Friday, October 7, 2011

Something for all the singles

Saba7o! So, it is the best day of the week, and that is a cause for celebration! It's my favorite day of the week, and paraphrasing the words of Cee Lo Green, Friday's brought us that wonderful "I don't have to go to work tomorrow, so instead, I can go out tonight" feeling (unless you have to work tomorrow, which just sucks).

First of all, thank you for reading my previous post. I really hope the message I was trying to send was clear. Ironically, only one person posted a comment haha...

Secondly, in my attempt to share different resources, anecdotes, and research, I want to make sure that the different groups of individuals within my audience are being addressed. So, as you sit back, drink your morning coffee, and wait anxiously for the clock to chime "freedom," let me share something with you. This is something for all us singles, especially all of you that are recently single. This is something that I communicated to someone I am very close with, and I saved it. At the time, she just got out of a long relationship, but has since reconciled, and is even happier. Without giving too many details of my personal, romantic life, as someone that has an apparent affinity for single-life, I figured I could give her some pointers. What emerged, became something analogous to a monologue. Let me share:

"Single life after a long relationship is good for you; it helps you move on.
It’s ok to be sad,
And single,
And to think that you’ll never find anything or anyone better.
You just got out of a very serious relationship; you need to take time for YOU!
How? 
Want suggestions? Try: 
Ice cream,
Partying with good friends,
Movies,
Doing things you like to do,
Not worrying about other people.
Doing whatever it is YOU want to do!
YOU want to go to the beach? Go.
YOU want to take a vacation? GO!
You want to look for a new job,
Or write something new,
Or pick up a new hobby?
YOU DO IT!
It’s about doing what you want,
Because in the end, YOU and only YOU knows what’s best for...YOU!
Being in a healthy relationship is great,
But an inherent part of a relationship is that you are constantly relying on, connected to, and having to organize with another person.
It’s not about what you want;
It’s about what we want.
It’s not about me, it’s about us
Being single helps you to take a step back and evaluate the priorities in your life,
Because in a relationship, the other person (understandably) tends to dominate those priorities.
It’s a good chance to focus on your professional development,
Your friends (that often get neglected during a serious romantic relationship),
Your family,
Your hobbies,
And simply doing what you want to do without worrying about having to accommodate someone else.
It allows for a lot of time to think;
Grow;
Experience;
Mature;
And in many cases: heal."

So, that's some of my own advice for singles, and especially for newly singles (after all, you are
"single and ready to mingle").

But since we're on the topic... I have some things i want to ask, perhaps even verging on contentious. I'm going to ask, and feel free to respond. You can comment as yourself, or anonymously, but just remember: it's ok to be single. It's ok to NOT be married by 30. It's ok to live your life. It's ok to have a career. And it's ok to want someone. To long for someone. Never let anyone rob you of your own desires.


Answer these questions:

  • How long have you been single?
  • Do you like being single?
  • Do you want to be single?
  • What do you think are the pros and cons to single life?
  • What are the obstacles to single life in Lebanon or wherever else you are from?
  • What kinds of pressure are put on individuals that are single, both in Lebanon and outside?

Let's talk.

Spread the love,
-Ogie

12 comments:

  1. Been single for 4 months.
    Don't like being single.
    Don't want to be single.
    Pros:you can hang out with whoever you want whenever you want, you can focus on what you NEED to do for yourself (which rarely happens because your thinking too much about you being single), and the rush you get from meeting a new "somebody" for the first time.
    Cons: you feel lonely, you hate on all the people that are in relationships, and you start thinking too much about past failed relationships (which usually gets you so paranoid that you mess up whatever potential relationship you might have with someone you like).
    Obstacles ? Um people here are too picky for their own good.
    Pressure ? Let's just say that when your single (or recently single) people think there's something wrong with you, that your not able to be in a relationship or find someone who is willing to commit.



    Oh n one more thing..... LOVE YA OGIE !!

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  2. Haha thank you :)

    Honestly, I know exactly how you feel. And I'm sure a lot of people reading this can identify with it! I know I can...

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  3. Been single for a year, i like being single, and so far want to stay that way :)
    Pros: i think, as you said, it helps you discover who you are and what you want in life. you don't settle for what you already have, instead, you learn more about yourself, figure out exactly what you want from a relationship, then go after it. You feel more in control of your actions and thoughts, and focus only on yourself, i think this builds your self esteem and makes you further understand yourself. you become independent.

    Cons: one could say it might get lonely, but in my opinion a chat with a close friend can solve this issue. You might develop a critical eye for relationships, and start judging whether your friends' relationships will succeed or fail based on your view and experiences.

    Obstacles and pressure: I think people tend to believe that a relationship is a necessity in life, and that if you say "you don't want to be in a relationship at the moment" then you are in denial, or simply bitter. Some fail to see things from your point of view, and thus make you feel strange about your decision to stay single.

