Sad, uncomfortable truths about singlehood

14 Mar

I usually make merciless fun of all those relationship books I see in the market. “The Rules”, “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” and all that ilk annoy me. But I ended up reading Unhooked Generation: The Truth About Why We’re Still Single and it’s given me a lot to think about.  Unlike other books and their quasi-research, author Jillian Strauss has actually put a lot of thought and study into the reasons why so many singles are single…even if they don’t want to be.

I like how filly.ca’s review sums up the uncomfortable truths contained in the book thus:

“Straus explores how we long for ‘the one’ yet approach dating in a ‘multiple-choice society’ where we believe that relationships should be immediate and are replaceable. We embrace casual sex and live in a society that treats sex as a commodity, and as a result undermine what sex with ‘the one’ could be. Men and women try to balance both traditional gender roles and the more egalitarian roles of today and end up with totally unrealistic expectations.”

The reviewer’s mother gives one bit of advice which makes more sense of any of “The Rules”: “You don’t find someone that fits your life. You find someone and figure out how you make it work for both of you.”

Reading the book, it’s easy to recognise the patterns a lot of us end up in. I see them in myself and the many still-singles I know. I saw that in the last guy I dated, who I realised later was pretty much emotionally unavailable.

“I’ll see you when I see you.” Earth to Erna, Commitmentphobe alert.

I guess the reasons why a lot of us serial-date is because we’re afraid we’ll be stuck with a no-hoper like that. But all these lonely people playing the field, never committing and always keeping an eye out for someone better…it’s sad. Sex and the City sad. You know Carrie wants to find The One but No One is ever good enough. Whine whine Ooh pretty shoes whine whine. That’s Carrie. And she’s the role model for women everywhere? Good grief. No wonder we all need books to get our love lives sorted.

While I don’t believe you should settle for someone abusive, emotionally retarded, or a douchebag, I also don’t believe that you should date around just because you can. You meet someone, find a little bit more about that person, hang out and see if something develops. If it doesn’t, move on. If you don’t give anything of yourself at all to a relationship, then how can you expect for it to develop at all? But if you’re the only one giving, walk. Just walk.

It would be nice to meet someone, but until I do, there’s little to complain about right now. I’m making a career change, getting involved with the theatre, spending time with good people, and finally being comfortable with my faith and who I am. And thankfully, I’m not spending any of my time watching Sex and the City. Manolo Blahniks are overrated anyway.

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One Response to “Sad, uncomfortable truths about singlehood”

  1. Nicholas.C March 15, 2009 at 1:46 am #

    The book sums it up very nicely i think. Of the many people I’ve dated over time, the reoccurring theme always has been “I don’t fit your life”.
    I suppose it’s just a kind way of saying “You don’t fit mine” but most of it happens very early on and I find it’s hair rippingly frustrating.
    It’s not as if we don’t get along, I don’t go randomly dating people and that we even end up going out is because we have a mutual interest in each other. But the moment you think, “lets see what life might be like together” the rug is pulled from right under you.
    Relationships don’t have a scripted plot like in a movie. A relationship doesn’t just happen, one of life’s many complex human puzzles, understanding one another, finding middle ground…
    I just wish people would give making meaningful relationships more of a chance.

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