What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be.

Ellen Burstyn



And, don’t give me any of that “everyone dies alone” crap. I’ve seen Donnie Darko; turns out it’s one of my favorite movies, ever. It doesn’t make me feel better.

What I believe WOULD make me feel better is a boyfriend. Who eventually became my husband. And basically, nothing else. Which is what I’m trying to get over. It hasn’t been easy.

It has been suggested (more than once, often by rejected suitors, but also by friends and/or family) that my standards are just too high. Because, apparently, wanting someone who is intelligent, funny, and attractive* is a totally outrageous expectation.

I don’t think so. Because I have that stuff to offer. And lots else besides; I am generous, thoughtful, devoted, open-minded, and flexible. I am also a tiger in the sack. Virtually every person I have ever been involved in a long-term relationship with has said I was the best partner they ever had. I bring a lot to the table.

So, what’s so freaking hard about all that? Why is it that I have spent the majority of my adult life wallowing in solitary singlehood? I think, at least in part, because in many ways, I haven’t been picky enough and I am now paying the price for my willingness to settle.

Howso? Because, I spent years of my life in relationships with people who were fundamentally ill-equipped, profoundly disinclined, or systemically incapable of meeting me on an equal footing as a loving, committed partner striving toward the goal of building a future together. While they each met my very basic criteria, they failed to be a suitable option for me in a multitude of other critical ways. I wasn’t sufficiently healthy or whole to notice this was the case until I had spent far too much time becoming emotionally invested and entangled.

I squandered my youth and indeed, my capacity to bear more children languishing in relationships with people who couldn’t, shouldn’t, or didn’t want to build a life with me. I stayed in these situations because of the irrational belief that I could not expect better, would never find anyone else I loved so much, or worse, that I would end up all alone if I left them.

But then I always did, anyway**.

And now, I am older, barren and fat***. I can’t help but believe this will diminish my appeal.

I am also, happier, wiser, and much kinder to myself and others. I like to believe that with a certain segment of the population anyway, this will serve me better than having visible abs.

And I am, as it turns out, totally willing to accept the idea that demanding more for myself might lead to a greater chance that I’ll go on being alone. Because having spent this much time by myself – happier, wiser, and fatter – I have also come to understand and more than that, to have experienced,  that being alone is far better and more satisfying than being in a bad relationship could ever hope to be.

But hey, If you know anybody…



*Yes, I realize I have very particular taste. It isn’t my fault. People are attracted to what attracts them. It isn’t like a Mongolian Buffet where you get to go in and say “Hm, yes, I want it SPICY, but also with some baby corn in it.” You like what you like because you like it; not because you planned (or even like) it that way.

**With one notable, humiliating exception, I have always been the one to end my long-term relationships.

***Fatter than I have ever been when not pregnant. I realize I am not, by customary standards actually fat, but it is irrefutably the case that I am heavier and rounder than I have ever been whilst not producing offspring.