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Hello all – I have been a reader of this board for a while now, more one of those ‘lurker’ types, in that I never really had time to contribute, but I thought I would join up. I do not really have a specific question but more have an interesting point that I wanted to get people’s opinions on and maybe start an interesting discussion, on the ‘joys of singlehood’ – as it seems there aren’t too many such posts here. Maybe I want to convince myself of this philosophy or be turned away from it, who knows.

Anyhow, it seems as though people in general give way too little credence as to how great it can be to be single and unattached. They constantly worry about being single and having to spend their entire lives like that, but it seems that when a relationship comes around it dosen’t necessarily give the Midas Touch and turn everything to gold, either.

The first girl I ever dated I was just crazy about. I would melt at her every word, action, anything we did together. I felt energized simply from holding her hand. I used to think it love, but it was a very short time, and now I feel it was more me being naïve and the thrill of a first experience than anything else.

Since then, I have dated a number of girls. I had some ‘close calls’ while abroad, had a few dates here and there, as well. I have never really felt ‘true love’, passion or any similar feeling towards anybody. I have felt ‘like’, or this person is fun or interesting or attractive, but never that my life would be over if it didn’t work out. I always seem to value my own work, accomplishments, and goals much more. I have a really good career building up and am really excited about it. Maybe partially because of that I set my standards too high on what I would like in a partner. But it seems that when I did date other people, (most of the time), I felt obligated sometimes to call them, to talk to them, hang out with them. Sure, it was nice, but I felt ambivalent enough that if it boiled down to it, I would have been perfectly content just watching a film at home on my own or just see it with some friends. It’s not like I am not attracted to women either, I love the thrill of an initial meeting and chatting with them, and in general, although I do not attract them as easily as do some guys, I do not have an unbelievably hard time doing it, either.

But I just have this feeling, that when I become engaged in a real-life situation, perhaps I have such a high expectation of what I want from life and from someone else, that I just feel disappointed. Often times when I dated someone, I felt as though I was being disadvantaged in a way, because what if I went to a party or other occasion with her – and happened to meet someone that, maybe not better (because how can you make such a judgment call on someone?), but that I felt more of a connection with and felt would be more compatible with in the long run, my chances to get with her would be null.

When my relationships broke down, I felt kind of down for a little while but after that, felt rejuvenated and happy again, that I am ‘free’ and can do whatever I want, and just told myself, well its not meant to be, so why worry about it? It seems as though I almost get more of a thrill from the ‘chase’, the initial moment of the spark and the mystery of what could be, than anything realistic. Its as though I get addicted to that feeling of meeting someone exciting and new, enjoying a momentary thrill. Maybe I enjoy the emotional highs and lows of a sudden meeting followed with that of a sudden breakup.

I always imagine this amazing women from my dreams, and that I will be very happy being on my own until ‘she’ comes around, whether it be in 10 years or next week. I have seen glimpses of ‘her’ in the different girls I have met, but I guess I have to realize there is no such thing as the perfect person, just the best one at the time. I do not like how much emotional stress a relationship can add to one’s life – break up with this person, and things become awkward, what if you have to see them around again? The fact that you completely avoid someone you had been so close to before also seems so ridiculous, but it also makes sense in that it would be difficult to be cordial to one another. Maybe it’s just an aspect of human nature that is nonsensical, I don’t know.

In any event, I am quite happy to be spending my time on my ‘own’ – and of course, you are never really ‘alone’ – I think that word is a real cliché. Only if you have no friends, family, or colleagues to spend time with and live as a hermit somewhere, can you really say you are ‘alone’. The more I ponder it the more it just seems to be a cliché of society that you ‘need’ to get married, have kids, buy a white picket fence house and all that, whether or not it fits with your life, otherwise there is something wrong with you. It seems as though many people are excited about the prospect of one day getting married, whereas I am scared of it. Personally, I feel a true relationship takes so much out of you, that it should be perfectly acceptable for someone to not want to make those kinds of decisions if they don’t feel comfortable with them, rather than treat it as some kind of race.

So with that all said, are there any other people out there who like this status of being single, of being responsible only for yourself, and always knowing that you can approach, flirt with and have fun with whomever strikes your eye? It seems as though relationships are a major thing in life that really drive people up the wall. For me, they are really the only thing in my life that causes me stress, anxiety and frustration, or at least exacerbate it. Maybe the problem is I become too ambivalent and just go out with people that approach me, rather than spend the energy on really pursuing someone? I feel as though I am attracted more strongly to people that I don’t have a chance with, than with people I actually date. Who knows.

Or perhaps I am all wrong, and my cynical nature has got me branding all relationships with the same iron. I don’t know why I feel this way. I used to think the opposite but now feel completely content and without any desire to pursue a relationship and just live life on my own terms. Any thoughts?

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