Only One

We did the Widowed Blog Hop, and you read Killing Us Softly. You got to know the part of me which dealt with becoming a widow. Most of you looked on with my train wreck fascination¹. What we have never discussed is singleness.

number 1In a world filled with single mothers, I am in a vast statistical pool. Truth be told, I do not consider single motherhood any terrific accomplishment or burden. After long studies into human child-rearing rituals, I realized as a species we have no lifelong mating rituals which are innate and very few which are cultural. To date, very few societies celebrate male participation in child-rearing beyond occasional discipline.

To that end, I always considered my children my domain. In my defense, I am also not stupid. I do not turn down assistance when it is offered despite my pragmatic decision to not expect it.


The point, yes. Singleness.

A life filled with people does not negate the fact I am single. I do not have a partner. Not a life partner. Not a playmate. I am truly single. It does have some advantages.

I never have to wait for anything unless I want to wait. Time is my purview. I schedule as things are convenient for me.

I do not have to share. Regardless of how selfish that may sound, sharing can get old when it is important things like bathrooms.

There are never dirty clothes on the bathroom floor. The towels are always appropriately hung. The toilet paper roll is never empty. Toothpaste is never squeezed in the center. The bathtub, lavatory and toilet are always clean.

I do not have to tolerate other people. Inlaws, outlaws, “that” friend, the ex. I do not have to see any of those.

The closet door is always closed. The bed gets made. No one lies on it when it is made. The laundry is always folded appropriately and put away before it wrinkles. My things are always where I left them.

Sleeping Red Dwyer

Sleeping the wrong direction in the bed bothers no one.

No one pooh-poohs my plans. When I want to go somewhere, there is no long face or saccharine smile when I announce the destination.

There is an utter lack of judgment. Whether I want to wear the redneck uniform or nothing whatsoever, no one objects. Whether I want donuts for dinner or meatloaf for breakfast, no one objects. Whether I curse at the tops of my lungs or mumble about sweet memories, no one asks me to repeat what I said. No one raises an eyebrow because there is no one scrutinizing what I choose to wear, do, say and so forth.

I always get the seat I want. As petty as this may sound, a book is absolutely not the same when you walk downstairs and find someone else sitting in the chair you envisioned as you slid the book off the shelf.


Puzzle PieceThere is still fundamentally something missing. My inner social animal is yearning for a companion. No matter how comfortable I get being alone, I will never truly enjoy all it has to offer, for I will always long for the closeness an intimate relationship brings. For me, it is less about the everyday proximity as it is about being able to touch someone.² Feel skin, warmth, a heartbeat.

I recognize it is a sign of aging for me to want a companion now. Years ago, that need was easily satisfied, and even more easily dismissed, by holding a baby. Kangarooing an infant or even snuggling with a toddler was enough to satisfy my need to connect to another human. My days of babies in the house are long over.

It leads to the question: Am I willing to sacrifice the freedoms of singleness for the touch I need? Important puzzles never really are that simple, are they?

Red Signature


What other advantages are there to being single? Are you someone who is able to successfully be single?

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¹ This is not a slight. I view train wrecks very differently than the hackneyed connotation. Please read the Saturday Evening Post to understand why this is really a compliment.

² The link leads to a very important explanation of touch which is not what you may have first perceived or been taught.

© Red Dwyer 2014
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  1. Grant Helms

     /  July 5, 2014

    This hits close to home. What are the advantages? I’m not really sure yet. Many that you mentioned are definitely valid. But do they outweigh the emptiness? It use to bother me coming home to find things out of place. Now it drives me crazy that nothing has changed while I’ve been gone. Learning to cook for one has been a real challenge. Finding pictures and notes to remind me is absolutely the worst.But I am surviving. I am bonding with my new found best friend. He knows how to listen and ignore me when I get monotonous. He expects to be fed and walked. But most of all, he is genuinely happy to see me when I get home. Everyone needs a dog. As we both search for peace and happiness my friend, I sincerely hope that you find what you are looking for. If anyone deserves it, you do. I will always be here for you. I truly love you. Thanks for everything. As for the second question, NO. Though I enjoy the freedom of being alone, I miss the sheer pleasure of having someone close. Not even touching. Just there. Feeling their presence. Knowing that they want to spend time with me because it is mutual. And sleep is almost non-existent without having someone with me. The touch, the heart beat, the sound of their breathing. To me, these are what makes me happy. And I will be happy again. Great post. Keep up the good work.

