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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Date & Relate > The Single Life

Date & Relate
by Sara Hodon

Are You Ready to Give Up The Single Life?

There’s a lot to be said for being on the dating scene, and even more for settling into a serious relationship.  It takes some work to get out there time and again, hoping to meet the right one.  When you do find them and you fall in love, there’s really no better feeling in the world.  But by the same token, how many times have you heard your attached friends say that they wouldn’t mind a bit of their single life—and the freedom that comes with it—back, even for a little while?  I guess it goes back to the “grass is always greener” mentality. 

I’ve had a few serious relationships, but truth be told, I’ve been single more than I’ve been with someone.  I’ve said it before—I don’t like dating.  It’s so hard to open up to someone, try to connect with them, and keep those less-than-stunning parts of yourself hidden for a decent amount of time, only to have it go down in flames some time later?  But that’s just my opinion.  Plenty of singles out there thrive on filling up their social calendars, whether it’s with the same date or if they’re playing the field with a few different people. 


Although I’d much rather be in a relationship than be single, but I admit, it’s hard to shake the “single” mindset.  When you’re used to only having to worry about yourself, it takes some time to get used to taking someone else’s thoughts/feelings/opinions into consideration.  You can’t just take off and spend hours in the mall, window shopping by yourself—out of courtesy, you should check in with the other person and see what they were planning for the day.  You have to figure out where you’re going for the holidays—will you be spending it with your family, or his?  Or both?  Then, of course, you have to introduce them to your family and friends (and vice versa) and hope everyone gets along, to name just a few changes to your life that you can typically expect.   

Who needs the stress?!?

Plenty of singles out there are perfectly happy living life solo.  The idea of not being obligated to someone else, the freedom to come and go as you please, and make decisions that affect you alone definitely has its appeal.  I know that I value my freedom, and my “alone time” is precious.  But when it comes down to it, it’s reassuring to know that you have someone who “gets” you, and who will be there for you, no matter what.  I’ve spent enough Saturday nights solo, and been dateless to enough weddings, to know which status I prefer. 

But making the transition from “single” to “attached” takes some time.  You know yourself better than anyone else.  You know your every habit and quirk.   You’re probably into your own comfortable little routine, and now that’s all changed to make room for this new and wonderful person.  And you’re happy to do it.  Isn’t this what you’ve suffered through countless blind dates and writing the perfect online profile and buying how many new date outfits to find?  But still—it’s an adjustment. 

Once you shake yourself out of your old, single routine, enjoy each other!  The first few weeks of a new relationship are usually the most exciting.  You’re finding out about this new person—their likes, dislikes, thoughts, feelings, and opinions—and of course, the intimacy in the early stage is often the most intense and passionate of the entire relationship. It can often feel as if you’re being swept away—I know that sounds totally corny and clichéd, but if you are crazy attracted to the other person, that’s exactly how it feels.  There are a lot of strong emotions going on, and as with any matter of the heart, there’s some risk involved.  Will you fall in love, or not make it past the “lust” stage?  If it does end (not that anyone wants to think about that), how will it end?  It’s really more than one person should have to handle. 

Camping out on the couch in sweats eating ice cream, or sticking with your familiar and comfortable social circle is much less devastating, don’t you agree?

Serial singles have plenty of reasons for not pursuing relationships.  I have friends who are actively, chronically single—no spouse or family for them!—and wouldn’t change a thing.  Being happy with yourself and your life is a choice, and for plenty of folks, their choice is to be happy as an unattached person. 

Most of us have enough in our lives to keep us busy—career, friends, volunteer work, outside interests, family obligations—and “spouse” or “partner” doesn’t make it onto that list for everyone.  Some singles feel more complete when they’re involved with someone; others, not. 

If you’re striking out on the dating scene over and over again, it might be time to ask yourself if you’re doing it on purpose on some level—maybe you really are happy to be unattached.  Plenty of singles set standards that are so high or so specific, they’re almost impossible for anyone to meet them.  Maybe on some level, they really don’t want to.


Date & Relate is published every Thursday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Sara Hodon. She can be reached at

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