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Simply Solo Spotlight: Don’t Ask Silly Questions

September 20, 2011

Happy Simply Solo Spotlight Tuesday! Today’s guest post is written by Nikki from Women Are From Mars. I absolutely love Nikki’s blog – she is open in a way that I can only imagine being, and her topics are always super thought-provoking. I’m so happy she brought her perspective and honesty to Simply Solo. Read this post, tell us what you think in the comments and then definitely head over to Nikki’s blog.

Quick shameless plug: Do you have a story to tell? Advice to offer? Did you just have literally the worst date of your life and you must write about it? I’d love to have you as the next Simply Solo Spotlight! Contact me at: simplysoloblog@gmail.com.

Don’t Ask Silly Questions.

So. How’s your love life these days? Met anyone special recently?

You know, I find this question somewhat bothersome. And not for the … typical reasons (e.g. most people don’t like to be reminded that they’re all single n’ stuff.).

You can remind me I’m single all you like (although it can be mildly trying to be reminded when I’m not getting laid regularly enough). However. Asking me about if I’ve met anyone recently still annoys me because …Well. That question fails to be particularly relevant to my life.

Might as well ask me if I’m ovulating. Or if I’ve put an offer down on a house recently.

It’s just not really pertinent. See, my life is full up to bursting – and finding a partner? In terms of my priorities? Well, it just didn’t make the cut.

As a good friend said to me recently: “[Nikki], you aren’t going to ‘find anyone.’ Hell, to get you in a relationship, someone would have to be just about perfect, and then plop themselves right down in your lap. And not leave. Even after you’ve [been intimate] and shown little interest in anything further. Imagine the balls and fortitude that would take. Of course, if that happened, you’d probably throw them out anyway for not having enough life of their own!”

Yep. Now there’s someone who knows me. And doesn’t ask silly questions.

See, on one hand, I realize that more and more people are learning to be a-ok with being single. They’re learning to find their own happiness, to find their own joy, and that they don’t need another half to be whole. That’s awesome. It’s about time y’all figured it out. But, you know … I feel like there’s often a little clause to all that, for most singles out there. And that clause is: “… until I meet someone.”

This clause is probably pretty significant and true for the vast majority of people. And I think it’s wonderful and absolutely right on to learn to be alone without being lonely, and to create your own life while you’re waiting to meet someone. And I won’t even fault you for waiting (don’t take that to have negative connotations – you can be single and love it and still be waiting. You can also be single and love it and be on match.com every damn day and still be waiting. Ya dig? Hmm … maybe “hoping” is a better word.). Hell, it’s what we do, right? Most of us, anyway.

But. What if you don’t have that clause?

What if you aren’t waiting/hoping?

I have to wonder … am I the only one without it? Or are there other singletons out there that aren’t waiting/hoping, either? Who aren’t particularly concerned with meeting someone special?

But what if you aren't waiting? What do you do with your time then? Photo courtesy of Tom Magiliery

Furthermore, what if, for some of us it’s not a personal need, but more societal pressure that keeps us thinking we should be waiting? That, if we don’t have the “until …” clause built into our lives, there is something wrong with us? With what we want, how we live our lives? Especially since, oh, dear, but aren’t you turning 31 this year?

Don’t we want to be partnered? Aren’t we hoping that someone special comes along? Isn’t it true that sometime we get lonely when we’re alone? Even if we’re living life to the fullest and we’ll be ok in the meantime … aren’t we supposed to be waiting? Just a little bit?

Aren’t we just having a lot of sex because we’re taking them all for a test drive? Or … surely we just need some kind of human contact to feel fulfilled? (…barf. And no.)

Isn’t all that pressure why one of the stock questions we all have in our repertoire for our single friends is …

So. How’s your love life these days?

Because that’s what we’re supposed to want? Because there is some inherent part of Society that tells me I should be, you know, at least hoping to meet someone special, even if I am a-ok in the meantime. It’s in movies, and television, and the media, even holidays for crying out loud … It’s so intrinsic to our culture, inquiries about it are not only perfectly acceptable, but enjoy a standard place among our go-to conversation queries into someone else’s life – no matter how irrelevant the question actually is.

And yet. A relationship? Not really on the radar in mine. Not what I am actively pursuing. It’s not of importance to me, or even of real interest. I mean, I wouldn’t actively kick something good out of bed (that would be a waste), but … my priorities are elsewhere.

