single lifeIf you live in the United States, or any other matrimaniacal country, you have heard all the conventional wisdom about what single life is supposedly like, and why married life is purportedly so much better. For some people, married life really is the better fit.

For all of the other people for whom the most meaningful life is single life, it can be a revelation to lead that life fully and unapologetically and learn what it has to offer.

I have been thinking and writing about the rewards of single life for those who are best suited to that life for many years. I especially appreciate fresh voices and was happy to see that so many people read and “Liked” the guest post by Elliott Lewis, If you are happily single, why fight it?

Thanks to Elliott, I learned that his post was one of a number of responses to an Open Call for posts on the topic of being single over at Open Salon. At least two other essays seemed worth excerpting, so I’ll do that here.

Flying Solo” has been married twice. She does not pin the blame for the divorces totally on her ex-husbands. She has learned a few things about herself over the past dozen years of living single. For example:

  • “I’ve learned that I prefer solitude to boring company.”
  • “I’ve grown to prefer going to movies and plays alone – no need for talking and answering questions.”
  • “I’ve learned that I like freedom from external expectations, be they sexual, emotional or social.”
  • “I like the spontaneity being single allows.”

Matrimaniacs are fond of telling single people what they are missing by not being married. “Yes. It is a choice. Get over it!” turns the tables. As I did in Singled Out, he describes what he would have missed if he had married instead of staying single:

“I never would have quit a 20-year career in education to pursue my interest in the arts and to open my own studio. I never would have sold my home. I never would have given away my possessions…. The ensuing 13 years were the most productive, artistic and happiest of my life. I discovered talents I never had.”

He has also followed a non-traditional path for the holidays, spending some alone and others with friends instead of family. Here is some of what he has to say about those experiences:

“The first holiday I spent alone, Thanksgiving, was a revelation. I was actually a bit nervous about it. But it was sheer bliss. Quiet. Undisturbed.”

“My first holiday with friends and not family was beyond ‘normal.’ I felt grown-up and mature. There were no children…The conversation was easy and polite… The dinner gracious and delicious. I had escaped the paradigm of crazy family. I was acting on my own. Responsibly.”

There’s lots more in both essays. Hats off to both bloggers (I’m not seeing their names, just the names of their posts) and thanks to Elliott Lewis for the heads-up.

Happy senior woman photo available from Shutterstock