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"So, who are you here with?" "Well, no one"

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by LucasJackson, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. LucasJackson

    LucasJackson
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    The Washington Post comes through in time for Valentine's Day:
    The single life: Some people never find the love of their lives. And live to tell about it

    The rundown: singleness. What's the deal with that, we ask? Does it mean you're perpetually unhappy? Missing something in your life? Need to change something about yourself? Or is it possible to be single and happy, your whole life? The Washington Post investigates. It's actually pretty interesting.

    Focus: Your thoughts on the article. Is singlehood a social stigma? With so many miserable marriages, is it possible to be happy on your own? What's it mean to be alone in today's society? Do we look down on it as much as we used to?

    Personally, I'm single and quite frankly, I've never been in a serious, committed, one-on-one relationship. Virtually ever. I've dated a ton and have been with a lot of girls from moving around across the years, but I am the quintessential single person.

    Got to admit, though, at 26, I do think there's something wrong with me. This article speaks to me in a lot of ways - I think it's bad and that it sucks, and I want to change. But that's just me.

    Discuss.
     
  2. Blue Dog

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    Relationship Thread Wednesday!
     
  3. Crown Royal

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    I KNOW people can be happy being single. My friend El Nino has been for years and shows no tire of it. He says he's just plain not into relationships, for now at least. I don 't remember the guy being upset about a break-up even once. I am pretty sure the words "Oh, well." will be etched into his tombstone.

    I used to be that way, I was single voluntarily for four years before I met my wife, who I have known for nine now. When single life ends, it ends. I refuse to judge people on that decision if they are happy either way.
     
  4. BigChops

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    I am 32 and really have no intentions on being married in my lifetime. There was a time in my early 20s where it seemed like the goal, but now I don't know if I could ever commit to something like that. Women must be genetically encoded to hide their true self from their partner until after the honeymoon period is over, because every person I've ever known that has been married for more than a year is either disappointing or downright miserable that they went through with it. Maybe their wives feel the same way about them too, but that doesn't matter. It is one thing to choose a mate or partner and be monogamous with them, but I see the concept of a legally binding marriage to be archaic and completely nonsensical.

    I have probably been single more often than not in my adult life, and I could list pros and cons to both. I don't think I was more or less happy in either situation though, depending on how my sex life was going. I am currently in a committed relationship in which I tell my girlfriend that I "love" her every day, and I think I honestly do but from past experiences that could change in the next six months. This girl is head over heels for me from what I can tell and the sex is fulfilling and comes often. But I see it getting to the point after being together for 6+ months where she is going to want to move in full time, and I don't know if I can handle that. I still want my "me time", and my privacy every now and then.

    I have a female friend with a relationship past that is literally puzzling to me though. She is beautiful, very successful, and 32 years old with her own house and two cars (no cats). But she has pretty much been single her entire adult life. As far as I know she's not even a slut but she has mentioned having a few sex partners here and there. It almost seems like she tried really hard for a while to find the right guy but their relationships never ended well. At this point I think she just wants friends with benefits. I would kill to be that "friend" but the bitch is too picky on the type of guy she will have relations with. She likes the fireman/cop types that are 6"+ and well built, and that will never be me.
     
  5. Kubla Kahn

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    Haven't read the whole article yet. But I feel the "Monogamous Marriage is just an outdated soci-religous concept and if guys just let their wives fuck other men all the time we'd get used to it" argument coming on here....
     
  6. Veovis

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    <a class="postlink" href="http://www.cracked.com/article_19700_the-5-weirdest-reasons-we-have-sex-according-to-science.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.cracked.com/article_19700_th ... ience.html</a>

    Item #3 in that article yesterday actually. What a coincidence. Moaning women means an invite to group sex. And all along I always though penthouse letters had the invitation correct at "Which one of you swingin cocks in gonna pound my love clam first."

    I think people always looked at being married as "this is my companionship to fulfill my needs" and then as they got older realized that that person isn't the companion they need, then they start to resent ...blah blah blah divorce.

    Now enough kids have seen ugly divorces or dysfunctional families and have said "fuck that noise" and refused to get married. They also get married older so that the companion they meet is more the person they seek with less changing likely than that of a 19 year horney kid getting married to finally get his pecker wet.

    I feel people need companionship and more stay single now so they can move from place to place as it fits to make their needs met as they change as a person. I think people are also finding the company desired in life, (because let’s face it, totally alone life will suck), in other places than "marriage". Whether it is a close friend, few years at a shot with live in spouses, a therapist or support group, or even the neighbor’s dog that you believe you smoke pot with and have adventures with. Somewhere people find the companionship they desire, they've just expanded the concepts of where they find it.

    I've had relatives that were single their whole life. Of course there was always a "loved and lost"/"never showed up on the train" type story with them, but that doesn't mean they couldn't find someone else over the next 40-50 years. It means something occurred at those times to shift how their needs were met in life so they could have a fulfilled life without pinning the responsibility for it to be a "good one" on someone else.