The closest I come to making a relationship of significant concern for me is the fact that such a thing would mean sex on a regular basis. Now that? Is something I can, *ahem*, get behind.

Otherwise? My life? It’s a bit bigger than a love life, at least as far as I’m concerned. And, yes, even at *gasp!* thirty years old. Hey, for some, finding a partner is central, even if they aren’t wasting time pining for one.

For me? My life is full to bursting… and finding a partner? Just didn’t make the cut.

Copyright 2011. Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp. All Rights Reserved.


31 Comments leave one →
  1. September 20, 2011 9:32 am

    I know that I will eventually be a “we” again, but right now, there’s just no time…especially with all the relationship stuff that I am helping others deal with.

    • September 20, 2011 3:38 pm

      Ha ha ha! I hear you, whatthe! I definitely get enough of other people’s relationships… !

  2. September 20, 2011 10:15 am

    I can very, very much relate to your post. I have so much respect for you and your approach. Kudos to you for sticking to your guns and doing what’s best for you. I’ve never been a hoping, waiting, wishing type either. (I find it funny that I was in a 5+ year relationship considering this.)

    • September 20, 2011 3:39 pm

      Thank you KD! Although it just doesn’t seem that difficult… it’s only when I get asked *silly questions* and then find myself feeling like I have to defend WHY I am single that it gets mildly annoying.

  3. September 20, 2011 11:54 am

    Cope with it how you must. We all want and need to be loved by someone and have the need to love someone. This is a very strong need indeed. Just when you quit looking that someone will pop into your life. I wish you much love in your life.

    • September 20, 2011 3:42 pm

      Thanks, dapeach! Although… I wouldn’t say “cope” is an appropriate word. I don’t really feel like I am “coping” with anything – I’m living.

      Plus, I DO have a lot of love in my life – mainly from friends and family – so I agree that many of us need strong social networks and relationships, even if they aren’t romantic. However, I also think there are some of us who don’t need them as much, and that, as in many things, quality trumps quantity every time.

      I wish the same for you! 😀

  4. September 20, 2011 12:48 pm

    I’m sorry, but essays like this always come off uber-defensive to me. They also sound terribly self-indulgent, as if the choices you make in your life are just so unique or rare that they warrant speculation and conversation. Lots of people choose to casually date or not date at all. It’s not that uncommon. I don’t understand why women are constantly assuring everybody that they’re a-ok, perfectly happy, not one bit lonely, no sir not me being single.

    Maybe it’s the endless commentary like this that makes people wonder if said single person truly is happy being single? I’d think most truly happy and confident single people who have “full lives” don’t even have the time to write one blog post about the topic. Let alone multiples posts that basically cover the same thing over and over.

    I’m also skeptical of the whole “I just want consistent sex” part. It seems as though even that pursuit comes with a myriad of complications for these posters. The guy doesn’t do this or that, or he doesn’t ask the right way, or he’s not good enough in bed. It’s always something. Then the issues become about how society views sexually assertive women and the double standard and about how men are threatened by sexually assertive women. It seems like nothing is ever simple. There are all these supposed judgments and limitations and expectations placed on the single person.

    Sometimes people just ask a question to make conversation. Why does it always have to be about them “judging” you? Isn’t that just a little self absorbed?

    • September 20, 2011 3:50 pm

      Ha! Wow. This comment really makes clear how little tone can be conveyed in text!

      I don’t feel defensive, or even that people are judging me. It’s more… being asked repeatedly a question that you don’t find relevant, whatever that might be. That’s about as far as my ish goes, and it’s only mild annoyance, not outright irritation. And, just to be clear, my tone when I wrote this was upbeat and encouraging, not defensive or irritating. I am also attempting to be funny, but I often fail in that endeavor (especially compared with the myriad of very funny bloggers out there).

      I do agree that many people use the mantra “I’m happy being single” to try and tell themselves they are. But… what, really, is wrong with that, anyway? The whole point of mantras are to help us with things we struggle with. Further, being single is not always something we have control over, and we should be trying to make sure we’re happy given the things we can. I also find no problem with many posts discussing being single – as we have SO MUCH pressure to be otherwise, I think it’s kind of nice to have some validation the other way around.

      If you check out my blog, I rarely focus on being single as a consistent topic of conversation. I find many other things to talk about. I also don’t think discussing being single is “self-indulgent’, as people can clearly relate, and we have *tons* of blogs discussing how to be partnered, how to date… why not on being single? Or are we back to the pressure to be relationship-y?

      Finally, I’m confused by the consistent-sex part… being in some kind of relationship, to me, means sex on a regular basis. End of thought. So… Not sure where that came from, really.

  5. September 20, 2011 12:56 pm

    Yay! Excited! Love me some Nikki

    Ah, yes, I agree with you my dear. As usual. I actually do have lots of girlfriends who don’t have that clause. And although in a small town like mine that is ABSURD to people, they stay strong in how they feel. I was always like that as well, and you know, i often think that I still could be happy single and free for the rest of my life. but there’s always been that part of me deep down that wanted a family and all that good stuff. I blame that on the only child syndrome.

    But anyway, I think you’re just completely normal. And Gosh, I hated those singlehood questions. The biological clock remarks. The why aren’t you married questions.

    AHH shut the F up

    • September 20, 2011 3:55 pm

      Hee hee – hi Blunty!

      I know you agree, and you are a very clear example of finding something you weren’t looking for! But, yes, the pressure can be even greater, and the ability to find someone more trying, in small towns. This I do know from experience. I find it encouraging that people can stand up against that pressure, as there is nothing they can really do about it but be happy with what they have.

      And, yes, I am sure there are many people who want family. Kids. Minivan? But… I’ve never really had that impulse. Sometimes I feel like I can barely handle my sh*t as is, and am in awe of my friends with job/partner/kids, that having more in my life is the farthest thing from my mind…

      Thanks for the encouragement… although *completely* normal? That might be pushing it.. .;)

  6. September 20, 2011 4:01 pm

    I hate those questions as well… as if the goal of my life is to find that one person to live happily ever after with and if I don’t it is a major fail.

    I know that I want to share my life. That said, I have realized I am just as happy sharing my life with close friends. If I would meet someone, as in a partner, then great. However I will not bend over backwards to find “the one” just because I am supposed to follow some rule out there.

    Yes, I believe we all need to love and feel loved – there are more than one way to achieve that. Each to their own.

    • September 21, 2011 11:34 am

      Agreed. I think you make a key point. I know that part of the reason I can be alone with being lonely is that I’m not actually alone. I have a wonderful circle of family and friends, both near and far. But… maybe it’s also about feeling that our lives are valued – whether by a partner or by friends/family, or by our work. I realize that seems rather selfish, that we need other people to feel worth, but I think it can certainly help. And we are social beings, by definition. But yes, the bottom line remains: To each our own. We need to determine our joy on our own.

      Of course, I also really really value the time I have by myself. I treasure that, and it’s one thing I am not sure I could give up to be partnered. At least not now.

  7. September 20, 2011 11:51 pm

    Oh yes! I find my self facing this question with a fair amount of frequency and I’m in the same place. Finding a partner is not a priority for me and my life isn’t about keeping myself entertained until the right person comes along. I’m quite happy being single and living my life. I’m very fulfilled and happy without being partnered, and I’m not seeking to change that anytime soon!

    • September 21, 2011 11:36 am

      Cheers, sistah! For it to change, it would have to happen completely of it’s own volition… which is saying a lot, as finding relationships should be the result of both parties, not one-sided. So… there ya go! 😉

  8. Anklebiters permalink
    September 21, 2011 12:42 am

    I remember reading this many years ago when I was “alone“, source unknown.

    Am I missing out on one of the great things in life?

    Some are missing out on one of the great things in life – walking through time by someone’s side. And couples are missing out on one of the great things in life – living completely on one’s own term.

    We choose, we sacrifice no matter what, we covet other people’s toys, and we hope for the
    best. The definition of “best” is different for everyone, but I imagine we collectively hope to
    minimize the number of times we long for the things we gave up.

    Meanwhile, you’re stockpiling the single commodity every one of us needs, no matter which
    choices we make. Self-reliance. Never second guess that.

    There are no timeouts during life….the shot clock keeps on ticking…

    • September 21, 2011 11:42 am

      We can never have it all. One form of life is not better than another. We should never explain to another what they are missing out on, simply because we should never assume our way is best for everyone.

      Self-reliance, no matter what form your life takes, is fundamental – as you should never ever rely on anyone else over yourself. I would also add that we should stockpile joy, happiness, those things, activities, people, etc, that make us happy. Some of these can be constant, when others are lost.