    Thanks :) great post Ogie

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  4. Hey Ogieee!! :D

    I've been single for 3 months now, i'm loving it!! I like being single because I can go out and have no restraints whatsoever! I can go out and come back whenever I want, with whoever I want for as long as I want and wherever I want, without feeling I am doing my other half (as in bf/gf) injustice!
    I do not need to feel bad about anything I did when I tell my other half about my day!! (but then again, I guess that depends to some degree on the relationship that u were in and what u got used to in that relationship).

    Now here comes the tricky question, do I want to be single, well, you see, im enjoying it right now and judging that I was in a relationship for a year n a half before my breakup, im still enjoying what it is like to be single, but now that I know the fun and the joys that being in a relationship gives, I do feel nostalgic to those feelings (not to the person -.-) I would like to hug someone I like, kiss them and spend time with them and not be called a loose girl just cz im not in a relationship with that guy. at times I do miss being in a relationship, but those times up until now are rare and not putting any sort of strain on me :)

    Pros & Cons:
    Pros: Not reporting to anyone, not feeling bad cz of who I choose to go out with, not going through turmoil, chaos and fights that just burn up ur soul and happiness, I feel less 'reserved' as a person. What else, hmmm, it's just more freedom, more happiness, more openness. (then again I cant tell if I should have fet that during the relationship)
    Cons: no dates, no person to fall asleep to their voice, no-one who you just wanna hug until u sleep at the end of a rough day, no special someone to love. So far, I havent felt loneliness though :D

    Obstacles to single life in Leb: Word of mouth, reputation, peoples love of rude, hurtful gossip, taboos.

    Pressures: I dont feel any now, but I guess when im nearing 30 and not married, my folks might start giving me a hard time :P

    Love u ogie!! <3

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  5. Thank you Alma! I definitely agree with you, especially on the independent part (and really all the pros). I’m glad you like being single, it’s an experience. And yeah, it can be lonely, but only depending on what your needs are. Some of these needs can be divided among good friends. For instance, if you really value emotional intimacy, you can get that from others. It may not “be the same,” and a physical component might be missing, but still. It’s not like you are all alone.

    About the critical eye… is that really a bad thing? Perhaps without over analyzing, you’ll take a step back, and try to figure out more about yourself, what you like, and what works based on observations about other people’s happiness and compatibility?

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  6. Thanks Anon :)

    You’re touching on a really interesting point: do I miss him/her, or do I miss the relationship? They are really two different things, and sometimes I wonder if people are in a relationship because they really want to be with THE person or because they really want to be with A person.

    If you just got out of a 1.5 year relationship, this post is perfect for you. Take some time! Enjoy yourself!

    Just because you’re single doesn’t mean you have no dates :P
    That’s a fun thing about dating, going out with different people. Between being in a relationship and dating, it helps you find out what you like, in many ways, by helping you discover what you DON’T like. But it’s still a lot of fun in the process (and sometimes awkward haha). But you’re right, that “special someone” isn’t always there for you. Probably the worst part.

    Good that you don’t feel alone! Really, surrounding yourself with great friends is the best remedy.

    Can we all just collectively agree that 30 ISN’T a bad number? That it’s OK if you choose your career/work over marriage for a while (or even completely)? So what if you’re “approaching 30”, I’m sure it’s still pretty far away. Besides, don’t look at it like a dead end. It’ll only cause you stress. Watch When Harry Met Sally, you’ll feel better. It doesn’t really matter what age you are, it matters how happy you are. Don’t forget that. And don’t make the same mistake so many of our parents have and our parent’s generation has and that is: marry someone and be unhappy for the rest of their lives, just so their parents could have grand kids, peace of mind that their child is with a fellow Christian/Muslim/Druze etc., and get off their back.

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  7. How long have you been single?

    I've been single for two months now. I'm out of an affair, I'd call it a legal affair (because it's not an affair affair), a push pull, sensual experience, very spiritual, 'monogamous', emotionally violent, and very free, with a guy who's like a book, a closed one, where you get to pick a page and a story and an intellectual idea every single day. However, at a certain period in my life, I've been single for years...

    Do you like being single?

    My constant state of being is single, even when I'm with someone. When I'm single single, I am used to it and I love it.

    Do you want to be single?

    Right now, yes. But I long for physical touch and the act of sharing with someone close. I have given up on men right now, since I have the Mother Theresa syndrome, I end up with men that cannot give anything back, but it doesn't hurt. If you think someone is attractive in a way and they can't give back, they automatically become uninteresting.
    I am waiting for my senses to open up again :) I know exactly where I am :)

    What do you think are the pros and cons to single life?

