By Kanika Ameerah
I confess: I’m single out of complete and utter laziness. To me, dating seems like a chore, and a rather unpleasant one at that. Hitting up the bars and clubs, going to mixers, reading books such as The Rules and He’s Just Not That Into You and doing the online dating thing all seems like one huge ultra-competitive rat race to me and I don’t even know what the prize is! For years now, the dating dance has been the last thing on my list of priorities and admittedly, my lax outlook on finding love has put some fear into the hearts of my concerned relatives. After all, I am already in my 30s, my biological clock is ticking and my dating options are dwindling before my very eyes. However, I am not stressed or worried about it. When the right person comes along for me, it will happen. Until then, life goes on.
It would probably be easy to dismiss me as asexual, fearful of intimacy or just plain bitter, but I am none of those things. I am quite fond of a pretty face, have crushes from time to time, and though I’ve made some past dating mistakes that caused me an equal amount of headache and heartache, I am still optimistic about finding true love. However, my lust for life trumps any innate desire I might have to find “the one.” With age, I find that it’s a joy and a pleasure to be single, as it allows me the opportunity to explore life in ways that I could not if I were married or had a family.
For example, while many people are afraid to go on trips by themselves, I’ve always preferred to travel solo. In fact, I’ve become so used to traveling alone that when I travel with others, I find myself getting annoyed with them after a while. Over the years, I’ve gone on small trips throughout North America and last year, I fulfilled my dream of seeing Europe (eight countries in all). I have met many amazing people and wandered through places that I wouldn’t have dared if I were accompanied by another. I experienced all sorts of faux-pas and misadventures along the way as well as extremely pleasant moments. I have more postcards and magnets than I can count!
When not on the road, I keep myself busy with a variety of activities, whether barhopping in the streets of New York City, trying out new things, taking up new hobbies, volunteering or getting involved with one cause or another. I discovered one of my favorite whim activities around the time I turned 30. I decided to try out for the local roller derby league just for the hell of it. After breaking my skates, getting more than enough bumps and bruises and injuring my ribs (before finding out I didn’t make the team), I decided I was better off cheering on the sidelines. Although I may not be successful in some of my adventures, I am proud of myself for taking the risk and doing something different.
Another upside to single life is the ability to partake in all of those weird habits of mine. I can listen to my new favorite song over and over again (sometimes 100 times a day while singing completely off-tune) and view any movie from my Netflix queue at whatever time I want to. When I was dating, I felt I had to constantly maintain my appearance and it was exhausting! Single life has allowed me the privilege of occasionally “letting my looks go.” Naturally, I don’t go around looking like a complete slob, but it’s freeing to be low maintenance. If I don’t feel like shaving my legs, I won’t. If I want to run around in sweats and sneakers, I can. If I look terrible in the morning, I have no one to scare but myself. I don’t have to keep a significant other’s interest by looking hot 24/7.
Does single life have its downside? It does. Every so often, I crave companionship and wonder what it would be like to fall in love. Admittedly, it would be nice to go on a romantic vacation or paint the town red with that special someone. I miss simple affectionate gestures such as holding hands and would be lying to you if I said that I don’t feel a twinge of jealousy whenever a friend of mine couples up. However, the love of friends, family and a wonderful cat make up for the lack of romantic love in my life.
I know of so many people who lament being single. I feel for them because they don’t appreciate how enriching single life can be. Flying solo for so long has allowed me to develop my best characteristics and be at peace with being alone. When “the one” comes along, I feel that not only will I have the best of myself to offer them, but I can also enjoy time by myself when they’re not around. And boy, do I have some tales to tell my children if I ever have any! Should I meet someone tomorrow, I am more than open to welcoming them into my world. Until then, life goes on.
Kanika lives in NYC. She is founder and Editor-in-Chief of the website RaspberryMousse.net.