type of person? And (c) what do I think about relationships in general? These questions will keep me occupied for a while, but in the meantime I began to pay closer attention to the relationships of the people around me. It is hard to judge the quality of people’s relationships sometimes, especially from Facebook because people tend to only brag about the good stuff. So, since I’m not in a relationship right now, I started thinking about all the reasons why I am happy to be single:
1) I can move wherever I want (out of state, out of the country, etc) without anyone’s permission or approval.
2) Money never “disappears”; if I haven’t spent it, it’s still there in the bank.
3) When I am tired and not “in the mood”, I just go to sleep. I don’t have to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings or getting cheated on. I don’t have to force myself to go through the motions in order to avoid an argument. (and when I am in the mood, it’s 100% satisfaction every time).
4) I can wear whatever I want.
5) I can cut my hair off or leave it long – it’s totally up to me.
6) When I am in church services I get to pay attention, focus, and absorb the total experience without distraction.
7) I don’t have to dumb myself down or fake incompetence in order to preserve someone else’s ego.
8) I don’t have to limit my dreams to accommodate someone else’s expectations of me.
9) I can flirt just for fun without guilt or repercussions.
10) I can still entertain silly, romantic notions about “the one” because I haven’t met him yet.
From a man’s perspective:
1) Getting to keep all your money and not waste it on dates that go nowhere.
2) Not feeling like you have to earn a certain amount of money to keep up with someone’s expectations or spending habits.
3) Not having to justify going out with your friends on a weekday or for a long weekend.
4) Being able to leave when you’re ready to go instead of waiting around for someone else.
5) Not having to feel guilty for so much of what you say, do, and think
6) No pressure to outline the future in detail.
7) Sexual variety
8) Focusing on things that are deeply important to you: work, spirituality, school, etc., without being made to feel guilty
9) Watching movies and television without interruption
10) Getting to entertain silly, romantic notions about “the one” because you haven’t met her yet.
This is not to disparage anyone who is in a relationship. I hope all my readers have happy, fulfilling relationships that bring you many years of joy. However, with our culture’s emphasis on romantic love, this is a reminder that it’s not always what it’s cracked up to be.
Whether you’re married or single or something in between, ultimately you are a unique expression of the Divine. Your first allegiance should be to the evolution of your own soul – and being a blessing to everyone around you. Then you will know true Joy, regardless of your relationship status.
And don’t forget to follow your bliss! Peace and love.