I could sleep all of those ways, but instead I sleep curled up in a ball far on the left end, leaving all that space empty. Sub-consciously, I curl up because I think I should have someone there with me and it doesn't feel right to use all that space by myself. I forget that I can use the whole bed because that is one of the benefits of being single.
A good friend of mine, who isn't single, once reminded me that even when in a relationship, one can still feel really lonely. She also reminded me that I am having a great time as a single woman. She's right. Just because I am single and sometimes really lonely, I'm not sitting at home every night, lamenting my life and listening to Gilbert O'Sullivan's Alone Again (Naturally) on repeat. I lead a full, well-rounded life; I have a great family and a good network of friends. I meet really interesting people and find myself in really interesting situations, and I do things I never did when I was in relationships.
Since leaving my last serious relationship, I have traveled all over the US, met some fantastic people, became part of a band, began writing more, got three tattoos (and counting), have gone to some great concerts, reconnected with old friends, made new friends, danced until my feet felt like they were going to fall off, driven across the country, dated some very interesting people, and overall have finally began to LIVE my life the way I see fit.
There are a lot of things I like about being single:
- I always do what I want to do, and I don't have to consider anyone else in my plans
- If I want to do something, I don't have to worry that my partner won't want to
- I arrive places when I want, I leave when I want
- I always choose the music that I listen to in my car
- If I feel like eating at a particular restaurant, I can go by myself, eat what I want and not worry if my partner will like it
- I buy myself great Christmas, birthday and Valentine's Day gifts
- I don't have to split holidays with another family
- I always hold the remote control
- If I feel like getting away for the weekend, I jump in my car and go
- I never have to check in with anyone
- I get to write a blog about my adventures
I know that when I get into a relationship, things will change. I will be considerate of my partner and I'll expect the same in return; we'll check in with each other, include each other, be honest when we need space, and build a life together. I also know that my get up and go attitude will be altered. I accept that - it's a trade-off for being with someone. I also know that in the past, I have altered everything about me and given up a lot of my interests, hobbies and the basic core of who I am because I made my partner's wants, interests, and needs more important than my own. If there's anything I've learned about myself, it's that I never want to do that again. The biggest benefit of being single has been learning who I want to be when I'm in a relationship, and learning that I'll be a really awesome girlfriend - not because I'll give up everything to be with him, but because I'm coming in as a whole, happy person.
There's an old saying - the grass is always greener on the other side. While living on the single side of the fence, I miss the feeling of being with someone, snuggling while watching TV together, always having a date for, well, everything and just knowing someone is going to be there when I've had a long day at work. I miss sharing my big bed. I also know that someday, I'll miss my single days, but I'm not doing all this self-work to be un-happy with someone. I know that when I miss being single, it will be a fleeting moment because the relationship will offer a different kind of fulfillment.
I wrote about soul mates last week, and the importance of finding fulfillment with myself. I guess one could say embracing the positive side of being single is a practice in truly accepting myself and treating myself like The One. In case you were wondering, New Walgreens Guy didn't make it past a few phone calls. He was running the ol' "I can only call you during the day or when I'm driving" game, and we all know what that means (click here if you don't).... and so it goes, I remain single... It ain't so bad, now that I stop and think about it...
Tonight, I'll sleep in the middle of my bed and take up all the space I can.
Next time: Trees and Rivers