Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


The Travesty of Being Alone

Filed under: Philosophy — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

She said it with so much self-assurance that I almost agreed with her, “He might be obsessed with work right now, but when he finds that Special Someone, it will be different.” I almost nodded, but I caught myself. There a split second there when I could have turned back. I could have politely nodded and let her believe herself, but something within me wanted to tell the truth. I wanted her to know that there was more than one way to live a life.

“Do you think? I don’t. He seems really happy with his life right now. You know, it’s possible to be alone and be happy.”

“He dates.”

“Yeah, but I think he’s happy with his life. It’s not like he’s incomplete without that Special Someone.”

I should have kept my mouth shut. I could tell that she didn’t believe me and there was no point in arguing about it. Plus, I didn’t want to launch into a discussion with her about physical needs versus emotional ones. I am in Utah, after all. The only physical need that is spoken about in polite conversation is eating. There is lots of talk about chocolate and ice cream in Utah. Sometimes I like to imagine that they are talking about sex instead, but they look at me funny when I laugh at inappropriate times. I digress.

In this state, it seems that being alone is a travesty. If you are not married, you should have a girlfriend, and if you don’t have a girlfriend, you should be actively dating. All of these “shoulds” are discussed as if they are fact, but I’ve come to the knowledge that they are not. It’s possible to be completely content with your life and be alone.

I’m not talking about “Alone and Looking” or “Alone and Grieving a Loss” or even “Alone and Just Busy Right Now.” I’m talking about “Alone and Happy Very Much, Thank You.” I’m talking about “Alone and Please Don’t Fix Me Up With Anyone.” I’m talking about “Alone and Yes, You’re Very Beautiful, but No Thank You.” It’s possible to live there and be happy and content, but this society will have me believe that it’s not true.

I blame Socrates. Wasn’t it him that said that we are just seeking our other half? If lovers are merely seeking their other half, it implies that we are incomplete unless we find someone to love. Sure that’s great for our genes and the propagation of the species, but as a self-actualized human, I find the concept demeaning.

I refuse to believe that I am only half a person. After over thirteen years of intimate contact with Michael, I know that he is a whole person all by himself. The two of us together make something better than we could be individually, but we are not two halves. That idea diminishes what we have created together.

So, here I am, wanting to explain all of this to her. I want to tell her that her life is great for her, but his life is great for him. There are as many ways to lead a happy life as there are humans on this planet. There is no single road to happiness and I find it offensive that she would try to force him to walk down her path, when his is leading to the same place.

I look at my little Buddha and St. Jude. Buddha is smiling at me, “Let her believe she knows the only path. It makes her happy to think that she knows the one truth.” St. Jude is staring straight ahead with the flame of the Holy Ghost above his head, “What are you looking at me for? I never got married.”


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