Candid Karina

{January 30, 2012}   Things single people (okay, fine, I) wish their (my) non-single friends would remember…

This post started in my head as a thought for a Facebook status update.  But there was just so much more to say.  So, I’ll start by stating a disclaimer:  My friends are amazing.  I love my friends.  My friends are caring and thoughtful and I believe, honestly only want good things for me.  This post is written in good humor, no anger or hard feelings behind it.  Take it for what it is, an informative post to help you discern when maybe, just maybe, you’re forgetting what it was like when you were me…

  1. Just because I’m single it does not mean that every other single person out there is “perfect” for me.  Being “single” is not, in itself, the solitary quality to bring two people together.  PLEASE take into account our lifestyles, our interests, our personalities.  And then, take a step outside of your non-single status and ask yourself this question “Would I, if I were single, HONESTLY consider dating this person myself?”  Because odds are, if we are friends, we have these things (lifestyles, interests, personalities) in common…and if you wouldn’t date them…why should I?
  2. Please don’t introduce me to and/or try to set me up with and/or suggest to me as a potential, EVERY SINGLE PERSON you know.  Please refer back to number one.  Filter your choices, present me with the ones you can actually see potential in. If you honestly believe you’ve met someone I just must meet, then by all means, make it happen!  But come armed with the reasons why you feel I will want to meet or get to know this person.  If you’re not in the habit of introducing me to, or trying to set me up with EVERY single guy you meet, I’ll listen when you have a suggestion for me.
  3. If I want you to set me up with someone you know…I will tell you.  I promise.  If I want you to help me meet people, I will tell you.  If I want to know if you have any single friends, I will ask you.  If I have an interest in someone you might know a little better than I do, I will ask you to introduce us.  If I consider you my friend, I will trust you to do what is best for me, and to let me know if you feel this person could be a good match for me.  Once again, please refer back to number 1.  That person being single?  NOT SUFFICIENT information to determine our compatibility.   And trust me, the other person will feel the same way, just knowing I’m single won’t be sufficient, or, if he’s right for me, it shouldn’t be.  He should want to know something about me besides my relationship status.  But trust me to come to you.
  4. If I confide in you that I am feeling lonely, this does not mean that I feel this way all the time.  I am not asking you to feel sorry for me.  I am not asking you to fix me up. (Please refer to number three here).  I am not asking you to suggest ways to find a husband.  I don’t need you to refer me to an online dating site.  I am not asking you to figure out a way to cure me of my singleness.  Being single is not a disease.  I will have my days when I’d rather not be single.  I’m pretty sure you have your days when you’d rather not be married.  When you come to me, on those days when your husband is annoying the living daylights out of you, I don’t direct you to a divorce attorney’s website, do I?  Let me confide in you, be my friend, listen, and understand that whatever our relationship status is, we have good days and bad days, we have days we LOVE our status, and days we might come really close to hating it…
  5. I love that you want me to be happy and in love.  TRULY I do.  It means the world to me that you want that happiness for me.  I appreciate your thoughts on this.  I appreciate how much you care.  And I appreciate when you want to get involved to help me get there.  I hope that I tell you these things.  I hope that I let you know when I feel these thoughts and actions are welcome.  Because sometimes, they are.  But please try to remember that as my friend you should also want me to be happy now.  When I’m single.  Please don’t focus all your energy on what I don’t have.  Notice all that I do have.  Notice the life I’m living today.  Help me to enjoy this part as well.
  6. Yes, I have thought about online dating.  IF and when I decide I want to do that, I will.  I am WELL AWARE it exists.  Stop pushing me to do it.  If it ever feels right for me, I’ll go there.  I’m just going to say this one more time to make sure there’s no misunderstanding here: STOP TELLING ME TO TRY ONLINE DATING.  Thank you.
  7. You are right; I don’t know what it’s like to have to deal with a husband’s personality, demands, schedule, etc. I do not know what it’s like to have to deal with your child’s temper tantrums or insanely hyper active school activities.  Telling me I am “so lucky” to not have any of those obligations is both rude and hurtful.  There are days, when I’d give everything to have them.  Also, throwing those things in my face, telling me my life is so much easier and less stressful because I don’t have a family to care for, doesn’t just make it seem like you find my life less valuable than yours, it is completely inaccurate.  My commitments, my interests, my activities are just as valid.  My relationships, although they may not be maternal or romantic, are just as significant to my survival.  I treat my friendships as my family, I treat my plans with them as you would dinner with your husband.  THEY MATTER.
  8. On this same vein, making me feel guilty because I don’t have to provide financially for children, or am not supporting the habits and interests of a husband as well as my own is also a completely null argument.  I am supporting my household on a single income.  I pay ALL of the bills, not just some of the bills.  If I don’t want to spend most of my time alone, I am required to go out and spend money on activities and dinners and whatever social situation I can place myself in, so I’m not at home, alone on a Friday night.  And let’s not forget that it is with my solitary income that I am paying for all of my non-single friends’ events, childrens’ birthday party gifts, baby shower gifts, wedding gifts, Christmas presents, (where I’m usually buying individual gifts for all members of your family), etc. etc.  Please let me make this clear, I am not complaining.  I enjoy celebrating life events with all of my friends.  Don’t even feel guilty for inviting me to a gift giving occasion…shopping for presents is an honest joy to me.  Just remember that financially, we’re all in the same boat.  I may have less financial “obligations” according to your world.  But, you may have less according to mine.  Let’s call this one even and remember not to quibble about money.
  9. When you tell me that it should be easy to keep my house in order, since I’m the only one living there, remember two things: ONE: you have obviously not yet met my two cats.  And Two: Keep in mind, that I have to move that television all by myself, to have to figure out where the closest mechanic is, how to replace a broken light fixture alone, to do all the dishes, all the laundry, all the cleaning, all the cooking, and all the breadwinning.  There is no one at my house to open that stubborn pickle jar.  For every time your husband leaves his socks outside the hamper, there’s a pickle jar for me.  But when all is said and done, you love your husband, and you’ll take the socks!  I feel the same about my life.
  10. Here is the most important one: I want to be able to discuss my singledom with you, and I want you to be able to discuss your relationship with me.  I want us to not be afraid to share our trials and tribulations, as friends do.  But I don’t want to feel judged, pressured, or like you think I need to do something to change my situation.  I don’t want to make you feel any of those things about your relationship either.  Unless you are in an incredibly unhealthy relationship.  And even then, I might give advice…but only if you ask me for it.  If I ask you, or if you feel I am unhappy, well, then none of the above really apply, feel free to call me out on it.

