If you are single, in that in between state of talking to someone you kind of like, but aren’t in a relationship (“situationship”), or are just straight up by yourself, you will undoubtedly experience the seesaw of some days enjoying your solitude and others in which it feels like a punishment from above. There are actually tons of songs and articles combined about the underrated beauty of being and doing things alone and that to walk the line as 1 doesn’t mean your value has diminished. Remember Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger”? The chorus included the highly touted claim “Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone”, and in the video a big dance off with other likewise let’s love life individuals joined the vocally fantastic American Idol. Though Clarkson won a Grammy for her declaration, the rest that are so, are still day in and day out reminded that while or course there is nothing wrong with extended alone time, sometimes it feels as if every other plot line, activity, or conversation surrounds itself on the joys and without a doubt, the trauma of love and like requited and disheveled and everything being about dating feels exhaustive.
Even when an author themselves are currently or perpetually unattached, like Katie Heaney’s late-Millennial diary of Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date, being in a relationship is a forevermore fascination. Whenever you’re single however, the revelations goes off and on like lights. Sometimes, without any kind of warning, a Singleton will be sitting on their bed on the computer or having an idle moment at work, and it hits them like BAM! that they are alone. Single. Don’t got nobody. I don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend. Or in Instagram jargon, “Where’s bae?” I title this piece “Alone-Shaming” because while there are supportive reassurances that the one for you is there, and you’re just one heartbreak away, anyone knows even if you’re bonded that that level of pity and recycled hope sometimes seems to translate the wrong thing. There is a quiet notion sometimes to be alone, or single, means you are not wanted or valued by anyone. It seems to go beyond just romantic circumstances, and overall, it is not true. At least twice in one’s lifetime (or at least in this one’s lifetime), you get the privilege of monkey bar-ing from one courtship to another and so when you finally get to that point in your love life where a relationship ends (and why is it that your last almost ceases in an earth-shattering manner), you’re not exactly as lucky or better yet, willing to just say yes to next person that finds you attractive. It’s too much too soon too available and feel even more regret and confusion balls up as to why never before in your life being a relationship or having someone to text made you feel validated. You know better, but nothing’s fair in love lost and in the undiscovered.
When you’re going through it, like Usher’s “U Got It Bad”, it’s one of the worst of the worst ever. Life just seems like a cruel joke and beyond unfair. When weeks and months have passed and you’re able to walk past an ex’s neighborhood without breaking into tears (you’ve trained yourself at this point), it seems so convenient that suddenly all these articles appear on your newsfeed and random chapters in a beauty book are dedicated on “How to Be Alone”. Who needs nagging friends when you can go shopping alone! Hey! You don’t got a significant other? You’re lucky! You can party all night! Too bad partying all night was cute at 22 when you had a lot less to worry or ponder about. Of course they are benefits to alone-time. There always has been. When we are told by society and countless articles that to have friends past your ten fingers, a loving, stable family, a job you actually care about, and someone to cuddle that you simulateneously did not want to kill ten minutes ago, regardless of whether it’s cuffing season or not is what makes you desirable (okay, obviously having all I just listed at the same, damn time really is wonderful), we forget that to be alone sometimes is not so bad, but the keyword is: sometimes. The average person doesn’t like to be alone for too long and for those that to do, the rest of us have no idea how they do it as we hold back tears on a crowded train, forgetting to enjoy the music on our devices instead. To be alone is nothing wrong, but having to get used to being alone is what hurts. It’s usually not a choice. You don’t see a lot of articles appear on life in a relationship or as a couple than you do on how to regain your life after a break-up or divorce/separation, and confirmations that you’ll get so much more than done than you ever would as a couple. It’s like it’s one or the another: be in a relationship, or give yourself forced reminders everyday that you’re going be alright.
I thought of all this because it’s been a topic of conversation within those I talk to most. The only one I know in a stable relationship just recently got hitched. The rest are either hanging by an non-existent thread or are agitated and disappointed that dating isn’t as hopeful or easy as it used to be. Or maybe, because we’re getting older, we are trying to make the conscious choice to not spend time on anyone who doesn’t make our heart sing, even if just a little. And nobody wants to date someone who can’t stand, literally can’t stand be alone. We’ve been warned of your types. While decisions based on sap and loneliness will frequently kick in down the path towards a healthy union, to live and learn is the only way to get it right. Heaney for a summer issue of Cosmopolitan wrote about people like her in a piece centered on the “relationship virgins“; individuals that aren’t virgins sexually or in dating, but in having long-term boyfriends or girlfriends. It’s a jungle out there as those you have dated seriously understand the aforementioned hesitation, but what is life without love (or butterflies?) You’re going to be alright, kid. See? I just did it.
P.S. Besides, there’s always one of the greatest videos of all time to get you by…
THROWBACK THURSDAY #TBT VIDEO: