Thursday, August 27, 2009

Single in DC

This weekend was spent with several friends - all of us single and in our late 20s or 30s. It was an awesome weekend! I went to Six Flags and rode roller coasters, later that night I went to see Inglourious Basterds (excellent movie and worthy of another blog post altogether.) After the movie we went out for drinks and then after-hours get-together and some of us met for brunch the next day. It wasn't always the same people at every event, but there was anywhere from four to seven people at any given time.

During Sunday brunch, one of the girls said several times, "This has been a great weekend. I'm really happy we got together." She repeated it again later. "I just can't believe what a great weekend this was!"

A declaration with extreme disbelief that we could have fun might be insulting under normal circumstances. But no one was offended. We know that she is going through a breakup right now. Not a big, devastating, estate-dividing breakup, more like acceptance that it's not going to work out with the person she's been dating the last few months. No broken hearts, just that annoying feeling of knowing that yet another romantic relationship has fizzled and you are back to the flirtatious drawing board.

It was a great weekend spent with single, platonic friends and at one point, the inevitable conversation between came up - someone talking of setting someone else up with one of their friends, others frustrated because they don't have a boyfriend or girlfriend.

I just don't get it.

This is what's frustrating to me. This universally accepted belief that there is something wrong with being single. That being single means being lonely or being too selfish to commit to someone. Or being too "scared" of getting hurt.

Is it that difficult to belief that maybe, quite possibly, being single kicks ass?!?

Single people are fun. We are available. Literally! When you get the urge to go out an do something - see a movie or go to a bar, who do you call? Your single friends! We don't have to check in with anyone to make arrangements. We're social free agents.

I'm not judging anyone who is in a committed relationship. There is nothing wrong with either lifestyle. But when you get settled, you tend to stop looking outside the confines of your own nest. If you want to see a movie, you know who you'll go with. If you feel like going out to eat, you always ask the same person to go with you. If you need to vent about someone at work, or if you're feeling low and need an attaboy or attagirl, you know who's going to listen. If you are single, you get proactive and put more effort into your social life. You have to put yourself out there and stay in touch with people around you, and I find it to be a much more rewarding experience. We have all heard it a thousand times - no one else can make you happy, you have to make yourself happy. Those words are so true yet rarely ever followed. When you are single, you need to stop worrying about the pressure of settling down and take responsibility to make yourself happy.

Take this weekend for example. Six Flags was my idea. I have been wanting to go and it's getting to be the end of the summer, so I sent out an invitation to over 20 people. Of those 20+ people, four of us ended up going and we all had a great time. On our way back from the park, two of us wanted to see the same movie, so we invited the others and called a few people to join us. Some did, and others met up with us at a bar after the film. By the end of the night we were seven people strong and walking home at 1:30 in the morning planning for brunch the next day.

We all had a blast over theweekend, and I would argue that I had a much more enriching experience than had I gone to an amusement park, movie, and then brunch with one person.

If you are in a relationship and you are happy, I am happy for you. But to the rest of you - those who are in an unhappy relationship but afraid of being alone, those of you who are going through a breakup, and the people who are sitting around feeling bad about themselves because they are single - to you people I say, go out and meet new people and have fun. There is way too much pressure to settle down and not enough people celebrating the single life. And those of us who do, we generally do it silently because the rest of you start to judge. I know, all of you married folks hate us. That much is obvious in the way you encourage single people to join you in your misery.

Being single does kick ass, but in closing, I will concede one point. While I am a big advocate of the single life, sex is another matter altogether. Generally, it is not a good rule of thumb if you have been wanting to have sex to invite 20 people and then have fun with the four who show up. It's not quite the same arrangement as a trip to Six Flags. Sex complicates everything. And like the film I mentioned earlier, it is also fun, awesome and deserving of its own blog. (Preferably one that my parents don't read on a regular basis like this one.)

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