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Being Single Isn't Sad

I am an introvert who was raised primarily by my very extroverted mother, alongside my very extroverted younger sister. My mother will still recall, with amusement, how often I yelled out, "I just want to be alone!" when my sister wanted my constant attention. Mom still thinks it was just the standard tension between siblings. Mom can't seem to understand that constant personal interactions drive my stress levels higher and higher and higher.

I can play an extrovert for a time because I was trained well in the practice, and I do enjoy the company of people. After all, I love teaching. But at the end of the day, I don't want to be around anyone. I want to be alone.

My mother's standard reply to my plea for solitude was, "Then you were born into the wrong family!" I took that to heart. My need to be alone was a mistake. A selfish mistake. Removing myself from a group—particularly a family group—was somehow insulting. Leaving someone alone was mean and hurtful.

Can you see the double layer of confusion there? I certainly didn't feel hurt and insulted when left alone. I found it a relief! But my family unit was designed by an extrovert, for extroverts. And the greater world is designed for pairs, not solitaries.

A month is apparently the appropriate amount of time between a break-up and the first queries about when dating will again commence. In the last couple days, five people have asked when I'll start dating again. When I say I've decided not to date anymore, I get little knowing looks ranging from sympathy—the assumption I've been too hurt to "risk" dating again—to amusement—the assumption I'm too... something... to know my own mind.

My foray into dating again was absolutely fun.  But the truth is I've finally decided, once and for all, to practice what I know. And what I know is that I am quieter, less stressed, and perfectly content when solitary. There is no empty space within me seeking a partner. There is no sense of being incomplete. My time spent with That Man was extremely enjoyable and great for my self-esteem, but I didn't need it to be more.  My friends and my family nurture my heart and soul; I don't have a need for One Special Person.

"Well, you have a lot going on right now," is my mother's response, as if this is a preadolescent phase akin to disliking the color purple or hating math. No. This is me finally accepting who and what I am.

I'm a single person. I look forward to being alone. I'm excited to direct my own life without a partner. A future filled with me being solitary looks so much more exciting than a life in partnership.

I'm not choosing to remain single because I want to avoid being hurt; truly, I've inflicted most of the hurt in past relationships because my introversion can look like lack of caring. I'm not choosing to remain single because I'm too busy to date; truly, my life would be so much easier if I had a partner. But I am choosing to accept the fact many people will never, ever believe, let alone understand, these facts.

This is me choosing to be single because it is what makes me happy, and because I'm tired of pretending otherwise for the sake of others' expectations.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
May. 11th, 2013 03:33 pm (UTC)
Good for you! Happiness is what's important. And, I totally understand. Wishing you have a happy and wonderful life!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


Blair MacGregor

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