Shannon, as someone who has been single most of my adult life (but isn’t now, at 65 at least for the time being, ain’t nuthin forever) this story really resonates. The Christian — and other religious notions- that being single is a sin has to my mind a great deal to do with the idea that a woman is property. Therefore you, my dear, are without an owner. I’m grinning as I write this, please hear the humor. There’s an ad running on NPR locally for a barbershop quartet named, appropriately, Malestrom (cute) and it features a 1950s ballad “You Belong to Me.” I have an unprintable response to that notion, and to a great degree that was my era. Here’s the piece, m’dear. Let’s go to the Wonder Woman boat scene with Chris Pine at which point our girl informs our boy hero that men aren’t necessary for pleasure. These days even for procreation although IVF kids have health issues as they grow up. Point is, once we left the Wild West and huge tracts of inhospitable land where passels of kids died young and marriage helped a great deal in keeping your shit together, it became a handy institution to give men permission to do what they wanted with their chattel. To be told you’re not whole without a mate has a deep history in patriarchal attitudes and religions. Single powerful women scare the shit out of a certain kind of folks, male and female (kindly I are one, thanks) because we don’t need a man. I like having one around every so often. But I sure as hell don’t need one. If anything the current one, of whom I am right fond, will be vastly better liked when he again finds his own apartment and I can have my house back. Being single is the best way to explore who the hell we are. When we are together it’s the best way to explore how we show up around others. Both are critically necessary to our personal development. In another segment on NPR posted last week about friendships at work, one researcher mentioned that time apart helps a friendship. Oh, really? Ya think, Sherlock? That goes double, triple for love affairs. Too much together time we drown. Not only that we stop appreciating and start criticizing, where time away allows us to savor, value, consider, and ponder. I love living and being alone. I love choosing who I spend intimate time with. The current BF, with whom I have been connected going on twelve years, and I do best when apart a LOT.
The way I see it Shannon, we get what we need, not necessarily what we want. That I can take to the bank. Alone time is what we need as we have it. Then watch what happens when folks hook up, carry a cartload of unfair expectations, and in a few months they’re mooning about being alone again. I’ve done it myself.
Your and my character has little to do with being hooked up. Our character is forged day to day minute by minute by every single thing we face, including our superbly single selves in the mirror. When you are supposed to have company, company will show up. Not one second too early and not one second too late.