Sunday, April 5, 2009

Do I have to stay single to prove I am happy being single?

I've started dating someone. It actually has taken me a while, and a lot of false starts, to even write that sentence, partly because I don't want to jinx it (things are definitely still in the beginning stages), but partly because I'm not sure how I feel about admitting that I'm dating someone on a blog that, to this point, has been so much about being happily single (of course, if you're the type that only defines 'single' as 'not married' then nevermind). But after some hard thinking, I realized that I shouldn't need to be single to promote the idea that one can be happily single. And more generally, I think of this blog as being about everyone's right to be happy being whatever the heck they want to be, without other people making a bunch of assumptions about them, and I shouldn't need to be single to champion that.

My hesitation to share the fact that I'm dating is, itself, an indication of how hard I think it is for people to accept that one CAN be happily single. My biggest fear is that people will say, "Oh, I knew Jenn was just in denial all that time she was saying she was perfectly happy being single. She just hadn't met the right guy yet; NOW she's really happy." What crap. Anyone who says that just doesn't get it. I'll probably tackle this in more detail in a future post but the reality is that if I hadn't grown to the point where I was perfectly happy being single, I don't think I'd ever have developed the self-esteem I need to have a truly healthy relationship. God knows my past relationships weren't healthy and I wasn't happy. And I'm already finding that simply being in a relationship at all is bringing out insecurities I thought I had conquered. But whereas past boyfriends made me feel like a needy freak when I voiced those insecurities, I've grown enough to choose to be with someone who helps me confront those insecurities head on, in a mature way. I'm also finding it easier to be more assertive about what I need from him because I know I'm just fine on my own - after all, if this relationship isn't better than staying single (which I already know is pretty darn good), then what's the point?


The Singlutionary said...

I have learned a lot about being a happy single FROM relationships. I think that one thing about being a happy single is being accepting of positive change and welcoming mutually beneficial relationships into your life. If one of those mutually beneficial relationships ends up being your boyfriend or *gasp* spouse, oh well!

There are so many wonderful things about thinking single that will serve you well in a relationship.

I don't plan to abandon my blog if I find myself in a relationship. In fact, I think that the most Singlutionary thing to do is to continue writing as long as I want!

Yay for you and your ability to see the importance of being happily single from the "other" side!

Anonymous said...

The answer to the question that titles this post is, in my opinion, NO. Christina and I have talked about (but never really posted) about this. One of the blogs that we're going to feature in the next month is written by someone who is in a long-term relationship but has no intention of being married (Unmarried Estate), and one of the blogs we've already featured (Marrying Millennial) just had a baby with her bf.

So, NO you don't have to stay single to "prove" that you're truly pro-single. Of course you are. You have a damn blog about it!

=) Lisa

Clever Elsie said...

I think some of the best advocates for singles are those who are no longer single because they're in a better position to refute stereotypes about lonely, miserable singletons. After all, if you're coupled and still value the single life, no one can dismiss you as envious, insecure, or too inexperienced to know what you're missing. You already have what the majority say you should want, so your words carry that much more weight when you support the minority. At least, that's how I see it.