Non-Applicable Internet Advice

Alright, I want to write my first heavy post. From time to time, I find myself roaming the internet for articles on topics I sometimes struggle with. Topics such as being single, making more friends, learning how to date, etc. I’ll admit, it’s mostly a losing endeavor, since roughly 80% of the articles are utter junk. But there’s just enough helpful stuff that I do keep looking around. There’s one piece of advice I’ve seen more than a few times that I want to repackage with my own spin. That advice is advice on living a fulfilling and happy life as a single person. One of the primary arguments is that it’s good to be by yourself and learn what you want, and to develop your own interests and skills independently of someone else. Hell, a few authors even go so far as to declare that they’d prefer to remain single indefinitely.

To all of them I say: Fantastic. And I really do mean that with utmost sincerity. If you can find what you want in a way that works for you, congratulations. You’re already ahead of most people. But thinking on it, I didn’t like the way that advice applied to me. I’m willing to bet that those authors making those arguments were not always single. In fact, most of the articles clearly stated that they weren’t. Well, I have always been single, and aside from the fact that “learning to be single indefinitely” isn’t my preference, it’s completely against my nature to decide on something before experiencing both, or all sides of it.

I know my generation is supposed to think we’re all unique snowflakes, but I have a hard time believing that my situation of 24 (and counting) years of singleness is so unique that I can’t find any of these articles written from my perspective. I think that’s what this blog is for. Now I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers, but it’s definitely in my nature to want to experience things before I completely write them off. In this case, being part of a relationship. In some ways, I think it’s almost more important that people in my shoes get that experience. It seems all too easy to get to a point where your cynicism about it becomes so great, you abandon hope and move on for that reason alone. I know I’ve certainly brushed up against that in the past, but I don’t think it’s right. I’m not sure what my spin on the advice would be beyond that. There is certainly tremendous value in bettering yourself, learning new skills and developing new hobbies on your own. And I’d be lying if I said that learning to do things by yourself wasn’t a valuble skill. The flip side of the coin, however, is that like me, I think you’re bound to come to a point where you start to ask “how much more can I better myself?” or “what more things do I really want to do?”. I’m not saying that you become perfect, and incapable of being improved. I’m saying that eventually, the whole thing starts to become monotonous. You start to wonder, how many more times should I better myself? To what end? For that matter, what if you’re already pretty satisfied with yourself? One thing I will say for sure is that while you are bettering yourself, and embracing being an ‘always single’, remember that that status is completely unrelated to how much you’ve bettered yourself. Discounting various x-factors and random parameters, being single or not (other than as an active choice) is fundamentally a function of numbers and uncontrollable events. But for a few things happening differently in the past, you might be in a situation completely opposite of the one you’re in now.

The whole business is a sticky problem. I’ll concede that for people who’ve been part of a relationship in the past, part of one presently, or part of them perpetually, the advice I’ve come across is probably very pertinent. But for people like me, I think my advice would be to think carefully and slowly about it, and remember that you shouldn’t really knock something before trying it.