    It's mostly pros. Am I being biased? Until I find someone who can share share... giving up my single life is not worth it. Pros: Just being...happy...without responsibility and drama.
    cons: The physical aspect, sharing, the love and expression of being, dancing in the presence of another being, worshiping... each other.

    What are the obstacles to single life in Lebanon?

    Mama Papa and the community. 3a2belak tante! Nshalla nefrah men wledak! Yalla jebto sabe, lezim tjiboulo 2ekhet! Beytkon zghir sar lezim twes3o! Ta3 nelbous kravat w na3mil sobhiye!

    What kinds of pressure are put on individuals that are single, both in Lebanon and outside?

    See above examples. If you're not living this, you should live it like us! Pressure pressure :P


    P.

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  8. P., thank you for sharing! It's really sweet :)

    I've been single a while too, so I can definitely relate to your words. I long for the same things as well (just ask pretty much anyone that knows me). But I'm glad you know where you are, that is so important to getting to where you want to be!

    And yeah, the pressure... but in the end, your happiness is what really matters. Unfortunately, for many people here in Lebanon and the Arab world, security in marriage and childbearing supersede love and personal happiness. Unfortunately, marriage is used for pragmatic reasons, not about butterflies, and "let's be together forever because I can't take my eyes off you..."

    But I say, we can change it. Start our own revolution. A personal one. One that means that we stand up and say, "I want to be with this person because they make me happy." Forget the jadedness and the cynicism of the older generations. Let's do it our way!

    Let me just quote the wonderful woman you mentioned:

    “Loneliness is the most terrible poverty...[but] love begins at home, and it is not how much we do...but how much love we put in that action.” – Mother Teresa

    Don't fret about loneliness, you'll be fine. Work on the home, love with all your heart, and of course... spread the love :)

    -Ogie

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  9. Heey, thought I would chime in from the "outside."

    How long have you been single?
    A little over a year.

    Do you like being single?
    Sometimes. At first it was difficult to be single, and I would resent people who were in committed relationships. But I've spent the past year trying to "grow" as a person and trying to love both myself and those around me. So now, instead of feeling jealousy for those in relationships (and let's face it, that's what I felt), I'm just happy for them. I hope that I'll find something like that, and I'm willing to wait until I do before I try again.

    Do you want to be single?
    Yes and no. Being single makes it easier to do certain things -- I go to school, work, have several groups of friends, and am involved in extracurriculars. I could not be with someone who couldn't understand or accept those things about me. But at the same time, if the right person came along then I'd be willing to make compromises. So until that happens, I'll stay where I am.

    What do you think are the pros and cons to single life?
    Pros: If you're willing to get to know yourself, you can really grow and change as a person while single. You can develop and enhance many relationships. You may have time to "do more things," but...
    Cons: You do a lot of things alone. There are many events you have to skip because you don't have a +1. There's always a feeling in your heart and your emotional life that someone is absent. Some things are just better to share than to keep to yourself!

    What are the obstacles to single life in Lebanon?
    Idk =P

    What kinds of pressure are put on individuals that are single, both in Lebanon and outside?
    On the outside I feel like there's more pressure to take on more things. People in relationships, married, or with kids, are given a pass and aren't expected to do as much or work as hard as their single friends. We're also expected to be more social and to "love our single life." To say "I'm tired of being single, I want a boyfriend/girlfriend" is akin to saying "I'm a needy, soul-sucking, depressed mess, why won't someone love me?!" So there's a lot of stigma involved in getting out of singledom.

    I love the questions and answers!

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  10. Thanks Anon! First of all, I always welcome "outside" input. In fact, although this is geared more towards individuals within Lebanon and the Arab world, there's something for everyone, and it's applicable to anyone really. So don't feel excluded! This is for you too.

    Trust me, sometimes I just want to be like "fricken happy people!" No one likes to sit in a bar and see a bunch of happy couples making out while you sit there (not that that's ever happened to me or anything... cough...).

    Wow, I just really agree and identify with all of your comments. You're so right, especially what you said about being on the outside. Thank you for putting it so eloquently!

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  11. been single for a year and a half

    i don't like being single i actually hate it

    no i don't want to be single

    pros: no commitment, you can just do whatever you want with who ever you want

    cons: sometimes you just don't want to be alone

    people see you as different or that there is something wrong with you just as mentioned in previous comments. it especially sucks when everybody in your group has that special someone but for you

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  12. Anon, I completely understand how you feel. And I am definitely not going to offer that very cliche (and in my opinion, destructive) advice that "oh, just be patient, it'll come). Bull shit, that's not gonna make me feel better, you know? Unfortunately, other than positive thoughts, there's not much comforting that can be done. But if things don't happen, look at the places where you meet people. Try and change them, meet new people. Go to different pubs, and cafes, or new areas of campus. Try to meet your friend's friends. It's good to be proactive, but I also understand that sometimes you feel really helpless.

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