I don't know what it is nowadays, but it seems more and more of my friends are single.
The New Generation of Single People
I still have my married, engaged, and friends who are involved, but now there are so many subcategories of what your "status" could be. Me personally, I'm just single. When I tell people this, they are surprised about it, but in all honesty there are so many factors that keep me in the single bracket. I basically boil it down to "I just haven't found the right person" to avoid all the questions, which leads them to make the assumption of "You must be really picky." As much as we can dislike opinions, I've questioned this, myself.
The one person that seems to have a some anxiety over where I am is my dad. No matter how much I try to assure him that I'm okay, he seems worried for me. It also happens that most of the married couples I see today are unhappily married or the single people are happily divorced. It's true what they say; sometimes you rush to get married only to try to get yourself out of it. Marriage has developed some kind of bad stigma. I've told myself, if I ever do it, I only want to do it once.
I've reflected on what has driven me to this point. Dating back to my childhood, I remember what it was like to experience my own parents' marriage. It left a bad impression on me and it set a tone for me with my own relationships. I think I've always had a tendency to unnecessarily overthink relationships. I would overthink my place in the relationship or how unbalanced our feelings were. I would also overthink the topic of "trust," which may have led to me not trusting myself. Having had my own experiences in relationships, I thought maybe I was self-sabotaging with the "good guys" I felt I wasn't giving a chance. I wasn't looking at the long term benefits of having a partnership, and for those unhealthy relationships, I never felt the need to have regrets or even look back.
I chose to be an artist, so I have used my medium to exercise my feelings in all aspects of the relationship. Whether it was long term to when it ended, I noted if things got too stagnant in the relationship I would feel uninspired, which would lead to me not creating as regularly as I wanted. Being creative is very important to me! As someone who is constantly looking for inspiration in my own life and that of others, I have that wandering nature that looks for the beauty in everyone.
Which leads me to my next point. I haven't really gotten to a place in life where I find myself satisfied with my livelihood. I feel that has placed a lot of stress and some restrictions on me in the romantic department. I have felt the need to put my full focus into being my best so that when the right partner does come along I'll feel satisfied with what I have to offer. Of course, many friends have challenged me on how unrealistic that view is. We are living in a constant state of progress as human beings. But the fact of the matter is, I live in LA, so it has been easy to put the full focus on myself. It's hard to believe that, out of so many millions of people in one city, you cannot make that connection. But living here has not been very conducive to me finding my ideal mate. Everyone seems busy, self-involved, or taken! It's been a good six years since I've had a serious relationship (that wasn't long distance—I don't feel those count!)
I have to admit I've grown more and more independent and comfortable within myself. I've grown to accept my solitude and I love it. The advantages of not answering to anyone and not dealing with the conflicts that come from a relationship are super convenient! Of course, there are many cons when you consider not having the perks of a relationship; support, intimacy, affection, companionship etc. It would it be nice to come across an individual who is on the same wavelength as far as that is concerned, but it hasn't happened yet.
Coincidentally, it seems most people are not interested in marriage anymore. Men seem to be gravitating more towards polygamous or polyamorous relationships. Some even convince their partners to consent to this idea. Ask me what's the difference? Non-exclusive, multi-partners, alternative partnerships...the lines start to blur. I understand the concept, but I am not one to want to feel safe in it. If we have reached a point in our relationship where you or I feel the need to see other people, I think it's safe to call it quits. Otherwise, I think I would rather be alone than to deal with all the complexities of guessing where my partner might be emotionally and physically. There isn't always transparency. Still, some people decide to partner up and raise kids like this...no judgement! If it works for you and you're happy, so be it, but this style of mating is definitely not for me. It seems rather confusing, and to be honest, I wouldn't enjoy sharing my partner.
I have many friends from all walks of life that I love and respect. Some are non-traditional and some are hopeless romantics, but I am seeing an emerging group of people who are fiercely independent and happily single. I'm open to whatever God delivers. I am enjoying my freedom while being open to the possibility. I am really quite comfortable at the moment. There are many benefits to living alone. If I find someone who seems to be on the same page, I am willing to attempt the idea of coexisting again. Until then, I am happy sharing experiences with the people I love who appreciate me for who I am. My projects, friends, and family take precedence. As I continue to love and discover more of myself, I also realize that growing means being unsure until I finally am sure. I feel confident in who I am becoming and what I am doing at this stage of my life. Romantic relationships may not be my strong suit, but that could change, and even though I'm not an expert, I encourage my friends to seek the life that feels most fitting for them. I intend to give them my best advice and perspective while allowing them to share their own beliefs about what feels right for them. At the end of the day, it really is about self love and discovery. We can grow in and out of love every day, but the relationship we have with ourselves is the most lasting one that matters