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Ignorminious on What it Means to be Single

Posted on Saturday 21st October 2006 at 00:00
One of the most noticeable curses of being single is that you frequently get sidelined by those who are not so at certain times and on certain occasions. The most obvious of these being of course St Valentines Day, a whole day planned and marketed around the idea of couples going off and doing coupley things with the specific intent of making the less fortunate feel left out. For that one evening a year you are shunned by society at large if you are single. You can't eat out, visit the theatre or cinema, go shopping or even for a walk without noticing that you are the only person by yourself.

However this is by no means the only time when those in relationships shun those who are not. Double dates, romantic evenings, anniversaries and weekend breaks are just a few of the regular occasions on which the unattached are dumped by their friends and left to find stuff to do by themselves while everyone else goes off to have fun.

Now, I have no objection to time alone. Actually I quite enjoy it once in a while; a time to collect ones thoughts, catch up on tasks not yet completed or pursue a hobby or other leisure activity. But nothing about being single makes me want to spend more time alone than anyone else. Those in relationships have time alone as well as time together, and the time they have alone amounts to around the same amount of self time that I enjoy. Sadly, a group of friends and housemates who are more or less all in relationships means that the time that they spend being couples I'm left spending alone still, and sadly not much time is left to spend with my friends.

Last night I went to the cinema by myself and saw Children of Men (which is extremely good by the way) and today I spent most of the afternoon shopping alone. Tomorrow and Monday I will continue to be alone and don't even know what I will do to fill the time. None of this time is time I actually want to spend by myself. In fact, I'd much rather be spending it with people. One day alone would have been more than enough self time for me this week.

The other thing that really bugs me about being single and surrounded by those who are not is the way they look down on you for something that isn't necessarily your fault. I have at least one friend who seemingly can't see me and not either ask whether or not I've found someone yet or else tell me how she simply must find someone to hook me up with. I'm sure it is all well meant, but I can't help feeling that my relationship status is looked upon as some sort of disease or handicap that must be corrected before I can be socially acceptable again, like a lack of an 'other half? somehow makes me a misfit.

Perhaps the worst bit is that all these little things continuously serve to remind me what I'm always trying so hard to forget: that I'm single and alone, as I have been for over three years now, and that I'm not at all happy to be so. Couples everywhere, please spare a thought for the single people you know, especially if they are not so through choice. The world is a much bleaker place when you have no one to light your life.

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