The tune playing in my heart is called North Star. It’s a magical melody of flowers, overjoyed loved ones and “I Dos.” While I’m at odds with the big screen’s formulaic script of marriage, I am wedded to the song of romantic love. My relationship experience is limited to my fantasies of countless men fawning over my beauty, grace, and charm. It is funny how the men of my dreams are stuck in ‘La La Land,’ while I am working to unclog the way for Mr. Ty-D-Bol man.
“And I don’t know which hurt more: losing the illusion or never having had the real thing.” — Elisa Lorello
Back in the Day
I came-of-age in the 80s when Rick James’ “Super Freak” was the underground anthem I jammed to outside of the house. Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” spoke poetic tunes of a lovelessness longing “Once upon a time there was light in my life, But now there’s only love in the dark.” U2’s “With Or Without You” sang the complicated condition of couplehood and the musical band Journey affirmed to my heart “Don’t Stop Believin.”
I was a latchkey kid, washing clothes and cooking dinner in elementary school. My Mom did not get the memo that the fuse blew out on the Home Ec (Home Economics) era. I murmured repeatedly, the ‘Leave It to Beaver’ standard of gender bias household duties applied to houses and not apartments, as I pierced a triangular part of my eyeball out through my hands, to protect my sight from a maternal volcanic eruption. To my Mom, the science of domestication was proved by the redundancy of applied methods of household duties. As far as I was concerned, a statistically insignificant sample size of one was good enough for validating household chores results in a clean house. I learned firsthand from watching TV. A TV house stayed cleaned for 12 seasons after just one cleaning. Yes, I adhered to the social order of things in my Mom’s home otherwise my gluteus maximus were set aflame by the flying movement of a belt that belonged around one’s waist and not my bottom. Since then, my generational timing has been off, and my dating theology is stuck in the dark ages.
“…dating you would be like a series of unnecessary root canals interspersed with occasional makeout sessions.” — John Green
I Don’t Have a Dating Clue
It’s 2017, how do I begin dating? There is no cookie cutter preparation for the various communication scenarios that may lead to a first date. Social media dangles the carrot of the perfect partnership with seductive images of man and woman. Images are perfected to seduce the senses in this reality of fiction. The gloss and floss of a romantic life are downloaded to the cloud of my brain and stored as the aspirational faux fairy tale romance. To compound my confusion, today’s screen culture of connection has me mystified and misty-eyed. Open mic conversations are conducted with missing characters in text and form. Relationships are consumed through the looking glass of digital monitors of (e)motionless characters. The social order is follower foreplay and heart(less) exchanges. Back in the day, the physical connection between two wires of flesh and bones created the spark of reciprocity. Today, touching a screen can lead to electric static between fleshless and emotionless characters. Characteristically speaking, the different touchpoints to connect complicates the dating formula for me. This social media dating terrain is quicksand for my traditional dating ethos. It makes me uneasy and queasy at times. Despite the click-a-heart culture, I have not abandoned my goal of dating courageously and consistently this year.
“The minute I stopped trying to find the right girl, and started trying to become the right guy…the girl came.” — Jonathan Antin
Why Am I Single?
The next person that asks why I am single, I am going to exhale a spitball in their eye. In my mind, the question is like asking: “Why is it that birds can fly, but flies can’t bird?” Answer that standardized society. Because it just is. That question represents the cultural prejudice towards single individuals formed by policies and practices favoring married or ‘coupled’ people. Rest assured, I endeavor to bond in a romantic forever relationship created from openness, insight and sustained application, but until then, I am the ONE. In related news, on my smart-alecky days, I respond “I’m engaged.” Percolate on the meaning of that, standardized society.
“To say that one waits a lifetime for his soulmate to come around is a paradox. People eventually get sick of waiting, take a chance on someone, and by the art of commitment become soulmates, which takes a lifetime to perfect.” — Criss Jami
The Single Life
I am unapologetically single. I enjoy my singlehood, and I relish a life of companionship. I can be both. The pervasive pop culture liter our daily conversations and psyches with garbage that the honeymoon of happiness exists on the other side of the broom. I challenge that belief. The romanticizing of married life is celebrated and admired in our culture. What I have witnessed to be true, if you are unhappy single, you are unhappy married, fo’ sure. “We” should not exist in an impoverished or disadvantaged state of love for the appearance love. That is giving love a bad name. For some, the over-attribution of their romantic relationship is their defining quality and their self-concept. This belief is, to first matter to oneself, you must matter to others. Singleness is not a sickness waiting to be cured by marriage. The dominion of love exists within. I am no self-help guru telling someone to love oneself. For my sensibilities, that is comparable to telling someone to hug yourself, you can do it, but it is hard to feel the electric current. The surest way I’ve experienced the spectrum of love is to dwell in spaces that enrich the mutuality and possibility of love in my life. For me, it is time spent with family, friends, animals and nature. These relentless relationships I create and sustain are the pathways to my personal growth in a life of love.
“Hope for love, pray for love, wish for love, dream for love…but don’t put your life on hold waiting for love.” — Mandy Hale
Five Tips to Coupledom from A Single Point of View
I’ve mastered disaster and learned from my rich collection of experiences. Here are five tips I’ve learned on my endeavor to coupledom.
- Abandon the absolutes. Throw out the grocery list of mate traits. Otherwise, your ship may never make it to the shore – or it will sink because of the weight of your baggage claims.
- Create space in your inner mind and your outer world to make room for new experiences and to foster change in your environment. A hot air balloon flys because the air within is lighter than the surrounding air. Release the hot air and fly, baby, fly.
- Upgrade your prayers. Pray for an enriching journey and not the destination. Call upon a path that grows you vs. a prayer of acquisition – for example, marriage. There is no end zone in love.
- The Hunger Games. The social media scene has created a flimsy currency of affirmation by way of hearts, followers, and technical interactions. Don’t validate or measure your self-worth by this digital currency. Be self-aware, or you will continually crave this type of validation at the peril of your self-esteem.
- Move out the way. Participate in outdoor activities that supplement your vitamin D levels. Engage with others in co-located oxygen-filled spaces. Enjoy your singlehood.
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