Just in time. As I depart for my second spontaneous solo road trip, I come across this article by John Warwick at EliteDaily, titled “Alone Isn’t Lonely: 10 Signs You’re Perfectly Happy With Solitude.” He explains how we live in a society where we are pressured to actively pursue and desire relationships, and that being single doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. The 10 reasons Warwick lists as signs that you are perfectly happy with solitude are as follows:
- You love free weekends.
- You’ll go to the movies on your own.
- You’re comfortable with eating out by yourself.
- You prefer drinking on your own.
- You travel the world solo.
- You hate sharing beds.
- You find driving alone calming.
- You neglect your phone, a lot.
- You can be socially MIA for long periods of time.
- You see “clingy” as an unattractive trait.
Oh John, you get me! My mind is blown with the sudden realization that solitude is my thing. The “marriage is bliss” vs “single is lonely” phenomenon where Singlism is being stereotyped, stigmatized, and ignored, needs to be addressed. The common misconception that single people are doomed to a life of lonesomeness and that relationships are the most desirable path, is wrong. Can’t being single also lead to happily ever after? In my opinion, single people are more likely to keep in touch with, help, and support their neighbors, friends and family. They often have exhilarating adventures that other people find intimidating. They are self-sufficient, and their independence help them experience more positive emotions. They are rarely judgmental and depict a sense of fulfillment—on their own. I have grown weary of having the same, misleading benefits of marriage listed to me and being single-shamed for loving my solitude. I am not a problem to be fixed.
Relationships essentially give me anxiety. I love quiet. I love my time to reflect and create, to work and think, and to spend time with friends and family. I continue talking myself into relationships thinking this is what’s normal. There is no scientific evidence (that I know of) that married people are happier or healthier than single people. I will not predict that I’ll never be in a committed relationship or married. I’m not professing “SINGLE FOR LIFE.” I’m just realizing that the message we’re all taught to desire—that life is not meant to be lived alone—is not always correct. That I am completely capable of living a content, healthy, and rewarding life by myself. As described by Warwick, I’d much rather stay at home alone, catching up on my reading, writing, and favorite flicks, while drinking a bottle of wine (to myself), not sharing my popcorn or king size bed, with no expectations, and without feeling the need to socialize every waking moment.
I am tired of being ashamed or judged for living life outside of what society expects. No I’m not on tinder. No to online dating. No I don’t have to “put myself out there.” I am not “waiting for the right person to come along” and I definitely don’t devote my time with endless nights out binge drinking, allocating bar makouts and one night stands. I am not a bucket of sappy romance chick flick tears. I’m just not goo-goo over romance and coupling; and what’s wrong with that?
As I prepare myself for yet another solo holiday, I confirm Warwick’s conclusions. Nothing cures a bad day and dark thoughts better than a solo drive to the beach or on an open highway. I will blare my music and escape the world for a brief moment. I will not be scared of discovering the world and finding new and exciting ways to exhilarate life. I can’t wait to step out of my comfort zone, meet unique people, escape the pressures of the world, without restriction of someone else’s itinerary.
I predict relationships in the future to take this one step further. Marriage is becoming more and more overrated, and divorce, as we know, is on the rise. Couples who have their own apartments will be trendy. Think of all the arguments you’ll save about chores, finances, and dirty dishes. Not sharing a last name and bank account will be regular. I’ve always said that there are three parts to every relationship: Your life, their life, and your life together. Depending your happiness on external sources is only setting yourself up for disappointment. Maybe, the key to a happy and healthy relationship is the balance.
Meanwhile, don’t be a hater.