Not going out

In keeping with the general idea that I often find it easier in life to think about what I don’t want or don’t like than what I do, it’s probably worth setting the tone of what the blog is (or isn’t) intended to be.

What it definitely isn’t, is another of those ‘my hilarious tales of dating!’ or ‘my hilarious single life’ blogs. I think there are quite enough of those already.

Having said that, when you’re thirty-something and single, it’s impossible for the very fact of your singledom not to impact hugely on your life and how you live it. So, I do intend to write about how life from the single-shelf looks.
It’s more likely to be about navigating my through a society where it feels like everyone else is coupled up, than those ‘oh-so-funny’ stories about my dates.
And you certainly see a different view of many of those happy couples when you’re on the shelf.

But, you know, single life doesn’t mean miserable life, it just means different to many of the other people I know.
And I’m not saying everyone is coupled up and I’m the only one making it through the single life. But perhaps there’s a disproportionate number of couples in my life.

Single life also doesn’t mean that everything you do is about dating or relationships, but it does mean you do an awful lot of things alone, where other people do them in a couple or as a family.
You plan things alone, you deal with life’s difficulties alone, you go places alone.
On a Saturday night, when you have no plans, you’re a singleton staying in with nothing to do – not a cosy couple spending the evening ‘chilling’ together.

So your solitude changes you, makes you see the world from a different view. The world sees you differently too. You’re not quite one of them yet, you haven’t quite grown-up, or made it, or achieved what is expected.
Not one person, ever, responds to the news that no, you’re not seeing anyone, with “great!”.
Instead, there’s a rush of “you’ll meet someone!” or “your perfect man is just around the corner!” or “I don’t understand why a girl like you is still single?”.
It is always, always, received as a negative state. A waiting room if you will.
I challenge anyone who lives with the endless stream of vague pity, sympathetic smiles and empty platitudes that you didn’t ask for, not to feel just a teeny tiny bit bitter and pissed off.

So, yes, being on the shelf doesn’t mean you spend your life roaming around desperately looking for a mate, but your singleness does mark you out as different in some way and dealing with all of life’s nooks and crannies alone does feel lonely sometimes.

So, I guess that’s what this blog is about, just going through life as one of the alone ones and seeing the world from a shelf that is just that little bit unconventional.


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