Single and Proud…if a Little Sidelined

What it is to be single in the 21st century (and most others)

I am deliriously in love…with myself.

Yes, that’s right. I love myself.

Well, not always, but a lot of the time.

That sounds way more arrogant than it’s meant to — what I really mean is that I am in love with being single.

And no, I’m not a “sologamist” (someone who marries themselves, yes it’s a thing, apparently) or a born-again single who raves about how good it is to be free in the same way reformed smokers become completely anti-smoking when they kick the habit while sometimes secretly hanging to go back to their old ways.

No, I am the authentic long-term single dude.

Yeah, sure, I’ve had a few short-term flings, a lot of one-night stands (hey not that many…well more than I count on quite a few hands) and even been in CAPITAL LOVE a couple of times (three, just three).

I am unashamed of having strayed into couples territory on these occasions, at least until I saw the light again and returned on my high horse to the kingdom of single.

But as I get older I am starting to get a little agitato grande about being single.

Second-Class Single-zens

So, why so agitated, I hear you ask?

Mainly because while I completely understand the huge leap away from selfishness that being in a happy couple requires and the even greater commitment that bringing up a family entails, I am feeling as I grow older that single are at a distinct disadvantage.

OK, sure, we have the natural advantage on so many fronts of only having to look after our own selfish selves, but step back from that and the reality of being single is not so pretty.

Take going on holiday, for example.

Now, while we can do this maybe more often than those in relationships, and there is no tussling over where to go, or worrying about getting a tribe of kids to the final destination, that’s where the benefits end.

We don’t get any of those cool 2–4–1 deals — I mean, what’s the point of hitting up a beach bar in Thailand and being told you can buy two Mai Tais for the price of one when there is only one of you…yes, you might buy them both because it’s probably only costing you $3, but still! It’s the principal.

Neither do we get the “kids fly/stay/eat free” deal that families get as airlines or resorts roll out marketing offers. No fair I say — and yes, I may have once tried to pull a swifty about Isaiah my “son” who I ordered the kids free meal for once but who never made it down in time from the room because he wasn’t feeling great so DOWN went that kid’s sized pizza and free soda with my burger and fries and beer. Waste not want not, I say.

Neither do we get those honeymoon packages where you arrive at your hotel to find some cheap sparkling white fizzy stuff on ice, a bath filled with rose petals and a free bottle of romance-inducing massage oil by the bed.

But travel is just the thin edge of the wedge.

How about food shopping?

There are all those “buy in bulk” offers, like a 12-litre tub of ice cream, that are heavily discounted or those offers from my credit card provider urging me to spend $300 at my local grocery shop this week to get 10,000 loyalty points.

No fair!

How about dropping the price on the single-sized tub of my favourite Ben & Jerry’s or sending me a little singles-aimed loyalty loving so I can amass enough points to buy that…damnit…2–4–1 trip to Cancun.

See where I’m going here?

And then there are the wedding invitations.

The number of times I’ve been invited to a wedding by someone who is well aware of my perpetually single status and therefore only invites me (no plus one), meaning I either end up on the table with the other single losers (winners) or with the extended family of the bride who you are going to spend the entire night struggling to make any form of conversation with because SINGLE…hmmmm…

My list of grievances could go on, but the point remains the same.

I know singles do have it relatively good in this world.

I get we don’t have as much responsibility or financial burden.

I understand we do only have to look after ourselves for the most.

However, the joy and advantages come at a cost in a world that in many ways, whether it means to or not, marginalises and shades us.

The Singles are Revolting

My point?

I’m not suggesting there be a singles revolution. In fact, I’m not even sure there is much that can be done about any of this because ultimately society has been geared to support the notion of the family, the tribe, the union of two for millennia.

And yes, these ruminations are all a little tongue-in-cheek (if you hadn’t guessed…) with just a tiny sliver of truth amongst them as I recognise and own the fact that the single life is pretty damned good.

I guess we singles could band together and …snap up those 2–4–1 holiday deals…cash in on the bulk shops etc etc…and maybe we should?

But then that would defeat the purpose of being single, so it ain’t gonna happen.

Looks like we will have to just own our lot in life, stay the single course and be just that little bit sidelined or marginalised in the name of singles purity.

And damn well enjoy it…

Writer, editor, content dude, digital disruptor. Politics. Arts. Tech. Travel. Food. Film. The Force. Digital Nomad. Citizen of the universe. Coffee. Always.

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