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The Single Life Sucks

Mark Davies

recently the media has been telling us that we should be happy being single. After all, being single means personal freedom. When you don't have a wife and kids to worry about you can do whatever the hell you feel like. You can take a job which requires you to relocate without having to consult anyone. You can come home as late as you want, hang out with anyone you would like, and basically have lots and lots of fun.

Yeah, right.

I'm a 32 year old male, and I hate being single.

To me there is nothing more depressing than coming home to a cold, quiet, empty apartment. I usually turn the TV set on for company right away. I'll plunk down on the couch for a couple of minutes to figure out what I'm going to do about dinner. I pick up the phone book and look for a good restaurant I haven't tried yet. Sigh. I've eaten pretty much everywhere and I'm getting sick of it. What I would love to do is make dinner with someone. What I really want is a relationship.

I've had a few flings which didn't feel all that fulfilling. I've also had a couple of relationships which barely lasted past the one month mark. For the most part I find myself getting dumped because they want to "enjoy being single." I'm beginning to think that is the catchphrase of this new millennium.

A lot of guys I talk to feel the same as I do. Sure, there are a lot of men who love having short and sweet relationships. Guys who are terrified of commitment. Then there is the growing group of men like me who really just want to settle down and have a family. When I tell my female friends that they rip my head off. They say I am a controlling patriarch deep at heart. They say I am following in my father's footsteps. Apparently society has told me that I need to have a wife and kids to be happy.

I disagree with this. What I want is not an ideal. I don't want the picket fence, the wife in the kitchen baking pies, and the two perfect children. One girl and one boy of course to make the bizarre 1950s fantasy complete. No. What I want is someone to share my life with. Someone who will be my best friend. I don't care if my wife works. In fact, I hope she will be career oriented. The picket fence dream doesn't wash with me. I don't really have a vision of what I want my future life to look like. The only thing I do know is that I want to share that future life with someone. Someone besides my regular group of friends and co-workers.

This new trend of staying single is completely self-centred. It is a symptom of a consumer culture where all we think about is having material wealth and being cool. Maybe some people see it is as the antidote to years of shitty relationships. I think people who see the single life as the cure to bad relationships are going to wake up twenty years from now in a daze. They're going to ask themselves why they believed the single life was the only life.

I know I sound desperate and hopeless. But I'm sure I can't be the only person who refuses to sing in the Single Person's Choir. Somewhere out there is a wonderful woman who is leading the single life and hating it. One of these days while we're both out eating our single person dinners at tables for one maybe we'll meet. I'm keeping my eyes peeled.

Mark Davies lives in Toronto.

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