Turn on the radio at any time, and listen to five songs. Chances are that at least one was a mushy love song.
And if you’ve followed Mariah Carey’s musical career (like I have), you’ve come to the conclusion that she just can’t sing about anything besides love. (Think Vision of Love, Always Be My Baby, Dreamlover, I Stay in Love, etc.)
(Watch The Raveonette’s music video, That Great Love Sound, for a different albeit morbid/psychotic twist. They’re one of my favourites, and I really like what they’ve done in the video because it’s not what you would expect if you just heard the lyrics.)
We live in a society where walking hand-in-hand to board Noah’s Ark is considered The Right Path in Life. The increasing popularity of online dating services speaks volumes of how prevalent the love ideal is. “Find your match today!”, they say. Or, “The only thing you have to lose is your loneliness.”
The same thing I say about computers holds true for relationships – they’re only good when they work. But probably my favourite personal quotation I’ve come up with is this: “A good boyfriend is like a good bra – supportive.”
Truth be told, love is wonderful, exciting, and all-consuming. Whenever I fall in love, I’m giddy 24/7, I can’t wipe the smile off my face, and I want to devote all my time helping that Special Someone.
But they don’t call it falling in love for nothing. Sometimes the fall is so hard and fast that we get emotional bruises – some of which we feel will never ever fade but that will just get bigger and more painful. And sometimes the scrapes leave behind scars that we pick at later on in life, only to have them bleed like brand-new injuries. (I think Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton convey this well in Crowd Surf off a Cliff. Sip some red wine with this one.)
Is One Really the Loneliest Number?
Lately I’ve been doing lots of thinking about the single life because I got out of a serious relationship a couple of days before Valentine’s Day this year and just in time to completely ruin my birthday celebration later that month. (But at least he didn’t dump me like a total dick such as the one Jon Lajoie parodies.)
He and I had been dating for over 2 years. And it was more fucking intense than being married because not only did we live together, but we worked together, too. We were practically like Siamese twins doing everything together. And we felt invincible against the glaring statistics telling us that couples who live together have lower chances of getting married.
Reality crashes down like a hailstorm of serrated daggers sometimes. Now we both live separately and alone, but we still work together (although that will change). We’re trying to salvage a friendship because we want to build bridges instead of walls, but the task is probably more overwhelming than either of us imagined.
I thought he was my soulmate. (Who else would find my insecurities charming?) But to keep my sanity, I have to retrain my brain into thinking of him as only a friend.
As a feminist, I believe that women don’t require men to be happy, but I find myself floundering in depression without the one man I truly loved, trusted, and admired. This dissonance concerns and confuses me. What should I do? How can I move on? What if I never find The One? Can I be happy as a single female?
The Balancing Act
Being single has also forced me to notice how differently single women are perceived compared to single men. And it’s not fair. But life’s not fair, and the sooner we all accept that, the sooner we can suck it up, and become stronger, smarter individuals.
Unfortunately, these are the common descriptions associated with single females versus single males:
- Physically Unattractive
Why does the man come out on top? I believe that all 8 descriptions can apply to both genders. But in lots of research I’ve read while studying psychology in university, they seem to suggest that the woman often is perceived more negatively.
Married to the Mob
As I’m in my late 20’s, I find myself thinking more and more about marriage. Yes, I pictured it all – I was going to wear a black-and-crimson dress, the reception decor would have a glam Old-Hollywood/gothic theme, the guest list would be very intimate, and the DJ would spin records on a vintage phonograph. There wouldn’t be white anywhere, except for maybe the walls or plates.
But now it’s back to the drawing board. Win, Lose, or Draw…
I jumped right into a serious relationship after I ended my previous one, so it has been a long time since I’ve experienced singledom.
My heart still stings. And my eyes still get fucking flooded with tears at the drop of a hat despite me trying to keep them at bay. Is this weakness? Is this cathartic? It’s been months since the break-up, yet my emotions are as strong as Day One.
The Sweet Hereafter
Now that everything’s still raw, I’m confronting these issues:
- Source of Happiness: Why do I rely so much on other people to make me happy?
- Self-Exploration: What can I learn about myself now that I can’t ‘lean on’ someone?
- Fighting Loneliness: What can I do to keep myself busy & foster positive thinking?
- Future Relationships: How will I ever be able to trust someone again?
- Time to Say Goodbye: If he cuts me completely out of his life, will I be able to cope?
- Exciting Opportunities: How can I make the most of this time?
Here’s what I’ll be actively doing to get my life back on track:
- Hanging out with friends more & making new ones
- Working on my humourous office-politics book & eventually attempting to have it published
- Hitting the gym to work off some steam
- Pursing new hobbies to keep myself entertained & happy
- Reducing my intake of booze – I am a hardcore tequila enthusiast, but I can’t continue to feed the flame & make my liver suffer
Hopefully if I make all these changes, in a few months’ time, I will start feeling happy and good about myself again.
Have you been through a bad break-up? How did you deal with it? Did you stoop really low before rising up? I’d love for you to share your stories with me.
Until next time, glock ’til you drop!