Does Being Single Mean Being Unhealthy?

Thursday Jul 19, 2012 - BY Stacey

Is this the fate that awaits those that are single by choice? (Photo via CC)

Call me crazy, call me old fashioned, even call me old, but I think this new ”golden age of singledom” that has been described and defended in a recent rash of articles is going to create and foster some very emotionally unhealthy human beings.

 

I believe there is a natural drive to bond and procreate. Yes, we can chart our own, less than traditional path. We can have children without being married, be married without children, and yes, live alone with or without a cat. The last choice, however, is not necessarily either an emotionally or physically healthy one.

 

I have some good friends and relatives who are single and live alone. Each year they become more and more neurotic and set in their ways because, happily, they can do what they want when they want to. But they have no objectivity about themselves and can’t see how they get wrapped up in themselves and their rituals and patterns. Living alone when you’re older, especially if you have no children to still worry about and nurture, can be very lonely and even hazardous.

 

And why is it that every single girlfriend of mine is still looking to meet “the one” and have a relationship, thereby ending her singlehood? Granted, when you reach a certain age and are still single, there’s a good chance that there’s some unconscious behavior that is pushing “the one” away.

 

By living with another person, we are forced to be flexible and compromise. We also must account for our behavior, and I remember having some pretty weird patterns when I lived alone. Baking at two in the morning is not normal. Nor is watching television at 3 a.m.  I had some real fears and insecurities about life, and the nights were very long and scary for me when I was alone. I could spend as much time indulging in unhealthy behavior as I wanted because no one was home asking why I was still at the gym when I had been there for hours. Or why I was consuming an entire loaf of bread—crust only.

 

I remember my single days as liberating, extremely fun, but a little scary and unsettling. Maybe for those who can parent themselves (eat healthily, put themselves to bed on time, etc.) better than I could when I was younger, being single isn’t quite so rife with dysfunctional behavior. But most of us still have “the urge to merge”  (pardon the very 80’s expression). We aren’t exactly at peace with our singledom. We are perennially on the lookout for Mr. or Ms. Right.

 

Because I’m older I can say that I think this generation of twentysomethings is comprised of many very intelligent, confident, ambitious people. But I also see some it’s all about me attitude in many of them. I see very little interest in anything but themselves. There seems to be an inherent selfishness that doesn’t lend itself well to having a relationship. No problem really. Cats love to hear all about their owner’s life.

 

These days, I’m not eating bread crusts in the middle of the night. I live a full house—husband, three kids, two cats, and a dog–and I can’t wait for those precious times when I can be alone.

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