  9. Johanna permalink
    September 21, 2011 6:12 am

    I agree with what the writer has said about being single to societal pressure and all . But still one question what if you come across a very good gentleman who proposes you for marriage??? What will be your answer like, yes or no?

    • September 21, 2011 11:44 am

      Well that’s certainly dependent on the man, and my relationship with him. Furthermore, there are many many steps between that proposition and where I am now. I have not thrown out the thought of a relationship, of commitment, of marriage, but finding it is just not a priority for me.

  10. September 21, 2011 8:17 am

    It’s Nikki! Hurray!

    Like Blunty said, I hate those questions: are you still single? When are you getting married? When are you having a baby? AHHHH! I’ll let you know when I know.

    • September 21, 2011 11:47 am

      Right? Here’s the other thing – if you really want those things, hearing those questions can be irritating for other reasons. Yet, the idea of being partnered and babied by a certain time in your life is so intrinsic in our culture, people can just *ask* you… even though they’re actually pretty personal things. I mean… we say we shouldn’t talk about our sex lives, so why ask about all that?

      And, furthermore, OF COURSE you’re going to tell people about it, if it happens! And if you don’t – IT’S PERSONAL and there’s probably a reason why you haven’t!

  11. September 21, 2011 10:09 am

    Sweet Mother of Single, that closing line needs to be plastered on a billboard! Awesome post, Nikki!

    • September 21, 2011 11:48 am

      Thanks, love! I’ll get to work on the billboard! 😀

  12. September 22, 2011 9:25 am

    Nice one! I went through a phase like this when I was about 29/30 – became single, wanted to do my own thing, on my own terms and I was loving it! A relationship was the furthest thing from my mind. I used to get asked this question all the time then and I was always totally bemused by it, truly, a relationship was NOT on my radar, I really just wanted to do my own thing!

    Then I fell totally, stupidly in love, got my heart mashed and somehow all of a sudden, singledom had lost it’s glitter. Why is that?

    Now at 33 I am only just starting again to appreciate my own space but I appreciate it with the expectation that eventually, I will end up with someone. So, I am waiting, and though sometimes the wait seems excruciating, I am making the most of enjoying my single days while I can because I know that when I’m not single, there will be days that I wish I were.

    So, I totally appreciate the fact that right now on a Thursday night I get to sit in bed with my laptop while i wait for the washing to finish, sipping the glass of wine that may, or may not, have been a substitute for dinner because I couldn’t be bothered cooking anything when I got home late from work.

    But tomorrow I will probably wish there was someone who would offer to make my coffee while I shower and get ready for work.

    But then I remember thankfully, even as a single gal I do not have to suffer caffeine deficiency – there is that cute barista up the street whose number I have on speed dial…

    • September 22, 2011 3:59 pm

      We all change throughout our lives, and we all feel different things, want different things, depending on where we are. I think heartbreak can often encourage us to long for partnership, as what a relationship feels like is more clear to us than the joys of being alone – it harkens back to Anklebiters’s comment: we always sacrifice something for what we have, we can’t have everything. But, if you’re closer to a relationship than happy singledom, maybe that joy is easier to see.

      In addition, I think it takes a really. long. time to get over true heartbreak. Much longer than some people believe – and many people use a new relationship as a salve. I *don’t* condone this in any way, shape, or form, and believe you should allow heartbreak it’s time and space. As such, I’d hazard a guess that some of your difficulty with being single is because you’re still healing. It’s part of the process, embrace it and understand it’s sometimes all baby steps….

  13. September 23, 2011 11:49 am

    at 30? you’re a beautiful baby….you’ve got a lot of growing-into love still to conquer…as always love your stuff…

    T.

    • September 27, 2011 6:51 pm

      😀 Thanks, love. Shoot. I’ve got a lot of growing UP to do, in some regards… 😉

  14. September 24, 2011 3:58 pm

    Hope you’re having a great weekend! http://ayearinmyshoes.wordpress.com/2011/09/24/a-big-surprise/

  15. September 26, 2011 10:00 am

    Good for you! You get to choose what is a priority in your life and what isn’t at this time. Societal pressures should have nothing to do with it!!

    • September 27, 2011 6:52 pm

      Amen! I completely agree! I think that’s one of the great things about being single – you don’t have to worry about anyone but yourself! 😀

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