“New Year, New You” is an ongoing blog series focused on on getting your mind, body and spirit ready for dating in 2013. The series will feature posts by Dr. Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist and scientific advisor for Chemistry.com, Bela Gandhi, Dating Coach and President of Smart Dating Academy, and Amanda Ebner, M.A.; M.Ed.; and personal trainer for FitOrbit.com, an online personal training resource.
This time of year when bouquets of roses and boxes of sweets are advertised left and right, instead of wallowing or doubting yourself, I challenge you to instead take a step back and reevaluate the positives of being single. I, for one, would know. Just a bit of background, first. I have been single most of my life, by choice. Writing books has got to be the most time-consuming job on earth, at least the kind of books I write. And as I didn’t seem to ever have the urge to have children, and felt that the world was full of children and it didn’t need my children, I thought my time would be better spent pursuing an understanding of human nature. So I have chosen to read and write for a living and live with my partners, rather than marry. In short, these days single doesn’t necessarily mean “alone.” But I certainly have had periods of being without a live-in partner. And the three best things about these interludes have been very simple.
First, getting up and going straight out into Central Park to take my morning jog, often in the dark. The park is a wonderland in the early morning, with the mist, the robins in the spring, sometimes I even see a raccoon. Second, making my evening plans without consulting someone. Third, enjoying my evening without worrying about getting home “on time.” But I also like working late without feeling guilty, eating dinner exactly when I wish, and taking off to do exactly what I want, with whom I want, when I want. In hunting and gathering societies, a husband and wife do not see one another all the time. One or the other often visits relatives or friends for days or even weeks. Our modern focus on being a couple and doing “couple things” is new. I like this focus, but there is something thrilling about varying the pace of life. And when I am truly single, I step to quite a different tune.
I encourage you too to come up with your 3 best things about being single, just like I did. Be confident and sing that tune right through February!