Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The problem with being "Single?"

Driving around town for the last few months, I've seen a few signs (from billboards to tiny plastic cards sticking out of the ground) that carry the advertisement of "Single?" with the name of a website listed below it. Now I may be taking this wrong way, but I get the feeling this kind of advertising is no different than saying "Overweight?" or "Depressed?" The message that I get is that this single word is a major problem in someone's life and it needs to be fixed. Well, who said this stuff (especially being single) was really bad?

Being overweight and/or depressed are not traditionally good for one's health, but I don't think of being single as one. As I've learned the hard way, things sell a little better when the means to take care of these "problems" sound cheap and easy to do. There's nothing like imagining in black and white in order to crush one's expectations.

I've been single for a number of years and like a lot of things in life, it's a mixed blessing. Sure, it's nice to do whatever the hell I want to whenever I want to and not check in with somebody else. However, not getting to share a certain kind of enjoyment and encouragement with someone else is a downer. I'm aware that there is a trade-off in almost every action, so I don't get my head in the clouds thinking that certain problems will cease once something in my day-to-day life changes.

I'd really like to believe that the reasons why I've been single for so long are because of bitterness, anxiety and inexperience, but I can't. Ultimately, I haven't met somebody that I've really wanted to get to know much deeper than a friendship level and that person has wanted to do the same. Bitterness and anxiety play into my distance, but they aren't the biggest reasons.

To me, most of the business of connecting people is built on smoke and mirrors. Sure, you hear about people getting together through interaction via the Internet, but I still hear more about people getting together because of pure chance in person. While I understand that certain people have schedules that make it difficult to meet new people, I leave the chances of connections up in the hands of other forces I can't control (insert whatever Christian, Buddist, Lucas, Tolkien or Rowling reference you want to).

I'm constantly amazed by how things work out because of something often called "dumb luck". There's nothing dumb about luck; stuff pans out, but not in the way we thought they would. When I see people go way out of their way trying to enable things to work out in their favor, I'm not surprised when they don't fully pan out.

I used to be very annoyed with being single. When I was able to see through the eyes of lonely person in a relationship, my annoyance went slightly away. As I said, there's a trade-off to almost every choice, so I just prefer to choose wisely.

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