    I got married at 23, which was young I think, but it was where we both wanted to be. We’re not the people now that we were then but even after over 10 years we done it together and liked doing it (heh heh “it”). I’m personally geared more towards a marriage way of life for whatever reason, but not all people are and I think north American society has changed enough that people realize that you don’t “go to school, get a job, get married, have kids” and that’s it. There is more choice now.
    That’s my rambling hump day opinion at least.
     
  7. Jimmy James

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    I don't think being single is a social stigma. Not anymore at least. I believe that society as a whole is more self-centered than they used to be. There's less pressure on people to go out and have a nuclear family. In fact, people in college now have been told that they should put off having families so they can pursue their educations and careers. Nobody has the time to settle. It probably helps a great deal that safe sex with anonymous partners has lost a great deal of its stigma too.

    Get drunk and go home with a random. Laugh about it with your friends later, via Facebook, or other social media, or around beers. With that kind of a setup, I can see why a lot of people would prefer that kind of a living situation than having a partner and dealing with everything comes with it.
     
  8. shimmered

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    I don't think there's a stigma anymore.

    Marriage...I don't think most people know what that really MEANS anymore. It's not about the wedding...it's about meeting and being with someone and being on their team for the rest of ever. Wanting to be on their team. (And of course, that all being reciprocated.)
    Sometimes you grow together sometimes you grow apart but you always grow in the same direction and work to that common goal, because at the end of the day, it's supposed to be about the two of you.

    I think alone may be easier...It's certainly more convenient.
    But alone is also boring. It's nice to have someone who knows me inside and out and can let me giggle and doesn't mind if I take the last piece of bacon.
     
  9. The Village Idiot

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    There is nothing wrong with 'singlehood' if you define it as 'not married.' I think a lot of folks (and the article touches on this) define singlehood as 'lonely.'

    Let me tell you, you marry the wrong person, you're going to be lonely. And you don't have the same options single people do.

    What many people don't realize (especially if you're in your 20's) is your days of close friendships (as you've enjoyed when you were younger) are numbered. By the time you get to your thirties, and your friends all are married and have kids, you don't have the same relationship with people that you did when you were younger. It's just the way life works. For instance, my two best friends: one, I talk to maybe every other week. The second, I go months without speaking to him. Why? They're busy as hell. They've got spouses, jobs, kids, and a whole host of shit they have to get through on a daily basis.

    As you get older, your significant other may well be the only person you have a meaningful conversation with on any given day. For instance, I work a couple of nights a week (and a day on the weekend) and my wife works days. On the days where I work at night, I don't see my wife until 10 p.m. at the earliest. She's been going since 6 a.m., and so have I. We're both shot at that point. That's just life. And if I don't have a decent conversation that day with someone else? Yeah, it's me and the dog.

    And it's the same with my wife. Her best friends? She probably talks to one of them twice a week (because they work in the same place). The other two? She hasn't really talked to either in at least 6 months. They're busy too. So what I'm describing above is gender neutral.

    So what does that mean? If you're married to someone (male or female) that you don't particularly get along with, you get really fucking lonely. And you have all the obligations etc. of being married/in a relationship. Not fun. Any person (male/female) on here who has been married and gone through a rough patch knows just how lonely that can be.

    So the article talks about not hanging with married folks/not being included because you're single? Yeah, that's not really true. Though when you have kids you'll be included in more kid things, and thus, spend time with adults, the fact is most married couples I know don't hang out very much with anybody, single or married. They're too busy and too fucking tired.

    If I were to get divorced at some point, I would definitely stay single. Oh, yeah, if you're a guy, you don't get quite the same amount of shit as women do for that choice (staying single), so I potentially got that going for me. I definitely thing women get more shit for choosing to be single. And it appears to come mostly from other women.
     
  10. dixiebandit69

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    I've been married before, and I'm not doing it again. I genuinely don't see any advantage to it (aside from some tax breaks).
    If two people want to spend their lives together, then do it. You don't need a piece of paper saying that y'all are officially a couple.

    My dad was married for 31 years, but after my mom died, he staunchly refused to ever do it again.

    I'm single right now, and I'm just fine with it (aside from not getting laid on a regular basis). Dedicated relationships come with a lot of bullshit.

    Or maybe I just haven't been dating the right women...
     
  11. Trakiel

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    Call me Caitlyn. Got any cake?

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    I'll be 33 in a few weeks and I think about this all the time. I've been single my whole life. I've never had a romantic relationship with anyone and I don't have any especially close friends either. I've had opportunities for partnership, but it didn't feel right. Part of the issue is that it seems dishonest to me to enter into a relationship with someone if you don't see any long-term potential. Obviously lots of people are comfortable with getting into a relationship and just seeing where it goes, but I don't know if I can make that mindset work for me.

