Being single is a bit like wearing Crocs in public.
Strangers judge you, family members think you’ve given up or let yourself go, and society in general wants you to feel embarrassed about your bold personal choice.
But I’m not embarrassed. I refuse to be.
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Being single is liberating, sexy, confronting, and awesome. But most of all (ATTN: inquisitive relatives, writers of rom-coms and the general public), it’s a deliberate state of being. “Single” is a relationship status in its own right. Not a waiting period between relationships.
Truly. I shake my metaphorical Crocs violently at anyone who thinks that right now, I’m just filling in time till someone loves me again. This is the most emotionally, physically, sexually independent I’ve ever felt and you will not take that away from me with pity.
(At a friend’s wedding recently, an unpleasant married acquaintance nearly stopped breathing when she noticed I didn’t have a date with me. “Oh, honey, don’t worry, it’ll happen for you,” she said, moving conspicuously between me and her husband, as though he needed shielding from my wanton independence. Fuck that, man, I’m happy as a clam.)
So, I’ve been single for eight months. For the first time since I was 19.
At the start of the year and the end of my relationship, the idea of being single was terrifying. I thought about not seeing my boyfriend every day, and it stung my heart and closed my throat. I was part of a pair, and while I always knew my own head and my own worth, I felt like I came as a package deal. Being apart from my then-beloved made about as much sense to me as separating matching salt and pepper shakers. Just… wrong.