New relationships are amazing. They light us up, they make us glow with happy, I-freaking-love-my-life glee. But what are we giving up? Being single, as it turns out, can be pretty amazing too.
“Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.” —Walt Whitman
My super-radical feminist friend once confessed that she liked to wear a push-up bra when she went to the gym so she looked hot while running on the treadmill. Even though she was theoretically against objectification, she still wanted to feel accepted by the external gaze.
As humans, we are walking contradictions. I always come back to that concept when I’m struggling with an internal opposition. For example, I am a writer and yet I hate labels. Particularly, I hate labeling myself. Even more specifically, I hate labeling myself in relation to other people. For the past couple of months I have been seeing a guy and that guy really wants to call it something. While discussing the possibilities of what we could call whatever it is we’re doing, I nearly had a panic attack thinking about the concept of changing my “relationship status.”
Being single has been my thing and I’ve been really good at it.
I know that whenever I finally accept the up-and-coming not-single label a big part of me will greatly miss it.
But what will I miss exactly?
Things I’ll Miss About Being Single:
So, perhaps I’m hanging out alone and the need to toot arises, I just toot because no one is around to hear (or smell) the tooting. But if I’m in a relationship and we’re with each other in the same space… what then? Then I’ll have to get up and walk into another room to do it.
Whoa. Big. Deal.
This is how long I’ve been single; I’m concerned with my fart freedom.
More importantly, all tooting aside, I’m concerned with my actual freedom. For the longest time I have been able to do whatever I please with no accountability to anyone but myself.
I can dance around my apartment in just my undies. I can leave my room a mess for days and no one knows the wiser. I can walk down the street and wink at a cute stranger. I can grab a beer at a bar and go home with a complete stranger. I can sext my ex pictures of my butt. I can pick up extra hours at work because I have no plans for later. I can eat potato chips in bed and get crumbs everywhere. I can go wherever I want, with whomever I want and come home whenever I want. I can flirt with all the possibilities that love (and sex) have to offer.
It’s selfish, I am aware; but as someone who spends every moment with herself it’s difficult to imagine ending the possibilities, even when a great person of which to love and grow with is right in front of me.
Being Lazy Out of Love
Relationships take work. If I’m in one, that means I will be taking on another job—another full-time job—and a difficult one at that. Communication, thoughtfulness, compromises, it’s all a major part of any healthy relationship and that’s what ticks off that panic button inside of me.
I know I can do it, but I’m also scared. Scared that I will repeat past mistakes. Scared that I will hurt or get hurt by failing to do the relationship the “right” way. Scared to be vulnerable. Scared to let someone else in. Scared that if or when I do they will be frightened by what they find and run away. Or vice versa.
When I’m living the single life I only have to “get” myself, and a part of me will miss the ease of worrying about just me. Honestly, a part of me will truly miss that wall I built that was once so sturdy, the wall that I had to demolish in order to not only let others in but let myself grow.
The fear I have about labels, the fear that causes me to be a walking contradiction (or a running-in-a-pushup-bra contradiction), is actually a fear of giving up a label I have for so-long embraced, and not only embraced, but loved. I will miss it, I will miss my lazy freedoms, but I look forward to the opportunities that await me once I take the leap to the other side, once I finally accept that new label and get to work fulfilling its definition.
[image: via Marina del Castell on flickr]