On Hard-Won Lessons in Your Single, Solitary Years

Happy New Year!

I’ve cast this blog aside for the first few days of the year, spending some vacation time in Florida and working on building new relationship(s). To that end, a lot of what I have been reading online almost seems to come my way as something that I was meant to read, confirming my beliefs/values. Perhaps the best example is this Modern Love story in The New York Times, on what being single for many years teaches you:

Being a single person searching for love teaches you that not everything is under your control. You can’t control whether the person you’ve fallen for will call. You can’t force yourself to have feelings for the nice guy your best friend fixed you up with. You have no way to know whether attending this or that event — a co-worker’s art opening, a neighbor’s housewarming — will lead to the chance encounter that will forever alter your life. You simply learn to do your best, and leave it at that.

Ringing endorsement here:

Relationships are work, but so is being single, and I became pretty good at it.

The perspective in the story comes from someone older than me, but I sympathize with this:

Most important, I’ve realized I never needed a long boyfriend résumé for the experience. In the 20 years before I met Mark, I learned a lot of hard lessons: how to be a self-respecting adult in a world that often treats single people like feckless teenagers; how to stand at cocktail parties while my friends’ in-laws asked me if I had a boyfriend; how to have warm, friendly dinners with strangers I had met online as we delicately tried to determine whether we could possibly share our lives together; and how to come home to an empty apartment after a rotten day at work.

A wonderful way to start 2014.


(hat tip: @jennydeluxe)

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