    I have a match.com and okcupid profile so I guess I'm looking for something but I've never had a date or conversation through either of those services in the 2 years that I've had them so I can't honestly say that I'm putting a whole lot of effort into it. Personally the big thing I struggle with is not really knowing how much I truly want to find a girlfriend/wife and how much of it is just the societal conditioning influencing my decision. I like my own time, my own space, my own privacy, and my own piece and quiet, so I don't even know if I could even be in a relationship - which probably explains why I've avoided them.

    Also I definitely think that there's still a stigma toward singledom. I think the stigma toward not being married is a lot less than what it's been in the past, but people who are truly single and don't have a romantic partner are still viewed with some disdain. Marriage/partnership is still considered the default state for people in adulthood (for people my age) so the presumption is if you're not partnered you are/should be looking for a partner. If I were to tell people that I wasn't looking for a partner they'd be polite about it but would certainly see that as abnormal.
     
  12. mazian

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    Being 23, I probably don't know much about it in the long term, but here goes.

    Until not too long ago, I felt bad about being single.
    I thought there must be something wrong with me, being surrounded by couples and one of the few singles left in the group, but somehow that has changed.
    I enjoy my life as it is, I do what I want to do, I can go out and do whatever without anyone caring, there's nothing wrong with my body, I can afford some things on the side.
    And I'm fine with it.
    I'm not opposed to the idea of a relationship, if someone comes along, sure, why not, but I don't need to have a partner just for the sake of being in a relationship, and I've seen many people hopping from partner to partner just because they can't stand the thought of being single.

    Some of my friends see things very differently, though, mostly female friends.
    They fear they won't find anyone and stay single forever, one friend told me she once received a call from a friend of hers that was crying on the other end because she'll never find anyone. She was 22.
    Another fried of mine is on the opposite end, he turns 30 this year and is stuck in a bad relationship since I know him, but he somehow can't break up, although he's miserable the whole time.
     
  13. jordan_paul

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    I don't know anything about long term relationships because I'm only 21. I've been in a few more serious relationships and my parents have been married for 22 years so I go with things I've picked up from that.

    I like being single, I can do what I want, bang who I want, hang-out with who I want. I can still do couple stuff like Christmas parties and weddings because I have a few girls that go with me to those things. Being single there's no drama and no chance of a shitty break up. The shitty thing about being single is that actually getting laid comes in spurts, and you never know when it's going to happen next.

    I also like being in a relationship. It's nice knowing somebody you really like cares about you and the day you're having. Nothing beats a random text message from your girlfriend telling you she loves you when your having a shitty day. Getting laid on a regular basis is fun as well. With relationship comes marriage, shich could come with divorce. That's the only thing I'm worred about if I get married especially if there's kids involved.
     
  14. lostalldoubt86

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    I've never been in a serious relationship. Throughout high school and college, I only had casual romantic relationships. Throughout this time, I've been OK with it. I was not thrilled about it, but I wasn't devastated either. That being said, I want to get married some day. I don't want to do it any time soon because I still need to start a career and live on my own for a bit, but some day I want to get married. I think marriage is especially meaningful at this period in time BECAUSE it's not necessary. It's no longer expected of anyone, which is why I feel like I can wait until I find someone who is right for me.
     
  15. caseykasem

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    I think there is somewhat of a double standard and that it depends on the context of the single individual. Men definitely have an easier time being single, as least in my experience. This is because men are seen as motivated, career oriented, driven, and are doing something with their life in this context.

    Women are sometimes judged more harshly and are viewed as having some flaw or possibly being an insufferable bitch if they aren't married by a certain age. I think that the stigma has certainly diminished in recent years but there's a difference between the way men and women are viewed.

    I'm currently single and 23 and in law school so being single is perfectly acceptable for both sexes but many are already married. I was in a 3 year relationship that was fucked up and should have ended after a few months but I was young and stupid. I see too many people that should stay single but get married because they think that's what they are supposed to do at 22-25 years old.

    A lot of young women I go to school with are looking for the show that is a wedding. They talk about dresses, wedding registries, shopping, rings, and shit like that. They're not looking to be married forever, they just want a wedding.
     
  16. dixiebandit69

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    Rant/Rave: I'd rather be single for the rest of my life than be in a bad relationship again.
    There are worse things in life than being alone.
    Imagine hating going home...And it's YOUR home! You paid for it!
    You don't want to go there because there is a person who is going to nag and claw at you.
    That really sucks.
     
  17. Pinkcup

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    Yep. I tell my mother that all the time when she nags at me for eschewing marriage/giving her grandbabies in favor of living my life the way I please. There are worse fates than being an old maid...and being legally tethered to someone who makes your life miserable is certainly one of those fates.

