I’ve been sick. A friend recommended I take a supplement, and that I should probably take it for the rest of my life. I stared at those words in the email and for a full minute. I could not feel my legs. FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE? I sat there (since I couldn’t move my legs) and tried to think of something – anything I wanted to do every day for the rest of my life. I barely want to do things I like every day for the rest of my life. Then it occurred to me, is this visceral reaction the reason I am single?
I haven’t always been single. I have been in very long relationships. And I have spent long periods of time alone. And when I look back, if I am being completely honest I tend to have been a happier person when I am alone. Maybe it’s a testament to my bad taste in men… But I don’t think so. When I was a little girl, my dream relationship was Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas because they were married and they lived in separate cities. It seemed ideal.
I have a theory. There are only two kinds of people in the world: lonely (and single) or annoyed (and in a relationship). I think we all have a higher tolerance for one – either you’re better at being lonely or you’re better at being annoyed. But they are really your only options. Either you’re lonely or you’re annoyed.
I mean sure – early love is great and you want to be with that person all the time. When you live with someone, you can get a hug at the end of a long day, or someone to make your coffee in the morning. I have been there. But sooner or later, the lust wears off and their annoying habits and idiosyncrasies start to surface – like I don’t know – their breathing – in and out, in and out, in and out…
When you are alone, sometimes it is awesome – like when you are so comfy because you have the whole bed to yourself. Or no one is around to judge you when eat an entire can of frosting or don’t wash dishes for a week. But sometimes you want someone to talk to, or make you tea when you’re sick, or have sex with you.
So when I get really lonely, it usually helps to call an attached friend – who without any encouragement begins complaining about their spouses while their children scream in the background (my hand to God one called expressly to complain AS I WAS WRITING THE PREVIOUS SENTENCE). And I thank them for once again for validating my life choices.