Contributed by Donna Marie
When I share with family and friends how at ease I am with being single, the next statement (in the form of a quiet admonition) is some facsimile of this statement: “Remember there will be a time when you are older that you will need a companion.”
As I contemplate this statement, I am struck by how much it presupposes that whoever one is in a relationship with will be with you when you get older. Or that somehow one’s life won’t be good without having a companion.
Before I experienced the freedom I now feel as a single woman, my need for someone to complete me and make me feel safe fanned the flames of fear and concern about what will happen in my later years if I’m single and alone. My feelings at the time were that there wouldn’t be someone who loved me, to do life with, to take care of me in my golden years. When I first considered this possibility, one of the first actions I took was a practical one. I got long-term care insurance because we never know if we will be physically able handle things if there is some form of disability in our future. Then came the thought, “You better find a companion” which took me on a mission to find a relationship so that my life now and in the future would be better.
As someone who is free to be single, I no longer believe that being in a relationship is the only solution to living my best life. Rather, I now realize that relationships and companions come in various forms so, I cultivate and nurture my relationships now and live one moment at a time! That’s my ‘answer’ to my end of days … be in loving relatings now and let the future take care of itself.
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.