5 Advantages of Being Single

Happy Being Single

Lying naked on the examination table with a paper gown covering very little, I waited. After a few minutes of staring at a wildlife picture taped to the ceiling, the doctor breezed in with a nurse by her side, ready to complete my annual gynecological exam. As she started the exam, she initiated a conversation about being single (she knows I am) and the current state of dating at our age (we are both in our 40′s). This was not exactly the discussion I was hoping to have with a speculum in me and a doctor poking around my cervix.

The conversation went something like this:

Doc: “Are you still seeing the same guy from the winter?”

Me: “I am. It’s going really well with him.”

Doc: “I don’t know how you do it. Being single, I mean. The dating process these days and so many losers out there. I wouldn’t want to be single.”

Me: “Well, um, it’s been okay for me. I am really happy.”

Doc: “My husband is far from perfect and he has his issues, which I have to deal with, but it’s not like he beats me or anything. Knowing what it is like single in your 40′s, it makes my husband a lot more appealing than the alternative.”

Me: {shock-silence-disbelief}

Why do married people assume single people are unhappy?

This isn’t the first time I have had a conversation about being single with someone who had pity in her eyes as she discussed my martial status. On another occasion last fall, out to dinner with a group of women, one asked me how I was doing. I told her I was doing great–I had just shot a wedding, the photography school had hired me to teach part-time, ┬ácontractors just completed three home improvement projects, and my kids were doing great in the new school year.

“Yes, but tell us how you are really doing. It must be so hard to be alone,” she stated in a condescending tone.

Did I not state clearly enough that I am doing well and that I was happy?

People who are married and take this approach with singles should wipe the sad look off their faces and realize we could actually be happier alone than they are in their married life. Being alone is nothing to fear. I actually find it preferable to being in a bad relationship.

Are there times I wish I had a partner? On occasion, yes. It is a rare and fleeting thought though. But stating I wish I had a partner at times would bristle The Boyfriend. I can hear his response now:

“You do have a partner; we just don’t live under the same roof full time.”

He would be right with that rebuttal of course. So let me be more clear: the type of partner that requires a divorce attorney to break up.

For those who are married and pity singles (and for single people who have forgotten the advantages of being single), I have made a list. If this list shines a light on the advantages of singledom and saves just one single person from a poor-you conversation with a well-meaning married friend, I would have accomplished something with this post today.

5 Benefits of Being Single

1- Complete Independence- There is a great freedom that exists when single. I don’t answer to anyone and I don’t have to argue or negotiate over my decisions.

2- No Other Family- I only have my family members. I don’t have a meddling mother-in-law who will never approve of how I am caring for her precious son. I don’t have in-laws weighing in on my relationship with my partner or parenting skills. {Note: This is not a reference to my ex-mother-in-law. She is a wonderful woman.}

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