Singles Only: A Proposition
We live in a couple’s world.
The only place designated for a single person to sit at a restaurant is the bar, presumably because the establishment assumes if you’re single, you must be depressed about it and will therefore buy a lot of alcohol.
Weddings are celebrated; divorces are followed by sympathy cards, regardless of the reality of the relationships involved.
How many movies center around a successful, single businesswoman who is “too busy for a man” until she meets the handsome protagonist, begrudgingly falls in love, and lives happily ever after, supposedly as a better, happier person?
Valentine’s Day. Slow dances. Business parties where you’re trying to show your boss you’re a trustworthy “family man.” These are all impossible to enjoy alone.
Please don’t get me wrong.
These things are perfectly fine and lovely when you’re in a healthy relationship. I enjoyed them thoroughly when I had somebody to love, or even when I wanted somebody to love.
But as I get more and more comfortable being single, I grow more and more uncomfortable with how society views people like me.
The other day, I was wandering around Hobby Lobby during my lunch break, looking for some cute quote knickknack I could place on my desk.
The following are just a few that stuck out at me:
Again, I am not shitting on love. And maybe I’m the only one, but these signs gave me slight PTSD, throwing my memory back to a time when I would have hung these up, lying to myself about their legitimacy.
Plus, if they “have everything” when they “have each other,” do I have nothing?
These sort of brainwashing ideas, ideas that make it seem as if being single is a disease that must be eradicated, are everywhere. Craft stores, book stores, restaurants, supermarkets, movies, websites, TV shows, schools, workplaces, music. Even furniture stores sell “love seats.” Everywhere I go, I feel bad about being there alone.
So I propose a solution.
There needs to be a Singles Only Sanctuary.
Not a “Single And Ready to Mingle” Sanctuary. Not a place for single people to meet other single people so they can both be not single.
[Side note: There needs to be a different term instead of “single” for people who choose not to be in a relationship and aren’t looking for anyone to publicly declare as their person. Like, I don’t know, their name.]
But rather, a place void of romantic phrases, gestures, or expectations. A place of empowerment for those who choose to be happy all by themselves.
A place full of comfortable couches and coffee and intellectual books. The music that plays over the loudspeakers is all wordless. Photos on the wall are all of still life. Nature. Colors.
This place would also be a store. It would sell wall hangings and mugs with motivational sayings:
You go, girl.
To guarantee success, act as if it were impossible to fail.
Dear self: Today, you will shine.
Self-confidence is the best outfit.
Don’t stress; do your best. Forget the rest.
A communal puppy and kitten would live in the Sanctuary, ready for cuddles at a moment’s notice.
We’d hold BFF events where straight single women could meet other straight single women (maybe even gay men?) to be friends with. There would be wine and cheese, of course. And dancing.
Open 24 hours a day, because we know that the middle of the night can hold the worst heartbreak. For those who need a pick-me-up, we’ll have warm, homemade chocolate chip cookies.
I know I need this Singles Only Sanctuary.
Because sometimes all you need is a lack of love.