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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Jennifer's Gems > 45

by Jennifer Brown Banks

Content Being Single

"I have learned to be content in whatsoever state I am in."

I have a friend who’s almost smug about her marital status. She sees marriage as the equivalent of winning a beauty contest or cashing in on the lottery! She views single girls as getting the short end of the deal in terms of what life has to offer.

And she is not alone.

As women, we’ve been conditioned and socialized to search for a mate, the white picket fence, and the “happily ever after”. But for those of us who have traveled far in life’s journey, we know that marriage isn’t always the picture of bliss that it’s painted to be!


Polls and studies even give marriage preferential status. But polls can sometimes be misleading. And some, believe it or not, have a bias depending upon the individual or organization conducting them. Which frankly is why I don’t always agree with their “findings.” Particularly since, from my own “private poll”, my friends and I have never been surveyed!

Take, for instance, the ones that report that married people are categorically happier, healthier, and wealthier than their single peers. Don’t believe the hype. Truth be told, some of the loneliest people in the world are in fact married.

A friend of mine recently shared how she suffered physical abuse from her drug-addicted husband for over a decade. You would never have guessed due to outer appearances. She spent many years feeling trapped, isolated, scared, and emotionally scarred. Some years down the line, she’s now single and celebrating!

Another lady I know hasn’t “slept” with her husband in many months, although they share the same bedroom. In the words of B.B. King “The thrill is gone.” They stay together for economic reasons, and for the kids.

Don’t Wish for Things Unseen
Just because people stay together doesn’t mean they’re happier.
Think about it. If marriage were such a “blissful” state, and guaranteed happiness, would 50% of them end in divorce? That’s 1 out of 2: you do the math.

Here’s the deal. It’s the quality of a relationship, not the status that determines happiness!

In other words, being a Miss or a Mrs. can make you mis-erable. It all depends on other related factors. Not to mention, many people are simply marrying for the wrong reasons. For things like financial security, family pressures, loneliness, sexual compatibility, and biological “time clock” ticking.

Which is not to say that I’m against matrimony: in fact, I’m a great fan. I think that when the conditions and the people are right, it’s the best thing that worldly pleasures have to offer!

But there is much to be said about flying solo as well. Until that right person and conditions comes along---

Here are 8 awesome things about being single:

1) Complete Freedom
Oh the joy of being able to choose when and with whom you’d like to share your days! Have you ever come home from work and just not wanted to be bothered with another living soul? Or wanted to eat cereal butt naked in bed for dinner? Or merely wanted to walk around the house looking like the bride of Frankenstein. When you’re single, it’s completely doable!

2) The Ability to be Selfish Without the Guilt
What’s your wildest dream? Going back to college? Changing careers? Relocating? Becoming a rock star? Living on the beach? The world is your oyster. When you’re unmarried, you can make decisions geared toward your own goals, personality, and lifestyle.

3) Unlimited Shopping Privileges!
Want to spend an outrageous amount of dough on designer shoes? Or have 5 black dresses? There’s no need to justify your spending habits or hide your purchases.

4) Peace of Mind and Privacy
Sometimes solitude can calm the spirit and feed the soul.

5) Clean Quarters
If you’re a neat freak like I am, there is pleasure in having a place that stays orderly and attractive, and doesn’t require endless maintenance.

6) Not Having the "Toilet Seat Issue"

7) Ease of Transition
When you’re married, and things are not working out, there are so many people and dynamics involved in the break-up. Sometimes there are kids and step kids, in-laws, and mutual friends. As such, it’s sometimes difficult to make the move to end things, without considering how other people might be hurt by it.

The number of “casualties” considerably decreases when you are merely dating someone who is not working out. There are no legal papers to file, no property to divide, no family ties to sever, just a clean break. Theoretically.

8) Variety
Unless you’re in a committed relationship, you can date around to find out what and whom best fills your emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual needs. Just be honest, discerning, keep it light, and keep your options open!

Still single and awaiting that right person? That’s okay. Don’t panic. Simply take your time, assess your needs, and enjoy where the journey takes you!

> - The best approach to find the one. <

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Jennifer's Gems is a weekly column written by award-winning poet and writer, Jennifer Brown Banks. It is published every Wednesday. Click here to read her welcome letter.

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