    I know I sound like such a pessimist when I say this, but it's so, so important to always have an immediately available exit strategy in all relationships. And marriage just doesn't have the legal setup in place to make a quit exit immediately available to anyone who chooses to do so. Breakups are painful, but it's always possible to just walk away from all your shit and begin again five seconds later. Not so with marriage.

    I wasn't ever married, but I was in a very long-term relationship with The Ex and we lived together for about half that time. The excruciating suffering that comes from not being able to ever relax or enjoy your own home is mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting. That particular brand of anguish and misery is impossible to articulate to someone who hasn't been there, but it's impossible for me to wish that sort of thing on anyone just so they'd understand where I'm coming from. It's bad. Very bad.

    So...yeah. Marriage. I am not in favor, personally.
     
  18. AlmostGaunt

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    Jah save us from totally self-absorbed academics. Alright, you're single, move on: not every emotion you experience has to be enshrined in a peer reviewed paper. Fuck me.

    Ahem. I may have been working at a University too long.

    I'm 27. I've had a couple of short-term relationships, but spent most of my life single. My standards for a girlfriend are probably unrealistically high and slightly non-standard (I worked it out once, and I meet a woman I'm legitimately excited about once every 18 months or so), and I'm an acquired taste myself, so I don't imagine my singledom will change in the immediate future. I'm pretty happy this way. I live in a bachelor pad with two very good friends, and we have a shit ton of fun. It is definitely possibly to be happy on your own, and if there is a stigma attached to it, I haven't noticed. Although, it surprises me how many of my single friends are apparently incapable of going to a restaurant or to the movies on their own. It's like they expect everyone in the place to re-enact that scene from Invasion of the Bodysnatchers and start yowling at them - "look, a person... BY THEMSELVES! (dun dun dun!) Children, hide your eyes! Adults, laugh pityingly at little Billy No Friends!"

    Occasionally I lament the lack of intimacy, but I usually address this via FWB relationships. (Why FWB and not date them you ask? See aforementioned high standards. The number of people in this world whose company I enjoy for a night or two a week is many orders of magnitude greater than the number of people I want to live with.)

    The catch is, of course, that this is finite. People get married, drift away, and generally disengage. Once your social life slows down, you need something else to fill in the hours. Would I like to be in a serious relationship in my thirties? I don't really know. It's like asking a man who's never seen the ocean if he enjoys swimming. Never having met a woman I could see myself spending the rest of my life with, the question of whether or not I want to spend my life with someone is impossibly abstract.

    Ultimately, my view boils down to this: if you are spending time with someone you love deeply, and who loves you, (and whose company you enjoy,) you are probably going to be happier than the average single person. Seems obvious to me - who doesn't enjoy spending time with loved ones? And, most activities are improved by doing them with people you like. The converse is also true: if you are spending time with someone out of obligation, or because you are terrified of ending up alone, you are probably going be less happy than the average single person. Again, seems obvious - all the compromises you make to keep that other person around don't have an equivalent upside. The trick, and probably one of the most valuable skills you can learn in life, is differentiating the latter from the former, and acting on it.
     
  19. JWags

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    This thread is fantastically timely. Ive been having a continuing conversation about this with one of my best female friends. Not so much about "would you ever get married" but rather seemingly perpetual singleness. We're both attractive, social fluid, with plenty of experience in relationships and hookups, but neither of us, post college, have been in that many "relationships". And we realized we have alot of similarities.

    I mentioned some of this in the Pros and Cons thread. I'm extremely picky. The worst feeling is starting to date a girl exclusively and going out at night and seeing tons of girls that interest you. Not even "man, I want to fuck the shit out of that hottie", but more like "she seems like the kind of girl I could spend alot of time with." So for that reason, I'm cautious in the progression of casual dating into something more serious. It doesn't mean I'm not interested in a relationship, cause I am, my bachelor status isn't unquestionably precious to me, but I'm interested in the right relationship. Most of my close friends realize and appreciate this, but there are plenty of girls I know that claim I'm too "superficial" or overly picky. I don't believe their claims of a stigma, but it does get obnoxious when you're around people in healthy productive relationships.

    Do I want to get married? Yeah, I think so. I like the idea of it. My grandparents have been married for 60 years and are still very much in love. Even my jaded, anti-mushy couple self likes seeing married couples my age or older who really just work and truly benefit from the marriage. That being said, I'm in no hurry. I don't put some BS timeline on my relationship life. When it comes, it will come. I had an older manager at work who I'm fairly close with put it this way "You'll be fine JWags. You're not a serial dater and you're not some average schmuck chomping at the bit for the pomp and circumstance of a wedding. You're very much an individual and I imagine your future wife will be the same. And it situations like that, you can't force shit. Let the game come to you."
     
  20. lust4life

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    I wouldn't want to live the single life. I absolutely love having someone to share life with.