Singlism and “I Wish You Had Someone In Your Life”

Singlism and “I Wish You Had Someone In Your Life”

Recently I had an email conversation with a friend which originated with me sending her an article on introversion that I came across in the Flipboard app for the iPad. The article, An Open Letter From Introverts To Everyone Else was a short one with several main points about the typical characteristics of a person with an introverted personality. I merely sent the link with no added comments of my own.

A day later, my friend who is also more introverted than extroverted replied with a single statement:

That’s a good article. It explains us perfectly.

Happy with the acceptance of the article by her, I was also slightly puzzled because she often derides me for refusing to go to parties. She, and everyone else who knows me understands that I don’t like parties of any kind and almost always refuse to attend them. I replied back in a light-hearted way asking her why, if she understands me as an introverted person, she always pressures me to attend parties.

Another one-liner reply came back from her.

Because I wish you had someone in your life to share it with, and you won’t meet anyone unless you go places.

This blog post isn’t so much about introversion, but about single people, such as myself, who enjoy our single status.

I wrote back to her a nice reply explaining how I viewed her statement which is not unlike anyone else who says the same things when talking about singles and couples. Below is what I wrote, slightly edited, but within full context.

Have you considered that perhaps I am happy being single, that I don’t need anyone in my life? Projecting your wishes for what you perceive will make me happy is audacious and selfish on your part in my opinion. Isn’t one of the main goals in our lives to be happy? It’s even written in the Declaration of Independence; Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Instead of making that statement of what you wish for me, why not ask me what my wishes are?

Happiness isn’t the same for everyone and it’s not a clear definition or set of circumstances that creates it. It cannot be a cookie cutter situation of the traditional nuclear family for us all. What makes you happy is unique to you, whereas what makes me happy is unique to me.

I’m a single person and that makes me very happy. I look forward to and enjoy coming home to a place where there is no one, except Puma (my cat). My home is quiet and stress free; it’s a place for me to recharge after being out at work all day and interacting with others. I not only want that time alone, but I need it too. Solitude is not the same as loneliness.

Several years ago I came to the conclusion that I do not want children. That is a hard fact that I am not willing to waver on. As far as being with a lady, married or not, that door is still open, but I am perfectly content being single. I have no desire to actively seek anyone out, but if I meet someone, someday and things work out, then great. Until that happens, I wish to remain single and very happy.

I believe in your statement you must truly wish for me to be happy, which is the underpinning, unstated desire behind you saying that you wish I had someone to share my life with. Brass tacks, I am happy without someone in my life. Happiness is the ultimate goal here, wouldn’t you agree?

One other thing I recall now from Bella DePaulo’s book Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After was a counter argument, hypothetically, to the common saying from a coupled person to a single person, which goes something like this: “Don’t worry, I hope that someday you’ll find someone to complete you and make you happy.”

Bella’s counter argument to that, and I thought it was brilliant, is this from a single person to a coupled person, doing an equal and opposite role. “Don’t worry, I hope you get divorced someday and then you will be so happy.”

On it’s own, that sure sounds like a mean and insulting statement to tell a married person isn’t it? Well, it is the exact opposite of saying the same thing to a single person who likes being single. Imagine how we feel when people tell us they wish we’d find someone when we’re not interested in looking? It’s kind of a slap in the face and just as insulting as wishing they would get divorced.

Bella try’s to promote the idea that being happy doesn’t always include being coupled and that being single doesn’t mean a person is unhappy and incomplete. I feel the same way as she does and explains in her writings.

5 Years On, Still Single & Happy

5 Years On, Still Single & Happy

It’s been nearly 5 years now since I wrote the blog post about choosing to be single and being happy about it. Today I’ve finished a book entitled Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After

After finishing the book and recalling the blog post I wrote, I was amazed at the similarities between both, and how I seemed to be on the same wave length as the author.

In the past 5 years things have largely remained the same with me as far as relationships go. There have been no new developments to speak of and on occasion someone try’s to convince me of joining an online dating site. I have gotten older and am now on the downward slope to 40 and lost a little bit of hair on the top of my head.

I suppose Ive softened up since the fist post on the topic and don’t feel like I should come off so hard anymore. I’ve learned that my solitude is part of my introverted needs. The need for alone time is a must in my life. Home is where I recharge my mental batteries and I can really only accomplish that by being by myself. I spend my days at the office working and interacting with others and that’s where I get my needs of a little extroversion fulfilled. It’s like a balance between the two personality types that each of us needs. Some need more introversion and others more extroversion, but we all need both. Going to work with people and coming home to no one provides me a great balance of both and allows me time to recharge for the next day.

I’m still amazed at the mythology that married, or coupled people, still seem to believe in the false notion that if you’re single, you’re lonely and in need of a partner. It’s seem like an automatic reflex for them to believe that and make comments to the same. What they don’t understand is introversion and the need for solitude. I feel like most people believe that introversion is a bad thing, that there is something wrong with you. That’s not the case at all. It’s not a bad thing, it’s a different thing that extroversion.

It does get old when people are always assuming that they can bother me when I’m not at work to do this or that, to fix this or help them with minor problems that can otherwise wait until I am at work again. It’s as if they think I am sitting around waiting for something to do or waiting to jump into action to fix something because I am not married with children which would presumably take my time. That time, as being valuable if you have a family. But if you’re single, your time isn’t valuable at all and it’s okay for others to bother you on your time off.

Not true at all. What makes people think a singles time is less valuable than a coupled person’s time? Isn’t it a bit biased to think that? My time is just as valuable to me as it is to coupled person’s time. What I choose to do with it is my business and I value it highly just as a coupled person would value their time together highly.

Wake up coupled people, us singles can be quite happy, if not more than you! Our time can be just as valuable as yours too. Don’t feel bad for us, because you might actually be insulting us. If you tell me that you hope I find someone soon, don’t get mad if I retort that I hope you get divorced soon, because, you know, being single is so much better than being married. It’s a two-way street so yield the right-of-way once in a while.

I’m still single and I’m still happy!

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