No, Ladies, NO!!!!!

You couldn’t seriously be suggesting for a minute that being single is sad and that the pain must be stamped out by finding the perfect match immediately?! Maybe I took you up wrong? I hope so!

I should point out that all of this is rant is my humble opinion and nothing more – by all means dispute it please believe that I mean no offence to anyone; insult it and me as much as you wish; I’m a big girl I can take it!

When it comes to my chequered relationship history and the handful of apparent “Ones” that got away over the last half of my life, looking back, my one and only regret is that I didn’t relax and enjoy my life a lot sooner than I did.

Before I continue I need to say that I am not a wannabe Katerina – I have every confidence that there are some fantastic gentlemen out there – a lot of them are married to my friends and family which I guess is no good to me other than maintaining the afore mentioned confidence! I never made a conscious decision to be single – it kind of just happened.

But isn’t life supposed to be multifaceted? Please excuse me if I bore you to tears but if I’m asked to summarise my life at the moment, here it is:

* A fantastic family some of whom I bitch about mercilessly but all of whom I love to pieces

* A job that pays the bills; can leave me wishing I could win the lottery and give it up but I would really miss my fantastic colleagues.

* A roof over my head and food on the table

* Hobbies that could keep me occupied for hours if I wished. I knit, make dresses and play the piano.

* Great friends whom I wish I could see more frequently if we were not as busy as each other!

* Great nights out with the above mentioned friends

* The occasional holiday where I immerse myself in a totally different culture, melt my credit card and spend months paying off content in the knowledge that it was so-o-o-o-o worth it.

* A very modest vehicle just in case I fancy a road trip; (mostly used for supermarket runs but it’s there if I need it for something more exciting!)

* My own space which is often a real tip –I’ll clean it when I’m ready!

* Chocolate, candlelit, rose-scented bubble baths, walks in the park, shopping trips, sitting on a comfortable couch in snuggly loungewear with a decent book accompanied by a glass of cheap but incredibly cheerful wine and whatever other indulgences take my fancy.

I do not consider myself to be a particularly interesting person. This means that a lot of you out there have a lot more than this! Seriously, is it really possible to have all of this and be sad just because you don’t have the most amazing man by your side? Yes it would be fantastic to have someone to share it all with but come on! BTW if you feel you have nothing in your life that makes you happy, is that special someone really going to put it all right?

As for those apparently “awkward” social occasions, I think the concept of a “smug settled” is a myth. I was at four weddings last year and did not bring a “Plus One” to any of them. I did not feel awkward once; some of my closest friends and family were getting married; we were sharing their special days for goodness sake – I had no desire to dwell on myself and I seriously doubt that anyone else did! Never once was I given a look or word of sympathy for being single; no one looked down their nose at me and I had a fantastic time celebrating their special days.

Maybe I have the politest friends and family ever! I prefer one of the following theories; One, that the concept that people feel sorry for us, look down on us or think that there must be something horribly wrong with us is all in our paranoid little heads. Two, that if you truly love and accept yourself, how could anyone else not?

I have had a few “left on the shelf” comments from my extremely well meaning Mother; I simply informed her that I would rather be single and happy than miserable in a relationship with a man who was totally wrong for me. She indicated to me that that was the wisest thing I had ever said and hasn’t mentioned it since. I cannot guarantee that course of action for everyone – all mothers are different and you’re going to have to figure out what works for you.

I know the concept of “settling down” has been drummed into us since we started to walk as if it were as natural as puberty; and when it gets to the stage where it seems like “there’s no one single left” it is difficult not to wonder if there is something wrong with us. Nobody ever stressed how important it was to be happy when we get there – it’s almost like happiness would just slip into place the second we settled down and stemming from this if we didn’t, we would be sad! For those of you who have loved and lost, take a little look at some of the ones that got away; I truly believe that things happen for a reason. Where in the textbook of life did it ever say that everything was going to turn out perfect? I refuse to ever be so focused on finding “the one” that I cannot enjoy everything else that I love to enjoy. Maybe this should be the real meaning of “no more sad single”

When it happens, if it happens, personally I want it to be for me; not because society dictates that this is the only prescription there is for happiness and not so that I can don him like a human trophy at social occasions to prove to the World and it’s mother that there’s nothing wrong with me; what a ridiculous concept;

One more thing; if some time in the future I am ever in any way smug about the fact that I am happily settled you all have my permission to give me a damn good thrashing!

DSC_0045Roopa Shah, Dublin, aged 34 and happily single

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