I need a new word for single

I have heard so many theories on the question of whether we are complete on our own, or only complete if we are with another. Because of all the pressure to be partnered, so many people walk around feeling badly if they are on their own, and many others stay where they don’t belong for fear that they will be seen as a failure outside of relationship. All of this misses the point. What is most important is that each of us lives a life that is true to path, whatever that means to us. For some, their sacred purpose is inextricably linked to love relationship. It is there that they excavate and humanifest their deepest meaning. Yet others are called in a different direction and find their purpose in their creative life, in their work, in their individual spiritual practice. Everyone’s soul-scriptures are unique to their own journey. The important thing in life is not whether we find the “one”, but whether we find the path. To each their own way home… (Jeff Brown)

I both like this quote and am irked by it.

Mostly, I like it. Because I do believe that the most important thing is to find our own path. And that often our main struggle is not only allowing ourselves to see the path but with finding the courage and the confidence to walk it.

I am irked by it because to me it implies that we are either meant to be in a relationship or meant to be on a solitary path. Surely, there is a lot more coming and going than that? Seems to me that our purpose can be creative and spiritual whether we are in a relationship or not in a relationship. This state of single hood is neither merely a resting place between relationships (a sort of sideline where one recovers or regroups) or a life-long choice of radical (but lonely) independence.

I was at a work slash social networking event this week and was asked about my living situation. When I said I lived alone, the follow up question was, “are you seeking?”

Caught a bit off guard (I think because I was in work mode) I answered, “yes, but only for quality.”

What the ?? Like my other choice was to say, “yes and I’ll take anyone, thanks!” Or worse, “I’m looking for real quality, not like the rest of you!”

I think what I was trying to find a way to express was that yes, I’m single and yes I would like to share my life with a partner but I am also not unhappy about being single. Oh, and also if I say I’m happily single then that doesn’t mean that I’m committing to a life of being a confirmed woman bachelor (is that even a thing?).

In retrospect, I suppose I could have come out with a lot worse words than “quality” to encapsulate all that. But I sure wish there was a better word. A word that doesn’t require all that extra explanation, which the person who asked me probably didn’t really care that much about anyway.

A word that says “yes, I have found and am walking my path which right now is by myself but which I would love to share with someone but which is not diminished in any way by the lack of that person.”

Too bad that’s not what our society calls single. It’d be a lot faster answer.


8 thoughts on “I need a new word for single

  1. I loved your answer “yes, but only for quality” while not single now, I was for many many years and I simply loved it, was happy to be alone and open to meeting peeps but it did not have to happen. Lot’s people could not understand that. God forbid we have standards.

  2. I completely agree with you Kira! I am currently single after having been in a relationship for a very long time, and it’s now that I feel truly happy. That freedom to be who I want to be and meet new people. I love dating without strings attached, I feel like I’m having more fun than ever before. There’s a book you guys might like called “The Club Rules”, here’s the website for it http://theclubrules.com/. It’s a fantastic reminder that dating should be fun and it has some tips in there on how to go out and really enjoy yourself. In my opinion, the only relationship we’re required to have and the only person out there who is supposed to make us happy, is ourselves. I’m not knocking being in a relationship of any kind, but I think there’s so much pressure on having to be with someone else that many people out there don’t know how to be happy on their own. Great posts!

  3. This is becoming such an annoying struggle in my life. Thank you for writing this post.

    I feel trapped by what is acceptable and what would make me worthy. And when I try to talk about it, I just sound bitter and people discount me. But, really, what is so wrong with wanting to be single and/or wanting a fling and/or wanting a casual relationship and/or wanting whatever I want in the moment? We don’t live in a society where I’m expected to be set up with a man, yet I don’t feel as though I am therefore allowed to be “self-indulgent” or “entitled” about my pursuit of a man. Whatever walks through my door is what I’ll experience and accept, but why is it so hard for people to imagine that I may not be wishing for a particular form of a relationship to walk through my door?

    • Glad to know there are at least two of us!!! Single should be mean something other than “happily single and not looking” or “desperately seeking a relationship and to be pitied”. I try not to be angry or bitter but I’m sure in my frustration with these labels, I sometimes come off that way. The only thing worse is getting advice on what you’re doing “wrong” in looking for a man!! Maybe I could be “happily single seeking” or HSS. People could ask what my living situation is and I could say, “hssssss” 🙂

  4. you know what comes up for me? the question of so-called sexual preferences. like: single “versus” married “versus” divorced; and, say, heterosexual “versus” homosexual “versus” bisexual. oh, and then of course there is the whole spiritual thing – christian “versus” pagan “versus” buddhist. how are these categories truly useful? what if i have a little bit of this and that on my path, and this path can change, and that’s why it’s called a path and not a box?

  5. Pingback: Quirkyalone | A Fish and a Bicycle

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