“I hate being single!” I complained to a group of my married friends. “I just want someone to share my life with! I want to be married already!”
It was 2013. I had just moved back from Los Angeles to New York City and felt like an old maid. ‘Cause I was 36 and hadn’t had a real date in 6 months. The last date was a semi-decent lay who didn’t even take me out to dinner and a movie. Although I was the one who called him to come over. My bad.
My married friends, Chloe and Penelope, stared at me with blank faces. Chloe, married for 7 years, finally broke the uncomfortable silence. “Marriage is hard work,” she stated matter-a-factly.
Penelope, married for 20 years, agreed with a hard nod. Then, like an adult game of Duck Duck Goose, they each patted me on the head with facts, hard facts, I tell ya! “
A good, long-lasting marriage takes effort.
You spend a lot of energy trying to have a great (not perfect) marriage. And even then, it’s not always great (or perfect).
Patience is key to maintaining a long-lasting union. And you don’t always have it to spare. Sometimes you just want to wring your partner’s neck.
And then they admitted it: my married friends missed some aspect of their single life.
“What in the world is there to miss?” I asked incredulously. They knew how tough I had it, especially Chloe. She was often on the other end of the phone line when I shared my dating woes, like the time my ex, Luke, called from a random number in New Jersey, and I could hardly hear him over the blaring merengue and giggles.
“Who’s that?!” I screamed.
Oh…don’t worry…that’s just my boy’s girl and her girlfriend. Nothing’s happening.”
I believed him and accepted even more shady behavior from Luke and the men who followed. That’s why when single I was dying to be in a relationship. I’d give my left tit and bleed out for a commitment!
Well, I’m in it, yo. I am engaged and I am a new mami to a 1-year old. Although not married yet, I am as committed as they come. And I kind of miss being single.
Blasphemy, I know. But you know what they say: you don’t know a good think until you lose it. Low and behold, there was some good shit to singledom. Here’s what I miss:
1. Freedom, freedom!
“You gotta give what you take!” Oh, Georgie, you sang it best. When single you are free to do just about anything. I used to hit up local bars with my cousin Irlem without having to discuss my plans with any man. I would get my hair and nails did any day of the week without having to coordinate schedules. (Someone has to stay with Evan!) I made decisions about my career sola. I miss this the most. Taking a gig without second guessing what my partner will think, pursuing my passions without a conversation about how it will affect”our” finances, not having to compromise my craft: it’s been hard to cope in this regard. Ultimately, I miss doing me.
2. Flirting like I need a man to pay my rent.
Funny. I never thought I’d miss flirting once I was in a relationship. In fact, I’d admonish the “natural flirts” who couldn’t keep their winks, hands or giggles to themselves. I don’t even think I’m that great of a flirt. Yet I miss glancing over and smiling at a hot guy at a bar only to turn back around to my amiga. Soon, I’d be caressing his arm when he walked over. (They almost always walked over.)
3. That initial meet spark…
I don’t miss flirting because I miss the attention. To get attention from men, I just have to walk the streets of my old ‘hood (Washington Heights in NYC). I don’t even have to get dolled up; chanklas and rolos work just as well as 4-inch heels and a flowing mane.
You see, I miss the newness of a relationship (or situationship, which was the scenario more times than not). I miss the spark that can occur when two individuals are attracted to one another. We can feel that za za zoo when in a relationship, but it fades over time and it takes dual effort to maintain. In order to flame that initial meet spark, both parties in the relationship have to be creative, romantic, thoughtful and spontaneous.
4. Girls night out!!!
I can have a girls night out every other weekend if I desired. Boo is very supportive and loves that I am independent. He believes it’s healthy for us to have our own friends and individual social lives. And I agree. Thing is my friends are all married with kids (or soon to be married with kids). Although I can spend that time with my chicas whenever I choose, they’re just not available. And, realistically, I would feel terribly guilty dumping Evan on Dave while I throwback Fireball shots and flirt with boys.
Actually, I kid about flirting with boys. That’s not what I do when out with my friends. We catch up (we rarely chat, texting doesn’t count!), we share pics of our babies and significant others, we delve into our feelings – relationship and work drama included. Thankfully, there are no dating woes to report. Relationship stumbles and shake ups, yes, but no giggles or lipsticks on collars. So I’ll keep my left tit and stick with monogamy.