Solitude Versus Loneliness: The official post break-up update

Did you know that Charles Darwin created a pro/con list when deciding whether or not to get married? He was 29 at the time and here are some of my favorites from the list: Darwin

Pros: constant companion, charms of female chit-chat, someone to take care of the house, better than a dog

Cons: freedom to go where one liked, not forced to visit relatives, fatness and idleness, loss of money for books.

Our similar age and outlook on relationship make's me certain I am the reincarnation of Charles Darwin.

It has been almost 4 months to the day since my relationship ended and one of the most common questions I receive is - how are things going post break-up? Given the holiday occurring tomorrow I thought this the perfect time to give you all the official update.

Short version: I'm fine. I'm happy. I'm exactly where I want to be in life. single1

Longer version: being single has it's challenges just like being in a relationship does. Thanks to the tips I elaborated on in this article I wrote shortly after the break-up I can say confidently I 'got over' my past relationship almost immediately. There's been no pining over our lost love, no drunken texts, no episodes of crying myself to sleep while weeping over photos of us together. I think breaking-up is a two part process. The first part is letting go of your past relationship. The second (and usually more challenging) is finding out how to live life single again. Emphasis on the 'living your life' part - not just biding time waiting around for the next relationship to come.

For me, this transition into singledom has been so seamless it's almost as though this is my natural state of being. I think most negative stereotypes associated with being single come from the very mistaken idea that single =  lonely. I'm here today to state definitively that there is a huge difference between solitude and loneliness.

I'm choosing to be single at this time because I am extremely happy with where my  life is at and the direction it is heading. Do I see a relationship being a part of my future at some point? Absolutely!


However, I refuse to live my life on contingencies. Such as the belief that I'll be happy when:

- I meet someone

- I get married

- I have kids

- Insert other cliché life goal

I'm not saying these are bad things, or that I don't hope to have them at some point, but I'm busy working on creating a life that is worth living for me NOW on the very slight chance that John Stamos doesn't show up on my doorstep with a dozen roses and a jar of peanut butter for me tomorrow.

I'm not going to lie or pretend to be delusional and say being single is always easy. LIFE itself is always full of challenges and difficulties. In no particular order here are some of the less-than-welcome thoughts that have gone through my head at some point over the last few months:

Is it me? Am I unloveable? Will I ever meet someone? If people find out how weird/boring/lame I am they'll never want to date me! I never leave the house so how do I expect to date again? What will I do when Salem dies and I really have no one to talk to? Will I die alone? What if I don't find someone soon and I'm to old to have kids? What if I'm already getting to the age fertility becomes an issue? How many decent single guys without kids are even left in their 30's now? Should I just give up and join a convent? Shit I'm out of ice cream again.

You know what I do when those thoughts pop up? I feel them. I feel sad. Then I move on. I think about all the times in my last relationship (and the one's prior to that) when I was unhappy. I felt like I was settling. I had that gnawing suspicion that there was something missing. I was tired of fighting over nothing. Tired of the same boring-ass-routine day in and day out. I think of all the things that I disliked about being with someone and I remember that LIFE IS NEVER PERFECT. Single, married, divorced, widowed, whatever your 'status' is - there will be positives and negatives to it.

I don't know what my future holds. Maybe I'll meet someone tomorrow and we'll get married and live happily ever after. Maybe I'll still be single in 5 years and traveling all over the world writing and living out my dreams.

Who knows.

The only thing I know for sure is that I'm happy right now. I'm in love with my life and that is one relationship that will never end.