Single and Satisfied

21 Apr

“Are you dating anyone yet?” my married, mid-40’s client inquired as he sauntered into my office to shoot the breeze before the class he had arrived early for was slated to begin.

I’ve had a few thoughts occur to me since this moment. I’ll share, because I’m positive I’m not the only early 30’s, single female — or male for that matter– who has experienced this before and wonders what the heck is happening.

1. A month ago I would have either been offended by this question (not outwardly so)  or thought, “Hmm….actually no. Perhaps I should start looking.”

2. I smiled at him when he asked me this and said, “No, and it’s not even on my radar, to tell you the truth.” He looked taken aback. His surprise could have been due to any number of reasons. Perhaps he thought I’d answer with something like, “No, there just aren’t any good guys left…” or “You know, I don’t even know where or how I’d meet anyone…” or “My goodness, am I wearing that ‘I’m lonely, date me’ stamp on my forehead?”

3. Is it possible, and I know this could be a reaching a bit, that I could be super satisfied, content, and in fact overjoyed in my singleness?

4.The “yet” at the end of his sentence almost implies an assumption that dating someone is what I want….there’s that foreshadowing….the lingering anticipation that I just might….after much pining and wishing and longing…come back with, “You’re never going to believe who I met!!!!!” Because who wouldn’t, if they are single, be looking and be fulfilled focusing on her career, writing books, devouring education, taking introspection to new heights, and helping others become who they want to be? Preposterous!

5.  I take such joy in analyzing the behaviors of other people and peeling away the layers of history and meaning and gunk that becomes attached to their words. I enjoy doing the same with myself. Believe me, I do and say things that stop me in my tracks and cause me to pause and think  “Did that just come out my mouth? No, seriously….moi? I can own that? Wow.”  I could make my entire life about this stuff. Oh wait, I have.

6. I’ve done Match.com and I’ve done Eharmony, and I’ve done a total of two dates from them in the span of two years. STOP! When you read this, what was your first thought? Click on the comment button NOW and tell me! Intriguing.

7. When I was a young girl I cut out pictures of dresses that I could wear when I’d have my dream wedding. The folder I kept them in, and I remember this so clearly, also had a picture of Demi Moore in her gray, sweaty tank top, camouflage fatigues, and glorious shaved head from her role in GI Jane. I wanted to be GI Jane. What a bad ass.

8. The dichotomy of those images is comical to me now. I got married and hated my gown. Now I’m divorced. And when I did get divorced, guess what my next big goal was? Think muscle. Think hard core, bad-ass, one arm pushup, train until you can’t move, bodybuilding.

9. I own my own home. I just got a cat. STOP! (Click on the comment button NOW and tell me what you just thought!). I’ve got a great career that will continue to move forward. I work a lot and it’s my choice. I’m in school again trudging gratefully toward my PhD. I rarely go out and have just a few very close friends. And I am not lonely in the slightest.

10. Am I opposed to a relationship? No. Am I going to search one out? No. Do I like men? Yes. Am I a single, spinster, cat lady? Well, you might think so. I would like to believe I’m a single, attractive, intelligent, independent, happy, well-educated, responsible, determined, funny, well-adjusted, growth-minded, fit…..okay, you get my point.

11. I’m curious whether any of you who are out there and are single and not actively looking yet aren’t opposed to a relationship have experienced what I have? Marriage isn’t necessarily the norm anymore folks. Single people are treated quite interestingly based on the far-reaching effects of the marriage institution. Stereotypes abound!

I loved the first page of Bella DePaulo’s book, Singled Out.  In it she beautifully, and sarcastically, crafts her argument that single people are, in fact, singled out.

“I think married people should be treated fairly. They should not be stereotyped, stigmatized, discriminated against, or ignored. They deserve every bit as much respect as single people do. I can imagine a world in which married people were not treated appropriately and if that world ever materialized, I would protest.”

She goes on to list a few things that she would find offensive. Here’s a taste:

1. “When you tell people you are married they tilt their heads and say ‘Aaawww’ or ‘Don’t worry, honey, your turn to divorce will come.'”

2. “Every time you get married you feel obligated to give expensive presents to single people.”

3. “Single employees can add another adult to their health care plan– you can’t.”

Does it surprise you that one of my least favorite songs is Beyonce’s “All the Single Ladies”? Read the lyrics.

I want to hear from you! What has your experience been?

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2 Responses to “Single and Satisfied”

  1. Becky Reynolds April 21, 2012 at 5:55 PM #

    Kori…..You are one strong, talented woman! A great role model! Glad you are my friend!

    • kpropst April 21, 2012 at 6:01 PM #

      Thank you for that, Becky! I hope this provided you at least a laugh. You know me well enough that you could probably see me saying these words and getting all excited! 😉 It’s funny– your comment regarding being a role model reminds me of a recent conversation I had with a young woman who is 15 years old. Her brother, who is a couple years older just went through his first real break-up with a girl he was very attached to. She said, “I am not even focused on boys. I want to do well in school and get to know who I am before I even go there…” This made me smile. There is nothing wrong with being in a partnership. I’m not against it in the slightest. And there is value to being by one’s self. Hope you are well, Becky!

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