Happy Tuesday everybody! It’s time for another relationship interview and this week we are talking to S about what it’s like to be single when it seems most of the world chooses to pair off and get married.
(Yes, it’s become clear I have an obsession with funny e cards. Sorry I’m not sorry.)
As always be respectful in the comments but DO feel free to comment! S is a fellow artist friend and someone I met while doing theatre in Chicago. She’s really nice and really funny. And I appreciate her candor on this topic because it can make one feel very vulnerable to share about their personal life. Luckily she’s an amazing actress and has lots of experience with being vulnerable. Here’s what she had to say:
Hi S, can you tell me a little bit about yourself and what you do for a living?
I have two to three jobs at any given time—I am a full-time office manager for an ad agency, I work part-time as a marketing assistant for a theater company, and I am an actress and director (what I went to school for) whenever I am hired by a theater company to do so.
And would you say you’re single by choice?
Yes, I guess I would.
Why is that?
I have finally figured out after 49 years on the planet that I am happier living alone, and relationships tend to eventually veer toward co-habitation in some way, shape, or form. Most people aren’t thrilled to just ‘date’ eternally.
Have you ever considered a long-term partnership?
My longest relationship was three years, and we did not live together. By the end of the three years it had grown unpleasant and sad. It was hard to end it, but a relief after a while to be on my own again. It felt like “going back to normal.”
What are the best parts about being single?
Coming home to a quiet, empty house, with everything just where I left it, and also knowing I do not have to report or share my plans or intentions with anyone if I don’t want to.
What are the most frustrating parts about being single?
Not being tall enough to reach tall places (not kidding!) and not having anyone to help me carry heavy or bulky items. (Hmmm. I am beginning to think I just need an on-call handyman.) The other thing that is sometimes awkward is not having a built-in “plus 1” for parties, events, etc. Oh, and of course there is the occasional thought that you could choke or fall and be incapacitated and die alone in your home and not be found until a neighbor smelled your rotting corpse. But I am willing to take that chance for the joy of living alone.
What are you most proud of in your life?
Two things: Moving far away from my hometown for college where I didn’t know a soul to pursue my dream of a theatre degree, and also becoming a homeowner in Chicago all on my own doing.
Do you feel like being single has made any of those accomplishments less special or less important?
No—I think it’s vital to be self-reliant, and to do things for yourself before ever settling down with another person. I like not “needing” another person and depending on myself when it really counts.
What is the one thing you wish you’d never hear again from others in regards to your martial status?
Hmmm. I don’t really have anything for this. Everyone who knows me pretty much steers clear of this because they know I am just not that interested in that conversation. I find it really boring.
Do you have children? If not, do you want to have children?
No, I don’t have any, and no, I do not want them. In my twenties I thought I did for a couple years, but now I am REALLY glad I didn’t go there. Having friends with kids is enough for me.
If yes, is that something you would consider on your own? (Adoption or sperm donor?)
No. It seems like a huge amount of pressure and stress I would rather avoid.
Do you feel like society pressures people, specifically women, into a certain marital status?
I used to. Not so much anymore. Society is slowly loosening up with expectations for both genders, as well as gender roles and also relationship stereotypes. THANK GOD.
Do you believe men get the same pressures when they are single?
You know what? I have no idea. I imagine it depends on the family and the environment in which the man was raised and now lives.
Do you believe in soul mates or in a one true love?
Not in ONE true love. I think that there are many people that would be a good match/good fit for each person. The trick is meeting them in the first place and finding them at the right time for both people.
If yes, would you get married if you met yours?
Hmmm. I don’t know. Ten years ago I would have said probably yes. But now I don’t really know. I am not really that excited by traditional marriage, but maybe I could invent some kind of cool marriage that didn’t make me feel stressed out. Because I assume marriage would stress me out. I REALLY like a lot of alone time, and I know I would hate having someone in the house all the time, or home every day when I got home. ***shudder***
What are the biggest misconceptions people assume about you when you’re single?
That you hate men (or women if you are a straight man, etc.) or that you are frigid, cold, unfeeling, crazy, or a bitch. I don’t hate men. I love men—I have many male friends. And I am friends with ALL of my exes. Many people don’t “get” why someone would choose to be alone. In ancient times I would have been labeled a witch and burned at the stake or something. Now people label me eccentric or “a nutty artist-type,” etc. But the stigma is the same… many people don’t think being alone is “normal.” And I think it’s a very scary idea for some folks. They don’t understand it, and they can’t imagine it for themselves, so it scares them.
Anything else you’d like to add or want people to know about you?
I think we are not only defined by where we were born and raised and by whom, but also by who we choose as friends and lovers. And hopefully with each relationship we improve ourselves just a little bit, so that by the time we reach old age, if we are lucky enough to do that, we are fascinating creatures with amazing stories to tell and incredible memories to sustain us to the end. I think connections with other people are the herbs and seasonings in life, and hopefully they make us better than we could ever be alone. But if we CHOOSE to be alone, we can still enjoy a flavorful life, because there are as many different types of relationships as there are people. And that makes life worth living.
Thank you S! That last paragraph is beautiful and well-said. I found it really interesting to read how much you love to live alone. Personally, I have a slight co-dependency problem and dislike too much alone time, but that’s the beauty of the world, everyone is so different! I hope one day someone does invent some sort of “cool marriage” where its acceptable to spend more time apart than together. In fact, I’m sure it happens already in some cases! Break a leg on your next show, and thanks again!
If you are in a unique relationship or have an idea for an interview you’d like to see, please email me at dramahappens(at)gmail(dot)com.