The world has evolved from the nagging longing for coupling to the celebration of singleness, and some people will call that (for lack of much thought in my opinion) development. I think it’s a dream. To understand why I think so we’ll need to re-examine our idea of singleness.
Have you seen the movie How To Be Single? I have and I loved it or rather I loved the idea. I was surprised by it. It wasn’t what I expected from Hollywood. Particularly the last words by Alice (the lead) changed my entire outlook on being single.
The thing about being single is to cherish it because in a week or a lifetime of being alone you may only get one moment when you are not tied up in a relationship with anyone; a parent, a pet, a sibling, a friend. One moment when you stand on your own, really true single.
What Alice did not know as she stood saying this over the great beauty of the grand canyon was that she was not alone. In that vastness, there was God, present through his creations. Even in the time she thought she was most single it’s ironic that she, in fact, wasn’t.
If we carefully watch what the actor says we might understand why I consider being single a dream. Not the kind where you can try to drag the dream into reality but the lofty, fussy kind of dream that can only exsist as that – lofty and fussy.
What is our basis for singleness? When a person says I am single what is the person saying or what do we understand by it? Before recent events I’d take that to mean “I am not in a serious relationship with anyone”. But how true is that? What is being in a relationship? We can all agree that in one word it means commitment. But isn’t that something all of us can relate to? Here’s what I mean; just because you aren’t committed to a person in a romantic way does not in the least mean that you are not committed to other people/things on such profound levels that it (that commitment) cannot be called a relationship.
At each stage in our lives, our commitments tend to shift and resuffle. At first they are forced down on us automatically; school and family, slowly we morph into choosing for ourselves; TV, friends, religion, books, pets, hobbies. At some point we choose the chief commitment to be a person and somehow the world acknowledges this commitment (of romance) as concrete/tangible and even mourns the loss of it as if the exact same thing isn’t happening when you graduate from college or lose a pet.
We don’t completely belong to ourselves, we never have, we never will. That might seem a little fishy, but it’s true. We constantly throw ourselves into different things and people per time. We fall in and out of several relationships and ties sometimes on a daily basis, the catch of marriage is that it is forever or at least that how it’s meant to be, and so, the strings are meant to run deep in such an intricate fashion that they cannot be undone. Hence, the conclusion that a married couple is one.
For me then, there are only married and unmarried people. The forces of marriage are strong enough to be seen and classified as a peculiar stage in life. The law recognizes the choice of the couple’s cementation and even God recognizes the institution.
Instead of asking, are you single? We should ask, who/what is bae right now? Because there always is, some more worth while than others but still doesn’t defer the presence of a commitment.
The popular claim of aquired singleness is that it gives you the luxury of being and getting to know who you are, enjoying the flavour of your own company. But I disagree with that, if a relationship, a romantic relationship does not open doors to knowing yourself better and loving yourself more I do not think it is healthy or ideal. I don’t think it is worth the effort. The same way being friends with negative people isn’t worth the effort.
Who/what is bae? Think carefully about it and decide to be wiser and deliberate about the partners you choose, about your priorities in life. Don’t be fooled into thinking you are single or alone. It’s a dream.