The Art of Being Single - the almost Valentine's Edition.

Hello, my name is Patrick and I’m single-aholic. And so it goes at my weekly Singles Anonymous meet-up where we share our addiction to being single and why we can’t bring ourselves to give it up. Why?

  • I can do whatever the hell I want when I want and with whom I want.

  • I can travel on a whim.

  • I have tons and tons and tons of time to myself.

  • I have the whole bed to myself.

  • I am self-reliant with a capital S.E.L.F(ish).

  • I’m not stuck in a bad relationship.

I haven’t always been single, although sometimes it feels like it and if you asked my friends, they’d struggle to name a single previous boyfriend.

I have to confess that I’ve never been “broken up with.” No-one has ever dumped me as I’ve always got in there first. I have been in love, been overlooked, misread signals, dated the wrong guy, dated the right guy (didn’t know it at the time so dumped him of course), been too late as they’ve met someone else and ran to the hills the moment they tried to utter those three magic words. I did all of that in a year once.

Over the last two decades the majority of my friends have paired off, got engaged, got married, had kids, all of which is so lovely and I’m happy for every single one of them. Along the way, though, it’s somehow been instilled in me that this is the norm and that really, I should have met my Mr Right by now because everyone else has.

As I search or wait patiently for Mr Right, let’s remember that we can drop all the ridiculous connotations that wrongly haunt the word “singleness”. I really enjoy my single life, and maybe too much sometimes. I certainly feel no less of a wonderful person just because I’ve not yet met that special someone. I can feel lonely at times but I never feel alone.

I been on countless dates and enjoyed a lot of them, bar the guy who said fuck at least 50 times during the first five minutes (bad day he said) and revealed he’d rather bury himself alive than spend Christmas with his family. I excused myself to the toilet and just kept on walking. I’ve been on a blind date published in a national newspaper (a deliberate mismatch) and I’m likely to be on national TV soon on First Dates (they’re still looking for my match.) It can’t be said I don’t try.

“You’re too fussy; you’re not getting any younger; you’re too independent; what’s wrong with you?” Friends can be so helpful at times. I get it. People just want me to be happy and to be truly ‘happy,’ one should be in a relationship.

I personally avoid placing dating or marriage on too much of a pedestal, as I’ve been told and observed many times that being with someone doesn’t come without its challenges. There’s also the companionship, the shared experiences and memories, the regular sex, the shared mortgage, the birthday surprises, the Valentine surprises and then there’s the love. Oh the love.

I’ve also had friends who’ve never been single. They’ve moved from one relationship to the next without breathing in a single ‘single life’ breath. They’ve sat at home, sulked, compared their life choices to their friends who were engaged, married and having kids. All they wanted to do was get into another relationship and avoid the loneliness. Or themselves.

I have no doubt there’s a guy out there who I’ll be ‘Mr Right’ for, who’ll add to my already healthy state of contentment, who’ll make me laugh, surprise me on my birthday and skip Valentine’s with me every year. I also imagine that we’ll both propose to each other on the same day and get married surrounded by the love of friends and family (I’m thinking the Hamptons). That’s called positive thinking.

Single life is everything it’s cracked up to be and everything it’s not. I once wrote an article about ‘master dating’ and a friend suggested that was part of my problem – that I enjoyed my own company too much. She totally missed the point of course. I mean, if I don’t enjoy my own company, who else will?

As a single person, I have a lot of time to think about stuff like this. I have a date tonight. Wish me luck.