And before anyone asks, no, this isn’t about you.  Not completely anyway.  I’ve taken bits and pieces of everything I’ve experienced in my long time as “the single friend” and pieced them all together.  If you take this entire post personally…maybe we should talk. But this isn’t about any ONE of you directly or indirectly…

And now, in closing, I challenge you to this:  What do you, my non-single friends, wish your single friends would remember?  After all, turnabout is fair play, right?

Amber says:

#9 – really? people say that?
Really that’s such a personality thing anyway! The only thing I do know for sure is that it’s *a little* easier to keep your house clean when you’re home less, and harder when you’re home all day – although it’s hardEST when you’re hardly home long enough to eat and change and run! (At least, these have all been true for me at various points in my life!) But seriously.. *I* get the “but you’re home all day…” argument. YEAH. And we’re making messes all day, too. =p

I haven’t ever experienced the “but he’s single argument..” But I know I’ve HEARD it! Just match up two single people, that’ll work. Ha! Don’t you wish it were that easy?? ;0)

Ooh, how about: “Just because I’m married doesn’t mean my husband does all the things you wish you had a husband for!” I joke (but I also mean it) that one of the reasons I *have* a husband is to work on the car, do the yard work and open the jars I can’t get open. =p In all seriousness, I thought that was part of the deal! He’s pretty good about opening the jars for me.. but sometimes I have to do the yard work, take the car to get fixed and I always have to take out the trash. (Bum. But I love him.) =) I wouldn’t say you’re “lucky” to not “have to deal with” (in fact, I’d try not to use THAT phrase at all…) the mixed blessings of hubby and kids, the personality conflicts and whatnot.. I would maybe say, that’s one of the mixed blessings that singles get to enjoy while it lasts, and then you trade them for different ones. I think when you get down to it, we can all choose whether or not to be thankful for the blessings we do have where we are right now, regardless of whatever else we may not have, may be praying and anxiously waiting for, or may be having a “low” day over. Don’t you think? =)

God bless you, friend!

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