The old adage ‘the grass is greener’ is one I find myself increasingly interested in over the past few months. There are hundreds of articles decoding the signals of singledom, the thrilling highs and painful lows, but what happens when they are over? Obsessive phone checking ceases, panic over first date fashion concludes and you think you have actually found someone to love.
I remember, and this confession is depressingly tragic, after a painful break up wailing at The Jeremy Kyle Show, ‘Why, why can they find someone and I can’t?’. When I was slightly less self absorbed my flatmate at the time admitted she was close to doing the decent thing and putting a pillow over my head, or at least taking the batteries out of the remote.
The nature of the break up meant my self esteem had gone on a gap year to find itself and it took alot of hardwork to pull myself back together. If interested that hard work includes dancing, drinking and talking . . . a lot. So fastforward two years and here I sit, cohabiting with a wonderful man who turned up unexpectedly during one said drinking/talking session. So why aren’t I thrilled? As Bridget would ask, why am I not part of a ‘smug couple’?
Rose tinted glasses may be securely attached to my face but I believe that being part of a couple is as tough as being single. We are not, by nature, selfless people and being in a relationship, or at least a content one requires constant compromise. You have to consider what is better for the partnership and sometimes that doesn’t equate to your desires.
Being single means money, time, decor, music, I could go on, are all yours to do with as you wish, whenever you want. Life is spontaneous and you can be open to the unexpected. Those nights where you thought nothing was abound only to wind up hours later sweaty and singing at a house party, or disappearing for weekends to uncover adventures and regail others with ridiculous anecdotes. What’s funny about staying in on a Friday night, pyjamas on by 7pm, unable to stay awake long enough to finish a game of scrabble?
There are plenty of people who would argue the pros for being part of a relationship and I am all for them otherwise I wouldn’t still be in one. And I do remember and recognise the tribulations of being without a plus one. However it’s important to recognise that as some may peer over the couples fence seeing nights cuddled up on the sofa and grand romantic gestures, so we attached souls steal glances at the garden of singledom, percieving limitless opportunities and excitment. Maybe the message here is to make the most of where your life is at. If you are single, embrace the unknown and if you’re part of a couple take the time to remember what made you choose that person to give your heart to. Neither path is without its stumbling blocks, but (if we started with a proverb lets end with one) nothing worth having comes easy.