On Being Single

I am not single. This is a reflection after seeing a particular movie this week that I thought would be slap stick comedy but actually had an intellectual aspect to it.

Have you seen it? How.to.be.single?

I went with my sister and we have two VERY different love stories. It was interesting to talk about it after.

She met her husband in junior high and never dated anyone else. She lived at home until she got a surprise pregnancy at 19 and dropped out of college and took a retail job. Her husband worked (and still does) in construction. Then they moved in with her (now) husband’s mother. They got married at 22 and bought their own house. They had another baby at 24 and are currently hoping to have a third.

I didn’t date much in high school, but went on some dates in University. I went to school 1800 kms from home, so I lived on my own in a dorm for the first two years and then an apartment for the third. I made some great friendships. From there I moved to across the country and started my adult life in a city where I knew no one…I loved the experience. I got a corporate job that paid me well, so I got to have some wonderful experiences. While there I met a guy who I dated seriously, but it didn’t last. Then I met another guy, dated him semi-seriously, but again it didn’t last. 3 years post University graduation I met Mr. Big. We dated for 7 months, were engaged for 2 years and finally married outdoors at a small ceremony in the mountains. It was beautiful. We struggled with infertility for a while there, before packing up and moving home to be closer to my family and sisters. Still struggling with infertility.

The movie (SPOILER ALERT) talks about how to be single…and how part of the purpose is to figure out who you are while you’re single so that when you do find someone, you don’t get lost. They coin the experience of “finding a guy and rushing into something serious without ever knowing yourself” as “dicksand” (sorry, that’s what they call it). It’s like meeting someone you like and getting stuck in their quicksand and becoming who they want you to be rather than who you are.

As soon as the movie ended, my sister looked at me and said “I got caught in (her husbands name)’s dicksand.”

The more I thought about it, the more I realized how lucky I am to have had all the wonderful experiences I did have while I was single – and to have the opportunity to not only figure out who I am, but to develop that. While I miss, immensely, that I don’t have children yet – there is a perk to it too. Mr. Big and I have been able to develop strong sense of who we each are individually, and who we are as a couple. We’ve been able to do things, and see things, and have experiences that not everyone gets to experience. That’s not such a bad thing. (Don’t get me wrong, I am ready to stop any time and trade it in for bibs and diapers…but I also want to realize and acknowledge that good things come from this too).

My sister and her husband are happily married, have a nice home and two beautiful children. They work hard and they enjoy their life. Getting caught into his “dicksand” (I know, cringeworthy tem!) worked for her and she’s happy. But I am very thankful that I had a chance to become who I am as a single person and to learn to need only myself – before finding the person to share my life with. I just hope that the little versions come along before I’m too old and grey to enjoy them.

It was definitely a surprising food for thought movie! Did you see it? What did you think?

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