The older people get the more bizarre some of us become.  Mainly I’m talking about single people.  Single-life has its perks.  I don’t answer to anyone and I don’t have to spend my days amending my behavior for someone else’s benefit.  I can leave my socks on the floor and I don’t have to call someone to let them know that I will be out late.  And I definitely don’t have to check with someone else before I make plans.  I dig my life.  And I’m not “putting on airs”, as my grandmother would say, when I proclaim that.  But I don’t want to do this forever.  At some point I am going to want to make the next step into marriage and family.  But making single-life my standard for a sense of normal living is only gonna make that transition to the next life more difficult.

Single people brag about being “free”.  They smirk at their married friends for having to call home to check in.  Make snarky comments when they can’t hang out on Friday night because  married parents clearly do soccer games on Saturday Mornings.  But behind their sarcasm is a little bit of “healthy envy”.  I say “healthy” because envy is a natural emotion.  They’re not envious in the sense that they hope you, your spouse and your happy little Brady Bunch kids die in a car crash.  They are envious in the sense that while they don’t want to live your life today, they can see where it is something that they want eventually.  And they feel the conflict of what they have told themselves for all of their single life is normal vs. the happiness that they are now emotionally affected by when they look at that lame family guy.  So seeing that happiness can be jolting.  It creates a conflict that we see all the time.  You ever see single people pitch a hissy fit when their friends who are in relationships don’t want to hang out as much?  Or see singles talk badly about how their married friends have changed and are lame now?  Newsflash people.  They are not the lame ones.  They are the happy ones!  They just managed to get to a happier destination in life a little earlier than you did, and now……..(in my best whisper voice)  You’re a hater.

The problem is that single people have a hard time seeing that because they have established their single lifestyle and existence as the ultimate sense of normalcy.  And, to be clear, I am not at all saying that single folks are abnormal.  But what I am saying is that if you make being single the Ultimate Norm then you are going to have a hard time getting to the happy, family guy, soccer on Saturdays, date night on Wed., flowers for my baby every month, picking up my socks, calling home to say when I’ll be in, doing my best to make you happy sort of bliss that comes with being in serious relationships.  Single people handcuff themselves by over indulging in single activities and then can’t understand why they have such a hard time being with someone else.  Single life can make you inflexible, irascible, intolerant and down right unreasonable over the simplest of things.  My cousin was not willing to compromise on how many flag football leagues he was playing in, to meet the time needs that his girlfriend required of him.  As a result, they went their separate ways.  Sounds crazy, I know.  But he had been doing that stuff for 10 years.  Playing in year round leagues every weekend.  And because he was so pleased with that as a single person, he was trapped into believing that he shouldn’t have to change.  He thought what he was doing was totally normal!  Dummy!  (BTW Marilyn, if you read this please consider giving this dumbass a second chance…..so he can get his miserable, whiny ass off my couch every night talking about you).  I think he now understands that just because something was the norm for him for so long that it doesn’t trump what he wants to make the new norm in his life.  That special someone.   It’s just not cool to be stuck in your ways so much that you are unconsciously blocking the happiness that could await you in the next phase of your life.  Now if you are totally happy being single and never have any aspirations of a relationship and all that can bring then….cool.  Good for you.  But if you ever, ultimately see that life of fulfillment with someone at your side, it might help you to understand that the norm that you live by now is FOR SINGLES ONLY……and divorced people……or widows…….or……..just people who are always by their damn selves!

Jackson.Bracey@gmail.com

@jacksonbracey

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