Of course we had to take the quiz.
Grabbing my phone, I punched in the necessary information into Google. The page came up with questions like, “Which female pop star do you relate to?” and “What do you like most about yourself?” After selecting my response to Valentine’s Day (chocolate!), what type of drunk I am (I don’t like the taste of alcohol), what animal I would like to be (tiger) and my favorite Disney movie (“Beauty and the Beast”), I sat back for the results.
Crazy Cat Lady Single.
Underneath the designation a short blurb was written, “OK, so you may not own any cats, but that’s not the point. You’ve gotten a little too comfortable in your singledom. Maybe it’s time to pull on some pants and put yourself out there.”
I stared down at the results with a mixture of horror and mirth split across my face. The same friend who first talked about the quiz demanded I turn the phone around. They erupted into laughter. Everyone then clamored to take the quiz, but no one got the distinguished title of “Crazy Cat Lady Single.”
I don’t even like cats all that much.
However, that is neither here nor there. The real issue is why does it matter that I am single?
As a female who happens to be single, I have felt pressure from multiple fronts to attach myself to Mr. Right. Parents, friends, relatives, society and acquaintances have all had “the talk” with me. This conversation has nothing to do with the birds and the bees; it is more like a lecture about “throwing myself out there.”
Well, OK, when you make it sound so thrilling, why not?
They suggest blind dates, dating sites, leaving a number for the cute waiter or talking up random men in multiple venues. The question creeps in after “How is life going?” ... which, you know is fair, because I do the same thing to people. Humans seem to be fascinated by relationships.
Except, blind dates sound awkward, dating sites lack the initial in-person contact, the cute waiter most likely has a girlfriend and why would you interrupt the other person’s walk on the Greenway or workout at the gym?
That last sentence would drive my younger brother insane. His face would become increasingly tighter as I listed each question. By the end, he would take his hand and rub his head in a slow, tense motion and say, “You have got to try, Delaney.” He might want me to be in a relationship more than I do.
It is not that I do not want to be in a relationship. It is more like leaving the Land of Singledom is not No. 1 on my priority list. There are other adventures to be had and goals to accomplish. If I happen to be single, then so be it. Whether or not I am attached to someone will not impact how I live life.
Although, sometimes I have to remind myself being single does not make me less of a person. There are so many people rooting for me to find Mr. Right or Mr. Almost There. Their concern is sweet, but if I place too much weight in their emphasis on my relationship status, then I perceive a lack.
How do you feed a lack? Some people might jump into a relationship. Others might focus their attention on another area. A few might embrace blissful disregard.
Perceived lacks in my life tend to eat at me.
Am I really doing something wrong? I wonder. I brood. I question. Am I doing this thing called life properly? I ponder. I fear. I stress. What is wrong with me?
While God has not blessed me with enough common sense to avoid this path altogether, I usually come to my senses after one or two rounds of the internal questions.
The truth is I like being single. I like the freedom of making my own choices and being able to head out of town at a moment’s notice. I enjoy being able to split my time between all of my friends and commitments. It makes me smile when I wake up in the morning and it is just God and me.
And yes, I believe I will like being in a serious relationship with the opportunity to really grow with a person, sharing adventures, establishing a legacy of love and embracing this crazy thing called life together.
But, in the absence of a relationship, I am not less than, and it is something others and I must remember.
Why would I give into those negative thoughts when being single and being in a relationship are both such a blessing?
To be in either with a bad attitude or a poor outlook on life would be wasting the experience.
So here is to all of you regardless of relationship status: may your lives be full of laughter regardless of who is by your side and may your days not be judged by a perceived lack, but instead by an acceptance of who you are and an understanding of your priceless worth outside of another person.