Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Variations on the Single Theme

photo by me from the "water" set

An anonymous reader posted a thought-provoking comment to my previous post about the book He's Just Not That Into You and how it's sort of pegged my hopes (not that high to begin with) even lower to a new level of low when it comes to men.

So by accepting the "new all time low" are you deducing it's best to "not waste the pretty" until it wastes itself?

Very good question - to which, at the moment, I honestly have no clear answer.

"Wasting the pretty" is very closely related to the concept of settling. Basically, the premise is that women should recognize what they're worth and shouldn't settle for someone who isn't going to treat them way they deserve to be treated. Neither should they stay in a relationship that is half-baked just so that they can be in a relationship. The book's premise is that women shouldn't waste the pretty because they are going to miss on the opportunity to find someone who is more worthy of the pretty.

Of course those of us who have been more or less single all of our lives know just how easy that actually is. All I have to say about that is one big, "Whatever." But I digress.

I am enjoying my single life enough to know that even if I am single for the rest of it, it wouldn't end my world. It is possible to be alone and be happy. And in that sense, choosing not to settle - ergo, not to waste the pretty - and holding out for the real deal that may or may not come along is hardly letting the pretty waste itself.

I started this year writing about choosing to be a quirkyalone - "a person who enjoys being single(but is not opposed to being in a relationship) and generally prefers to be alone rather than dating for the sake of being in a couple. With unique traits and an optimistic spirit; a sensibility that transcends relationship status."

But to be honest, there are days when I sometimes feel that I am just trying to convince myself that I am happy being single. Having been brought up and socialized the conventional way, I have been conditioned to want the usual things - to meet a decent guy who I'd want to settle down with, get married, start a family, etc. I won't deny that I still want that, even if I am enjoying living my current "out-of-the-box" life.

But I also refuse to settle for anything less than what I could have or deserve to have. There's still a part of me that holds on to the hope that there is someone out there who fulfills all my non-negotiables and is being prepared by Fate or by God just for me, for real, forever. Maybe these are unrealistic expectations for someone like me at this stage in my life, but I still choose to hold on to them.

So, yes, underneath all my cynicism I still choose to be an optimist - at least for now.

Will my answer change in a few years, when those creeping fears about growing old alone come more often in the night? I hope not. It's hard to say with finality what it is that one would choose to make compromises on in the light of trying to get something you really want. I guess it also boils down to what you want for yourself in the long term. But I sincerely hope not.

I guess there really are no easy answers to this kind of question. I know that if I think in terms of odds, they aren't really stacked in my favor. Yet I choose to think in terms of faith right now - faith that no matter how things turn out, whether or not I find a guy who is worthy of the pretty or whether I live the rest of my life as a fancy-free single lady, it will be what really is best for me.

In the end, happiness and fulfillment really depends on how you choose to live your life - and I hope to continue living my life as fully as I can regardless. And, as I have already said, choosing to make the most of every day I am given is hardly letting the pretty waste itself.

Besides, I'm finally beginning to realize that I do, in fact, have a lot of pretty to spare. And that's a pretty great lesson to begin learning at this point in my life, don't you agree? :)


MerryCherry, MD said...

"In the end, happiness and fulfillment really depends on how you choose to live your life"

Can't agree more Doc Claire.

I just realized now that you changed your photo. Love it :) You look so... yuppie. Hehe :)

dr_clairebear said...

@merrycherry: i TRY to look more professional these days. :P i think you know all about living your life out loud as well. Hope you're doing great!

ness said...

Beautiful photo, Clairebear!
Love the blues...

By the way, did you know you were supposed to host the next TBR? heheh. Check out our yahoo groups email.

Have a great time now.