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Apr. 14th, 2008

There was a quiz that somebody pooped up (sageincave, I blame you) that was titled "why are you still single", or somesuch twitterpated noodling. It was pretty much a joke, but it got me thinking about singlehood and the associated baggage that comes with it.

First of all, there is this concept that if you're single, you are somehow broken. It's not held by everyone, but it seems to be the prevailing cultural norm, and it kind of pisses me off. I don't need someone else to complete me, as if I am somehow incapable of life on my own.

A lot of people are alone by choice, because they feel that being alone is preferable to being attached to someone else, that another person would either cramp their style, or otherwise get in the way of their life.

I'm not entirely of that camp. I know what it's like to be coupled, both tightly and loosely, and I know what it's like to be alone. They both have advantages and disadvantages, but they are both highly reactive to the people involved (or not involved as the case may be) and can't really be judged except in that context.

That being said, there are generalizations that can be made. Instance of, I prefer to be part of a comparable team than doing things entirely by myself. I also eschew drama, and collecting drama whores isn't my number one hobby.

So in a clamshell, I like being part of a couple, but I have high standards. And I prefer to be alone than being with the wrong person.

But then we come to the question of how do I find the right person, or how do I determine who is the right person vs. the wrong person?

Fuck you. That's how.

Okay, fine. You have to actually make an effort. You have to have some social context in which to experiment and play. You have to be willing to risk. You have to be willing to step outside of your usual playground and access some things that may throw you off-balance.

(Note here: if you're reading this for dating advice, please recognize what my credentials are, and act accordingly.)

For me, I have made a conscious choice to stay away from any serious dating for the time being. My reasons for this are fundamental, in that I feel that I need to be in a better place mentally, emotionally, and physically before I can be an acceptable partner in a relationship, and to attach to somebody before I could really be there for them just seems like a really bad idea, fraught with risk and calcite deposits.

The question of whether I will ever get there is certainly all nubbly, and not prone to being ignored. It's paired with the question of whether I should continue hiding away from the potential of love and biscuits.

Of course you shouldn't, you pinhead. Love doesn't work on a schedule. Biscuits might, but you can always get more biscuits.

Okay, more to that end, I have set goals for myself that I want to achieve before I will consider myself ready to do more than dip my toes in the dating pool.

(Side note: I do love the analogies that can be pulled out of "dating pool". If I ever get back on the horse enough to play water polo, you can be sure you will be treated to the full spectrum of them.)

So why am I single?

It's because I choose to be.

I'm not undatable. I'm not repellent (well, not to everyone). I'm kind, relatively charming, witty, creative, funny, generally pleasant, and most of the time I don't smell like a wet monkey.

But I'm unfinished. Like Buck's Unpainted Furniture. And I have that artist thing where I don't want people to judge my work before it's done. I am my own project, and I don't want to be a "fixer-upper".

But enough about me. Why do you think I'm single?

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
lexinatrix
Apr. 14th, 2008 05:27 pm (UTC)
Seeing this kind of positive self-talk from you is refreshing.

But to answer your question of why I think you're still single: you have those goals to accomplish, which is admirable. You also suffer from some analysis paralysis when it comes to accomplishing them and occasionally you serialize goals that perhaps don't depend on one another. But those are damning, it's just indicative of your approach to problem-solving.

I also think you're still a bit hung up on your last relationship, or possibly the concept of being needed personified by your ex, as evidenced by your continued gestures of generosity which (in my view) are well over and above the call of duty.
magicmarmot
Apr. 14th, 2008 05:53 pm (UTC)
Analysis paralysis is a bane of mine. I live in my head a lot, though I'm trying to get out of it more with varying degrees of success. It's not all gum and roses, but there are spurts of progress.

Hung up on the last relationship, hmm... I think there's at least a partial yes there, though I am less generous than I could be, I am perhaps more generous than is called for.

But I am also generous by nature. That's not entirely a new thing. I don't see a lot of what I do as duty as much as it's helping someone who is a friend and who knows a lot of secrets about me that could ruin my chances of becoiming president if they were ever to get out.

Does it get in the way of dating? I think it did once. Other things did too. I don't think it's in the top ten list anymore, but I may just nbot be seeing it.
lexinatrix
Apr. 14th, 2008 06:03 pm (UTC)
Everyone gets stuck sometimes, so don't beat yourself up over analysis paralysis. You recognize it, you work around and with it.

I'm also a generous person by nature, but I've had to learn (often the hard way) that my generosity will be taken advantage of by some folks, unappreciated by others and worst of all unreciprocated. I've learned to gauge my generous gestures based on whether I honestly believe the other person would do the same -- unsolicited for me. Usually the answer is no.

Yes, I'm sure you could be vastly more generous. The recipient of your efforts doesn't deserve even your modest gestures. I sometimes think these efforts of yours to be helpful are hindering your ex's ability to do for herself.

Potential dates would likely raise an eyebrow at it, too.
molasses
Apr. 14th, 2008 06:01 pm (UTC)
truthfully I don't think the angel has crossed your path yet.
and i have total faith that she will, just when you're ready.
danae
Apr. 15th, 2008 12:08 am (UTC)
I don't know if only the married people are responding to your post since I don't know the status of Molasses.

Anyways, I think the attitude that you'd rather be single than with the wrong person is a very healthy attitude. God knows that I've been in a relationship with the wrong person and how that turned out.

Sometimes you just have to put yourself first and it looks like you have. As Lex said, you have goals you want to accomplish first and that's very smart.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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