Contributed by Donna Marie

A friend’s response to the Free to Be Single feature got me thinking.  He said, “Does this mean you want to be alone?”  My answer was, “No, of course not!”  Later it dawned on me just how different my perspective is now that I have embraced being single.

When I longed for a companion, I felt alone.  I would have those sorry for myself feelings on Fridays, birthdays, holidays, every time I watched romantic comedies or saw couples holding hands on Sundays because I was “alone.”  I would travel to cities I had always wished to visit only to feel sad and alone because I was there on my own or with friends.  I would overstay my welcome in relationships because I didn’t want to be “alone” yet I wasn’t happy nor did I feel good about myself so I might as well have been on my own.  Essentially, I equated my relationship status with aloneness.  In truth, this couldn’t be further from the truth—I just didn’t see it that way.  So attached was I to the need for a relationship!

Now I see I’ve never really been alone.  In fact, there is nothing I’ve ever accomplished or experienced that did not include other people in one form or another.  I just didn’t appreciate that fact as I lived in an illusionary world where none of this mattered as much as experiencing life with a companion or partner.  When the context we live by changes, a whole new world is available.  Earlier this year, I saw this first-hand when I created a romantic getaway to celebrate my birthday.  I went alone.  Before owning being single I thought a romantic getaway was unavailable to a single person—another opinion that bites the dust!

Free to Be Single is a recurring feature focusing on being single without opposition to other forms of relating. It’s about discovery and breaking through the societal walls of what should be when it comes to relationships. It’s about celebrating all the options of relating available to us as human beings whether it is to be a couple or to be single or any other iteration. It’s about embracing and being free to be where we are. Free to Be Single reflects musings of how my life is unfolding from a place of freedom as distinct from the past when being single was a missing and I operated as a victim.