When you’re single, space is something that you tend to have a lot of. There’s lots of space to spread out in the bed, your home is your domain and your social calendar is yours to do what you like with. This for me is a major positive for being single, but when you are thinking about someone to snuggle up to on cold, lonely nights and to ultimately share a life with, these things can seem more “negative”. So why is it that I have a man in my life and I’m behaving like a prima donna, or what I shall refer to from now as Selfish Single?
Selfish Single’s are people that have gotten very used to being single, and find it difficult to let go of habits that have been formed during this period. They aren’t selfish in the general sense, they just don’t know how to let someone into their life without suddenly feeling a desperate urge to cling to their independence. Opportunities are seen as threats to their lifestyle and sometimes this behaviour can also be down to fear of committing, fear of letting someone in, only for it all to go pear-shaped. Often though, the Selfish Single does actually want to be have a partner, they just don’t know how to adjust to the change.
I used to be able to commit with a click of the fingers (not something to be proud of by the way) and had a steady stream of boyfriends from thirteen to almost twenty-six, but now I seem to be engaging in a power struggle with myself and my patient Man of the Moment. It really isn’t him, it’s me. I have become a Selfish Single that likes things MY way and I have become very used to not really having to be accountable to anyone, to not sharing my life and certainly not giving a second thought to anyone else’s plans.
I am so petty that when he put his iPod in my treasured iPod speakers, I felt territorial for a couple of minutes as his music blared into my apartment. Now I got over it really quickly, but in those couple of minutes, I froze and it felt like some sort of invasion of the fuzzy warmth of the life I have cultivated for myself. I know I’m not alone in feeling like this. I spoke with a friend who had her guy stay over and found herself itching to get him out the door the following morning. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me! I like the guy, but Saturday is when I do certain things and I just needed him to get going!”
Last year when I was dating one particular guy, I had just started at my local gym and was going through a very typical phase of wanting to be at the gym almost every day. When he stayed over and didn’t have to head off to anywhere, we chilled out at mine and stayed in bed for most of the day. Do you have any idea how many times I wondered about the gym class I was missing and the laundry and groceries that I hadn’t done? I had to give myself a pinch and tell myself to get a bloody grip! I’ll be honest, I have become so used to being absorbed in my life, that I have worried about what would happen to my blog or how I would factor in this website if I were to be in a serious relationship! (I have my arse facing out for the slaps that are no doubt being sent in my direction!)
I’ve mentioned several times recently that it’s no coincidence that I went from the woman who couldn’t stop committing to the woman who doesn’t commit. I have spent the best part of three years living by myself and whilst I have had love interests, it’s been me, me, me, it’s all about me. It felt good like that, but of course I would like to be with someone and I do like this guy.
As a Selfish Single, I am slowly adjusting to their being somebody else to think about and it doesn’t feel bad at all. To be fair, it helps that he works away during the week as I can break myself in gently and I don’t end up in something heavy too quickly. I look around at my friends and at people in general and I see how they suddenly forget to have a level of independence, and it makes me nervous. I’ve been in relationships like that before, and they’re not for me. I think it’s great to be part of a partnership but to maintain your individuality and your personality. It can be done!
Whoever it is that I end up in a long term relationship with, and potentially marrying one day, is the icing on the cake, not a the filler to a hole in my life. I think the reason I’ve slid into Selfish Single territory is because I have a full, happy life and I am genuinely happy with myself. I’m not Renee Zellwegger in Jerry Maguire because it will never turn me on to complete somebody as it implies that you’ve spent all the time before their existence incomplete, lacking.
Selfish Single is something that shouldn’t get out of hand, but it is positive because it shows that you’re happy with your life to a great extent. The key is being able to let go and embrace the great things that someone else can add to your life, not take away from it. Of course things change when you’re in a relationship, but if you’re in the right relationship environment, you don’t have to throw away your independence or forget about the things that are important to you because this person is adding to and complimenting your life, making it even more fabulous. Just don’t turn into one of those Cling-Ons or Relationship Siamese Twins! It’s all about balance!