Back in my college days, I rented a room in a four bedroom house with three other guys I had known from growing up. We had all known each other at least since the third grade. We had a big idea that we could get a house for $1000 per month and split the rent four ways and save a bundle.
We moved in at the first week of May and shortly thereafter, I got a summer job back in my home town, working for the State Parks as a maintenance crew guy. Trash and toilets for $7 an hour. I worked ten days on and four days off. I lived with my parents for those ten days and then I would drive back to the Front Range on my long weekend. Most of the time, I would stop at the house I was renting (because I was still paying $250 per month even when I wasn’t there) and then I would hang out with my girlfriend at the time in Denver or usually hit Renaissance Festival (several times) during the summer. I think I went four times. Maybe six. We would sometimes go both days.
One long weekend, I stopped long enough to pick up some of my stuff and then I spent the weekend with my girlfriend. It was just us at her dorm in CU. We went to Ren Faire, various other places. Then I went back to the house I was sharing just before hitting the road back to Walden.
My roomies had a sit-down with me.
“Where were you this weekend?”
“I spent the weekend with C. Why?”
“Well, you just come and go as you please and you never tell us where you are going. For all we know you were dead on the side of the road someplace. We worry.”
“Did my rent check clear?” I asked.
“That’s all you need to worry about. The rest isn’t any of your business.”
They didn’t like that answer. Hell, I actually had decent boundaries back in those days. It would take an awful marriage to break that down, where your life is no longer yours and where you go and what you do and who you spend time with and who you talk to and why did it take you ten minutes to drive home from work and is that perfume I smell…and and and all took over.
You accept the mantle of things like kids and bills and you get things like social mores and standards twisted to put you in your place in a bad relationship.
I talked with my therapist this morning and she brought up a very good point. She told me that people will get into a dysfunctional relationship because they cannot stand being alone. And the chaos it provides is actually comforting to them if they haven’t been a part of a functional one. All they’ve known is chaos. They cannot just be comfortable being alone.
That is actually a good sign when you can be alone. We are wired for connection, but we also have the choice to be discerning too. So, with a friend of mine tonight, I asked what some of the things they enjoy about being single are. Here’s a list of things we came up with! Enjoy! Provide some of your own in the comments if you like!
- You can eat what you want
- You can watch whatever you want on TV
- You can just hop in the car and go someplace if you feel like.
- You can leave a mess in the kitchen and clean it up later.
- No fundamental differences as far as how things like butter are kept around.
- No drama. No BS.
- No lies/lies by omission.
- No having to calm someone down.
- No sex obligation, or feeling guilted about it.
- You can drive how you want without criticism. You can miss that exit and just look for another one up the road.
- No obligatory contact when you aren’t in the mood (foot rubs, back scratches, neck rubs–usually never reciprocated).
- Not wondering where someone is on a Friday night and why you aren’t with them.
- Not wondering who someone is texting all the time.
- No concerns about someone acting shady.
- Not being given assigned chores like you are ten.
- No feeling like you are being controlled.
- No conversation about “Where should we eat?”
- Nobody is bringing home another dog if you don’t want one.
- No obligatory dinners or visits with in-laws you don’t like.
- You can listen to whatever music you want.
- No criticism about where you left your socks or boots or jacket.
- No little messes to clean up after someone all the time.
- You can put things in your drawers however the hell you want.
- Quiet in the house.
- No conflict on how to discipline the kids.
- No communication problems.
- No in-law drama.
- No body criticism.
- No pouting.
- No yelling or fighting.
- No lying in bed after a fight, and feeling obligated to be right next to that person for the next eight hours.
- No bickering over stupid shit.
- No being reminded of past mistakes to use against you later.
- You can decorate however you want.
- You don’t fight about money.
- The only “Honey Do” projects are the ones you start.
- No passive aggressive conversations about your behavior in public.
- No arguments about how money is spent, children are raised, position of the toilet seat.
- You can travel light, not have to check in with people unless you want, and in some ways you get to experience things on your own terms at your own pace. (I’m a big fan of solo travel).
- No checked luggage!
- No having to make decisions for other adults like they are children.
- Stay up as late as you want
- Have that glass of wine, whiskey, beer. Have two.
- Sing in the shower/car/etc. as loud as you want.
So, really, being single isn’t that bad!