My rational mind often tells me that loneliness is a choice. And deep down I know that when I feel as if I am on some secluded island while the rest of the world is partying on the mainland it’s only because I took the boat over myself. At this point in time, however, when my “plus one” is in a war zone and pretty much unavailable, it’s pretty damn hard to ignore the deafening silence that comes with single-dome.
The problem is, I’m not single. I can’t fill the void with some shameful sex-capades or go on a series of horrific blind dates in order to forge some sort of connection with another human being (not that any of that sounds even remotely appealing). Instead I have to be ok with an ample amount of “me” time, or playing voyeur to all those relationships that have sprouted up around me when I do go out with friends. Both tend to be a little exhausting. (I suppose this might be how nuns feel- while they are waiting to join forces with the big man upstairs they have to be ok wearing a chastity belt…)
It’s a strange sort of limbo that I find myself in. I am comfortable with and completely used to going “stag” to events, and don’t require an escort if I decide to meet some friends at a bar. I have learned when to say “when” and go home alone when being around crowds is too much to handle. But then when I get an invitation to a work party and quickly realize that I will have to scrounge for an available and completely platonic “plus one” I remember how much I miss having a significant other that resides in the same area code. And that just sucks.
Part of me knows that I will look back years from now when my hair is sufficiently dyed to cover the gray, and be grateful for how strong all of this has made me. My life experience will tell me that these trials made me independent and allowed me to bring the most complete version of myself into a healthy relationship. But as I sit here alone on a Saturday night feeling particularly pathetic I’ll forgo all those grown-up insights and throw myself a good ole’ fashioned pity party. And yes, you all are invited.