  2. I rather enjoy not having anyone to screw things up but myself. I don’t get as annoyed when I have to fix things. I’d have to know how to get lonely to miss touch, because the touch you speak of is not the one I ever miss. I can get the one I miss anywhere.

    So, no I’m not willing to give up the freedoms for a companion. Then again I can’t pretend to want to play well with others yet.
    Laurie recently posted..Younique!My Profile

    • You have never been one to be lonely. For you, proximity is enough. For me, proximity is never enough. I can be lonely in a crowd.

      Not so sure I will learn to play well with others until others learn how to play by my rules. 😛

      • I’m rewriting the rule book to include making it mandatory for people to spend at least a week away from me every few months.
        Laurie recently posted..Younique!My Profile

  3. It’s that yin and yang thing. I am single but take care of three family members. There is a part of me that wants that single freedom and the bigger part who loves these folks.
    For me, I am an independent soul and you just can’t underestimate the value of freedom. Even though, I am close to 60 and would love to have enough time to get out and find a boyfriend. The companionship would be great.

    • Glad you stopped by, Ann. I think a boyfriend is an excellent idea. Who says a boyfriend has to be a live-in affair? Dating need only take the time you are willing to allot it and can easily take the shape of someone to spend time with you whilst you do the things already in your calendar. It can be a walk and chew bubblegum deal. Get to know someone whilst you do whatever it is you normally do. 🙂

  4. Everything is a compromise, being single or being married or being in a relationship. Other people always make things more complicated and things are never completely on your own terms with someone else around. Maybe if we were twins we could be simultaneously single and attached.
    Binky recently posted..Melting FrazMy Profile

  5. OK- so I have thought a lot about this because it’s such a double edged sword kinda thing – I can’t really think of any other advantages you haven;t listed – except in my version the opposite is true – no one will tell me to make order of my chaos or when I should do the damn laundry (i.e. before I run out of clothes or when I am naked and wondering what to wear) every serious (marriage) relationship i have been in my whole life consisted of the kind of judgement and dictatorship …I am happy to rebel against and be free of… but on the flip- side… I know it is possible to find someone who instead of judging orders..asks and because of the mutual feeling of loving each other… it isn;t a hardship to compromise some to live harmoniously… and I do think it is a stronger urge as we get older… just for companionship and someone to share with. Life is too damn hard and too damn joyful too – to do it alone – even with a thousand people – you need that one… who gets you and is with you and when you are with them…you aren;t thinking about “me time” because every minute of time with them all you really ever wanted.

    I love you
    Lizzie recently posted..Single Mom’s (ok Dad’s too) Summer Survival Guide – Pt 3; Sometimes you just have to wing itMy Profile

    • I had a feeling this was one you could likely make into a post of its own 😉 I love you, too. xxx

  6. I have lived both sides of the fence and I can easily recognise how being selfish can feel good, not ever having to think about or worry what the other person wants, needs, thinks or whatever.

    The plusses are many for being single but a relationship, whether married or living together is something not to be missed, regardless of all the little niggles and annoying factors it brings 🙂

    Some of us are thrust into situations that are beyond our control and we have to live the life that we are living to the best of our abilities. This can be said for married, widowed, cohabiting or single, but nothing is ever simple.

    I guess that when it comes down to it we can choose a life in a partnership or continue being single as both scenarios have their positives and negatives. It is a preference and a dilemma, as starting out after a life change occurs is not easy and it will be different for everyone.

    I like this posting Red…

    Andro xxxx

    • And in that difference we have a ton of compatibility 🙂 It is one of the things I do love about relationships is the integral connection we find in differences, as the teeth of cogs which fit snugly or with a bit of a rattle.

  7. Ah my Sister, we are so much the same. I love my space, my ability to do whatever I wish whenever I wish. But damned if I don’t miss the touch and scent of another.


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