“If you are lonely when you are alone, you are in bad company” – Jean-Paul Satre
You know that feeling when your heart starts racing, your stomach starts churning and your head starts spinning? Yep: love… NO much the opposite. I’m talking about that feeling you get when you are alone in a room full of couples, those times when you are ordering or cooking for one; when you stay in on a Friday night with no one to call. I’m talking about that moment when all you want to do is cuddle up in your bed and weep. I’m talking about being that wall flower unable to move on. I’m talking about that dark place only those who have felt the pain of true loneliness have been.
That horrifying invitation comes flying elegantly in the mail and those dreaded words haunt any single woman – “and partner” Is it the world taunting you, laughing in your face at your lack of companionship and teasing your “sad” situation. As you circle “I” rather than “we” you feel an overwhelming sense of empty – even if you don’t actually feel it every other day.
When I was a little girl I was like Jane from 27 Dresses. I loved a good wedding. In my childish eyes I was the typical girl – dreaming up when my day would come: sketching my dress, drawing the cake, planning the decorations with my pink crayons and glitter, singing the songs, making up my first dance and painting my perfect Prince Charming (who back then was pretty much a generic Disney prince and who always seemed to be the last of my concerns). When I was a young guest I would smile at the bride and groom on their most magic of days; I would be completely happy because someday that would be me.
To steal a phrase from Mr Darcy: “I have been a selfish being all my life”
Now, well now I’m beginning to dread weddings (Apart from the fact I get to dress up!). Long gone are the days of perfect innocence, long gone is my inner dreamer. I am now a realist; I am now beginning to understand the sceptics and the naysayers. I attend a wedding with only an exterior smile, I am no longer utterly happy. I sit in my own world as I listen to the loving speeches the phrases “I love you,” “thank you for giving me this perfect woman,” “Thank you for being such a wonderful man for my daughter,” “Today my dream has come true.” Each line makes me worse, each wonderful moment makes my heart sink and each loving look, hug and kiss makes me want to cry tears of abandonment and fear. No longer can I truly feel happy for others when I know my own fate is so very different, so very singular. I listen to the lyrics of love songs, I hear the clichéd lines and I hide my jealously with scepticism and loathing, tittering on adolescent huffs and rolling of the eyes. I try to block out all the love by making my way through kilos of butter and sweet desserts, I try to find solitude outside of this picture perfect atmosphere of every girl’s “most important” day of their lives.
Those serial couples, never knowing the true feeling of being single for once I wish they knew how it felt. Why we despise public displays of affection, why we get angry when all you talk about is your new beau, when you no longer have time for you and me, when you have to invite him to everything, when you ask the question “so how is your love life?” (with an almost too smug air) and when suddenly we look across the table and see a complete stranger – when your opinions have changed, when your style seems off and when you begin to drift away. You say you can’t help it (which is rather true) and yet even when confrontation arises, when it is all on the table you choose to think it is this poor single girl’s jealousy and her unreasonable need for attention speaking. But, you do not know your own actions, try to detach yourself from your relationship, think of the past, think of the “you”. No “better half” no “boyfriend” no “us” STOP and realise you are one gorgeous individual: work on both equally.
I am shocked when someone cannot attend something by themselves or walk into a party without company and for everything this world can offer I am at a loss when someone expresses sympathy when a man or woman sits alone, a table for one. They look down on them wondering what could be the matter. Isn’t one better than three at least? Can’t someone enjoy a little one on one with themselves? Independence is my calling card and for now at least I am contented.
Weddings – they are all fluff and show – almost a complete “in your face, I’m happy” extravagant event, not really for the self. (I am in no way putting down those who are married this is just my own personal opinion – I believe it is only for some - And if I ever want that day I think it would now be a picture of little consequence and quaint elegance).
I use to want a massive wedding with all the trimmings but now I’m starting to wonder whether I even like the idea of marriage at all. Now, I am beginning to despise this stupid idea of “success” this so called proper journey in life. Why must the expectation of a life long partner be so ingrained in the minds of our parents, of our relatives; of everyone? Why does the majority of society feel sorry for the single 20, 30, 40 year old woman? Why must gossip prone aunties try to set up their nieces and nephews? Why must we be victim to the dreaded: “do you have a boyfriend?” “When will it be your turn?” “You best get a move on” small talk. Why must we be seen as a charity case? What if we are in a state of pure content, what if we like the way we live – independent, strong and self efficient –
"I don't need a man to rectify my existence. The most profound relationship we'll ever have is the one with ourselves." - Shirley MacLaine
Take charge - break generalisations of social ideals!
(Sometimes I am devastatingly feminist but a lot of the time I am downright self sexist, slightly backward and cruel to the fairer sex... yep box of contradictions; again we shall cover this all in a future tale)
Having a little talk with some close friends we found the perfect small talk question (avoiding all awkward moments) – “How is life?” PERFECT! This does not place anyone on unsteady ground rather it gives you an open question – answer it however you like.
I’m beginning to give up on this idea of partners, lovers and monogamy. I think I’m only just scratching the surface of the person I truly am, I think I am only just beginning to find myself. Maybe some are born for a life of companionship and others are left to tackle this world alone – our mission in life is to satisfy the “me” is to work on constant self development and make the most of who and what we are (without a man to catch us when we fall). While the other half of the population work on the “us.” It seems like a reasonable picture. One I think I am happy to consent to.
I am a hopeless romantic no longer. So back to the quote I began with – it is almost the motto to my life right now – I am trying desperately to love the person I am. I fail most of the time but other times I am wholly contented…I guess I still don’t know where my life will take me.
Anyway, there goes my slightly emo thoughts for the day… next week hopefully something a little lighter!
Your thoughts on weddings, monogamy, singletown and love?