I talk a lot about how much I love to be single. I do. I really, really do.

I love the freedom, the independence, and the autonomy. I’m never lonely or bored. I have endless interests to occupy me, not to mention many good friends and two great pets. I come and go as I please. I spend or save money, as I like. I date and sleep with whomever I choose, it’s a great life.

Unlike some of my other single women friends, I do not spend the majority of my life dreaming of my next relationship and trying to figure out how to meet “The One”. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t like to meet a man with whom I’m compatible mentally, emotionally and physically. A man who enjoys doing the same things I do, a man who could introduce new and exciting things into my life, a man who is extremely well endowed, a man who could be the icing on the cake in an otherwise fulfilling and satisfying life. And, somehow, I believe that he’ll show up when the time is right. He’ll show up when I’m ready.
My new job at a prominent NYC company, pursuing new endeavours, caring for my pets, working out with my trainer, going out with my friends, planning for my financial future, all of these things and many more keep me busy! My thoughts are focused on me, on what career and financial choices are going to keep me happy and secure for the rest of my life. When life is going well and when life is status quo, which thankfully is most of the time, that’s what goes on in my head. I live quite happily in Singledom, planning my days and my future around myself, never pining for a permanent partner. Never wanting a man who’s going to stay around for more than several hours at a time.
However, at those times when the usual journey of life is tragically derailed by unexpected unpleasantness, my thought process takes a detour. For instance, last fall during October and November, it seemed as if my entire life was falling apart at once. My contract job had ended, I was having trouble finding another, and my dog (who for all intents and purposes is like a child to me) had a tumour that needed to be removed, the prognosis was undetermined and the tests and the procedure itself were going to cost me over $5000 that I didn’t have. I was distraught. I was scared, sad, and depressed. Murphy’s Law was at work on my life, and some foreign thoughts were at work on my mind.
Sitting at the vet, all alone, crying my eyes out after receiving bad news, climbing the stairs to my apartment on my way home from yet another bad interview, staring absently at the TV at 3am, plagued by insomnia brought on by chronic worrying over my financial situation, I began to pine, with all my heart and soul, for a man. For a partner. For a husband. For someone to hold me, to make things better, for someone with whom to share the burden of that awful time. I would have given anything then to have a husband or a boyfriend. I began to understand why people desired relationships.
Even in my emotionally distressed state, I was cognizant of the fact that I was desirous of a relationship only because times were tough. These kinds of thoughts never normally entered my mind. Only when I was subjected to these great emotional trials did I feel like this.
Thankfully, all in good time, my life turned around. I was offered a dream job with a dream company immediately after my dog recovered successfully. Everything fell into place, and thoughts of husbands and serious boyfriends dropped out of my mind. As soon as life returned to normal. As soon as everything was back in my control, I reverted to my usual course of thought. I only needed men around for sex and companionship and on my own terms.
More recently, last Sunday, at 2:30am in fact, I had an intruder in my apartment. He was about an inch and a half long, brown, and sported long tentacles. A waterbug. YUCK! I have a phobia of bugs. Especially of very large, ugly ones in the middle of the night. As I huddled in the corner of my sofa with the dogs, paralyzed with fear, I caught myself wishing with all my heart and soul again that I had a husband or boyfriend with me who could have chased down and murdered the little vermin and then comforted me afterward! Once again, at a time of extreme duress did I find myself pining for a relationship.
I guess I’m just not ready to have a relationship. I’m not ready to share my whole life with someone if the only time I dream of a permanent partner is during the bad times. I need to want to share the good times with someone, too.
This experience made me think back to my college days. I worked as a Page for the Wisconsin State Assembly and was speaking to a co-worker one afternoon in between errands. The subject was relationships. He was getting engaged to his live-in girlfriend, and I made a face as he told me about it. He said, “NYM, your problem is that you see marriage as an end, and not a beginning.” Thirteen years later, I still see marriage as an end. I know it’s most likely due to the emotional scars left by my first relationship, but in all this time, my attitude hasn’t changed.
Which brings me to another confession. “Hello. My name is NYM and I’m a committmentphobe.”
But that’s the subject of another column.

About the author: After receiving a nice, wholesome upbringing in a typical Midwestern town of the US, this intelligent, witty, and frequently snarky chick, craving adventure, managed to receive her first real-world instruction on the streets of Paris. After that eye opening and somewhat harrowing experience, on a whim, she moved to The Big Apple where she was permanently corrupted. She’s an armchair psychologist and enjoys analyzing herself and others, while maintaining a deep appreciation for the ironies of life.

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