The Joys Of Uncoupled Life

Katie Young
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Wednesday - April 18, 2007

Have you ever noticed how a lot of things seem to come in twos - eyes, ears, legs, arms ... the animals on Noah’s Ark?

The other day, my single friend Adam was complaining about how everything is made for couples.

“This Entertainment Book is a waste!” he said. “Everything in it is two-for-one or half-off with the purchase of one complete meal. I can’t use this!”

Adam closed the book and pushed it across the table to me. “You can have it.”

“But you can go to dinner with a friend,” I insisted.

“No, that’s OK,” Adam said, sounding defeated. “Every time I buy one of those things I’m part of a couple and we end up breaking up. I think it’s just a bad sign.”

Adam shares the sentiment of a lot of single people I know, who, in approaching their mid-30s, are now faced with the inevitable coupling and marrying off of their once-single gang of hangout buddies.

When you are the only single one left in a group of coupled friends, it’s funny how you can start to feel bad about being single.

It was never like that before! “Single” was something to be celebrated, revered - envied even by your paired-off friends, who, in your early 20s, were few and far between. You weren’t “tied down.” There was no “ball and chain.”

But now, the picture of coupledom seems splendid. At least it looks that way when you see lovers holding hands, when they refer to everything in “we” instead of “me” and they always have a date for the movies or dinner.

You may start to feel hopeless about finding true love. You dread dinner night with your friends because you know the couples will be looking at you with a sort of sad-eyed sympathy - trying to set you up with any other single person they know - just to make you part of a couple too!

Who wants to be felt sorry for anyway? And who wants to be someone’s set-up project? Not me!

“If I have to go to one more wedding alone, I’m going to scream,” my friend Shelbi told me. “You just feel so pitiful sitting there all alone. The table card has everyone’s names listed in couples and then there’s just me by myself. How sad.”

But I didn’t think that was sad at all. Being single can be a wonderful and fulfilling time in your life. You just have to get past thinking that being in a couple is better. Being part of a couple is one choice. There are other, just as viable choices, too.

Some people take longer than others to find their mate. Some people prefer to stay single because they know they feel comfortable in how they live life alone. So if you can get past the whole “wanting what you don’t have” thing, then there is a lot to be accomplished alone.

You never have to compromise on what you’re eating for dinner, what to watch on TV or where to go on the weekend. You can surf when you want, sleep when you want, eat when you want. There’s nothing wrong with watching a movie alone in the theater or having dinner alone at a restaurant. You just have to get past feeling that there’s something wrong with it.

We each come to our perfect place in our own time. Use your time being single to invest in yourself. Build stronger friendships, find new hobbies - feel complete on your own.

As for your coupled friends, let them know you are happy for their happiness, but you don’t want to be part of their next match-making endeavor. You are perfectly OK on your own.

Be happy for those who live in coupledom - and be happy for those who aren’t.

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